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Field Marshal
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Oct 23, 2003
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So, someone said that Bar is one of the hardest nations in HTTT to play.

I take this as a challenge, of course. How could I not?

Set up:
* HTTT 4.1b - I will announce at what point I install patches, and if those patches change my strategy.
* Very Hard. I'm a sucker that way. The morale modifiers are a bigger deal now.
* Normal Aggressiveness. The AI gets a little stupid on high aggressiveness - I find high aggressiveness makes the game easier to exploit AI thoughtlessness.
* Lucky Nations - Random.

* Not die. The Big Burgundy Blob will be my first problem.
* Form France or HRE, whichever comes first. Or both. Or maybe the Netherlands. Depends on where we end up going.

The AAR starts tonight. I will also be honest about any time that I have to restart due to being squashed like a bug by my multitudes of enemies...so it may take a couple of tries to get rolling.
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I will follow with interest the rise (hopefully not: and fall) of Bar.
Looking forward to another naggy AAR, the previous ones have been of very high quality (thanks for posting about this in the Prussia AAR, it's nice to notice this one right away). And the game seems interesting too.
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Subscribes - I'd also like to say thanks for the update in the Prussian AAR.
Chapter 1: A Duke walks into a BAAR...

October 14, 1399. Duke Robert de Montbéliard of Bar woke up with a massive headache, and promptly shut his eyes again to block out the annoying sunlight.

After some staggering about to get decent, he opened his door to face the day...yet another day in the life of a Duke caught in the crossfire between France, Burgundy, and the Empire.

A peculiar man came running up to him, saying, "Duke Robert! This is the first day of the rest of your life!", just before one of the guards clotheslined him and drug him away...

In the middle of the 10th century, the Dukes of Upper Lotharingia moved their seat to Bar (naming it Bar-le-Duc), and took the title Duke of Bar. As the line died out at the end of the 11th century, Duc became a county rather than a duchy, which it remained into the mid 14th century, at which point Robert of Bar was made Marquis of Pont-à-Mousson by Emperor Charles IV, and was elevated to Duke.

Like practically every other duchy in France of the period, the rulers of Bar served with distinction for France, against France, for England, against England, for the Empire, and against the Empire. After Henry of Bar supported Edward I of England in 1301 and lost to Philip the Fair, Barrois was split as partly a duchy of France (west of the Meuse), and partly an imperial duchy.

Duke Robert has now been duke for 42 years, and perhaps the crazy little man is right...today is the first day of the rest of his life.

The map:
Barrois is helpfully located between the Duke of Burgundy's original French holdings and his holdings in Northern France and Flanders, as well as on the eastern border between France and the Empire. Central to all three hotspots of military tourism, Barrois boasts a moderate tax base, a bustling trade in cloth, a regiment of infantry, and lots of very friendly neighbors.

Of course, these neighbors have armies, so they feel threatened by Burgundy, France, Lorraine, and Luxembourg. (You know you're nobody if you're threatened by Luxembourg.)

Holy crap our sliders rock... 1 step from max centralization and Free Subjects, +3 Free Trade, and 1 tick towards Land and Innovative. We are definitely going Protestant (if we live to 1500). Our first goal is more Free Trade - since we won't have CoTs for a while, we need money from trade. Maxing Free Subjects isn't a priority, since the first century may give a free move that direction. Innovative is also not a priority, since there's nothing useful that direction for a few slider moves.

First steps:
* Move budget sliders to max government for the first idea.
* Drop military maintenance to minimum.
* Make Robert a general. 3 Fire and 2 Maneuver. Meh.
* Move slider towards Free Trade. Lack of Protection fires, which kills off all 0 of our merchants. Oh noes! Oh well, our non-existent merchants will just need to adapt.
* Look for allies. France and Burgundy are impossible, Luxembourg and Lorraine are merely very unlikely. We request alliances with Trier, Baden, Hesse, and the Palatinate.

October 15: Our first mission: Ally with France. Gee, wasn't that impossible just a minute ago? On the alliance front, everyone but Trier accepts.

October 16: Mission fails.

October 17: New mission: Royal Marriage with France. I know you won't actually help us, but here, have a daughter anyway. Burgundy declares war on Hainaut, so that Bar can survive a month or so. I'd dogpile in, but it would be like a Miniature Poodle puppy trying to kill a St. Bernard.

And so it begins....
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Interesting, you're still alive. :p

When you're playing an OPM next to a major that has a core on you, your first order of business is to get allies so the AI doesn't consider you the weakest link.
Well, from my experience being aggressive saved my life. :p

But the "being aggressive" part comes after the "staying alive for the first month" part :p
Before reusing sylverCode's method of attacking Navarra (something I considered before seeing his AAR), I decided to try other options to be a little more unique.

1.) Try 1 - ally with everyone and try and take Luxemburg. Got beaten and annexed by Luxembourg after crap rolls.
2.) Try 2 - Hold off Burgundy (just for grins). Died quickly.
3.) Minted and built mercs to take out Luxembourg. Annexed Luxemburg, then wiped out 2 Bohemian armies by nailing them after they assaulted. Unfortunately, annexing Luxemburg took me over the VH BB limit, and I got dogpiled. Bohemia forced me to cede Luxemburg, then Cologne forced me to admit defeat after Lorraine took Barrois...and finally Burgundy ate me. Fun, but short.

Oh well, guess we'll go for tried and true.
Zitanier: So I see. Looks like I'll follow a similar path, although I may form France, and get the HRE to the hereditary point.

Auray: ZombieBar?

Malurous and Prawnstar: You're welcome! Glad to have you back!

aldriq: I hope my two updates since your post answered your question. :)

sylverCode: Not long, as you can see. :)

JQLibet: God is on the side of the biggest battalions, I'm afraid.

Selmuth: Luck, and a smidge of evil.
Yeah I'd definitely like to see you form France as opposed to sylverCode's Empire of Bar :p

Shame your Prussian AAR died, I was looking forward to seeing some real wars between huge powers with 17th-18th century tech and loads of NIs.
1.) Try 1 - ally with everyone and try and take Luxemburg. Got beaten and annexed by Luxembourg after crap rolls.

That must be one of the most ignominious endgames ever :eek: And I thought Luxembourg would present the path of least resistance...