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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

rho

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Is there any chance that you could join the Empire yourself, or are you too big at this point? It would certainly be nice to be able to freely attack HRE states, and having a defender in case of French or Spanish attack would also be very handy.
 

GreatUberGeek

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Great AAR! Sad I didn't see this earlier so I could vote. :( Did you know catknight's making a similiar AAR!
 

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Great idea for an AAR, the format means you can take a relatively short term view of each country, which makes for a very entertaining read. Looking forward to seeing how you cope with Venice.
 

Nyvis

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Is there any chance that you could join the Empire yourself, or are you too big at this point? It would certainly be nice to be able to freely attack HRE states, and having a defender in case of French or Spanish attack would also be very handy.

He mentioned being around 0 relation with Austria. You need to reach something like 150+ (depend on your number of provinces) relation to get into the HRE. The only way is having no AE with them, an alliance and a RM, or some random other bonuses. Seems pretty hard to do. Basically, joining the HRE is something you should do before conquering any provinces (or just the ones to have a connection with it, since it's needed). AE hurts you way too much for it.

As for Venice, the question is more about who they're allied with.
 

Kazmir

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@rho, Nyvis: As Nyvis pointed out, you need to be above a certain relation limit that I can't recall from the top of my head. It was my intention in the beginning but I had to scrap it quite soon. Also, the Emperor won't accept you if you have grown too large.

@Enewald: I know. :(

@GreatUberGeek: Welcome, and as I keep mentioning don't worry there will be many more elections to come (my estimation is that there will be 2-4 more updates until I'm done with Avignon). And yes I did. I have actually been following it every now and then. I tend to lurk many AARs but I rarely post anything since I feel like I have nothing intelligible to say, which is a bit of a shame considering how I am aware of what a great motivator even short comments can be in your thread.

@Seelmeister: Thank you and welcome aboard! I am glad to know you find it entertaining.




V - When the World Was Set on Fire

n5O0Mlb.jpg

On the 15th July 1469, the earth rumbled, the skies were set ablaze by thunder and mighty waves tore the seas asunder as a tremendous French-led coalition combined their forces and descended on Austria. On paper the balance of power lay heavily in favour of the French, and on top of that only a month earlier the Austrians were ravaged by a peasants' war and a wide-spread rebellion was still sweeping through the country. Having just recently finished a major war against Hungary, they had also managed to pile up quite a bit of war exhaustion.

1WATzuz.jpg

The French Coalition constituted of Bohemia, Venice, Savoy and Bavaria, as well as of the French vassals and several less influential powers from within the HRE. The Austrians had scarcely any real allies, with Castilians still struggling with rebellions roused by the high war exhaustion they had accumulated from their two crusades against Granada and Morocco.

EDtbEHO.jpg

As you can see they are both in possession of rather equally sized armies, but you only need to add Bohemia's troops on top of the French to tip the balance in favour of the coalition. Anyhow, let's get back to my own war for a moment.

34aYVYb.jpg


Since I had just started recruiting some new troops and was low on money, I was forced to take two more loans.

0c9zhxb.jpg


The second loan was due to the size of the Venetian army which compelled me to hire some more mercenaries. I parked my troops in Austrian Switzerland to wait for reinforcements before advancing to Cremona.

WzhYytE.jpg


Just my luck. The Venetians had a shock 6 general at their disposal.

DtMYH8m.jpg


I easily won the battle though, albeit with heavy casualties. I set my armies on a march towards their capital in Venezia, to where their forces were on a retreat.

fccoCL1.jpg


Elsewhere Denmark declared war on the Livonian Order and Bohemia and Poland finally came to terms with each other.

6dn9HzI.jpg


I had to endure more heavy casualties, but after this victory I managed to annihilate their armies in Treviso. It is sad that the AI doesn't know how to block an access to and from provinces connected with a strait by their ships.

Z3vxrdM.jpg


Time for some carpeting. Also, Milan was finally annexed by Savoy.

ebGi9i6.jpg


A little bit to the north, the Austrians suffered one of their many decisive defeats in Metz in a desperate struggle against the coalition's doomstack.

dru5Izm.jpg


After Metz, the coalition's forces poured into the Austrian heartlands from all sides and across every border. The fate of the Emperor seems to be sealed for good.

gu9iivL.jpg


In the east, both Pskov and Mazovia declared war on Lithuania almost simultaneously, with their target under serious rebel infestation.

K3t0vqP.jpg


And in North Africa Tripoli managed to win a war against Tunisia and forced them to cede a province. This was the first time I've ever seen Tripoli expand at all in EUIV without direct player intervention.​

EZJgWTg.jpg


Barely a year into the Franco-Austrian War, the Emperor's forces have been completely devastated, bringing the size of their armies to a similar level with those of France's vassals.

Elsewhere, in Asia Minor, Ramazan annexed Karaman. Again a first time I see a state other than the Ottomans expand in Anatolia.

BdhxkAN.jpg


With the Austrian armies defeated, even small Aachen (the purple blob) saw an opening and declared war on the Archduke. And they were not the only one to seize the moment.

b53ZXbT.jpg

With the Empire in upheaval, I couldn't pass the opportunity and immediately went after Genoa, dragging Ferrara and Brittany into the war against me albeit the latter didn't move an arm for their allies. I also managed to strike an alliance with Naples that had just broken their union with Aragon, weakening one of my potential future nemeses.
 
Last edited:

Kazmir

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You might have noticed that in one of the pictures I coloured Bohemias acquisitions from Poland in green and I would like to hear your opinion on whether you prefer this to the earlier style of not pointing out the provinces that change hands.

EDIT: Oh, and it seems I missed the third province ceded to Bohemia. :p
 
Last edited:

Enewald

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Next potential state Pskov.
Weird game when OPMs jump at states 20 times bigger than them and might even succeed. :p
 

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I'm just getting into reading AAR's and I'm really liking this one so far. Can't wait for the next update!
 

GreatUberGeek

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Coalitions are both a blessing and a curse, especially with doom-coalitions.

EDIT: Also, the AI uses their navies a lot to block passage. It's really been a pain in the buttocks sometimes.
 
Last edited:

unmerged(271387)

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Next country must be Aachen :p
 

Kazmir

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@Enewald: I'm contemplating Pskov, actually... and yeah, I hope we see more of some good OPM action in this game.

@Avalen: Why thank you, and welcome aboard! I am very glad to hear you enjoy it.

@GreatUberGeek: Indeed they can be - especially ones targeted at you. And about blocking; really? In my games the AI seems to always be notoriously incapable to block straits. I recall a war with Sweden in a game as Burgundy where my massive armies had done besieging Denmark and were moving towards Skåne without the AI bothering to block the access although they held naval supremacy (I had more big ships than any other nation back then, and would stand undefeated on the high-seas, but the Swedes had a massive reserve of galleys that get a bonus within the Baltic Sea).

@videonfan: Contemplating that possibility as well! There's a bunch of potentially interesting choices within that area of Europe, as you will come to notice at the end of Avignon's period.

@Kaiser Ludwig: Perhaps not, but the country does have a big "stamp on" written over it. :(




VI - The War Goes On

mU4YdlU.jpg

It didn't take long for the Venetian lands to fall under my control, until suddenly out of nowhere a whole army of Venetians reappeared. I had to cut back some of my sieges in Ferrara and Genoa to reinforce my armies in Venice, but their forces were soon annihilated.

SiRBEph.jpg


Thus I marched my men back to Central Italy and defeated a Ferraran army of fresh recruits, proceeding to besiege their provinces.

J6Z3cQ6.jpg

Meanwhile, the French came into contact with a force mightier than the Austrians - Hainautian nationalists. This was the only defeat the French had to endure during all of the war. Also, as you can see, the Archduchy is filled to the brim with dissatisfied subjects.

ylWQtzR.jpg

Once my men had occupied Treviso it was time to peace out the Venetians. I could have taken Treviso on top of Brescia and Verona in the deal, but I wanted to avoid too much AE and the risk of large rebellions so I decided to force them to hand Crete back to the ERE instead, along with taking some cash. As a side note, Cyprus and Rhodes seem to have revolted back to their hands as well, giving the ERE a bit more security in the future.

LKhRP7r.jpg


I used these spoils of war to pay off some of the debts I had accumulated. I also started fabricating a claim on Pisa.

gB9RMFP.jpg

I also built a navy for myself in order to assault Genoese holdings in Corsica and Kaffa. Considering that all my armies bear the names of saints, I decided to follow suite in naming my fleets as well, since "1st Fleet" sounds so very... un-bishopric..ish?

JzF0b4F.jpg


Anyway, speaking of matters of faith, il Papa had this brilliant idea of attacking Ferrara - a small country soon to be completely under enemy occupation and allied with the two most powerful kingdoms in Italy.

0kV74Fm.jpg

Under an illusion that Genoa possessed no navy, or at least none interested of guarding their shores I naively sailed St. Mary's Fleet into Sea of Liguria to begin my amphibious assault of Corsica. Of course, at this very moment their trade "fleet" came back home and decided to teach me a lesson. Luckily I didn't lose any ships (heh), but this means I need to actually spend money on a "proper" navy. Hence more loans were taken.

8Yl3hpJ.jpg

The situation in Europe on 8th of October 1471. England is struggling with the War of the Roses, Austria is under heavy occupation from everyone and Mazovia and Pskov are advancing well in Lithuania, while the Livonian Order is no match for the Danes military might, who soon afterwards demanded Ösel and Kurland in a peace. Those yellowish stripes in Austrian Netherlands belonged either to Utrecht or Friesland, one of them having declared war on the Emperor.

bpsvegO.jpg


Or should I say, ex-Emperor?

EgBvLHm.jpg


Not everyone fancied their new title, though.

HiF9Xfx.jpg


In Iberia, the Portuguese are being rather successful in their rerereconquista.

xNqyFpa.jpg


And the Hainautians keep teasing the French.

bsWLdzG.jpg


Back in Italy, the Pope found himself - unsurprisingly, in a rather troublesome situation. The war was largely not in his favour.

It25KqH.jpg


Why of course, as long as they have the money!

aGFAzBy.jpg

In June 1472 my enemies on the Italian mainland were under complete occupation and my newly-built navy of two galleys and a cog set sail towards Liguria - it was time to launch a new era of Avignonese naval supremacy.

Or something along those lines...
 
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Enewald

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Avignon rules the waves! :p

Btw, if Papa states were to disappear from map, you could possibly become new Pope? ;)
And sail the Holy Sees! :D
 

Kazmir

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@Enewald: :rofl:




VII - The Fall of Austria

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It was finally time to finish off what I had started. A total of 2000 men were marched over to Corsica, while another 1000 were loaded onto ships and set sail towards Kaffa in the Crimea.​

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In the Northeast, small Pskov had gotten the better off their neighbouring behemoth and managed to grab Polotsk from Lithuania. Meanwhile Muscowy took two provinces from the Golden Horde and decided to join the fun, declaring war on Lithuania just days before this peace.

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Back in Italy my Neapolitan allies settled their issues with the Pope by reducing his holdings to Rome alone. Although I am happy to know that I have a trustworthy and strong ally in Italy, I am a bit cautious and worried of their expansion as I now face another kingdom that is more powerful than myself on the peninsula alongside Savoy.

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This Buonaparte is not going to turn the tide of any wars as long as I am concerned!

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On their way to Crimea, St. Mary's Fleet came into contact with the mighty Ferraran navy near Crete and a decisive victory was won that day.

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The triumphant fleet then passed the straits of Bosphorus and were greeted by my new Byzantine friends, who were so happy of me returning Crete back to Greek hands that they agreed to ignore the fact that we are heretics in their opinion of the Avignonese.

And then my navy arrived to Crimea, where a great surprise was awaiting...

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There was no Crimea. The Tatar state had been inherited by the Ottomans just a couple of months earlier without my notice, creating a new megastate, unrivalled by anything in Europe.

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Well, they aren't a concern of mine at this point. We are in entirely different leagues. Besides, as my fleet arrived into the proximity of Kaffa, I realised the Genoese still had a smallish standing army, forcing me to abort the landing and instead plead the Turks for a military access.

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I laid my troops in Crimea and sent back my navy to fetch another batch, while I also began the construction of another cog to ease the task of shipping men.

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I don't like the sound of that... I also realise our relations had deteriorated over time, and sent an idle diplomat to Paris in order to improve them.

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Ain't no heathens gonna run rampant in this Bishopric! 'Specially Venetian ones!

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The Austrians are pretty much done for right now. That means the monster will soon be satisfied and can look for new victims into whose flesh it can sink its greedy teeth.

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More silly rebels... Why do I have to get involved in internal affairs of the Ferrareans? Oh well, I'll just send in my armies and...

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Right.

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Luckily my Neapolitan allies stand by their friends.

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In Iberia the Portuguese have finally satisfied their appetite for Muslim blood and strike a devastating peace with Granada, pretty much undermining all my efforts as Morocco. Also, as a side note, the house of York won the War of the Roses in England, bringing the island nation back on its feet.

And, wham!

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The BBB is once again unoccupied and on top of that, unrivalled in the west.​
 
Last edited:

GreatUberGeek

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Th antipope beat the pope, so who's the pope now? And Morocco's work was undone almost entirely...not good signs, except maybe the antipope...
 

Kazmir

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@Enewald: Unfortunately they are currently the most stable of countries in Europe.

@GreatUberGeek: The Pope's not beaten, he has simply done a tactical retreat. ;) And keeps plotting his evil schemes in the dungeons of Rome.

@Legolas: Thank you, and welcome aboard!




VIII - The Calm Ahead of Storms

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After I had managed to ship enough men to Crimea, the Battle of Kaffa commenced and the Genoese armies were quickly defeated. The fall of Kaffa would soon follow.

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I wasn't the only one of France's neighbours who had started to feel threatened by the BBB, and I immediately decided to join a newly-formed coalition against them. I hope this measure will give me an inch of extra-security over the looming threat. On the other hand, Savoy decided to join the coalition against me.

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As a counter-measure I began fabricating a claim on another one of their provinces.

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In the east Mazovia gains a victory over Lithuania, and they also seem to have conducted a successful war against Poland without my notice. The two old powerhouses of the east stand defeated for now. Also, for some reason Muscowy decided to make a white peace with Lithuania despite having no internal troubles and fighting no other wars. Some distance to the west, Bohemia is no match to the Danes.

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On 30th of December 1475 Kaffa falls, and Genoa is forced into submission.

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Most of the spoils are (once again) used to pay off my debt, some of which I managed to pay back during the war as I could keep my armies at a low maintenance and actually generate an income.

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As I gained quite a bit of AE from this peace, I decided to check what my current standing with neighbours is (slightly negative with most of them) and realised that Aragon has now lifted me into a position of rivalry alongside Castile and France. I don't know if I should rejoice over the fact that I have grown powerful enough to be considered a threat, or tremble at the thought that another large neighbour has set their eyes on me.

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Well, it is time to step up and set my eyes on bigger game. Aragon and Savoy were quickly marked as Rivals, our paths destined to cross sooner or later.

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I also decided to form an alliance with Castile as a counter to the Catalan threat. Although they are practically void of a standing army (again) and have some rebels running rampant (again...), they have grown back in size from their earlier miserable state and are bound regain some of their lost military strength in no time.

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A diplomat was also sent to London in order to improve relations - an enemy of our enemy and so forth. Though I doubt I will be able to strike an alliance with them at this point. In other news, Brittany decided to join the Anti-French Coalition.

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It is March 1476 and it looks like Hungary has managed to rebound back from their defeat against the Austrians (let us not forget some of their provinces were returned by France, though), and annexed Wallachia in a war against Poland.

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Not long after, the war leader succumbs as well. It looks like Poland has been done with for good. After this the Hungarians immediately declared war on Austria.

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Back in Iberia, Morocco declares war on Granada. If they win the war and manage to annex their former ally, it might secure the Muslim foothold in Iberia for a bit longer.

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Idolatry!

And a waste of money.

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Which reminds me, this is the current state of Avignonese economy. Not too bad, isn't it? My income could be slightly higher though, but I still have three loans and their accumulated interest as a burden. Not to mention that Liguria hasn't been cored yet.

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Despite their resent explosion northwards, the Turks can't seem to handle the internal tensions of their overgrown empire.

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And neither does the ex-emperor.

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Up north, on the other hand, England leaps back onto the world stage.



Also, as a side note, it is going to be election time after the next update.​
 
Last edited:

Enewald

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Moscowy maybe thought their neighbours would hit them soon, or were facing a rebellion. Or maybe their prince was drunk and accidentally clicked on white peace. :p