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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

volksmarschall

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How big is the BBB?
Pretty large, they united all of France (minus one of the English provinces in former Aquitaine, it went to Spain). Plus, they hold Antwerp and several of the Burgundian Lowland Provinces. Their manpower is incredible, not to mention their armies with their national ideas are superior in morale to my own, even with the Defensive idea buff! :/
 

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Chapter 3

PART TWO: THE EMERGENCE OF THE HABSBURG MONARCHY
1508-1600

Chapter III: The Habsburg Papacy and the Protestant Reformation

Habsburg domination of the Church must end; otherwise the Church of our Lord is irredeemably corrupt!
-Martin Luther, Protestant Reformer talking about Habsburg influence over the Papacy.


I should first confess to the reader that the Habsburg Papacy does not start in 1508, but in 1484 with the ascension of Pope Pius III, who was elected, in part, because of the many pro-Habsburg cardinals in the College of Cardinals. However, Pope Pius is somewhat unimportant, other than his brief 3 year reign as Holy Father marks the beginning of over half a century of uncontested Habsburg control over the Roman Church, who would cement their standing in the Church in Rome by becoming the chief defenders of the Catholic Faith against the Protestant Reformers, whose teachings were quickly embraced by Northern Germany and Sweden (Scandinavia; Lutheranism) and Switzerland and France (Calvinism).[1]

The election of Pope Gregory III, in December of 1486, only furthers the belief of the Habsburg Papacy by historians, and the future Protestant Reformers. Indeed, all the popes from 1484-1530 are essentially elected by the backing of pro-Habsburg. Pope Pius III (1483-1486), Pope Gregory XIII (1486-1488), Pope Julius II (1488-1518), dubbed “the Habsburg Pope”, and Pope Martin VI (1518-1537) not only owed their election to the throne of St. Peter to the backing of Habsburg Cardinals, but also were instrumental in the rise of the Habsburgs in Europe. With their blessing, the Habsburgs embarked the ambitious dynastic policy of universal marriage throughout Europe, which I covered, in its political importance, in Chapter 1. Even Martin’s successor, Pope Gregory XIV, although he was generally free of the Habsburg clout of Cardinals, was still elected from the decaying but plurality of pro-Habsburg cardinals (who saw the Habsburgs as the main family defending the Church against the Reformers).

Cannon Law forbids divorce, since marriage is seen by the Church as a holy and eternal covenant for better or worse, until death. However, with such a strong stranglehold on the Papacy through the four Habsburg Popes, principally Julius II, and the many Cardinals in Rome, the Habsburgs were able to divorce and re-marry to their political advantage without the repercussion of being denied Holy Communion at mass, or fear of being excommunicated or exhumed from the Church for their behavior and antics, and certainly some of their behavior, like Matthew taking three wives and divorcing two, mainly for the advantages that it would bring his realm, can only be described as devious and un-Christian. Perhaps, it is for this reason that Matthew came to embrace the Counter Reformation, and through his connections in Rome, was able to procure the important Ecumenical Council of Klagenfurt in 1520, which I will cover in Chapter 5 where I will explain the importance of Habsburg influence in starting and encouraging the Counter Reformation.


Left, Pope Pius III, the first of the Habsburg Popes. Right, Pope Julius II. Elected by pro-Habsburg Cardinals, his tenure of Pontifex Maximus, 1488-1518 oversaw one of the most turbulent times in Christian history: the outbreak of the Protestant Reformation and his setting the stage for the Counter Reformation.

The Protestant Reformation, which is crucial in understanding the evolution the Habsburg Monarchy even though the Habsburgs were strong Catholics, can only first be understood in the context of the great corruption perceived by the early Reformers – in part from the influence the Habsburgs had over it. The Magisterial Reformation was willing to overlook some of the corruption that the Habsburgs had over the Church, and the new Lutheran Churches in Northern Germany and in Sweden were basically structured like the Catholic Church, with strong ties to the political and ruling elite.[2] Yet, among their grievances that led them to splitting with the Church in Rome was the Habsburg control of the Vatican. Martin Luther wrote, “If the Church [Roman Catholic Church] does not throw off the influences of the Habsburgs, she will have sold her soul to the Devil. Habsburg domination of the Church must end; otherwise the Church of our Lord is irredeemably corrupt! If the Church does not take the means to ending this unholy sin against her, we [speaking of the Protestant Reformers] will have to take the necessary action to preserve the traditions of Christ for the sake of the salvation of the masses.”

While the Radical Reformers of later decades rejected the aims of the Magisterial Reformers, in part because they saw Habsburg (secular-political) influence over the Catholic Church as something apostate and heretical and that this was the key reason for the Church’s great apostasy to which men like Luther and Calvin were overlooking in the re-commitment to the Church being able to be influenced by secular authorities, decided that no secular authority should have influence over the Church because of the negative ramifications that it would conjure as what happened with the Papacy concerning Habsburg “domination” over it. Thomas Müntzer, a Radical Reformer from Saxony, who was important in getting the Saxon princes to convert from Catholicism, was a leading champion of anti-Habsburg and anti-Catholic rhetoric and publishing. The Radical Reformers sought to change ancient beliefs of core Church doctrine that even Luther was not willing to subscribe to, like the bread and wine of Communion being but symbols of Christ rather than his real presence. Müntzer, with his view of Habsburg dominance over the Church as one of his main causes of concern for the Reformation itself – was also a pioneer in liberation theology. He taught that the church (little “c” is deliberate) had the mission to liberate the oppressed classes from their political and economic overlords. Some even consider him to have been one of the first “socialists”, although to describe him as such would be anachronistic – he certainly was a radical egalitarian. In 1525, the King of Saxony had him arrested and imprisoned, where he was later beheaded for being a danger to the state.[3]


Left, Martin Luther, one of the first of the major Protestant Reformers. His teachings became widely popular in Northern Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Right, John Calvin. Calvin was the great leader of the "Reformed" Faith, better known as Calvinism (after him and his teachings). Calvinism started to gain a foothold in France and the Swiss Confederacy a decade and half after the outgrowth of Lutheranism.

It is in this chaotic backdrop that the Habsburgs were petrified with the rhetoric and zeal of the Protestants. It is also in this backdrop that the Habsburgs would become the great defenders of the Church in the wake of the Protestant Reformation – in part because they viewed the traditions of Catholicism as bringing stability to the peasants, and therefore, to the realm at large. Their defense of Catholicism, in one way or another, can be seen as being integral to their emergence as a great power in Europe – one in which Catholics far and near, the Papacy included, flocked to for protection and liberation from the heretical Protestants.

While Popes Pius and Gregory’s reigns were too short for any importance for this history, the Papacy of Julius II, dubbed the “Habsburg Pope” by opponents and later historians, had such a tremendous impact upon the formation of Austria as a great power. As I mentioned, it was Julius who presided over the reign of Emperor Matthew I, who would have certainly been denied Communion if not excommunicated by the Church for his personal life. He had married three times, divorced twice, all supported by Pope Julius, for the sake of politics and politics alone. When first marriage failed to produce an heir, he divorced his wife and took a princess of Brandenburg as his second wife in 1509. In 1517, in the aftermath of the Italian Wars, he divorced her and took a princess of the newly inaugurated nobility of Venice as his wife – Princess Maria. He also sent his fourth brother, John, to wed the daughter of the Venetian King to cement the new Habsburg-Venetian alliance, with the hopes that in the future – the Habsburgs would inherit Venice from their blood lineage.


Maps 1.1: The Growth of the Reformation from 1505-1520 in Europe





[1]The game mechanics are not built to reflect Luther and Calvin, per se. However, since they are not born at the start of the game, 1444, I will take liberty in their birth year to reflect these two monumental and important figures in Western history and their influence upon this timeline (the AAR). Protestantism, as it is labelled in-game, is Lutheranism. The Reformed Faith, essentially Calvinism (although Calvinism is generally known as “Reformed Theology” in Christian history and theological circles), should not come into being without its greatest and chief theologian. Unlike Martin Luther, John Calvin actually wrote a book of systematic theology where he outlined his positions – The Institutes of the Christian Religion, which is mandatory reading for any student of the Protestant Reformation (Catholic or Protestant), Christian theology and philosophy, and Christian history. Historically, Calvinism influenced Lutheranism and Anglicanism (and much of the wider Protestant world, this is known as Crypto-Calvinism, the influence of Calvinist ideas into Anglicanism and Lutheranism. The Westminster Confession, 1543, is essentially a Calvinist-light confession).

[2]The Magisterial Reformation is an aspect of the Protestant Reformation that sought to keep the Church, “secular” law, and the body-politic (the princes and kings of Europe) tied together (much like how the Catholic Church was). The Magisterial Reformers, of which Luther and even Calvin were a part of, believed that secular authorities (the princes or kings) had some right to influence the Church, thus the close historic relationship between the State Lutheran Churches in Germany and Scandinavia, and the favored status of the Calvinist Church in the United Provinces of the Netherlands (although having no official state religion, members of the Dutch government had to be communicants with the Reformed Church). The Magisterial Reformers also believed that practicing Catholics were among the saved (the Elect, but it was the priestly class – the Papacy in particular, which had strayed from Christ’s teachings). The Lutherans, historic Calvinists (as opposed to the more modern neo-Calvinists), and Anglicans were part of the Magisterial Reformation. This is opposed to the Radical Reformation – the more militant and radical Christian sects that emerged in the Reformation: The Mennonites, Anabaptists, Baptists, and non-Conformists (of which Calvinism influenced the Radical Baptists and non-Conformists – the Puritans – leading to the birth of neo-Calvinism) rejected any secular authority over the Church, promoted “Bible-only” Christianity, rejected the Catholic and Scholastic philosophical tradition, and saw all Catholics as apostate and any influence of Greek philosophy into Christian teaching as something abnormal (since the Early Church and Patristic Greek Fathers had incorporated or synthesized Greek philosophy with Christianity). This group is where the anti-Catholic wing of Protestantism comes from, as compared to the more ecumenical nature of the Magisterial Protestants – sometimes referred to as “Mainstream” Protestantism.

[3] Thomas Müntzer was a historical Radical Reformer. He led the German peasants in the Peasants’ War and was captured and beheaded. He also created the Rainbow flag which symbolized equality. I affectively kept the same storyline in incorporating him into the AAR, the only difference being – without an actual Peasants’ War, had him arrested and beheaded instead for being a danger to the state, which was anyways with his leading of the Peasants’ Army.
 
Last edited:

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Well, it appears as though Protestantism is flourishing, and Reformed isn't too bad either. And it also appears as though Cornwall exists. So I assume that the tri-pact of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden split off? Also, has any power started colonization yet?
 

GreatUberGeek

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That's quite some Protestant spread-will there be any holy wars in Austria's future? ;)
 

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How did the Most Serene Republic meets its ends? :eek:
That shall be described in Chapter 4, when I discuss the Italian Wars and all the impacts that this on and off 50 year conflict for control of Northern Italy had on the Italian states, France, and most importantly, Austria, which will properly become the Habsburg Monarchy (unified) during the crisis of the Second Italian War.

Well, it appears as though Protestantism is flourishing, and Reformed isn't too bad either. And it also appears as though Cornwall exists. So I assume that the tri-pact of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden split off? Also, has any power started colonization yet?
Yeah, England got beat up by a coalition of France and Spain, Spain got the last of the English provinces in former Aquitaine and had to release Cornwall and it initially set them back a bit in Ireland too. Sweden is now the most powerful of the Scandinavian countries, possessing much of Norway and even mainland Denmark. Denmark is now in a PU with Bavaria. Denmark actually only controls its isle provinces. Sweden is doing very well thus far.

That's quite some Protestant spread-will there be any holy wars in Austria's future? ;)
Only a war that's going to be over 40 years long! :eek: (Sort of) and completely wreck my manpower and keep my treasury low as I'm dependent upon loans and mercenaries (I always keep a substantial mercenary arm anyway to save on manpower costs, probably a 1:4 split from regular recruited units, mostly cavalry and artillery, while possibly 1/3 of my infantry are mercenaries).

Wars of religion, here we come.
Might be a little bit ahead of ourselves, but yes! Chapter 6 will build up to the Forty Years' War, which is going to be the giant Chapter 7, not yet finished by me and is already 31 pages TNR 12 in the document containing all the updates. Here we are, writing a book again that I won't get published or make any money off of! :ninja:
 

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Chapter 3

It is for these reasons that the Habsburgs have been so vilified by their enemies. Consequently, their “tarnishing” reputation upon the Church may have been one of the reasons for Louis XIII’s embrace of the Huguenots, even though many of the conservative nobility would remain Catholic or be slow to embrace Calvinism until the Synod of Paris (1541) and the Notre Dame Catechism (1556).[1] This is not to say Louis XIII did not have some heartfelt spiritual fondness to the teachings of Calvin and the French Huguenots, but it does seem fitting that the great rivals to the Habsburgs would subsequently adopt the rival religion as well – giving even more legitimacy to the animosity between the two Houses and kingdoms. The sudden decision by Louis XIII to convert to the Reformed faith made a persecuted and outlawed minority into the triumphant and soon-to-be majority religion of the people of France. Parallels were quickly made of the early Christians and their triumph over the Roman Empire, and a great ecstasy shoot through France. Once called the 'favorite daughter of the church,' France had abandoned Catholicism, even though some notable noble families, first among them the Bourbons, retained the Catholic faith.


Left, Louis XIII "The Huguenot." Although he had fought the Habsburgs in the Second Italian War (1511-1515), his sudden decision to embraced the Reformed faith was scandalous among the Catholic courts of Europe. Right, a painting of Huguenot lovers embracing one another upon the news that Louis XIII had converted to the Reformed faith and that their illegal love and political persecution of the past decade was coming to an end.

It is not the opinion of this author that Habsburg control over the Papacy was the key factor in the emergence of the Protestant Reformation. The roots of the Reformation go further back, even a century and half before the Reformation Proper with men like John Wycliffe and Jan Hus. However, it is very clear that Habsburg influence over the Church during the early days of the Renaissance were often cited by Reformers as one of the reasons to break away from an otherwise corrupt Church and the corrupting influence of the nobility and secular authorities over the Church communities and congregations.

The seeds and explosion of the Reformation across Europe is still such a monumental moment in history. Protestantism, with its commitments to radical grace, hard work, vernacularizing the Bible and thus, creating the first universal push for literacy, and generally anti-Monarchial stances helped to give birth to modernity, liberal government, and nationalism (since communities were now bounded by language – in part from the vernacularizing of the Bible and the insistent push for all to read it).[2]

The Protestant Reformation begins in Oldenburg, November of 1500 when the local diocese of the Catholic Church was officially separated from the Holy See – although it would be somewhat inaccurate to suggest this is where theological Protestantism begins.[3] Following the example of Oldenburg’s centralization and splitting with the Roman Catholic Church, Bohemia followed in 1502, creating the National Hussite Church as the official state religion. In this aspect, both Bohemia and Oldenburg’s split with the church but close attachment with the state marks the beginning of the Magisterial Reformation where secular leaders still held control or influence within the new denominations created.

In 1508, soon after his ordination, Martin Luther became agitated by the unhealthy, corrupting, and ultimately “un-Christian” influence of the Habsburg “Caesars”, as he called them, over the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. He took to a Church in Wittenberg, and nailed an article of grievances for the Church to amend; among them he cited Habsburg influence over Church doctrine and spiritualism, among a list of many other grievances, as reasons for his outrage. When the Archbishop of Wittenberg refused to grant the young priest audience, and instead decided to discipline him, the Reformation truly takes root when Saxony, in 1509, converted and kicked out the “Habsburg Catholic” authorities in the duchy. Martin Luther was quickly elevated to the University of Wittenberg where he would become one of the chief architects of the Protestant Reformation, however, as I mentioned above, he initially was more moderate in his goals and sought to stay united with the Church until later in his life, the 1520s, he noted the Church as being too far gone to save, and thus it became the duty of the true Christian to begin anew and keep the light of Christ alive.

Naturally, much of the Protestant Reformation began in the Catholic Holy Roman Empire. Northern German princes were among the most rabid in their embrace of Protestantism, although it is highly doubtful that they had much affinity toward Protestant thought and theology as much as they recognized the political freedom granted to them by embracing the Reformation and no longer being hamstrung by the Church, Church dogma, and the fear of excommunication by the Pope. This was alarming for the Habsburgs, not necessarily because the states were beginning to convert, en masse, to Protestantism, but because these conversions brought an even greater degree of decentralization to the already decentralized empire that the Habsburgs had been busy trying to centralize and cement their authority over. The losses of Brandenburg, Bohemia, and Saxony, some of the larger principalities within the Holy Roman to Protestantism, of which all three were electors – certainly sent a panic through the heart of Vienna.

Emperor Matthew saw the northern domains slipping away from his grasp, and with the trinity, pardon the pun, of the Protestant electors of Bohemia, Brandenburg, and Saxony threatened the continued hegemony of the Habsburgs over the empire and their election as Holy Roman emperor. Matthew penned a letter to the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, “The integrity of the Church, of which this holy regime is built upon, is cracking. These Reformers must be dealt with, and dealt with swiftly for the continuity of the empire and the Church.”


Left, Archduke Matthew I of Austria, King of Hungary and Holy Roman Emperor among other titles. He presided over the tumultuous years of the Protestant Reformation and the Second Italian War which nearly led to the ruin of the House of Habsburg. However, he successfully rebounded and spearheaded the early movement that eventually spawned the Counter Reformation. Right, the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg, Johann III. He closely aligned Salzburg's fate with that of Austria and became an influential pro-Habsburg voice within the Roman Church and helped bring forth the Council of Klagenfurt and the Counter Reformation with Emperor Matthew.

Indeed, the Protestant Reformation brought about a crisis in the Holy Roman Empire. In 1521, Protestants in Holstein overthrew the Catholic Habsburg line, Christian II, the most recently inaugurated Duke of Holstein, in 1520, was staunchly opposed to his Protestant subjects and had to flee back to Austria with his tail between his legs. Around the same time, the Kingdom of Sweden, which was slowly centralizing control of the old Kalmar Union, became the most powerful of the Protestants states (upon the French conversion to Reformed Calvinism, I will refer to them as a Calvinist power, rather than a Lutheran Protestant or Anglican Protestant power – since their religious camaraderie was not a source of unity between France and the rest of the Protestant world, but in many ways, a source of contention as Francois I synthesized the materialistic determinism of Calvinist theology as not only pertaining to the rise of the modern sciences,[4] but also to French political philosophy).

By contrast, the Protestant world of Germany and Scandinavia seemed united in their distrust of the Catholic Habsburgs, the continued dominance of the Holy Roman Empire by them, and openly wanted to dissolve or rule over the ancient order. The Swedish King, Gustav, even wrote to the elector of Brandenburg of his ambitions of invading the Holy Roman Empire, defeating the Habsburgs, and being crowned Holy Roman Emperor and transforming the ancient order into a bulwark for political Protestantism in the new age.[5] When confronted with the fast rise of Protestantism in Northern Germany, Matthew was at a lost. Although the Rhineland had remained predominately Catholic, as did southern Germany, with the notable exception of the electorate of the Palatinate, which embraced the Protestant Reformation, there were sharp lines being drawn within the internal politics of the H.R.E. and the legitimate possibility, if the Electorate of the Palatinate, Brandenburg, Bohemia, and Saxony joined forces to create an anti-Habsburg Protestant alliance, they could overthrow the Habsburgs as emperors who had the backing of the Catholic electors: Trier, Alsace (also controlled by the Habsburg Family), and Anhalt (the Palatinate still backed the Habsburgs and Bohemia had its own ambitions and did not align with the Saxon-Brandenburg alliance in the empire).





[1]Otherwise fictitious Huguenot declarations of faith to reflect France having embraced the Reformed Faith, therefore, they would be theoretically similar to the Synod of Dort and the Heidelberg Catechism.

[2]Virtually all historians have this view about Protestantism, i.e., it gave birth to liberalism, nationalism, and capitalism. Max Weber was the first to note the contributions of Protestantism and its work ethic in the creation of modern capitalism and liberal republican government, cf. Max Weber The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Other historians also cite Protestantism, in particular, the Radical Reformation, as the birth of secularism (a clear division between worldly matters, the secular, and spiritual matters, the divine). Secularism is not irreligion, but the separation of two modes of thought (hint, I’m a philosopher, this is the philosophical definition of the word). The birth of secularism from Protestantism is one of the reasons why sociologists note a high degree of secularism within Protestant, or historically Protestant, countries as opposed to Catholic, Orthodox, and Islamic countries. Brad S. Gregory’s magnificent work The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society deals with this subject in more detail.

[3]My revisionism to make Luther and Calvin the architects of the Protestant Reformation, among others, just like in actual history – it would otherwise seem wrong to me to leave them out from the importance they had on the development of modern Western society and civilization.

[4]Most historians and historians of science consider the rise of modern science, and its emphasis on materialistic determinism, as having its underpinnings in Calvinist theology (Calvinist determinism and therefore, deterministic science was evidence for God’s creation of the universe; this was historically held by many scientists like Christiaan Huygens, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz to name a few. In fact, the “First Great Awakening” in the American Colonies is seen as having synthesized Enlightenment Newtonian physics with Reformed Theology, cf. Jonathan Edwards A Dissertation Concerning the End for Which God Created the World. The theological determinism of Calvinism has been lauded, even by Marx and Engels, as forerunners to dialectical materialism, which was first explained by George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in his book Phenomenology of Spirit, and then by Marx and Engels in their communist writings. Hegel is considered by almost all philosophers, myself included, as the most important philosopher after Kant and has influenced virtually all philosophies upon his work Phenomenology. He has also been called the “Protestant Aquinas” for his synthesis of philosophical works (his historical idealism) with Protestant theology. He is responsible for creating dialectical/historical materialism (influencing socialism, communism, and the hard sciences), Romanticist Idealism (influencing the Counter-Enlightenment and Romanticism philosophical movements of the nineteenth century), the master-slave relationship (influencing Nietzsche), the thesis-antithesis-synthesis (influencing philosophical Marxism), being and time (influencing Schopenhauer and the future logical positivists) and an original defense of Christianity as revealed religion, thus earning him the nickname the “Protestant Aquinas”, all contained his seminal work Phenomenology of Spirit. This is very heavy philosophical readings, and I doubt anyone (other than myself being trained in philosophy) would have an interest in his work. But, I should cite it for its contributions. Truly, the most influential book never read, although the Communist Manifesto is probably a close second (even though it is a completely secularized and revolutionary version of Hegel’s work).

[5]Following the dreams of Gustavus Adolphus, and his entry into the Thirty Years’ War. This reflects the decision of Sweden to rival me in the game.
 
Last edited:

Idhrendur

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As a protestant, I'm feeling all happy and proud.

Probably a sign that you really should bring on the anti-protestant rhetoric.
 

GreatUberGeek

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Ah, volksmarschall, it does pay! In the love of your fans for creating such amazing updates! :p
A Forty Years War? I can't wait! The Thirty Years War OTL is my favorite period of European history besides Victorian age, and maybe this'll be similar. :) Keep up the updates!
 

volksmarschall

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As a protestant, I'm feeling all happy and proud.

Probably a sign that you really should bring on the anti-protestant rhetoric.
Chapter 5, 6, and 7 deal with the Counter Reformation, the Protestant composition and threat in the Holy Roman Empire (as the Protestant electors finally decide to coalesce around a single candidate that threatens my hegemony over the ancient order) and of course, the long awaited 40 Years' War, but we still have a long half century struggle for Northern Italy to discuss after we wrap up the Protestant Reformation in my next update, whenever I decide to get the associated pictures and post it! :p

Ah, volksmarschall, it does pay! In the love of your fans for creating such amazing updates! :p
A Forty Years War? I can't wait! The Thirty Years War OTL is my favorite period of European history besides Victorian age, and maybe this'll be similar. :) Keep up the updates!
Why I certainly appreciate that GuG (I might have called you by your first name, but am otherwise unsure, like with General_Hoth, if I should be blasting your non-avatar alias to the rest of the forum)! :p

Certainly if you like the Thirty Years' War, you should read Peter Wilson's The Thirty Years' War: Europe's Tragedy!
 

GreatUberGeek

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Certainly if you like the Thirty Years' War, you should read Peter Wilson's The Thirty Years' War: Europe's Tragedy!
I actually own the book. :p It was one of my sources for the paper, I got it last year. Wonderful piece of scholarship, and quite detailed.
 

Merrick Chance'

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Forty Years War? Seems like someone is....hmmm...RIPPING ME OFF?

(jk)

I'm loving this! The possibility of a France far more invested in German matters seems really interesting, and it should provide you with a worthy rival (perhaps too worthy, given her ownership of Antwerp)
 

volksmarschall

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Forty Years War? Seems like someone is....hmmm...RIPPING ME OFF?

(jk)

I'm loving this! The possibility of a France far more invested in German matters seems really interesting, and it should provide you with a worthy rival (perhaps too worthy, given her ownership of Antwerp)
Oh, you noticed that! :p Yeah, seeing that from you, then realizing that I was embroiled in an mostly on, sometimes off, conflict with German and French Protestants from 1559-1605 and I wasn't sure what to call it, I decided to just borrow your title! It's very catchy! ;)

Not just Antwerp, but the damn French morale boost, Elan!, is a real killer when fighting her massive armies too...
 

Merrick Chance'

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Yeah I'm going to have issues in Eu4 with just how much more morale you have as a French player in EU4 compared to the Christmas Momod, where it's hard for France to justify taking Drilling Orders because you need the manpower / force limits / discipline
 

volksmarschall

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Yeah I'm going to have issues in Eu4 with just how much more morale you have as a French player in EU4 compared to the Christmas Momod, where it's hard for France to justify taking Drilling Orders because you need the manpower / force limits / discipline
Yeah, France is always OP from my perspective, one of the reasons why I tend not to play with them. I mean, I have completed the whole Defensive Ideas with the +15% morole boost, have an army reformer with an additional +10% morale boost, prestige is nearly 100 with another +10% morale boost for the armies from that and I'm still 0.5 morale points below the French armies. I need overwhelming numerical numbers and favorable terrain to win battles. Hell, I lost a battle with 90,000 men (plus allies) vs. 50,000 French and got utterly f*ed in the battle, and I had a very competent, 3/4/4/2 commander leading the army vs. a French commander with similar stats, I believe a 4/4/2/1 iirc. :eek:

The necessity of diplomatic and influence ideas as Austria ends the military idea zerg, plus, trying to play somewhat historically, I'll be selected Innovative ideas so that I can be a Patron of Arts, just as the Habsburgs were from the 1600s-onward, so I'm really behind in the military tech department with France already having completed offensive ideas and they've undertaken quality ideas so facing their forced march units and all their infantry combat bonuses is really annoying... =/ But at least it should add an interesting dynamic to the narrative write-up. Especially since conflicts in the sixteenth century is basically Habsburg Austria and Valois France throwing punches at one another in Italy, Spain, Burgundy, Switzerland, and the Rhine River Valley with both sides winning depending the circumstances...
 

GulMacet

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And once again, religion is the cause of the slaughter of millions. Business as usual.
 

Merrick Chance'

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Yeah it's hard to get used to playing France in EU4, when frank really perfected the feeling you get as a land major of playing a giant with feet of clay. I just can't get used to how easy it is to be OP as any country (which is partially a product of having idea groups rather than ideas--it's easier as France to say, get trading ideas and become the #1 income player because you're ahead of everything else, whereas in the momod you can't even compete with concentrated trading countries because to do so would make it impossible to compete with the countries with 5 army ideas--I mean I got my ass handed to me by the Saxons because I only had 3 army ideas which would never happen in vanilla EU4)

And once again, religion is the cause of the slaughter of millions. Business as usual.
How idealistic of you!
 

Tommy4ever

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Hadn't noticed you had started up another AAR until today, this is one if my favourites yet. Seems the Reformation is spreading surprisingly historically - looking forward to seeing how Austria deals with the coming period.