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The Welf dynasty had not been sufficiently represented in any of the CK scenarios until the recent beta patches were released. The current 1187 scenario has enabled to play the Welf dynasty, because counties of Braunschweig and Lüneburg were assigned to Heinrich der Löwe and his family on the basis of historical facts.

In 1180 the emperor Friedrich Barbarossa confiscated Heinrich's fiefs - duchies of Bavaria and Saxony, and Heinrich was then banished for three years, which he spent in England at the court of Henry II, his father-in-law.

Now (1187) Heinrich is back in Braunschweig and Lüneburg, the only lands he was allowed to retain, and ready to continue the conflict between two strong German families - Welf and Hohenstaufen. Will Welfs be able to gather enough power to depose Hohenstaufen from the German throne?

You will see in my new AAR…
 

Olaus Petrus

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So it's going to be civilwar in Germany. Did you plan to usurp king titles of HRE or just grab them?
 
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Pirate Z

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Interesting premise. I'll be checking this out -- the struggle between Barbarossa and Henry the Lion was a great one :)
 

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Olaus Petrus: Yes, a civil war, but later in the game. Henry the Lion is only a small count in 1187; a rebellion must be prepared very well. The Welfs don't want to repeat the old mistakes... :)

Pirate Z: Henry is quite old in 1187. I am afraid you will see more the struggle between the Welfs and the Hohenstaufens generally than the struggle between the old wolves - Henry and Barbarossa. :)

(Praetorian), CSK: Thank you, guys. I hope I will meet your expectations. :)
 

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Prologue (1187): The Old Lion


Prologue (1187): The Old Lion

Henry.jpg

Henrich der Löwe

Heinrich Welf had never before felt so tired and powerless. He, the strongest German prince next to the Emperor and the true Duke of Saxony and Bavaria, was forced to live in small Braunschweig like a poor count. Last couple of years was very difficult for the House of Welf. Two years ago Heinrich returned from the English royal court of his father-in-law Henry II Angevin, where he was exiled in 1182. His cousin, the Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa had Heinrich stripped of his lands and declared him an outlaw at that time. Heinrich was allowed to retain only his hereditary possessions - Braunschweig and Lüneburg. The official reason was that Heinrich refused to aid Friedrich in a renewed invasion of Lombardy in 1174 which ended in utter failure. However, the actual reason was the fact that Heinrich had successfully established a powerful state comprising Saxony, Bavaria and substantial territories in the North and East of Germany. Henrich’s power and ambition were the cause of his fall.

Matilde.jpg

Heinrich's wife - the princess of England

Despite his current situation, Heinrich believed that the Welfs are strong enough to come back and win the respect of the whole Germany. He based his belief on his past achievements and the strength of the Welf family. Heinrich had always been a man of great ambition, and won his surname of Lion by his personal bravery. The colonization of the East and foundations of Lübeck and Munich belonged to Henrich’s greatest successes. He was also very proud of his family. From his first marriage with Klementia von Zähringen, he had the daughter Gertrude who was married for the Danish king Knud. His second daughter Matilda was married for the ruler of Mecklenburg. And then he had four sons with his current wife Matilda Angevin, the daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine and sister of Richard Lionhearted. Heinrich’s marriage with Matilda had been one his best politic moves, and he hoped that his heirs could make use of that.

Barbarosa.jpg

Friedrich Barbarossa

However, Heinrich was aware of his current weak position. The counties of Braunschweig and Lüneburg were his only fiefs, and his army counted less than 3,000 men. That was the reason why Heinrich didn’t plan going into an open conflict with Friedrich Barbarossa. His cousin was probably the strongest European ruler at that time, and Heinrich knew that he couldn’t expect help from anybody, even from his father-in-law Henry II Angevin. His position was weakened also by the alliance of Saxon nobles led by family of Askanien, who had felt threatened by power and ambition of the Welfs. Heinrich knew that he had to rely more on intrigue and good marriage policy than on sword. He therefore laid his hopes on his heirs, his four sons – Heinrich, Lothar, Otto and Wilhelm. He believed that one of them could win the long year struggle with hated Hohenstaufen and gain finally the imperial crown for the House of Welf.

Germany.jpg

Germany in 1187 - Heinrich's lands are dark green
 

Olaus Petrus

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Interesting starting situation. Good luck with your marriage plans. BTW is there easy inheritance targets inside HRE in 1187 scenario. I haven't played that scenario very often.
 

cuchulain

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not sure how you're gonna approach this, so it should be interesting..
 

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Olaus Petrus: There are not many inheritance targets in HRE in 1187. At least not those easy ones. But maybe with some help of my Spy Master... :)

cuchulain: I can say it will not be an easy game. But I have enough time.

Ok, I'm sorry for a small delay; but now when the new 1.05 patch is out, my updates will come more often...
 

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Chapter I (1187 - 1200): Duke of Prussia


Chapter I (1187 - 1200): Duke of Prussia

Heinrich the Lion returned from the English exile two years ago, but only now had enough time to reorganize his lands. He knew that only an efficient and well-going court could help him achieve his goals. Therefore he appointed the new Spy Master – his wife Matilda, Steward and Chancellor at his court. Since Heinrich had not any men in Braunschweig, the positions of Marshal and Chaplain remained vacant. Furthermore, Heinrich instituted type of government called Feudal Contract in his demesne, and put more power into the hands of nobility (Social power set as follows: 20-20-20-40). He also ordered start researching in fields of Slash Weapons, Handicraft and Schools. First years after the return from England were difficult because Heinrich came back with no gold, piety or prestige. That was also one of the reasons why his wife Matilda got stressed. But with appointment of the new Steward, gold started pouring into his treasury very quickly (Monthly income: 10.32). That was the right time to think how to strengthen the own position in the kingdom.

Heinrich's sons:
Heinrich.jpg


Lothar.jpg


Otto.jpg


Before Heinrich could do anything, Germany jumped into the war with the Principality of Laodikeia in an effort to help the ally – the Byzantine Empire. Friedrich Barbarossa asked Heinrich to mobilize his troops, but he refused to do so. Maybe it was risky, but Heinrich didn’t want to give up his men for such futile campaign. He rather took care of domestic issues. He let build Court of Justice in both his provinces and later also School in Braunschweig. In February 1188 Heinrich married his daughter Richenza for a noble warrior who arrived to his court. Richenza proved to be a charismatic negotiator; therefore, Heinrich appointed her as the new Chancellor and her husband as the new Marshal. In January 1189 his eldest son came of age, and he was appointed as the new Steward. Later that year Heinrich found that he had the bastard son Rudolf. His wife Matilda – Spy Master was very upset and suggested get rid of the bastard, but Heinrich refused. In June 1190 Heinrich’s daughter Adelheid was born, but Heinrich didn’t have time to celebrate it. In January 1191 he silently died in the age of 61.

Death.jpg

Heinrich the Lion dies

Now the rule over the Welf possessions passed to Heinrich the Lion’s eldest son – Heinrich. He could rely on the help of his younger brothers Lothar and Otto who took positions of Marshal and Steward at his court. Shortly after his accession, Heinrich let build Road Network in Lüneburg, which was supposed to help spread technologies from neighbors, but it only brought dysentery to his demesne. In January 1192 Heinrich married the only child of Konrad von Hohenstaufen, brother of the emperor and the Duke of Franconia, Agnes. This could help the Welfs to get the ducal title, which was a necessity for further expansion. But Heinrich forgot that German duchies had the Salic law that didn’t allow claims of females. So, when his first son Otto was born in February 1193, Heinrich’s celebrations seemed to be early. At that year Friedrich Barbarossa died during the crusade that was called to liberate Cordoba. His son united Germany and Italy, but some of the duchies rebelled against him. Also Heinrich took the opportunity and conspired against his liege (Event: Heinrich receives Deceitful trait).

Agnes.jpg

Heinrich's wife - a niece of Friedrich Barbarossa

In December 1193 Heinrich’s second son Nikolaus was born, and at that time Heinrich already knew that he had to find another way how to get the ducal title for himself. The colonization of the east seemed to be the easiest way. Moreover, he would continue something that his father began years ago. In January 1194, Heinrich’s court celebrated marriages of his brothers - Lothar’s with Agnes von Babenberg and Otto’s with Elisabeth von Wittelsbach, both coming from important German families. Finally in March 1194, Heinrich’s troops began a march to the Baltic, because he wanted to make use of Emperor’s busyness with rebelling vassals. Heinrich declared war on Tribe of Pruthenians and quickly captured their province of Sambia. Having seen his success, Heinrich decided to wage the war also against the Tribe of Prussia and captured the provinces of Marienburg and Chelminskie. Heinrich was wounded during one battle, but fortunately a miracle-worker came to his camp and offered to heal his wounds. In May 1195 Heinrich returned home, just on time to see the birth of his daughters Emma and Berta.

Galindia.jpg

Battle of Galindia

The administration of the new pagan provinces appeared to be harder than expected. The Baltic pagans rebelled very often, and also the Teutonic Order claimed the Baltic lands to settle there. Heinrich refused all attempts to strip him of those provinces, because he needed them to create the title of Duke of Prussia. He still missed one province to form the ducal title; therefore, he claimed Galindia in September 1196. The County of Galindia was an independent county without strong allies, so Heinrich felt that his dream ducal title was very close. But first he had to bury his mother Matilda who died in winter 1196 and summon enough funds to finance the new campaign. In October 1198 the Pope called the next crusade with the new target – Cordoba. The German emperor joined the crusade and headed to Iberia, so Heinrich saw the chance to declare war on Galindia. In July 1199 his troops defeated Galindia forces, and conquered the province. In March 1200, Heinrich finally had enough gold to declare himself the Duke of Prussia. The ducal title opened him way for further expansion in Germany...

Duke.jpg

Heinrich declares himself the Duke of Prussia

Germany%201200.jpg

Germany in 1200 - Heinrich's lands are dark green
 

Olaus Petrus

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Interesting start. Maybe you could, with the help of the emperor, liberate Pommern and Mecklenburg from the hands of the Danes. That would be most natural way to expand, before you expand in Germany.
 

TheBagelmeister

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Well, its nice to know I finally get to see a new AAR, as I shall fallow.

Will be fun to see how the Welf's get their glory (and land) back. But yeah, this looks fun. :D
 

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Olaus Petrus: Yeah, exactly! I also thought about that idea. It also would be nice to connect my Prussian lands with the Saxon ones. The only problem is that those claims in Pomerania are quite expensive and my conquest in Baltic didn't bring me too much prestige. Also I didn't want to do that right in the beginning for roleplay purposes - one daughter of Henry the Lion was married for Danish king, and other one for Mecklemburg prince, so it wouldn't be nice to do that... :)

TheBagelmeister: It will be fun. But also it will be very tough. HRE is in 1187 scenario the incredible strong kingdom. Any revolt against German king must be prepared very well, otherwise you don't have chance.

One thing which surprised me was that German duchies in 1187 scenario have Salic law. I don't understand why. My marriage plans have totally crashed...
 

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siekel said:
Olaus Petrus: Yeah, exactly! I also thought about that idea. It also would be nice to connect my Prussian lands with the Saxon ones. The only problem is that those claims in Pomerania are quite expensive and my conquest in Baltic didn't bring me too much prestige. Also I didn't want to do that right in the beginning for roleplay purposes - one daughter of Henry the Lion was married for Danish king, and other one for Mecklemburg prince, so it wouldn't be nice to do that... :)

TheBagelmeister: It will be fun. But also it will be very tough. HRE is in 1187 scenario the incredible strong kingdom. Any revolt against German king must be prepared very well, otherwise you don't have chance.

One thing which surprised me was that German duchies in 1187 scenario have Salic law. I don't understand why. My marriage plans have totally crashed...

AFAIK salic law has been very common in Germany.
 

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nice moves on prussia, are you gonna move further up in the region? does king of lithuania sound good enough for heinrich, or are you sticking to germany?
 

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cuchulain said:
nice moves on prussia, are you gonna move further up in the region? does king of lithuania sound good enough for heinrich, or are you sticking to germany?
No King of Lithuania... :D
It would be too easy. Actually, Duke of Prussia is just a means to expand further in Germany, a chance to have vassals...
 

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Are there any stray German counts who broke away after Frederich died who could use a ducal overlord? :D
 

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Chapter II (1200 - 1211): Osnabrück, Hamburg and Lübeck


Chapter II (1200 - 1211): Osnabrück, Hamburg and Lübeck

Duke%201200.jpg

Heinrich - the Duke of Prussia in 1200

Heinrich, now the Duke of Prussia, was tired of continuous problems with the Baltic pagans. That was the reason why he decided to grant all Prussian provinces to his brother Lothar. Lothar, in the position of Marshal, had showed a great heroism during Baltic conquests and undoubtly deserved the reward. Heinrich thus could move his court back to Saxony and be fully engaged in German politics. In August 1201 his daughter Oda was born, and in December 1203 a joy came to his family again with another daughter Luitgard. Meanwhile, the crusade against Iberian Muslims had ended, but immediately a new war began. German emperor declared war upon Kingdom of Poland with the aim to conquer rich Silesian provinces. In February 1204 Heinrich’s youngest brother Wilhelm married Oda von Hohenstaufen, the eldest daughter of German emperor. Heinrich agreed because he knew it was better to have the enemy – the Hohenstaufen in sight. In January 1205 Heinrich signed an alliance treaty with Duke of Österreich, who was dissatisfied with his liege - the current emperor. Later that year Heinrich succeed again when he crushed the burghers in Lüneburg resenting his rule under feudal contract.

Wilhelm.jpg

Heinrich's youngest brother

After Heinrich had suppressed the burghers revolt, the situation in his provinces seemed to be peaceful. It was the right time to think about further expansion. Luckily, in March 1206 the opportunity for such expansion appeared. Heinrich’s neighbour, the Count of Osnabrück, broke away from the German empire at that time. Heinrich offered him protection, but his valuable offer was curtly refused. Heinrich acted very quickly and called troops from Prussia to help him to bring treacherous Osnabrück under German lordship. In March 1206 he declared war upon Osnabrück and besieged the province of his neighbour. In autumn of that year the province fell and was added to Heinrich’s personal demesne. It was a time of celebrations; except for the great victory, people in Braunschweig celebrated also the end of dysentery disease in the province. Sadly, Heinrich’s daughter Luitgard died during the epidemic. The fact that the disease disappeared enabled Heinrich to build Glass-works and Library in Braunschweig. Another good news was the birth of his fourth daughter Agathe.

Osnabruck.jpg

War with Osnabrück begins

In October 1210 another German provinces – Hamburg and Lübeck broke away from the German empire. Those provinces belonged to the richest German lands and bordered the Heinrich’s demesne. Count of Hamburg and Lübeck had been recently excommunicated and Heinrich saw it as the sign of heaven. Without that he wouldn’t be able to claim those provinces. In January 1211 Heinrich sent a vassalization proposal to his neighbour, but also now he was refused. It meant that the Welfs started preparations for the big war. The Count of Hamburg and Lübeck was the toughest enemy with who Heinrich had met so far. Heinrich mustered all his available forces, about 7,500 soldiers in Lüneburg, and in May 1211 he ordered to cross the Elbe River. The Battle of Hamburg had been the bloodiest in the short Braunschweig history, but Heinrich’s troops succeeded at the end. The subsequent sieges of Hamburg and Lübeck took a long time since both provinces were strongly fortified (Tech: Medium Castle). But in December 1211 Heinrich could add those flourishing lands to the Duchy of Prussia with great pomp…

War with Hamburg and Lübeck:
Hamburg.jpg


Victory.jpg