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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

nalivayko

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I should have called it 'Yet Another Unfinished AAR', but I don't want to be rude to myself. I'll settle for 'Yet Another Attempt to Write a Finished AAR'. Call it what you want, but this will make a nice finale for my trilogy. Turkey, Russia and then Spain, three greatest nations (don't bother telling me about France and England, I read history books).

Some things you'll need to know: it will be brief, it will be bloody, pointless (as my goals change from ruler to ruler) and, which is always the main point, fun (at least, for me). Now, with your blessing, let us give it a shot.

P.S. Played at Fast and Furious, Hard and with no respect to history. Version 1.07

Isabel y Fernando. 1479-1516

Their reign started in 1479, but the first thirteen years of their rule offered little sensations to the contemporary historians. Yes, they united the kingdoms of Castille and Aragon, yes they waged war on the last stronghold of Islam in Iberia.

They did manage to win this war. Hard to imagine they could have failed, but then again, look how long it took Mehmed II to take Constantinople.

Columbic era

Then came 1492 and things would never be the same in Castille and Aragon or, to make it easier for foreigners to spell, in Spain. This year was trully remarkable, as it marked the end of the Reconquista in Spain and the beginning of Conquista in West Indies. For it was in this year that Cristobal Colon sailed west and discovered a new continent, which would later be called America. The brave sailor desperately tried to claim he discovered a western passage to Asia, but everyone knew he was just trying to hide a fact that he was using old Phoenician-Norse-Turkish-Irish-Chinese maps (I apologize if I did not name all the nations who recently laid a claim to discover this continent first)

In any case, Cristobal managed to stumble upon Bahamas in December of 1493, which was celebrated a month later in southern Spain their Catholic Majesties celebrated in month later by expelling all of Moors in the southern Spain. The so-called 'clean sweep' did not go as well as planned, for some 40,000 Muslims took arms and up proposed to seek a 'final solution' on the battlefield. Luckily, Old Duke of Alba and El Gran Capitan had a few tricks up their sleeves and the rebellion was subdued without much loss of the human life (note: only Catholics, of course, are considered humans in this aar).

In April of 1494 Cristobal sailed along the shores of Yucatan peninsula and two months later Duke of Alba Old landed there with 5,000 pike and musket and 1,000 cavalry. From that point on (their Catholic Majesties decided to play along and pretend America was indeed Asia) the Spaniards wasted no time in cleansing the New World from its pagan rulers (the pagan subjects, however, were left along as long as they volunteered to serve their Catholic Majesties Isabel and Fernando). And so powerful was the message they carried (the Word of God, of course, coupled with the thunder of the cannon) that most of the tribes had chosen to join the Spanish rather than fight them. One by one fell the pagan nations of the West Indies. While Old Duke of Alba roared in Central America, Prospero Colonna terrified the North.

Maya surrenders in 1495. Thousands join the Spanish army.
Aztec capital falls in 1497. The Aztec empire lies in ruins. Thousands join the Spanish army.
In 1498 Duke of Alba conquers Navajo. Thousands (well, maybe, hundreds) join the Spanish army.
In 1500 Colonna annexes Creek. Thousands join the Spanish army.
In 1501 Cherokee and Shawnee fell prey to the famous conquistador. Thousands join the Spanish army.
In 1502 Iroquois meet the similar the fate. Thousands join the Spanish army.
In 1503 Colonna invades and subdues Lenape. Fortunately, many Indian soldiers in Spanish army die in between, for as more thousands join the conquistador's army it becomes somewhat problematic to feed them all.

Meanwhile, scores of brave explorers report to their Catholic Majesties, Isabelle and Ferdinand in Madrid,. They are all sent to explore the newly found lands and some attempts are made to colonize rather than conquer. Still, none of them can outshine Colon, who sails as far north as Greenland and as far south as Portuguese trading posts in Brazil. By 1503 most of the Atlantic becomes Spanish lake and Colon enjoys a certain share of popularity, which is rivaled only by that of Prospero Colonna. Then the disaster strikes, as England declares war on France and all all the funds spent on exploration are diverted to war in Europe. Colon is only allowed to sail across Caribbean, where he dies from boredom three years later, marking the end of Columbic era, the era full of lightening conquests, unmatched brutality and adventurous exploration.

First Spanish-French War

The French came forth like lions, taking Rousillion and besieging Cantabria, and vassalizing Navarra. Their allies in Rome attempted to advance on Spanish friends in Naples, but were badly beaten and thrown as far back as Mantua. English fought less gloriously, having to deal with both French and Scottish attacks, while Portuguese (Spanish alliance) and Savoyards (French) did what they could to make things complicated.

The El Gran Capitan arrived on the scene and it was the French turn to retreat. While the latter were busy besieging Calais and raising new troops, he split his forces in three and invaded the south of France. Rousillion was casually liberated, while more in more French towns opened their gates to the invader.

Lousi XII quickly made peace with Naples and dispatched a large force south. While skirmishing like a madman, El Gran Capitan managed to avoid large-scale battles and raided as far north as Picardie. It was then that their Catholic Majesties finally decided on a strategy: either fight till English make peace or force French to cede Picardie, thus cutting them off English Calais.

Needless to say, French did all they could to prevent this. Not once and not twice was El Gran Capitan defeated in the hands of Bayard, but he always managed to escape with most of his cavalry intact. At that time Spanish army was the most advanced in Europe, but French had larger numbers commanded by one of the best generals of the century.

The war lasted full four years. In the West, the Indians sensed the ease of pressure and numerous rebellions spread like wildfire across thousands of miles from the Mosquito coast to the Niagara Falls. Hurons provided the necessary leadership and the conquered nations the necessary manpower. Although weaker than French in firepower and discipline, the Indians were cunning, brutal and quickly learning.

... In 1504 Huron was annexed and thousands joined the Spanish army.

To cement (the new invention of the Middle Ages, which helped to build pyramids in Egypt) the Spanish conquests in the New Indies, their Catholic Majesties met with Pope Julius II and his Majesty Manuel I, King of Portugal and signed a treaty of Tordesillas, which granted Spain every piece of pagan land west of Brazil coast, while Portuguese would have to settle for every piece of pagan land east of that line.

In 1507, after numerous offers of peace, demanding only Picardie in return, Louis XII made a counter-offer, offering Gascogne, Caux and Picardie. Isabelle was afraid that they might be swallowing too much. Ferdinand argued there is no such things in politics and love as swallowing too much. The peace was made, the land was taken, rebels in Rousillion, Sicily and West Indies pacified, and Naples annexed, its King seeing no point in pretending that his kingdom was not depending on Spain in every aspect of every day's life.

Ferdinand's rule alone

The first Iberian-Gallic War saw the Spain emerge as European superpower. The Kingdom (it would become an empire soon, but not just yet), run by the family of bankers called Fuggers, experienced an economic upheaval, while its political status was unrivaled. The conquest in the New World slows down a bit, as the number of people willing to leave the country is limited. Still, the conquistadors are already exploring the land south of Panama, driven by the tales of El Dorado. In 1514 Colonna leads a first expedition into Peru, encountering miriads of Inca warriors and fighting his way to Inca capital. This war results in Inca empire ceding five coastal provinces of Peru and paying 300 liters of gold in tribute, which only wets Ferdinand's appetite for gold.

Yes, Ferdinand's... Her Catholic Majesty Isabell dies shortly after the war with French, leaving her daughter, Joanna, a heir to throne. Her failure to produce a male heir overshadowed her otherwise perfect reign.

Spanish allies, England and Portugal, also ventured west, although with lesser success than Spain. The former does come out a loser in a war with French, allowing the latter to hold on to Calais. Still, this might be to the islanders' benefit, as this allowance puts them out of the harm's (read: France's) way.

In 1515 El Gran Capitan, a hero of the First Gallic War, Duke of Caux and Picardie, dies of old age. Ferdinand recalls Old Duke of Alba from America, but the latter is already too accustomed to the savages' way of life to be a good companion for the aging King. Ferdinand dies a year later, managing before death to marry his daughter Joanna to Charles, Duke of Burgundy.

Yet, as the glory of the heroes of the past slowly fades away, Spain experiences the rare moment of peace and stability. The conquest in the west continues, with conquistadors reaching Alaska, murdering scores of savages along the way and establishing a series of trading posts to claim the land for his Catholic Majesty, King of Spain. The first attempts to convert the conquered population are made in Mexico and Upper Florida, and the first contact is made with English settlers in North America. The merchants prosper, the soldiers suffer from seeing French getting ahead in technological race (as it always happens with loosers, they turn to technology when everything else fails) and the farmers are happy not to have their farms invaded. Taxes are reasonable, life is good, Spain is happy.


spa1516a.jpg


Western Europe in 1516

spa1516b.jpg


North America and parts of Central America in 1516.

Not visible to the viewer are trading posts all the way up to Alaska, Spanish Peru and Mexico and the last stop on the way to Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago.
 
Last edited:

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Alright! Another tale of blood and violence.

Kill!

Kill!

Kill!

Hurt a lot!

Good luck!!

:D
 

killerdude11

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Wow

Great story. But i have the feeling you used some cheats. ;) ;)

Overall it was a great story.

Are you going to continuethis story or is this it cause i kinda wanna know what happens.

GOOD JOB
 

nalivayko

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Stroph1, I am not that bloodthirsty :) The level of brutality will depend on a monarch in charge. Again, this policy does not apply to pagans, as their Catholic Majesties fail to consider them humans.

killerdude11, no cheats :) It's too easy to take down all those Indian nations. It is, however, much harder to control them once you've conquered them. And yes, the story will continue (hint: it takes awhile to play through Charles' reign and write about it).
 

Stuyvesant

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Nice game! But I can't wait until my electronic pretend countrymen make life miserable for you in the Low Countries. :D

You must have had an awesome amount of explorers and conquistadors if you managed to explore almost the entirety of North and South America.

Can't wait for Charles V's reign!
 

nalivayko

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Stuyvesant, North America is easy :) Have Columbus discover one coastal province (Maya will do), seize the capital, obtain maps, move on, conquer Aztecs, Navajo, then run him around Florida to discover Creek, repeat the process... Incas are a bit harder to discover this way though, as you would have to sail to Pacific.
 

nalivayko

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Carlos I. 1516-1556

Foreigner on the Throne

Everything was handed to him on the platter. The heir to imperial Burgundian lands and Austrian Archduchy, he married Joanna of Spain in 1514 and soon found himself a ruler of the enormous empire where the sun never set. After the death of Ferdinand of Spain, he took a quick trip to Madrid and had himself crowned Carlos I of Spain. In March of 1516 he was elected the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and, after months of sleepless nights, decided to rule the world from Vienna.

Spanish nobles hated him without reserve for this decision and Austrian-Spanish relations hit a new low. Diplomats left the capital, stability dropped and many dons locked themselves in their castles refusing to pay taxes.

His Catholic Majesty's solution was to send them off to war and since there was none going on currently, he generously decided to start one. And so the conquest of West Indies continued.

In 1518 Dakota was forced to cede three provinces and pay 300,000 ducats. Nobles return to Spain unimpressed - the glorious conquests of Isabell and Ferdinand still were fresh in their memories. In 1520 they managed to stir the populace in Catalonia, in what become known as Communeros rebellion. Carlos wisely decided to appease them, spending some gold he stole from Dakota to pay them off. In return he got the services of some 15,000 nobleman, providing him with so much needed cavalry in America.

A year later a man called Luther begins to stir trouble in Germany, calling for the Reformation of the Church. The Pope replies with assassins, who, unfortunately miserably fail in their task. Thus starts the Protestant movement across Europe. Carlos replies from Vienna by annexing of Wurtemburg and bringing Bohemia and Hungary into Habsburg Empire.

Meanwhile, Prospero Colonna, the conqueror of North America, is charged with equally daunting task of conquering the empire of Incas. He is aided by very talented and ambitious lieutenant Hernando Cortez. The latter unfortunately dies in the beginning of the campaign, which makes Colonna's task even more difficult. The reinforcements are sailed from Manhattan and Mexico, but it still takes two full years to finish off the last Indian civilization. The amount of gold found is not as large as it was hoped, but the abundance of gold mines more than compensates Spain for the trouble.

Colonna does not live long to enjoy the fruits of his heroic deeds. He dies a year later, a true hero of the empire, the conqueror of North and South Americas, more famous than Old Duke of Alba and El Gran Capitan together.

His Catholic Majesty, ignoring rumors that he cares more for his German subjects, continues his quest to dominate all of the West Indies. He is pleasantly surprised by his loyal subjects with the donation of twenty warships, which he splits between his Mediterranean and Atlantic navies.

In 1524 François I of France makes a bold move and forces Navarra's king to abdicate. Navarra is no more and French hold the territories, which by right should belong to the Spanish crown. Their 'peaceful' annexation of Savoy makes Carlos I even more upset. However, he does little, too pre-occupied with campaigns against Protestants in Germany and pagans in America.

In 1525 the conquest of Dakota is complete. Spanish conquistadors explore north of California, cross the Great Plains and reach the Northern Ocean.

In Europe the Knights of Rhodes beg his Catholic Majesty for the island of Malta, hinting that they might be of service against Muslim pirates in Northern Africa. Carlos I replies that having Muslim pirates as neighbors does not justify breeding more pirates, even Catholic ones, in his neighborhood.

In 1531 Old Duke of Alba dies, the last among most famous generals of the Columbic era. Occupied French provinces think it weakens Spanish presence there and rise in the open revolt against the crown. Their miscalculation costs them their lives and, which is more upsetting, costs Carlos some loss in taxes.

By this time, however, Carlos is more or less accepted by Spanish ruling circles as the legitimate leader. His active conversion of pagans in America cements his reputation as a devoted Catholic and his ruthlessness in handling rebellions earns him praise from the military.

Undeclared Wars

Not satisfied with its expansion in Europe and jealous of Spanish successes in America, France makes a first move into the Caribbean. England, on the other hand, is trying to compensate itself for the loss of territory to Scotland, and is too adapting a more aggressive colonization policy. However, it is not with them, but with Portuguese that Spanish conquistadors exchange fire first. As Spaniards move across South America in search of more territories they come in contact with their Portuguese allies and accidents happen. Lives are lost, but the timely intervention of diplomacy saves the day. the borders are again re-drawn and Spain repays for these mistakes by helping their Iberian brothers to massacre the native population.

In 1534 England turns Protestant as Carlos I prohibits the Pope Clemens VII to grant Henry VIII of England a divorce with Catherine of Aragon. The English King retaliates by declaring himself a head of the Anglican Church, independent from Rome. Spain looses its key ally, but what's a somebody's loss is also a somebody's gain. Many Protestant Princes in Germany, emboldened by Henry's decision turn coat and rebel against the Pope's authority.

Frustrated with these events and not able to punish England directly (as Henry does not accept Pope's authority, he also does not abide by the rules of the Treaty of Tordesillas), Carlos turns his attention to France and from 1534 to 1538 Spanish soldiers massacre French settlers in Antilles and conquer their settlements for the Spanish crown. The undeclared war rages on, but French are powerless to do anything about it, as legally they are not even supposed to be there.

In 1542 the division among Protestants became apparent with Calvinists calling for the Reformation within the Reformation. Carlos finds it humorous… until he notices the increasing number of Calvinists in Netherlands. His Catholic Majesty has a bad feeling in the stomach.

In 1547 young Duke of Alba takes control of Naples regiment in southern Italy. Carlos feels that this general is destined for great things and so His Catholic Majesty orders the Duke to practice his skills on Italian rebels.

In 1548 France annexes Genoa. War seems inevitable now. French threaten to cut Habsburg Empire in two and seem to be preparing for the conquest of Italy. Carlos is still impressed how easy his troops handled French settlers in the Caribbean and thinks the war won’t be much of a challenge. Besides, François I is dead and his son Henry still has to prove himself as a king.

Second Spanish-French War

In 1550 His Catholic Majesty Carlos I of Spain, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, gracefully informs Henry II of France that Habsburgs will wage war on France until she surrenders Genoa and Bearn to Spain and cedes the attempts to gain French-Comte from Austria. Combined attack of Spanish and Austrian alliances, coordinated by Carlos himself, does not impress French much, however. Their army, led by a talented Duke Guise, is the most advanced in Europe, while also numerically superior to Spanish, if not Austrian.

French immediately impress this fact upon Carlos by driving his forces out of northern France and advancing to the walls of Madrid. Austrian intervention diverts some of the French troops to the east, but the main attack is in the south. Spanish infantry, once the best in the world, grew too relaxed during the years of easy conquest in America. Now Spain pays for her arrogance with blood of her men. Only Duke of Alba, when facing a foe inferior in numbers, is able to keep the country from being overran by French hordes.

In the West French mount an offensive in the Americas, burning a couple of trade posts, but ultimately retreating before the might of the Spanish galleons. The same situation persists in the English Channel, where Spanish navy reigns supreme. A well-timed expedition into Caux is able to bring Spanish provinces in northern France back under Carlos’ control.

However, it is not French who present the biggest threat to Habsburg war effort. While Spanish were somewhat successful in converting a large part of Indians to One True Faith, there are still more who hang to their old ways of life. Numerous rebellions fire up in the West Indies, forcing the Spanish to divert some funds there.

After three years of war, tens of thousands dead and numerous unsuccessful attempts to drive French from Spain, Carlos is still not convinced it is time to make peace. French demands grow bolder from one diplomatic mission to another, while Spanish nobles create a peace party, which stirs some trouble in the empire.

In 1553 England, Catholic again, joins French alliance and presses an attack on Spanish West Indies. This last straw break the camel’s back and Carlos is ready to sue for peace. He offers Trinidad and Tobago to England and, when they agree, makes it clear to Henry of France that only a white peace will be accepted by Madrid. In February of 1554 white peace is signed between Spanish and French alliances. Austrians pulled out of the war somewhat earlier.

Carlos’ Revenge and Abdication

As soon as the peace is made and the rebellions in West Indies pacified, Carlos sets his mind on revenge. Having colonized most of the continental America, he turns his eyes to Caribbean again. Last French settlers are expelled and English experience a similar fate for their treachery. Trinidad and Tobago returns to Spanish crown as well as many other jewels of the Caribbean.

Indians, however, get the worst of it. A massive campaign of forced conversion sweeps across the West Indies. Those who decline to convert are burnt at the stake. Those who agree, experience even worse: they are forced to pay taxes.

In 1556, however, this bloody campaign slows down, as Carlos, fed up with ruling half of Europe, and disappointed with his failure to conquer the French, abdicates his throne and splits him empire in two. The Spanish part will be ruled by his son Phillip and the Holy Roman Empire is left to his brother Ferdinand.

spa1556.jpg


Western Europe at the time of Carlos' withdrawal from power
 
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Commandante

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Good AAR, nalivayko! :)

Informative, plausible and well-written summaries; I like it! :D
 

nalivayko

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Ok, Dan, here you go :D Btw, I was trying hard to present Felipe II's reign as one chapter, but he lived too damn long... So, here goes the first installment of his reign.

Felipe II. 1556-1578

Dutch rebellion

Upon the beginning of his reign his Catholic Majesty, King Felipe II of Spain, inherited vast empire that grew even larger with addition of Netherlands, French-Comte and Milan. All of South America was in Spanish and Portuguese hands, while in the North only parts of Canada were still held by English and French. In addition to the diversity of these lands, its population was not united on the question of religion. While the majority of Felipe's subjects were Catholics, there were still those who though they could get away with being both Felipe's servants and heretics. His Catholic Majesty had different ideas.

At first, however, he deemed it wise to firmly establish his authority over his lands, finish (for the most part) conversion of Indian lands and settle the score with Spanish arch-enemy France.

France, even though it emerged victorious in the last war with Spain, had it's own share of troubles. Protestant heretics in the south of the country and Corsican rebels presented serious enough of the threat to make the country forget about overseas expansion. In 1562 French wars of religions drained the treasury and Corsican brief independence has drawn most of the troops away from the north borders.

Meanwhile, in the east, the Ottoman empire continued its vigorous expansion. Suleyman the Magnificent annexed Mamelukes and threatened to overan the rest of the Mediterranean. However, Spanish humiliating defeat in the Second Spanish-French War made it impossible for Spain to actively take part in the Holy League's upcoming crusade. Her support of it, though, brought for a brief moment all Christendom together.

In the north, Duke of Alba struggled heroically to wipe out the Calvinist heretics in Netherlands. His draconian methods, although smoothen by wise Felipe's policies, brought only more Dutch under the banner of rebellion. Duke died in 1566, mortally wounded by the assassin's bullet. Saddened Felipe called Netherlands 'the Graveyard of Heroes'.

Same year, smartened by the failure of his policies in the north, His Catholic Majesty decided to show some mercy to the Morisques - the proud and wealthy descendants of the Moors in Spain - in the south. Seeing how the empire benefited from their presence, he decided to also adapt a more merciful policy for the Dutch.

In 1567 a civil war broke in Austria. Bohemians and Hungarians declared independence. The latter were quickly subdued, but the former managed to survive Habsburg fury.

In 1570 Alexandro Farnese takes command of the troops in the Netherlands and, seeing how this general skillfully handles the rebels, Felipe finally feels he is strong enough to avenge his father's defeat at the hands of Henry II of France.

Third Spanish-French War

In August of 1570 His Catholic Majesty, King Felipe II of Spain, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, declares war on France. The pretext for this conflict is liberation of Navarra. The emotional reason is avenging his father. However, the real goal is the conquest of Genoa. Ever since the time when France lost the struggle for Naples and Southern Italy, the former began to oppose Spanish designs in the peninsula. When Habsburgs inherited Milan - "the key of Italy", French countered by annexing Liguria - "the door of Italy". To keep the French out of the peninsula's affairs Felipe needed to conquer Genoa for Spain.

The Spanish attack came from both south and north. In the south Filiberto de Saboya led some 25,000 troops on Languedoc, while in the north Farnese commanded 36,000-strong army, which he led to the walls of Paris. Don Juan of Austria, Carlos' illegitimate son, commanded 38 warships in the Channel, while another 20 warships and some 5,000 troops were used to attack French North American holdings.

The first phase of the war lasted two years, with Spanish slowly gaining ground in the south and the north. Paris fell in 1571, and it was followed by the capture of Languedoc, Navarra, Bearn, Orleans and Lyonnais. French balanced these gains by capturing French-Comte and Milan.

The climax came in October of 1572, when Montmorency led 56,000-strong army against Farnese at Orleans. Farnese lost all his infantry (11,000) and managed to save cavalry and cannons and escaped to Paris. Montmorency lost 6,000 infantry, but was quickly compensated by new recruits.

Farnese also received reinforcements and, taking a strong position behind the Seine river, awaited the French onslaught. He had only 28,000 troops against Montmorency's 53,000.

The battle of Paris, as it is known in the history textbooks, was a glorious victory for the Spanish. Almost entire French army (some 50,000 troops) either perished or was captured, while the Spanish losses did not exceed 7,000. Montmorency was killed during the attempted retreat and the outcome of the war was decided.

In 1573 French agreed to cede Calais, Piemonte and Genoa. By leaving Navarra in French hands Felipe signaled his willingness to continue the conflict. Spanish sound victory over its rival showed the world that the Spanish soldier is against the world's best. And French failure to defend its trading posts completely doomed its future as the colonial power. Two years later Spanish would steal Mobile and France would be left with only one province in Canada.

As the peace treaty was being signed, Farnese and Don Juan of Austria (who left the command of the sea to take charge of the troops at Poitou) both left for the Netherlands. There Farnese managed to win the support of the Dutch Catholics and signed the Union of Arras, which brought the southern provinces under complete Spanish control. However, he did not live long to enjoy the fruits of his diplomacy. Two years later he was killed besieging a fortress in Holland.

Saboya died a soldier's death a year later, fighting Italians rebels in Liguria.

In 1578 the Dutch rebels mortally wounded Don Juan of Austria. The Netherlands lived up to the name given to it by Felipe. It was a true 'Graveyard of heroes'.

spa1573.jpg


Spain after the Third Spanish-French War.
 
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Crush the cheese-eatin' surrender monkeys!

Scotland's doing pretty well, too...
 

Storey

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Poor France.:( Is it time to pick on the English? ;)

Joe
 

nalivayko

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Ok, somebody shoot Storey, he's playing Oracle again :)

CyBlack, yeah, they do (Scotts), but only because English couldn't keep an eye on rebellions.

Commandante, to be honest, it is not that impressive. If I was to disobey a self-imposed rule of keeping a less than 'tamish' reputation, I would've conquered France by now. But then I'd be involved in plenty of bb wars, the game pace would slow down, I would have to write more and, oh the headache, would have to come up with pretty names for all the wars I fight :)
 

nalivayko

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Gaijin de Moscu, thanks, priyatno kogda chitayut svoi :)

Before I finish off Felipe's reign, I would like to do a summary on the first century.

1492-1592 The Age of Exploration

Spain started off with intention of exploding in the New World and, for the most part, succeded. With exception of Matagorda, parts of Canada and Brazil, Spanish rule all of Americas. It fought three wars with France, two of them successfully, one (the second) ended in white peace. While this was considered a humiliating defeat by Carlos I, the rest of the world saw it as a triumph of Spanish diplomacy (the empire was almost overan by rebels). The other two wars resulted in Spain controlling "the door and the key" of Italy - Milan and Genoa, and four other, strategically important provinces: Caux, Picardie, Gascogne and Piedmonte.

Spanish diplomacy, however, accomplished more in Europe than Spanish sword. An alliance with Austria brought Spain the Netherlands and French-Comte, while a combination of stick and carrot forced Naples to accept the annexation.

Spain's main enemy during the first century was the rebellions peasant. Be he a pagan Indian, treacherous Moor or freedom-loving heretic Dutchman, this peasant caused Spain more casualties than all the wars with French combined together.

France failed considerably in its colonization attempts, mostly due to the strict enforcement of the Treaty of Tordesillas by Spanish. French diplomatic victories in Northern Italy were canceled by the Spanish conquests. France still remains a major player in European politics, but it lost it's chance after the Second Spanish-French War, when English turned Protestant for the second time and left French alliance.

English colonists appeared more tough than French - even though England lost the battle for the Caribbean, she still holds enough land in Canada to present a real threat to Spanish trading posts in the region. Most of the English colonies in America have grown to cities and it will be tough job to root heretics out of there.

The rest of the world in 60 seconds: Portugal built its empire in Brazil, enjoys supremacy in Indonesia, colonized parts of Africa and made an advance into China. Ottomans conquered Mamelukes, but failed to conquer Hungary. Once a superpower, Austria is still a country to recon with, but its recent defeats shamed its military greatly. Russian expansion south seems to be going quite well. Poland would be doing relatively good, if not for the failure to annex three-province large Ukraine. Germany is still divided, Italy is dominated by Spain, Asia sees the rise of Ak Koyunlu and God only knows what happens in Africa and Far East.
 

nalivayko

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Felipe II. 1578-1598

The triumphs and failures of diplomacy

In the end of 1578 His Catholic Majesty Felipe II, King of Spain and many more other, much less important countries and, of course, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, decided to take a break from fighting Protestant rebels and declared a war on inflation. More bureacrats were added to the government and, strangely enough, inflation growth decreased and then took a different direction - down. Imperial economists claimed it was due to the fact that those newly appointed bureacrats (commonly known as mayors) grabbed too much money for themselves, sat on gold instead of spending gold and thus decreased average spending in the empire. God knows why, but the trick worked, so who cares how?

Two years later, once the inflation was subdued, Felipe turned on his allies, in particular on Maria of Portugal. His battles with her became a source of anecdotes across Iberia. His victories in bed, however, were easily suprassed by those on diplomatic field. In 1580 Portuguese were forced to accept new Felipe's slogan: two kingdoms, one king. He truly should have said: miriad of kingdoms, I rule them all, but alas, he was a modest one from birth.

A year later, his modesty led him to claim the title of the Defender of the Faith. The Pope winked, but that was about all the reaction the Catholic world got from him. And why not, everybody thought? Why can't such a valiant King claim this title? Not like he didn't claim every other title on the market already.

In 1582 Cologne joins the Iberian alliance. Felipe hopes to annex it in time, slowly expanding Spanish holdings along the Rhine river. This is not meant to be, as Bavarians managed to slip their Archbishop there, Cologne becomes Bavarian vassal and leaves the Emperor without an ally in Germany.

In 1583 inflation is still nowhere to be seen and Felipe begins to eye Brittish holdings in Canada. Queen Elizabeth boldy begins colonization of Matagorda and Spanish King feels like he has to punish her for this move. However, as such a trivial matter cannot be a cause of the war, he tries to find a way to make his future attack legitimate.

Thus, he allies with Irish, in hope to provoke English attack. Elizabeth responds with a smile.

He arranges a royal marriage with Scotts. Elizabeth responds with overthrowing a Catholic faction in Scottland and turning Scotts into allies. Mind not that the latter took two core English provinces. The Queen will think about it later.

Felipe then proclaims a guarantee that any country attacking Ireland will have to deal with Spain. Elizabeth nods and does nothing.

The King orders to seize French settlement in Mobile as an example to English settlers in Matagorda. The Queen ignores the warning an builds there a city.

Finally, fed up with threats, Felipe decides to hurt English where it always hurts them the most - he orders Spanish merchants (who still are not aware of the capitalism and free trade ideas) to overflow England with Spanish goods, disrupting English trade and hurting English banks. The Queen Elizabeth responds with planting potatoes in front of the Winchester Abbey.

In short, English swallow every insult and threat, take every step back possible and do not say a word even when Felipe breaks previously signed trade agreements. They will do what it takes to avoid the war.

Meanwhile, in 1592 Felipe II has two news, good and bad. Good: Eire becomes Spanish vassal and bad: Spain is bankrupt. Evidently, his attempts to disrupt English trade resulted with Spain being robbed of its needed resources. The country, rich in gold brought from America, had nothing to spend it on. Inflation sky-rocketed and the King had to spend a large part of the treasury (500,000 doublons) to bring the necessary goods back from the Dutch ports, where they were waiting to depart to England.

Consequently, the Dutch rebels became more active, as the beggars could not find any more Spanish goods to steal.

Later, when economy became more or less stable, His Catholic Majesty learned that while he was preoccupied with the bankruptcy, his Austrian relatives got their royal arse kicked by everybody in the neighborhood, including France, Saxony and Poland.

In 1596 the country again was in turmoil, as epidemic plague stole thosands of lives and scared millions of people. However, Felipe came out a winner as usual, as one of his secret lovers gave birth to a royal bastard. The populace rejoiced at hearing about the scandal at the royal family and the plague was quickly forgotten.

In 1598, as the country was still readying itself for the war with England (twenty years of preparation should spell a sure victory at the time of war), His Catholic Majesty Felipe II, King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Milan, Genoa and Netherlands, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, almost a sole ruler of the West Indies and the Defender of the One True Faith, quitely died in his bed. His many conquests were soon forgotten for his greatest gift to his country was peace.

He did not battle Turks - and the Christendom did not perish. He dreamed of ruling England by marriage and he was only better for failing (both English Queens were not that great compared to hot Portuguese princess). His mild policies toward Dutch did not result in immideate Catholic victory in Netherlands - not like it was possible anyway. Also among his failures was an ambitious project of punishing England, preparations for which lasted almost full twenty years. He failed in it too and probably for a good reason. No matter how good of a king one is, he should always remember to leave a piece of a pie to his descendants.
 
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nalivayko

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Privet, zemlyak. Ya sam s Mariupolya :)

Have a confession to make. Our aars are influenced by the readers :D. I started out trying to make all NA mine and playing relatively peaceful Spain in Europe. Now I am being forced :) to make Ukraine Catholic. mueller, your wish is my command :D

The other problem is that peace is boring. On the other side, being 'peaceful' for hundreed years made Spain so powerful that when she attacks hardly anybody dares to strike back. I've seen this before, at some point a country crosses a line where bb wars are not a threat anymore regardless of the bb score.

Today was a bad day. I worked 12 hours, relaxed at night, had a few drinks and couldn't control myself. The result is the glorious reign of Felipe III. Call him the conqueror ;)
 

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  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
Those who decline to convert are burnt at the stake. Those who agree, experience even worse: they are forced to pay taxes.
:D

Ive noticed that too, I rather like it, gives me more control on my wars, Ive also noticed when my army get below a certine lvl while at war everyone goes ape shit and DoWs me, made for some sticky situations.