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Estonianzulu

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I've decided to take up a CK AAR, as I have been playing the game for some time and yet never done one. Looking around I notice there is not a vast number of French AAR's, especially as the Capets themselves.

So, without further adieu...

Le Roi de la France
 

Estonianzulu

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Les Rois de la France
~~
Philippe I Capet- The long king

Part I- The Child King
PhilippetheBoyKing.jpg


Philippos, Greek for ‘lover of horses’ was a gift from Philip’s mother, Anne of Kiev. From his father he inherited something far greater, the crown of France. In 1060, Henry Capet, heir by right of arms to Robert II Capet, died at the age of 52. His eldest son had been born a mere 8 years earlier in 1052. This young boy was to become king when Henry died. Philippe, or Philip, was but a 7 year old child when he came to the throne in 1060. However, for 6 years his mother, Anne of Kiev, would rule in his name. It is therefore fitting that the true story of Philip begins in 1066, the year of the invasion. At aged 13, Philip became king in his own right, but he ruled a realm on the edge of destruction.

For years Philip’s father Henry had fought with William ‘the bastard’ of Normandy. William, son of Robert le Magnifique, legitimized by his father to be heir to the Norman lands, was the most contentious of Henry’s Dukes, and the late King had waged two wars with the military genius. When William conquered England, it was Philip who was left with the consequences. It was Henry de Clermont, Vicomte de Gien, who suggested a useful solution to Philip and his council. William, or whosoever called himself Duc de Normandie, would swear fealty to the King of France and would thus be called upon to support Philip in times of war. In return for this service, the Duc de Normandie would be given autonomy within his own realm.

HenrydeClermontChancellor.jpg

Vicomte de Gien, author of the ‘King’s Agreement’ between Philip and William.

It was in this way that England and France became staunch allies during the reign of Philip and William. Despite his rebellious nature, and Philip’s father’s wars, the two realms coexisted without conflict for the entirety of William’s reign as king.

TheKingsAgreement.jpg

The King’s Agreement

The other issue for Philip, and more specifically his Mother and Chancellor (a position newly given to the Vicomte de Gien) was that of his marriage. Across the continent a search for a bride of import was engaged. First came French courtiers, but Anne of Kiev, Philip’s mother, sought a more valuable bride. Sancho Jimenez, King of Aragon, had no heirs. His younger sister, who was 9 years Philip’s senior, was yet unwed. Both Anne and Henry de Clermont saw this opportunity and seized upon it. With a hansom dowry included, Philip was engaged to Sancha Jimenez, and their sons would thus have a claim to the crown of Sancho. It was a diplomatic coup that would have ramifications decades later. While conflict would follow this period of progress and security, for the time being the world of Philip was at peace.

QueenSancha.jpg

Sancha Jimenez, Reine de la France
 

Veldmaarschalk

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Sancha is ugly, but when she can bring in another kingdom who cares :)
 

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I agree, she's quite the...aha, horse.

I forsee little claim to the throne unless Philippe is willing to recreate with such a creature!
 

unmerged(60841)

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Well he doesn't have to look at her much fortunately. Hopefully the Jiminez boys don't manage to have any boys.
 

Estonianzulu

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Veldmaarschalk:Indeed; besides she also is fertile which is of even greater import. Gots to have me some heirs.

Drake Rlugia: Yep, this will certainly cause some conflict in the future; but alas with France as my kingdom, I've got to take care of my own vassals as well.

JimboIX: There were a lot of Jimenezes, they are just everywhere in Spain. Luckily the Moors can take care of some of them for me.

Belgian Fuhrer: Welcome aboard :)
 

unmerged(59077)

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So...what happened next?
 

Estonianzulu

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Tonight, been kind of busy but it is nice to have people calling for updates.
 

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Les Rois de la France
~~
Philippe I Capet- The long king

Part II Politics as usual

PhilipI.jpg


Philip was now King in his own right. His marriage to the Spanish princess went over poorly through much of the court. Sancha was a scholarly, quiet woman. Her companions were mostly Spanish courtiers who accompanied her to the French court. Nevertheless, within two months Sancha was pregnant. Philip celebrated by pressing forward with a policy proposed by his mother, one which would have far reaching consequences.

Philip, like his father before him, worried about the growing power of his vassals. Specifically, Guillaume d’Aquitaine, Duke of Poitou and Bordeaux worried Philip. Guillaume had considerable power in the South of France, including all of Philip’s lands on the Atlantic coast. Philip demanded Guillaume recognize Royal dominance over the vassals who declare loyalty to the duke of Bordeaux. Guillaume refused of course, but did so in a most public way. Walking into the young king’s court, Guillaume declared that the King had no right to demand such power, leaving Philip with a public black eye. It would be a slight not soon forgotten.

Kingsblackeye.jpg

The King’s black eye

Philip moved quickly, lest those vassals who had dreams of their own power break off. He quickly named Raoul de Valois Duke of Picardy, as well as Count of Amiens and the Vexin. The Valois family had spread through much of Northern France, and their allegiance was key to keeping Philip’s control of France in tact. Philip also declared himself Duke of Orleans and of Hainaut; minor titles to say the least but important in the eyes of many of Philip’s dukes. Philip was announcing to his court, and to the world, that he was King, and by right all his vassals and his vassals’ vassals were his.

Then, to further his point, he was given an heir. On April 13th 1070, Hugues Capet was born. Named after Philip’s brother, Hugues was displayed before the court at every major gathering. Philip had secured himself loyalty, even from the distant and powerful d’Aquitaines. With this power he turned abroad for proof of his power. In November of 1070, William the Conqueror sent his armies into Wales to settle a petty boundary dispute between barons. It meant war between the Duke of Gwynedd and the English. Philip, calling upon his need to support the Duke of Normandy, raised an army to help crush the Welsh. France was at war.

Next time: Those Petty Wars
 

unmerged(59077)

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Well, the Welsh shouldn't be a huge problem.
 

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Well, hopefully William doesn't kill them all before his liege lord arrives.
 

Estonianzulu

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RGB: Nope, but ever King needs to prove himself on the field as well as in the court. Might as well take on an easy foe and win, rather than risk loss at the hands of someone stronger.

JimboIX: That wont be too much of a problem, plent of killing to go around :)

Update in a few minutes.
 

Estonianzulu

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Les Rois de la France
~~
Philippe I Capet- Battle of the River Seiont

Part III- The Welsh War

WarwithWales.jpg


In November of 1070, William manufactured a claim to lands controlled by the count of Perfeddwind, and moved his army into the region to take said lands. The Duke of Gwynedd responded by calling his vassals and marching against the Conqueror. Philippe, eager to flex his personal military might, immediately called upon his barons and knights to bring men to his seat in Ill de France. Some 300 knights answered his call and brought with them levies of various size and strength. By March of 1071, Phillipe had set sail for Wales.

By the time his army arrived on the coast, William had already seen his army routed by the Welsh at the Battle of The Mere, where Welsh bowmen devastated the charge of British knights and men at arms over the muddy terrain. William, having been defeated, conceded defeat and agreed to peace with the Welsh duchy. With his armies removed, the Welsh were free to turn their full attention to the arriving French. However, the French army significantly outnumbered the forces of the Duke, and as such the Welsh were unwilling to give open battle on French terms.

BattleoftheSeiontRiver.jpg

The Battle of the Seiont River

However, the French immediately invested the Welsh cities along the coast; and Sir Adam de la Colline and his Occitan cavalry raided deep into Wales, burning and damaging much in their path. By the end of June the Welsh had to take the field and the two armies met on August the 11th, 1071. The two armies met near the Seiont River, at a bend to be precise. The French were forced to either cross slowly over the bridge, or go around. The Welsh set up a position around the bridge that would grant their archers a large field of fire. Philip, and his lord marshal, Louis de Saint-Denis, realized this and so set about a plan to counter this strategy.

The main French host would assemble to the south, and engage the Welsh from the front. However, Saint-Denis and de la Colline would swing wide and cross the river further to the South-East. They would march north with light infantry on their flanks, and strike at the Welsh rear. The plan worked well as the Welsh archers fired volley after volley into the infantry screens that surrounded the knights of de la Colline and Saint-Denis. When the French knights broke the flank and rounded the river bend, Philip led his own charge and crashed into the Welsh infantry. Surrounded, the Welsh had no option but to flee. It was a crushing victory as countless Welsh nobles were forced to surrender to the French and were held for ransom.

BattleMapofSeiontRiver.jpg

The Battle of the Seiont River
Red=English
Dark Brown=Welsh
Circle= Commander and entourage
Brown= road and bridge
Black Slash=Cavalry
Black Line= archers
 
Last edited:

unmerged(59077)

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Impressive victory...and nice to see the French defend Chivalry's honour.
 

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Well, the French and the English really laid it down on the poor Welsh there- hopefully William doesn't reap all the spoils. Nice update, I liked the battle map.
 

Estonianzulu

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RGB said:
Impressive victory...and nice to see the French defend Chivalry's honour.

Chivalry is all nice and good when you win an easy victory. Really it was about the money. The Duke was well off relieving him of some cash was not too bad.

JimboIX: Thanks! Im not concerned with blowing my reputation on lands I really have no desire to control. Far juicier plums sit far closer to my border.
 

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Looks to make an interesting read. There aren't enough CK AARs, IMHO.

And Sancha may not be the best looking girl out there but it seems like she's got huge... tracts of land. ;)
 

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Les Rois de la France
~~
Philippe I Capet

Part IV- Cost of War

Upon returning home from the Welsh War, Philip was greeted with a second son, Charles. Within a few weeks, Sancha was pregnant again. It seemed that Philip would have no end of heirs. So it was agree that for a time the young Hughes, heir to Philip’s crown, would be fostered in the care of the Duke of Bourgogne. Duke Robert’s son, Henri, was too old to be a foster but agreed to send one of his young sons to the royal court in return for the honor. However, this plan was destroyed when in November of 1072, young Prince Hughes died of a child hood fever.

At much the same time, Sancha’s father was under siege from one of his Spanish rivals, the King of Navarre. The war between the Jimenez’s, which began in December of 1071, would come to a conclusion by the end of 1072. Sancha’s father, Sancho, was defeated soundly by the Jimenez king of Navarre, who now proclaimed himself King of Aragon as well. Immediately Philip questioned the legality of such an act, claiming that the throne of Aragon show pass to the King’s heir, namely Philip’s son Charles. Philip claimed the title in his son’s name, but did not have the force to take the crown and its lands from the King of Navarre.

SanchoJimenez.jpg


Frustrated with his lack of progress in Spain, Philip turned his attention to a closer target. Artuad of Forez was an independent count straddling the lands loyal to the Emperor and to Philip. Philip extended a peaceful offer to the count, and the Emperor countered. Soon it became a bidding war between the two great powers. However, Philip would not let the struggle come to blows. He knew that a ground war against the German king was as likely to go the way of the Empire as France. So, Philip met with Henry IV, King of Germany, to resolve the issue. Henry himself was fearful of being involved in a war with the French, especially after his struggles with the Pope.

It was decided that each monarch would claim part of the lands of Forez. The 38 year old Count of Forez and Lyon was startled to discover the armies of France and Germany already in route to his lands. With his heavy lisp, the embattled count called his barons to raise their banners and march to his castle. Rather then let the French take their time in capturing his lands, Artuad struck first. The bold count struck north into the lands of Duke Robert. The surprised duke called what forces he could and rushed to battle. Artuad struck quickly, and met with the Duke and some of his vassals on a wooded stretch of land near Bourgogne.

BattleofBourgogne.jpg


Duke Robert sought to end the battle swiftly and skirted his main force around the woods which guarded Count Artuad’s flank. This is exactly what the count hoped for. As the Duke engaged Count Artuad’s main body, commanded jointly by himself and Baron John the Red of Lyon; Sir Roland, a vassal of Artuad, struck at the Duke’s rear. The Duke was cut off and slain by the overwhelming force. Count Henri, the Duke’s son, arrived too late with his men and two of the Duke’s vassals (Count Hughes de Bourgogne, Henri’s eldest son and count of Charolais; and Count Guillaume de Nevers, count of Nevers). However, their might was enough to push back Count Artuad and recover the body of the Duke. Meanwhile, three petty knights once loyal to Duke Robert; Sir Michael, Sir Joeffry and Sir William of the Wood; fled the field. This allowed Artuad’s right wing to take the flank and drive Count Henri from the field.

The first battle went to the Count; but King Philip would soon arrive with an army that would prove far more difficult to defeat.