The rise of the Hohenzollerns, 1192-1399: A mega campaign beginning CK2 AAR

  • Crusader Kings II Expansion Subscription

    Subscribe to the CK II Expansion and enjoy unlimited access to 13 major expansions and more!


  • Paradox Midsummer Sale has arrived! Up to 75% off!

    Enjoy some sun and song this Midsummer, but when the sun goes down, the fun doesn't have to stop! Paradox has a festive sale on plenty of games to keep your summer nights going!


    June 18th - June 30th
  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Gen. Marshall

Generalfeldmarschall
5 Badges
Apr 29, 2012
3.742
49
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • March of the Eagles
  • Semper Fi
  • 500k Club
As a plea for advice, how important is army composition (or how the army is arranged?) Any tips there? The manual helps some, and I know roughly what is good for what, but I'm eager to learn more if there's something I missed.

Well, I'd guess the age-old "Cavalry on the flanks, infantry in the middle" would always work.

Avindian
Field Marshal
Demi Moderator

Congratulations on your apparent promotion, Avindian! :D
Now please remove those pesky adbots in the HOI3 AAR forum... ;)
 

Avindian

People's Commissar of the Navy
118 Badges
Jan 3, 2010
12.364
289
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • BATTLETECH
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Well, I'd guess the age-old "Cavalry on the flanks, infantry in the middle" would always work.



Congratulations on your apparent promotion, Avindian! :D
Now please remove those pesky adbots in the HOI3 AAR forum... ;)

Thanks very much! I'm not registered in the HOI3 AAR forum as a Demi-Mod, so you'll have to ask someone else (loki100 is one, off the top of my head.)

Re: your tactical suggestion, yes, you're probably right.
 

Brian Shanahan

Permanoob
87 Badges
Jul 14, 2012
209
57
www.facebook.com
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Revelations
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Sign Up
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Premium edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Deluxe edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
Suscribing to this AAR. The style is very nice, and the game looks fun.
 

Avindian

People's Commissar of the Navy
118 Badges
Jan 3, 2010
12.364
289
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • BATTLETECH
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete

alhoward

First Lieutenant
68 Badges
Feb 3, 2012
287
31
  • Semper Fi
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • March of the Eagles
  • Rome Gold
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
Numbers are the most important thing in battle, but it isn't as bad as it was pre-1.06. The important thing to recognize is numbers in each of the individual stacks are enormously important, at least as far as you are willing to micromanage battles. The morale of your troops is very important. Don't send your mercenary stacks in until their morale peaks, or they're useless. (I think you might have figured that one out on your own. :))

The skirmish phase almost always lasts for the greatest part of each battle, so archers are actually about equivalent in terms of damage/cost as heavy cavalry, but attrition doesn't care about troop composition, so in the late game it really doesn't make a difference.

As has been said, terrain bonuses are now fairly important, so don't let them screw you. Other than that, try to put your generals with good martial traits in charge and it doesn't hurt to match generals and their bonuses to the troop composition of a flank. Don't be afraid of the superstack (either yours or the enemy's), and don't lose battles with even odds.
 

Avindian

People's Commissar of the Navy
118 Badges
Jan 3, 2010
12.364
289
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • BATTLETECH
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Numbers are the most important thing in battle, but it isn't as bad as it was pre-1.06. The important thing to recognize is numbers in each of the individual stacks are enormously important, at least as far as you are willing to micromanage battles. The morale of your troops is very important. Don't send your mercenary stacks in until their morale peaks, or they're useless. (I think you might have figured that one out on your own. :))

The skirmish phase almost always lasts for the greatest part of each battle, so archers are actually about equivalent in terms of damage/cost as heavy cavalry, but attrition doesn't care about troop composition, so in the late game it really doesn't make a difference.

As has been said, terrain bonuses are now fairly important, so don't let them screw you. Other than that, try to put your generals with good martial traits in charge and it doesn't hurt to match generals and their bonuses to the troop composition of a flank. Don't be afraid of the superstack (either yours or the enemy's), and don't lose battles with even odds.

Sound advice! Thanks for the tips.

EDIT: As you're all no doubt eager for a new update, I'm letting you know it's coming tomorrow night.
 
Last edited:

Yenzen

Stagnant Descendant
48 Badges
Jul 23, 2012
3.642
5.320
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Divine Wind
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
The sad truth is that the best tactical advice for a beginner is that you should always outnumber your enemy at least 1,5:1 when attacking, 2:1 when crossing rivers and attacking mountains (but really, dont attack across rivers unless you're pursuing your enemy after having defeated them once or if you outnumber them greatly)

This also means always making sure you can field more troops than your enemy, preferably by mercenaries, before even declaring. You can compared army size in the ledger.

Checking general's specialties and ordering your troops in the right order can bring about victory if your enemy is your equal. Personally I prefer this never be the case by stacking the odds against them beforehand. Of course optimizing tactics is also a great idea to save troops, but I would rather not ever have to do it.

But when you're in a sticky situation, remember to use the terrain to your advantage. The HRE is full of rivers and the AI isn't very careful about crossing them:

ck2_236.jpg
 
Last edited:

Avindian

People's Commissar of the Navy
118 Badges
Jan 3, 2010
12.364
289
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • BATTLETECH
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Very helpful advice, Yenzen. Thank you!

The update has been delayed by other things; it should be ready tomorrow.
 

Avindian

People's Commissar of the Navy
118 Badges
Jan 3, 2010
12.364
289
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • BATTLETECH
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete

Avindian

People's Commissar of the Navy
118 Badges
Jan 3, 2010
12.364
289
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • BATTLETECH
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Alright, thanks. just wondering, because none of the threads I follow have had any activity today. was wondering if the forums broke or something.

Nope. In fact, I'm starting on the update now!
 

Avindian

People's Commissar of the Navy
118 Badges
Jan 3, 2010
12.364
289
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • BATTLETECH
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Chapter 12: The rise and fall of Ordulf the Mad

31 May 1261, outside the dungeon, München

Friedrich III squinted as the bright spring sun flooded his vision. He'd been the "guest" of Herzog Ludwig II for just under ten days. Although he'd been treated as gentlemanly as circumstances allowed, the fact was that Ludwig II had actually nearly executed the Graf von Nürnberg. Friedrich III had feared the worst when Ludwig refused to accept a very generous ransom for his release.

ludwigisajerkandwontrel.jpg


While he was imprisoned, his Uncle Ordulf served as Regent. While he did an acceptable job in the proper liege's absence, Friedrich had already received letters warning of very odd behavior from the heir-presumptive. Ordulf had even threatened to hang a loyal servant for "looking at him the wrong way." Fortunately, nine days was too short a time to do too much damage.

Earlier that morning, Friedrich III had met with Ludwig II. Apparently, some of Ludwig's vassals thought he'd been too harsh on Friedrich, and so the Herzog was going to parole Friedrich, lest he lose his own power base.

freedomko.jpg


Ludwig II looked incredibly unhappy, but didn't even demand that Friedrich never rise against his liege lord again; he merely warned the Graf that "the consequences of a second rising would be dire." In any case, Friedrich mounted the horse provided for him, grabbed Gotteszorn, and prepared to return home.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
14 June 1262, Schloss von Hohenzollern, Nürnberg

Not all of Friedrich's time in prison was wasted. In fact, his Steward and Chancellor had done a marvelous job keeping the Counties running while Ordulf was off doing this or that. Friedrich began to trust his subordinates more and more for the daily operations of his fiefs. [1]

learningacraftinprison.jpg


Deep in discussions with his father, who was still Spymaster, Friedrich tried to convince enough individuals to support a Hohenzollern claim for the Duchy of Bavaria; alas, most of Ludwig's retainers remained loyal, either out of fear or love. Of course, Friedrich also found other ways to pass the time as he prepared his next move.

xavierisborn.jpg


Xavier was Friedrich's first son (not counting Christine's boy Gottfried), and the apple of his father's eye. Ordulf would remain heir for now, but only until young Xavier was old enough to claim the position. This, naturally enough, put Ordulf in a difficult position, but that didn't affect Friedrich in the least.

At least, not yet.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
24 August 1263, the Drunken Squire, Nürnberg

Friedrich III made an important realization as time passed and his realm grew ever stronger: he would simply have to get better at managing money. When his grandfather's dilapidated tavern went up for sale -- the wild ass came back, it seemed, and wreaked further havoc, including kicking over a lantern and burning most of it down -- Friedrich decided he would learn from his predecessor's mistakes.

successfulinn.jpg


In addition, he received 30 thalers in interest from his new investors. [2] 95 thalers for a broken down old inn was a wonderful return, and he used part of this money to reward his loving wife for her fidelity and fertility. [3]

buyingagift.jpg


Christine fell even more madly in love with her husband, and everything was, for a brief shimmering moment, absolutely perfect. The Hohenzollern name was still a bit tarnished, that much was true, but the first step to erasing that was self-improvement.

Then Ordulf demanded a title. A demand that Friedrich would have to eventually honor.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
15 July 1265, Passau

Friedrich III had greatly underestimated his uncle's drive for glory and eliminating his rivals. In the beginning of 1265, Ordulf presented his nephew and liege with an ultimatum: give him the County of Passau or suffer the consequences.

ordulfiscount.jpg


Ordulf had no children, so the fief would almost certainly revert to Friedrich on Ordulf's death. Passau was a powerful county in its own right, but not so powerful that Ordulf could challenge Friedrich's claim to Salzburg or Ulm. It was making the best of a bad situation, an important task for leaders everywhere.

Friedrich briefly turned his attention to his cousin Peter, who'd just matured. Peter was Kassandra's son, and as virtuous as his mother was a bit unsettled; he was also a complete dullard. However, he seemed to have inherited his mother's looks, and a very fruitful match was made between Peter and Princess Violante of Castille. Unfortunately, that meant Friedrich was distracted when Ordulf unleashed his master plan.

ordulfistotallynuts.jpg


Ordulf intended to put a drinking buddy, Stefan, on the Ducal Throne of Bayern. Friedrich humored his uncle and joined Ordulf's faction, as for Friedrich, anybody was better than Ludwig II. The Graf von Nürnberg wasn't stupid enough to think that Ordulf would actually succeed, and in any case, Friedrich was still in a truce with Bayern. [4] Completely unaware of Ordulf's plans, who was actually Ludwig II's Chancellor, the Herzog von Bayern named Friedrich III High Almoner, a great honor, as a way of mending fences.

highalmoner.jpg


So, of course, Ordulf decided to declare war on Bayern. Friedrich couldn't honor Ordulf's request, even if he'd wanted to. What on earth is Ordulf thinking? thought Friedrich III. How can he do with one county what I couldn't with four?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
27 January 1266, Passau

The short answer? Ordulf couldn't. It was a particularly cruel irony that Ludwig ordered Friedrich to lead the final siege on Passau himself. Friedrich had become well renowned as a leader of Cavalry, which proved Ludwig had appointed Friedrich purely out of spite, not even out of military necessity.

cavalryleader.jpg


Friedrich had enough troubles at home to deal with without being forced to betray his family. Ordulf's insane actions eroded the support of the electors of Nürnberg, with Mayor Leopold of Dürmberg the new favorite. Only Friedrich's own vote kept Ordulf as the favored heir; that would not last if Ludwig were to declare Ordulf a traitor and execute him. Ludwig could even seize the County of Passau for himself, a nightmare scenario for Friedrich. The Graf von Nürnberg had finally married off his aunt Kassandra to a d'Hauteville, of all people, after her ex-husband met with another unexplained accident. Prince Simon was young and handsome, so perhaps this marriage would last for a while. Now, part of Friedrich wished he could convince Kassandra to deal with Ordulf.

Friedrich had to consider his personal situation first, though. He paid 10 thalers to release a very skilled General, Poppo, from Count Nicholas of Chester and proceeded to name Poppo to his personal bodyguard. Poppo would play a large role in events to come, but for the moment, Friedrich just wanted an actual engineer to assist him with the plans to take Passau.

If Ordulf survived this idiotic war, Friedrich swore he would cut his uncle out of the Hohenzollern family.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6 April 1266, the dungeons of Bayern, München

A guard sneered as Friedrich III approached the gates of Ludwig's castle. "What's the matter, Hohenzollern? Miss your old friends? I'm sure we can find you a warm place to sleep if you're homesick." The other guards barked with laughter.

Friedrich gritted his teeth and bore the humiliation with as much grace as he could. "I'm here for Ordulf."

"Oh, Ordulf the Mad? What do you want him for?"

"I'm sure I don't know, but he is still my uncle."

The guards, after they saw Friedrich wouldn't rise to the bait, motioned for Ordulf to be brought out.

ordulfisfreeagain.jpg


Ordulf had a huge smile on his face. "Ah, nephew! Ready to strike at the Wittelsbachs again?"

Friedrich urgently waved his uncle out of earshot of the guards. "Ordulf, are you completely insane?"

A worried look crossed Ordulf's face. "I'm not sure. Am I? I hope not."

Friedrich, with no conceivable response to that, simply continued. "Anyway, war is the last thing on my mind. Let's get you back to Passau."

Ordulf nodded vigorously. "A fine plan, Friedrich! There, we shall hatch a new plot to overthrow our hated foe!"

"No, we won't."

Ordulf was aghast at his nephew's bald-faced denial. "But our enemies remain in position of that which is rightfully ours! One defeat is surely no significant obstacle!"

"Ordulf, you buffoon, we can't win right now. Thanks to your insane idea that I give you a county, I don't even have the manpower myself to unseat Ludwig. To make matters worse, now we both have a truce with the scum!"

"Friedrich, have you gone soft? I tell you this much, when I'm Graf von Nürn-"

"You won't be. I've named my son heir while you were... indisposed."

changingheirs.jpg


"But nobody will support you?"

"Right now, the electors all want that idiot Mayor to inherit the throne, because they all think you're a nut. The Hohenzollerns are my first priority, not your bizarre vendetta over a man who's barely even talked to you."

Ordulf, now beside himself with rage, drew his sword. "You leave me no choice; I challenge you a duel, you betrayer!"

"Oh, grow up. You're my damned uncle, but I'll kill you on the spot, and you know I can. Put it away."

Ordulf made as if to attack Friedrich, then sheathed his weapon, mounted his horse, and rode off for Passau. Friedrich III simply shook his head and made his own way back to Nürnberg.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
8 April 1268, Jerusalem

Friedrich III was awed by the splendor before him. He'd never been to the Holy Land, or indeed out of the Holy Roman Empire, his entire life. He'd ridden ahead of his men to speak with the Papal Commanders in Jerusalem. Pope Marinus I wanted all Christians to seize the remainder of the Holy Land for the Cross.

crusade2.jpg


While Friedrich III waited for Ordulf to die and/or his truce with Bayern to expire, the Graf von Nürnberg devoted himself to domestic affairs. He was forced to arrest Bishop Martin of Zweifalten for his... obsession with the Waldensians. The idiot had even asked Friedrich to convert, which he naturally rejected immediately. Friedrich named his cousin Baldemar, the Baron of Zollern, Cupbearer to the Graf von Nürnberg. With that action, he secured the election of his son, Xavier, to the offices Friedrich possessed if Friedrich should happen to fall in battle. With his lands secured, Friedrich grew restless, and the Pope's call for a Crusade came at the perfect time.

Friedrich vowed to lead his troops into battle, to smite the infidels, and to return with the Hohenzollern name shouted on the lips of every bard, every historian, and every commander for years to come. To, in other words, earn the respect that Friedrich's family deserved.

It is no wonder that Friedrich III, apart from his many other accomplishments, would be known to history as Friedrich the Crusader.

imacrusader.jpg

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[1] This event fires twice during the course of this update.
[2] I chose the bard and 10% salt this time; I got 15 gold for each, in addition to what you see in the picture.
[3] These two events actually happened in reverse order; grant me a little poetic license, please. :)
[4] I wonder if this might not be a bug; in any case, my hope was that, if war did come to pass (and I was still in a truce with Bavaria), he'd focus on Ordulf. I was unable to participate, sadly.

The next update should come next week; this semester is just about over, and I'll have lots more time to update soon, or so I hope.
 

varetta

Major
84 Badges
Dec 11, 2010
569
134
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Surviving Mars
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • BATTLETECH
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings III
  • BATTLETECH - Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Battle for Bosporus
Great update!!!
I hope Xavier won´t become a full idiot or homosexual or... because with the precedents in others children anything could happen... :D:D
 

Avindian

People's Commissar of the Navy
118 Badges
Jan 3, 2010
12.364
289
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • BATTLETECH
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Great update!!!
I hope Xavier won´t become a full idiot or homosexual or... because with the precedents in others children anything could happen... :D:D

Without giving too much away for future updates, so far, so good. :D
 

Michaelangelo

Archaeopteryx
137 Badges
Feb 3, 2011
7.872
1.249
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • 500k Club
  • Humble Paradox Bundle
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
I'm starting to wonder if Ludwig II is a little soft in the head. You've rebelled against him and plotted his murder multiple times, yet he keeps giving you titles. He's practically asking for you to usurp him. :p
 

Avindian

People's Commissar of the Navy
118 Badges
Jan 3, 2010
12.364
289
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • BATTLETECH
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
I'm starting to wonder if Ludwig II is a little soft in the head. You've rebelled against him and plotted his murder multiple times, yet he keeps giving you titles. He's practically asking for you to usurp him. :p

If only he would, I'd take him up on it!
 

Avindian

People's Commissar of the Navy
118 Badges
Jan 3, 2010
12.364
289
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • BATTLETECH
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete

Avindian

People's Commissar of the Navy
118 Badges
Jan 3, 2010
12.364
289
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • BATTLETECH
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Chapter 13: The Hohenzollerns take up the cross

1 September 1268, Schloss von Hohenzollern, Nürnberg

Friedrich the Crusader found his crusade cut short rather abruptly. As a result of the Battle of Krak de Moab, he was seriously injured. Although he captured a key infidel leader -- Sheikh Adhid of Buhairya -- his "reward" was a serious stab wound that just barely missed puncturing a lung.

defeatedbutgotaprisoner.jpg


frediiiwounded.jpg


That Friedrich III survived was a minor miracle in and of itself, but it also got him thinking about the future. Friedrich was hardly an old man, just 35, but his great-uncle Konrad had died even younger than that. He decided to devote his next few years to raising his son and heir Xavier; just before he departed for the Holy Land, he'd officially confirmed his son as heir.

xavierisofficiallyheir.jpg


He took on Xavier's education himself, the better to make sure that his son would be a capable ruler when the time came.

Just as long, of course, as that time wasn't too soon.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
23 January 1269, a tournament, Wien

While Friedrich III was now too injured to enter combat, as the six-inch scar on his chest demonstrated clearly, he never lost his appetite for competition.

fredisscarred.jpg


Therefore, when the announcement for a small tournament, held in Wien, was made, Friedrich saw two opportunities. First, he could expose his son to a new environment; for a 7 year old, little Xavier was quite the talker.

xaviergregarious.jpg


Second, of course, he could impress Christine. Christine was a little uneasy about Xavier; she'd apparently had some illusions that her own son, Gottfried, would have a place in the succession. She was more than willing to let Friedrich raise Xavier, but the Graf was not a heartless man. He still wanted his wife to love him, to be the mate and partner he desperately needed. His victory in the tournament restored her favor, at least somewhat, but he simply had no idea how he could completely eliminate his wife's jealousy over her own son.

fredisduelist.jpg

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
18 June 1269, Jerusalem

When Marshal Gottfried died at the age of 79 from his war wounds, the competition to become the new Marshal was quite fierce. Nominally, the Chancellor was the Graf von Nürnberg's right-hand man, but Friedrich the Crusader had always trusted Gottfried von Naumburg. After all, Gottfried had an important role in raising the young Graf. Svein, the Chancellor, was hardly ignored, but in a crisis, Friedrich III was much more likely to listen to his Marshal than anybody else.

It is easy to imagine, therefore, how furious many of the nobility were when a commoner was given the post.

poppoismarshal.jpg


Poppo was an unusual fellow. Perhaps the most succinct way to describe him was "warrior-monk", given his vows of chastity, humility, honesty, and moderation, yet he mistrusted all priests. He'd fought in the Crusades only to prove his loyalty to the man who had spent 10 thalers to get him out of prison. Growing up with next to nothing made him painfully aware of the wealth and status of others, and when he encountered most men of "good breeding", he could only writhe in silent rage at their excesses. He was ugly to boot.

He was also the finest soldier in the entire Hohenzollern realm, and for Friedrich III, that was all that mattered.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11 September 1269, Nürnberg

Marshal Poppo faced an uncomfortable situation when he returned home; after all, his entire force had been routed. Yet a new opportunity to prove himself would not take long. The Kaiser offered considerable rewards to anybody who could assist in suppressing the rebellion of Graf Otto von Leiningen; Otto was also Count of Firenze, Pavia, and Spoleto. The Kaiser's armies were focused on Italy, which left Leningnen to Nürnberg. Poppo would plan the entire operation; Friedrich III was busy with his new daughter, Anna.

annaisborn.jpg


The Kaiser had promised a "suitable reward" for whomever captured Otto; alive was the preferable state, but not mandatory. For Poppo, that meant a Duchy for his lord and, maybe, adoption into the Hohenzollerns. With Friedrich's blessing, he raised a new retinue and began composing lists of the finest warriors in the realm to fill the Graf's levies.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
30 August 1271, Nürnberg

Raising little Xavier was proving to be quite tasking for Friedrich III, and with the death of his father, Norbert, the Graf lacked the moral compass that had always guided him.

fatherisdead.jpg


Friedrich the Crusader knew that a lot rested on Xavier, particularly since he had very definite plans about the future of the realm and its laws. To make sure his son was prepared to rule someday, Friedrich spent a lot of time and energy on showing his son the right path. When he caught Xavier doing unmentionable things to a rat in the dungeons, instead of strict discipline, Friedrich tried to impress upon his son the importance of morals. Friedrich wasn't sure if it made a difference, but at least Xavier let the rats be. [1]

xavierthetorturer.jpg


Xavier became even more important as an heir, given that Ordulf continued to press his bizarre claims to install his friend Stefan on the throne of Bayern. Xavier was the only other male in the Hohenzollern line at the moment.

The Graf wasn't the only man trying to mold the future heir. In fact, Marshal Poppo impressed some of his own values on Xavier, to great effect.

xavieristemperate.jpg


Poppo had easily restored his reputation by successfully routing Graf Otto's army and making significant progress in taking Leiningen; his prowess impressed even his biggest detractors. That, and his age (45). It was clear a new Marshal would be chosen, and sooner rather than later.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6 February 1272, München, Bayern

Friedrich III had, briefly, forgotten about the eternal debt of vengeance he owed the Wittelsbachs. He'd even abandoned his attempts to create a claim for himself to the Duchy of Bayern. All Friedrich cared about was his son, who was proving an excellent student. He'd shown both bravery and ambition in his lessons, key attributes for a future ruler.

xavierisambitious.jpg


xavierisbrave.jpg


Friedrich had even used a sizable portion of the ransom he'd earned for releasing the Sheikh -- 100 thalers -- to hire a private tutor for Xavier. That was until Friedrich of Fürth, the Spymaster, learned of a devious plot being prepared by the Herzog von Bayern.

ludwigtriestostealmycou.jpg


This apparent treachery so infuriated the Graf that he almost ordered the execution of his Mayors for asking, quietly, for lower taxes.

nicetrymayors.jpg


Instead, Friedrich devoted his energies to ridding the world of Ludwig II. He spent 250 thalers to have the Herzog killed, but alas, they failed. Thankfully, they had the decency to die before revealing the Graf's plans, but Friedrich was more committed than ever. He sent his Spymaster to begin drumming up support against Ludwig II, with little success. Friedrich had all but given up hope until he received a very interesting invitation.

backingaplot.jpg


Although the Crusader greatly preferred to kill his enemies himself, one less Wittelsbach in the world was a worthy goal, no matter how it happened.

Especially this Wittelsbach.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2 April 1276, Nürnberg

For all Friedrich's scheming, his plans had little fruit. He'd betrothed Xavier to Princess Anna of Croatia, but since that diplomatic coup, he'd achieved virtually nothing. He began to despair of ever accomplishing his goals.

xavierthedepressed.jpg


Things just got worse when the Kaiser, despite Marshal Poppo's contributions to the defeat of Count Otto, refused to grant any titles to Friedrich. The Graf von Nürnberg had spent a lot of money trying to get the Kaiser to like and support him, but in the end, all the Kaiser cared about was maintaining his own power. Nothing seemed to cheer up the beleaguered Friedrich. He'd even stopped spending as much time with his son, preferring to practice his swordplay, read, or simply just take walks in the gardens.

Then he met Anna. Anna was the wife of Marshal Poppo, but before that, she'd been one of Gräfin Christine's maids, dating back to Christine's first marriage. That gave her the unique ability to help Friedrich cope with his wife's increasingly erratic behavior. Friedrich didn't need another woman in the physical sense, but just a sympathetic ear and friend. Anna was exactly that, and over time, Friedrich's mood improved. Even the failure of the Second Crusade of Jerusalem could not dampen his spirits.

annastopsthedepression.jpg


With his vigor renewed, Friedrich III finally ended the uncertainty of the elective monarchy his grandfather had imposed. Instead, henceforth, the oldest son of the ruler would be the heir. There would be no more political cliques, no intrigue, no maneuvering. There would be one stable line of succession until the end of time (or the Hohenzollerns, whichever came first.)

primogenitureisthelawof.jpg


Xavier would, with the grace of God, be Graf von Nürnberg, Ulm, und Salzburg someday.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[1] I got the 10% which gave me nothing this time.

We'll have two more updates before I'm caught up, but I can't say exactly when I'll update next. This week and next are awfully busy, with the semester coming to an end. I'll try to squeeze in one more update this weekend, if I can.