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

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Avindian

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I love it when plans don't come together :cool:

I'm actually surprised as well that no one else guessed that. But that might be the reason I did guess it. As for the names? I've come up with an.... original new name for a girl.

Male: Maximilian von Hohenzollern
Female: Frederika von Hohenzollern

I'm liking the name General.

So Burkhard, youngest of Frederich III children. I'm expecting great things from him. Great things.

Quite ingenious, indeed, Gen. Marshall. :)
 

Avindian

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You going to get a character in my AAR as well Avindian?

Maybe; haven't thought about it yet, to be honest! So busy with my own AARs...
 

generalolaf

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You're so ridiculously close -- I'll give it to you. :) The part you had wrong was by default. I changed the filters so the tree would fit on one screen(ish). Dead males with no children are excluded (hence, Eugen doesn't appear. And no, Eugen is not the answer to the first question.) Elizabeth, one of Friedrich I's daughters, had a bunch of sons, but they're all Capets (one of them King of France!), so I left them out too.

Completely missed this - sorry!

Sigmund for a boy, Laura for a girl.
 

Avindian

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Completely missed this - sorry!

Sigmund for a boy, Laura for a girl.

Done; I'll play Wednesday night and have an update Wednesday or Thursday.
 

Avindian

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I've finished playing for the night, but I think I'm going to play until Xavier's reign is over. We'll say he's had a very productive reign thus far and leave it at that. :D

In any case, I should have an update soon; maybe tomorrow, but probably Thursday.

EDIT: You've no doubt noticed there's no updates yet. There won't be any new updates for this AAR until after the 1st of the year; enjoy whatever holidays you celebrate and I'll see you in 2013!
 
Last edited:

Leoric Braich

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Great AAR so far can't wait until for the rest :)
 

Avindian

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Great AAR so far can't wait until for the rest :)

Thanks! It'll be a pretty good ride, I can tell you that.

EDIT: The first official update of 2013 is coming Tuesday night, barring horrible unforeseen catastrophe.
 
Last edited:

Avindian

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Chapter 17: The great Bohemian revolt and a rare opportunity for the Hohenzollerns

26 December 1306, Schloss von Hohenzollern

Xavier I, the new Graf von Nürnberg, glanced at his father's bequest. Xavier had spent most of his adult life in the field, either as Marshal of Nürnberg or as one of its commanders. The idea of a throne room was somewhat bizarre to him, but it was an idea he would have to adjust it. The first part of his inheritance he examined was Gotteszorn. It was a quality weapon, from the well worn leather of the grip to the superb steel of the blade, but it was hardly what a person would expect from a supposedly legendary weapon. There was no shard of meteorite, no ancient lineage, not even an unusual origin. It was simply part of Friedrich III's dowry. Nonetheless, it was the badge of the Hohenzollerns, as much as the family coat of arms emblazoned on the shield that accompanied Gotteszorn. He also had 846 thalers and the same mission that had obsessed the Hohenzollerns since Friedrich I: seize the Duchy of Bayern and cripple the Wittelsbachs.

xavieristhenewcount.jpg


In order to achieve these goals, Xavier had to make sacrifices. When the Pope arrived to crown Xavier as the Graf, the new head of the Hohenzollerns took the opportunity to request a divorce from his elderly wife, Anna of Croatia. The Pope agreed, and even granted Xavier a special dispensation from his holy vows of chastity. The Hohenzollern family motto, after all, was Pro Deo et Familia, or "For God and Family." The only way to serve both parts of the family motto was to have more children.

divorcinghiswife.jpg


There was nothing wrong with Xavier's current heir, Christine, his only child of Anna's. Her husband, Prince Adarn of Hungary, provided a useful alliance and ensured that, if Christine could produce a male heir, the Hohenzollerns would remain intact.

theheirtoxavier.jpg


If she were Christian, and not Christine, in fact, she would be a perfectly acceptable heir herself. Unfortunately, several of Xavier's most prominent nobles had indicated that they would be displeased if a female were to inherit the throne of Hohenzollern. There was already the usual resentment from his brother Klaus and his nephew Peter, Klaus's son, at Xavier's ascendance to the throne. To preempt any chance of rebellion, Xavier appointed his cousin Gottfried to the Marshal's position. Gottfried was solid, if not exemplary, and under a war-minded Graf like Xavier, the post of Marshal was largely ceremonial. To calm his younger brother's fears, Xavier even promised to find Klaus a suitable title and lands as soon as he could.

Of course, any noble must deal not just with his vassals, but his liege lord as well. Ludwig III, Herzog von Bayern, offered Xavier a position as Bayern's Marshal. The Graf von Nürnberg quickly accepted, partially for the prestige such a title would bring, but mostly for the knowledge such an appointment would bring.

xavierismarshalofbavari.jpg


Xavier had no intention of being a docile subject.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
29 May 1308, Schloss von Hohenzollern

Elise d'Hauteville was understandably exhausted after the ordeal of childbirth. [1] The labor for Maximillian had lasted almost two whole days, but the Hohenzollerns finally had a male heir.

anewheirisbornforxavier.jpg


For such a momentous occasion, everybody had come to the castle to see little Max. Even her brother-in-law Klaus made an appearance, and given how much the two brothers disliked each other, that was something of an accomplishment. Their relationship had been upgraded from mutual distrust and loathing to mere forced civility, and it had taken the Barony of Erlangen and the post of High Almoner to get even that much out of Klaus.

klausisabaron.jpg


Elise's distant relative Simon had been married to a Hohenzollern, but Simon hadn't warned her about the infighting. Conversations with other nobles in the realm suggested the infighting was a recent development, and had arisen from Klaus's jealousy over his brother's looks, talents, and fortune. (Klaus, of course, told a very different story.) There was also the matter of an unwritten promise for Klaus to become court Steward upon Xavier beginning his rule that Xavier had not fulfilled. In Xavier's eyes, Baldemar was still Klaus's superior in terms of the comital finances. The different was subtle, in truth, but significant enough that Xavier felt, for reasons of the realm's security, that appointing Klaus was a bad idea.

Thankfully, Elise's only job was to raise Maximillian. Politics could be capably left to her husband.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
29 May 1310, Sicily

Xavier von Hohenzollern looked proudly but sternly upon his new son, Sigmund. Elise had insisted upon visiting her family while pregnant, and since his son had been born away from Nürnberg, there was always some danger that the lords of Nürnberg might impugn the child's birth in some way.

sigmundisborn.jpg


Xavier had spent the first three years of his reign simply improving his realm. He'd invested in a new city, named Gastein, in Salzburg, as well as other improvements to castles and cities throughout the five counties he held. Gastein was granted to Marshal Gottfried for his loyal and capable service.

cousingottfriedislordma.jpg


Before Xavier could strike against the Wittelsbachs, he needed the right opportunity. The best way to manufacture that opportunity was to foster a rebellion against them, but despite Chancellor Luitpold's best efforts, not a single lord had so much as complained. Of course, that was a clear sign of tyranny, but it wasn't tyrannous enough for the Kaiser to simply revoke the Duchy. Yet that very same Kaiser had refused Xavier's request to annex Krakow, which didn't leave the Hohenzollerns with many options. [2] Simply killing Ludwig III was far too risky, and the coward refused to engage in something more glorious like single combat. Xavier pursued every possible peaceful avenue of achieving his goals, but it was becoming clear that the only way to do that was to defeat Ludwig in the field.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
15 April 1311, Council Chambers, Nürnberg

Chancellor Luitpold von Hohenzollern coughed to get the other members of the council to quiet down. Graf Xavier had given him a critical task -- assess the realm's economic and military strength for "a major campaign", whatever that meant.

xavierscouncil.jpg


Of the council members, the only one normally in Nürnberg was Mayor Gottfried, the Marshal. He commanded the 2500 man retinue that was the first line of offense (and defense) for the realm. But on this day, everybody was present except for the Court Chaplain, Bishop Adolf. The Bishop was a close personal friend of His Holiness, and so spent most of his time in Rome. Normally, the Graf himself attended Council sessions, but his recent... attitude changes found him more often than not with his lady wife.

xavierisproud.jpg


xavierthehedonist.jpg


"Gentlemen, let us begin." Luitpold knew his task would be first, and part of him dreaded his report. "I have had no success in Niederbayern. It has taken all of my skill to simply remain alive, let alone successfully convince rogue nobles to join us in our struggle against the Wittelsbachs. I know of nothing more I could do." The other councilors muttered sympathetically; the Chancellor's job was often the most difficult.

The next to speak was Marshal Gottfried. "At present, we have 2500 men in the field. We have 400 light cavalry, 600 heavy cavalry, a small corps of 300 men-at-arms, and 1200 archers. The Graf's personal levies would add about another 1000 in time of war, not to mention the individual levies of each of the realm's nobles. Still, we are short on manpower, and would almost certainly need mercenaries to even the odds against the Herzog."

Baldemar von Hohenzollern, the oldest member of the council, smiled faintly. "I suppose it's my turn now. We presently have 396 thalers. I've been focused mostly in Salzburg, which has the highest tax revenues, but we get sizable contributions from each county. I should caution you that we almost certainly cannot afford mercenaries for any great length of time, unless they are the cheapest sort. If we can win this upcoming war without hiring them, that would be preferable."

The newly elected Mayor Hugo of Ortenburg, the Spymaster, had nothing much to comment on. He had been building a spy network in Oberbayern in case an attempt on Ludwig's life was revisited, but this network had no knowledge of military personnel or economic information. After his brief report, Chancellor Luitpold called for a vote. "Gentlemen, the question is: if we are to go to war soon -- and I think the Wittelsbachs are our most likely target -- can we win?" After a few moments, only Marshal Gottfried seemed confident of success. "Then I shall report this to the Graf. Barring some unforeseen miracle, I will caution him against war."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2 September 1311, München

Less than a month later, that exact miracle happened: the revolt in Bohemia.

thebohemianrevolt.jpg


Graf Xavier's first priority was driving the enemy out of Ulm, and did exactly that with the retinue and his personal levies. After battles in Ulm and Hohenberg, there was no longer a direct threat to Nürnberg. But there was one to the Wittelsbachs. 45,000 Bohemian soldiers had seized Niederbayern almost overnight. That almost certainly guaranteed that Ludwig III would be distracted. Although Bayern had more troops than Nürnberg, they had a tiny fraction of the troops Bohemia had; there would never come a better time to strike. That is exactly what Xavier I did. Chancellor Luitpold personally presented the declaration of war to Ludwig III. The Hohenzollerns would settle for nothing less than complete independence.

astabinthebacktothewitt.jpg


The Third War for Independence was joined.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
8 November 1313, Hohenberg

The squire had just turned fourteen; not quite a man, not quite a boy. His tasks were normally quite simple: help knights into their armor, ensure they had their favorite foods at banquets, find ladies of ill repute for such men as wanted them, and other such jobs. During war time, things were different. He was almost always a messenger, and lately, he'd delivered a lot of bad news. Privately, the lad had hoped that Graf Xavier's increased fascination with his wife would mean an abandonment of war.

inlovewiththewife.jpg


chastityisgone.jpg


There was even word that Countess Elise was pregnant yet again, but that, if anything, made Graf Xavier hungrier for war. A number of castles had already fallen -- Zweifalten was just the latest. The Graf hired two mercenary companies, but within a couple of months, the coffers would be empty -- the new Steward, Baron Simon, had a squire himself that the lad knew well. When the Zweifalten garrison surrendered, the young squire prayed that somebody else would have to deliver the message; he had no such luck. He approached Graf Xavier with some trepidation, as he sat in front of a map.

"My lord? News from Zweifalten."

Graf Xavier looked up with a frown. Under the very best of circumstances, Xavier was hardly the life of the party. He was severe, stiff, and above all uncompromising to anybody except his wife and children. This was obviously not the very best of circumstances, and while the squire didn't think he'd be killed for his message, he would probably lose a finger or two. "What is it, boy?"

"The lord commander has surrendered, sir."

Xavier nodded. "Very well, you are dismissed."

The squire, cowering in fear, suddenly realized no punishment was forthcoming. "Um... you did hear me, Graf Xavier?"

"Yes, boy. I'm not deaf. I have other preoccupations." Xavier gestured at his map.

luringthewittelsbachs.jpg


The Marshal looked kindly on the thoroughly confused messenger. "Son, this upcoming battle may determine the fate of both the Hohenzollerns and the Wittelsbachs. As you can see, Hohenberg is the centerpiece of Schwaben. By laying siege, we are forcing the Herzog to attack us."

"Isn't that bad? He has more men than the Graf."

The Marshal nodded, impressed with the lad's insight. "We have the river, and more importantly we have the Graf. Those count for more than numbers."

The boy was still worried, but he said nothing further. He simply found an unoccupied tent and laid down for a rest. The battle was coming, and everything would be over in a few hours.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[1] I never took a screenshot of Elise, so I have no idea what traits she has. I'm making all of this up. :)
[2] I hope this is the last time I make this mistake, since we still have Absolute Crown Authority, but I don't remember for certain one way or the other.

Since I've used up both character names, I need to start building a bank of more for when I play again (which will be in another four updates). The question this time is simple:

Who will win the upcoming battle, and how many casualties will there be on each side? You must get the result correct, and the person closest to the actual totals for both sides will win a character. The relevant numbers are visible in the last screenshot (11108 for me, 12667 for them). We'll make this a short contest -- 48 hours (or 2 AM on Friday (-6 GMT)). As always, please give people who haven't won a chance. If nobody is within a reasonable amount at the end of the period, I'll open it up to anybody.
 

Athalcor

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I haven't commented on this for a long time but I can assure you - the writing is still very formidable ;). The troop numbers are quite...high. It is probably because that I do not usually play in the 14th century. Also, who rules Bohemia and who is the member of their independence league (you know, patriotism for me)?

And the contest:

You win, 5000 causalities on your side and 7000 on theirs.
 

Sakura_F

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You'll probably lose by a margin because of your generals, but that depends on the Bavarian ones too.

I'd estimate most of your army being lost, aswell.
 

Caezaire

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You are going to win the battle. Casulties:
You: 4250
Prentenders on throne of Bavaria: 7500
 

Ricardo Rolo

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Apparently you finally learned to use mountains and rivers in your favour in CK II ;)

The result of the battle depends heavily of the Bavarian generals and of the morale of their army, but i think you have a pretty decent chance of winning. About losses ... any number is a pure guess , but I'm for 4500 for you and 7250 for them.
 

alhoward

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You win the battle, 3148 casualties on your side, 6529 on the part of the Herzog. But only if he actually attacks you, which I do not have complete confidence in.
 
Last edited:

Avindian

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How goes my character?

Still a child; I believe he comes of age in the next update.

As an added bonus, if anybody gets the casualties exactly right, you'll get a second character! (You may edit previous guesses, as you can be certain there are no nice round numbers. :))
 

Athalcor

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Still a child; I believe he comes of age in the next update.

As an added bonus, if anybody gets the casualties exactly right, you'll get a second character! (You may edit previous guesses, as you can be certain there are no nice round numbers. :))

I think I should report you - your discrimination of round numbers is outraging.
 

Avindian

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I think I should report you - your discrimination of round numbers is outraging.

Far be it for me to offend you. :)

More guesses! MOAR!