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GreatUberGeek

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Hello everybody, as my Austrian AAR sadly ended due to a broken save, I have started this one!
The basic concept is that each chapter will be the reign of each king/queen. Sometimes one chapter will have many updates.
Let's set some house rules.
1. No cheating (though I can't figure out how to anyway)
2. Traditional English wars, aka England vs. Scotland and England vs. France. Try and get at least one of these wars for each ruler.
3. Make the Normans survive!
4. However, if they don't, then keep onplaying as the next dynasty.
5. Unfortunately, this means no ironman.
6. It's starting in the "William the Conqueror" start date, as I don't want to face Hardrada. :(

An update will be up sometime soon, a summary of pre-Norman history. :D
 

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GreatUberGeek

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You picked the wrong part of Britain, my friend...
Dang, I completely forgot! :( Sorry, Chalk. Maybe next time? ....
EDIT: Apologetic map:
 
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It will be interesting to see where you take England.. from my experience, it's pretty tough to retain control of England as the Godwins... The Norwegian army can batter you quite remarkably...
 

GreatUberGeek

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It will be interesting to see where you take England.. from my experience, it's pretty tough to retain control of England as the Godwins... The Norwegian army can batter you quite remarkably...
Sorry, I'm actually playing as de Normandie! I really should specify...and change the title...sigh. :(
 

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Britain before 1066: a summary

Prehistoric and Antiquity Britain

Britain was, according to archaeologists, connected to Europe at one point. Historians and archaeologists know that Britain has been inhabited since 900-800 thousand years ago, as they have discovered prehistoric tools at Happisburgh in Norfolk especially, which may date back to that time. But the most hard-hitting evidence of migration to Britain is a site in Boxgrove, West Sussex. Several hominid fossils were discovered there, along with many tools and evidence of early hunting. After each glacial period, human migration stopped, but then soon resumed. Somewhere during the Devensian period (around 110,000 to 12,000 years ago), homo sapiens first arrived in England, but didn't come to Ireland until 7,000 BCE.
The Neolithic Age, or New Stone Age, started around 4,000 BCE, when agriculture arrived in Britain. It was also around this time that Britain and Ireland were separated from mainland Europe. Agriculture was mainly supplemented by hunting and gathering until 2500 BCE. The most memorable part of prehistoric Britain is the ancient monuments, especially Stonehenge.
Little is known about Stonehenge, except that it was built mainly in 2150 BCE and was a large burial mound. Stonehenge can be used as evidence that Britain around 2000 BCE was much different than when hominids first began to arrive. There was strong central authority, technological expertise, and marked by "human endeavors."[SUP]1[/SUP]
The Iron Age started around 800 BCE, and during this period one can see the emergence of the Celts. They remained very much in contact with their European brothers, with the main European Celts even threatening Rome directly in 390 BCE. IT was a process of assimilation that led to the Britons becoming more Celtic. An important mark of Celtic culture in Britain is the appearance of hill forts in the Isles. This age also is connected to the rise of British culture. Many cultural items have been found in Britain, such as the Battersea shield and the Thames helmet.
However, the Romans were never too far away. In 55-54 BCE they came crashing down on Britain's doorsteps. Julius Caesar was busy subjugating the Gallic tribes. One of the kings revolted, and it was most likely that he received support from the Britons. Caesar led a punitive force to Britain. His first invasion was close to failure. In one battle, his cavalry divisions were destroyed, and then one of his legions was "severely mauled by an ambush".[SUP]2[/SUP] He quickly declared the invasion a success, as he had captured several key cities, and hurried off to Gaul. The next year he returned, with even more troops. The main British tribe, the Trinovantes, effectively became a client-state of Rome. But there would not be a true "Roman" invasion until 43 CE, when the emperor Claudius ordered an invasion. They quickly took Britain over, with only several tribes remaining truly independent.
Eventually, Christianity and Roman life would be brought to the Isles. Unfortunately, since this is a short summary, I cannot provide more details. Needless to say, Britain was fully integrated. At the time when they were perhaps most integrated, a terrible thing happened. Rome fell in 476, causing chaos. The most lasting effect on Britain was the lack of efficient administration for 600 more years, until the Normans. The Anglo-Saxons, tribes from Northern Germany, invaded soon. Britain at the time was divided by numerous petty kings, all fighting for control. The most famous is Vortigern. The Welsh writer Gildas despised him and said that he was an "arrogant usurper" and that the Saxons were "hated by men".[SUP]3[/SUP] Though a slightly biased source, Gildas is one of the few primary sources on Dark Ages Britain; for, yes, it was the Dark Ages.
Hengist and Horsa, the two main Saxon leaders
Vortigern gave Hengist and Horsa land in Kent, and it grew from there. The Saxon invasion was terrible for the British people. They took advantage of the turmoil and disorder of Dark Ages Britain. From there, the Saxons would go on to rule Britain. The most powerful king was Offa, King of Mercia, who lived 757-96 CE. His kingdom was the most powerful Saxon kingdom. However, in the 830s his land would be attacked by the new power of Wessex and the Scandinavian raiders known as the Vikings.
The first Viking raid on England was in 793 CE at Lindisfarne, 794 at Jarrow, then Iona in 795, and then no more invasions for 40 years. However, when the Vikings came back, it was much worse. After 835, the raids increased in frequency. It culminated in a "Great Heathen Army" that attacked Northumbria in 865. Led by the fearless Viking warrior Ivar the Boneless, it smashed the English armies. The Vikings would continue to be a thorn in the English side for generations after. The one example of resistance is King Alfred, commonly known as Alfred the Great. In the 870s, Wessex (his kingdom) was invaded by the Great Heathen Army. In the 877 Battle of Edington, Alfred gave the Vikings a decisive defeat. The English were finally beginning to regain their territory.

Notes​
[HR][/HR]
1. Dorling Kindersley, Definitive Visual Guide to the History of Britain and Ireland
2. Ibid
3. Gildas, The Ruin of Britain
[HR][/HR]
Well, that's all for now, but rest assured, the rest will be up soon! :)
 
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volksmarschall

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I will now hold you to the high standard of this history book since you are writing a history of England/Britain! :p

Well, good luck to you GuG, hopefully this AAR is the one that you can call your masterpiece (or better yet, one of!). ;)
 

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I was beginning to wonder if and when I would see a CKII AAR from you :) Looking forward to this, as the one's you've done over in EUIV were always quite good.
 

GreatUberGeek

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Looking forward to this! As a British history buff, I always appreciate a good British AAR!
Thanks for the almost-entirely-undeserved praise! :p Same.
I was beginning to wonder if and when I would see a CKII AAR from you :) Looking forward to this, as the one's you've done over in EUIV were always quite good.
I was beginning to wonder if and when I would see a comment from you. :p Thanks!

I will now hold you to the high standard of this history book since you are writing a history of England/Britain! :p

Well, good luck to you GuG, hopefully this AAR is the one that you can call your masterpiece (or better yet, one of!). ;)
Thanks, volkie! (Hopefully I can call you that now) I haven't read that one, but my two main sources are DK History of Britain and Ireland and Rebecca Fraser's Story of Britain (see where I got the title?). Tell me more...;) I would like this one to be my masterpiece, but Fiat was supposed to be so oh well...:(
 

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England, from Alfred to Harold​

English borders were oftentimes messy affairs, and this is shown by a map of England after the Treaty of Wedmore in the year 878.
Wessex was on the up-and-up, but still had many challenges. The 'Danelaw' was the largest and most fearsome of them all. Nominally controlled by Denmark, in reality it was governed by local Viking raiders. They continually raided over the border, making them constant nuisances. In response, Alfred strengthened both the navy and the army. Extensive reforms for both led to a victory over the Scandinavians in 882, where Wessex captured two Viking ships (nearly impossible thanks to Scandinavian naval superiority). Around hte same time, Alfred also constructed a seminal part of the English defense plan: the burhs, or 'boroughs' today.
The small forts were instrumental in hindering any Viking invasion, and the main reason for English survival. The lasting legacy of Alfred was twofold: he saved England from becoming effectively Scandinavian, and he established an English national identity. He became one of England's national heroes, still celebrated today. He is equal only to Boadicea in this, and accomplished much more. His biographer Asser says, "He was superior...both in wisdom and in all good habits...victorious in almost all battles."[SUP]1[/SUP]
On October 26, 899, Alfred the Great died, leaving behind an immense legacy. His nephew, Æthelwold, immediately revolted against Alfred's son, Edward the Elder, but was decisively defeated. Edward was a fine king, who expanded Wessex even more. Some even say that he and his son, Athelstan, did more to save England than Alfred ever did. There is some substance to those claims. Edward subjugated much of the North, while Athelstan essentially united England. They both expanded the burh system and stopped Viking invasions. Athelstan even referred to himself as "Imperator Orbis Britannie", or 'emperor of the whole world of Britain.' However, his death in 939 almost unraveled all that success. A renewed Viking invasion almost made Wessex lose all it's newfound territory under Edmund, Athelstan's brother. It took until 942 for Edmund to push them back. One last threat came from York, or Jorvik, under Erik Bloodaxe. [SUP]2[/SUP] But he was quickly pushed back. By the year 980, England seemed safe.

a modern representation of Athelstan[SUP]3[/SUP]
But it was a mirage. By the 980s, Viking raids appeared with frightening frequency. The attacks, coupled with domestic instability following the accession of Æthelred 'the Unready', created a volatile environment. in 991, Æthelred agreed to pay the Danegeld, or 10,000 pounds of silver. He was persuaded by Archbishop Wulfstan and a huge Viking army that had already destroyed an English army. Instead of stalling the Vikings, it simply attracted more raiders. The Danegeld rose higher in 994, 1002, 1007, and 1012, until it was five times the original payment. This led to increasing panic. It culminated in the St. Brice's Day Massacre on November 13, 1002. The King ordered the massacre of all Norse in England. However, this just led to an even larger invasion in 1003, led by King Sweyn of Denmark. For every year until 1012, the Vikings returned to ravish the English country. In 1012, a prominent Viking, Thorkell the Tall, defected to the English because of the vicious murder of Archbishop St. Aelfeah by a Viking band. However, the next year he came back to the Vikings. This led to an interesting period of complete Viking rule over England.
Æthelred the Unready​
In 1013, King Sweyn Fork-beard of Denmark took control of England in October. Æthelred fled to France, unwittingly confirming Sweyn's legitimacy. Unfortunately for the fledgling kingdom, Sweyn died in early 1014. It led to a brief respite, where Æthelred returned. But Sweyn's heir, Canute, came back in 1015. He created many new earldoms, and rewarded the earldom of Wessex to a very important player in this drama, Godwine. Canute's rule was made even more secure by the lack of any (credible) Anglo-Saxon heir and his marriage to Emma, Æthelred's widow. When he died in 1035, it seemed secure. But it was not to be. Canute's probable heir, Harald Harefoot, lost England to his brother Harthacnut. Harthacnut only was king of England and Denmark for two years, and then an Anglo-Saxon came to the throne, ending the last Viking triumph.

King Canute
The new king was Edward the Confessor, so named for his extreme piety. He faced constant threat from Scandinavian aggressors. By 1050, all claims had evaporated. But he was still not secure. Many Anglo-Saxon magnates-for Edward was more a product of the Norman court than the English countryside-were more powerful than Edward. The most powerful, and perhaps the richest, man in England was not the King but the aforementioned Earl Godwine. A power struggle ensued in 1051 when partisans of Godwine urged the election of his candidate, while Edward appointed a Norman, Robert of Jumiéges, as Archbishop of Canterbury. Godwine, frustrated by his lack of success, turned to other courts, including the Count of Flandres. He was even briefly exiled in 1053, but arrived with such force the Edward rescinded his banishment and displaced the Archbishop. That same year, Godwine died and was succeeded by his son Harold. In 1065, during the last years of Edward's reign, there would be one last crisis. Harold's brother Tostig, Earl of Northumbria, faced a revolt. The peasants overthrew the oppressive ruler[SUP]4[/SUP] and replaced him with Morcar, the Earl Edwin of Mercia's brother. The peasants were so strong Harold was forced to let Morcar remain. Edward's wishes were mainly ignored during this time, but he was close to death anyway. In January 1066, he died. His successor would Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon king.
Notes
[HR][/HR]
1. Asser, Life of Alfred
2. Erik Bloodaxe is a very interesting character, and I recommend you check him out. His career was long and varied, from Africa to Norway.
3. Bonus cookie if you can guess where this is from!
4. Real life example of the negative effects of tyranny diplomatic malus.​
Dun-dun-dun! Cliffhanger! One more 1066 summary and then finally gameplay, I promise. Don't expect that much in the way of images, however...
 

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Subbed

Question GUG: is the actual game starting in 1066? I am assuming yes
 

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Don't know how to directly link to a post yet, so if anyone knows...

Thanks, volkie! (Hopefully I can call you that now) I haven't read that one, but my two main sources are DK History of Britain and Ireland and Rebecca Fraser's Story of Britain (see where I got the title?). Tell me more...;) I would like this one to be my masterpiece, but Fiat was supposed to be so oh well...:(
When you post your new update, simply copy and past the link that appears accompanying the post, it will be the link for the post you just created. Plug that into your Table of Contents if you want to link directly to that post. If you want to re-edit your links to have that, the easiest way I find to take an old post that was not linked directly is to "edit" it, and after editing it, copy and paste the link to your TOC. I hope that helps, and that you understand what I mean.

Do not take this the wrong way mein freund, but if you are going to shorten my forum name, understandable, I would prefer it be volk or volks, seeing that several of my forum friends call me that, and I occasionally sign off like that. Alternatively, you can call me by my real name - Paul, if you like. :)

Additionally, nice short summary update! :cool: (historical introductions are underrated, since if done well, you can set the stage to the game with much intrigue and hook an audience before the AAR-proper begins. And seeing that I have two AARs that speedily move through pre-game introductions, I fancy them! :rolleyes:
 

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When you post your new update, simply copy and past the link that appears accompanying the post, it will be the link for the post you just created. Plug that into your Table of Contents if you want to link directly to that post. If you want to re-edit your links to have that, the easiest way I find to take an old post that was not linked directly is to "edit" it, and after editing it, copy and paste the link to your TOC. I hope that helps, and that you understand what I mean.
The number in the upper right (#17 on this one) also contains a link to the post.
 

GreatUberGeek

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1066

It all started with Edward's death. In early January, he was buried in Westminster, the first king to be so. Immediately, Harold claimed the throne. He crowned himself king soon after Edward's funeral. But, according to William the Bastard, Harold had sworn an oath over saints' bones that he would give the crown to William. He had a strong claim, and also thought that Harold had sent a message to him saying that William would be given the throne. Naturally, William was enraged. Throughout 1066, he sent repeated insults to Harold. But he would not get there first. That dubious honor would go to Harald Hardrada and Harold's own brother, Tostig. In May Tostig was sighted off the Isle of Wight and burned many cities. He was soon seen off, but Harold was frightened enough to start frantically rebuilding the English navy and army. William waited throughout the year for the perfect time to attack. Finally, on 27 September, William embarked from St. Valéry-sur-Somme and landed at Pevensey, an old Anglo-Saxon fort. Meanwhile, Harold was under attack by the Vikings. Two days before William's arrival, Harold had defeated them at Stamford Bridge.
As soon as he heard of William's arrival, Harold marched his troops straight down to the south. The pride of his army was the huscarls, well-trained men who were Harold's personal bodyguard. He did not wait for the regular militia to be assembled; rather, he continued to meet William. For his part, William spent all his time fortifying Pevensey. On 14 October, the two armies met in a gigantic clash that would decide who ruled England. Harold's men were fighting for their country and had a strong sense of unity, while William had a well-disciplined and varied army. In the end, Harold would lose. For six hours, the battle went back and forth. Finally, the Norman knights made a break-through. They pretended to retreat, and the English huscarls, lacking discipline, gave chase. But it was a trap. The English were massacred, and Harold was shot in the eye. William had won decisively. On December 26 he was crowned King of England. The reign of the Normans had begun


Well, final history update! Now I start the gameplay. No Ironman, remember, since if de Normandie falls, I will just log on as the next king of England. :D If you see any errors, tell me! Now I go off to play CK2.
 

GreatUberGeek

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Interesting :)
Welcome, Scott!
Subbed

Question GUG: is the actual game starting in 1066? I am assuming yes
Welcome, Asantahene! It is, but in the William the Conqueror start date.
Interesting. Subbed!
Welcome, Idhrendur! I might use some of your converters if this turns into a megacampaign...;)
When you post your new update, simply copy and past the link that appears accompanying the post, it will be the link for the post you just created. Plug that into your Table of Contents if you want to link directly to that post. If you want to re-edit your links to have that, the easiest way I find to take an old post that was not linked directly is to "edit" it, and after editing it, copy and paste the link to your TOC. I hope that helps, and that you understand what I mean.

Do not take this the wrong way mein freund, but if you are going to shorten my forum name, understandable, I would prefer it be volk or volks, seeing that several of my forum friends call me that, and I occasionally sign off like that. Alternatively, you can call me by my real name - Paul, if you like. :)

Additionally, nice short summary update! :cool: (historical introductions are underrated, since if done well, you can set the stage to the game with much intrigue and hook an audience before the AAR-proper begins. And seeing that I have two AARs that speedily move through pre-game introductions, I fancy them! :rolleyes:
Thanks! That's how the first link is formatted. Okay, volk! Makes sense. :D Historical intros are fun to write, though they take a long time, and are rewarding.
The number in the upper right (#17 on this one) also contains a link to the post.
Great! Sorry, Volk, but this method is more convenient!
 

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  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
Great! Sorry, Volk, but this method is more convenient
Yes it is! We learn something new everyday! hahaha! Well, good luck in game now GuG! Looking forward to what transpires as you describe it to us! :cool: