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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Webstantine

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Introduction

Hello and welcome to my third AAR, in this one I will be attempting a different style of writing, though I don't know how that'll go. This AAR I would like to dedicate to Aniuby for coming up with the idea of making another along side Quiche Lorraine, and also ATBking for the idea of using a small nation in the midst of Burgundy (I think my choice was braver than his anyway). Soo as you may have noticed I picked Hainaut, this nation was a hard thing to start off as, the Burgundians really have it in for you, and they have doomstacks. I think that this must have taken at least 20 or so tries to start. Now for probable questions:

1) What goals do you have?

I always like too make a map of the area I want to own, that will come at the end of chapter 1.
I would like to be a major power by the end with no challenges.
I will try to not let Holland get away, Holland will become a part of Hainaut.

2) What limitations do you have?

No more then three vassals, no limit on PUs though.
No declaring war without a Casus Belli.
Of course no cheating.
No REALLY cheap tactics.

Now let the show begin.

Contents:

Prologue - Below Intro.
The Great War of Flanders
Securing Wallonia
The French Downfall - Part One

Prologue

King Albert of Hainaut walked down the crumbling ruins of his former palace; the arsonist had done a good job, not good enough if he wanted to discourage the king from his work though. Albert used to know these corridors like the back of his hand but now he found himself getting lost in his own palace, it would be almost comical if not for the fact that someone was out for his family and that he now had no home. He arrived at his location after hours of searching, he had arrived at the royal library. As he walked into the library tears appeared in the corners of his eyes, many of his family's scrolls and books had been cooked to a crisp; the charred remains of his family's hard work lay helpless on the blackened shelves, but he continued on anyway towards the shelf where he kept his maps.

He arrived, the shelf was mostly fine, only the maps on the bottom shelves were at all affected and they were just maps of plain ocean. The map Albert needed was resting on the eye level shelf he pulled it from the wall and carried it carefully over too the least burnt table he could find and rolled out the map.

PLCxdZ2.png


This was his country, the behemoth of Burgundy raged almost surrounding the little state, to the east was Liege; a little archbishopric that, like Albert, lived in fear of one day receiving the note of war from Burgundy's ambassadors. Albert couldn't forget the only blessing bestowed upon his country though, Holland to the north was also his, but even they were getting a bit too big for their own boots these days with the troubles in Hainaut. Brabant sat north of Liege and east of Holland, they were easily the most powerful nation in the area, disregarding Burgundy of course; Brabant would be a useful ally if Albert's fears came true.

Albert picked up as many maps and unharmed books as he could and slowly left the library. Who could have done this to his beautiful palace, many people sprang to mind: maybe his son was getting impatient, maybe Burgundy decided it had had enough of his minuscule nation, maybe it was the council of Holland hoping for their freedom from his rule. Albert was out the castle and stepped across the black grass, his adviser, Gertrude, was waiting at the bottom of the path for him. She held a note in her hand and had a worried look on her face.
 
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Webstantine

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The Great War of Flanders

Albert descended from the ruins to the little village of tents that had been set up for him and his court. It was a small collection of 20 or so tents with a big one at he far end for court meetings, Albert stepped into his tent and sat to read the letter Gertrude gave him, it was a small cutting from a Burgundian newspaper:

King's Wishes for Hainaut!
"The welfare of the small Wallonian state of Hainaut is in my immediate interest" said King Phillippe in a court meeting, "It would be barbaric of me to not help them out after what's happening in that country." The King is of course referencing the act of arson that burnt the palace in the Hainautian capital of Mons, this was obviously a call for help from the Hainautians that he king intends to honour, he goes on to state "I would happily help any of these small states that ask for my assistance."

When asked what he planned to do with Hainaut he said "I wish no tragedy to befall the people of Hainaut, and as they no doubt consider themselves Burgundian already, it is my duty to bring them into my care." The king is saying that the Hainautians are expressing their self-determination through the arson at Mons, if the Hainautians want to be liberated by the Burgundians then it is our responsibility to help them.


Bjafo8y.png


Anger appeared on Albert's face, he knew this was coming, but to claim the Hainautians actually wanted to be part of Burgundy, that was too far, in fact Albert had a good idea who really started the fire, well something had to be done to ensure the protection of Hainaut, Albert decided to send letters to many of the nearby nations that were also challenged by Burgundy asking for assistance for when the war happened:

wpht4f6.png

A good amount agreed to help (only Friesland declined), they formed an alliance known as the Wallonian-Dutch alliance, the only force that could possibly defeat the Burgundians. The fate of the war all decided on how many would honour the call to arms. Now all he had to do was wait for Burgundy to attack and hope for the best.

A letter had arrived, Albert recognised the seal on the envelope as the seal of house De Bourgogne, the rulers of Burgundy, Albert slid the letter-opener along the seal fearing what he was about to read:

Dear King Albert of Hainaut,
As I'm sure you are aware I have decided your lovely nation will be a prime location for expansion of my greater country, you can
fight but you'll be wasting your time; I'm too powerful. Though I gather from your alliance that you've chosen to fight,
how brave Albert, you know you're like an ant versus a dragon in this war, and bringing in more ants doesn't help against a dragon now does it, I wish you luck in this war, have fun!
Signed, King Phillippe of Burgundy


2IB56vw.png

Albert looked down at the letter, he knew that, as much as he hated it, Phillippe was right; Hainaut couldn't put up much of a fight on it's own, Holland will help but what about the Alliance? He wrote up a quick letter and sent it off to all 5 nations that agreed to help.

Albert had received five letters, one from each alliance member, he opened Brabant's first; he was not dissapointed, they said they'd already started marching. He then opened the Germans, Cologne and Cleves letters, they also agreed to honour the call. He then opened his Dutch ally Gelre's letters, Gelre agreed to help out with the war effort; four out of four was a better result then he believed would happen! He turned his attention to the war at hand, he called in his military tactician, "What's the plan?" asked Albert.
"We have many options given our long border with the enemy. I would personally go for Ghent - our spies report there's a small, easy to defeat force there we could claim a first victory against."
"Seems good, how long until the alliance arrives?"
"Brabant and Gelre will arrive before the Germans, I'd give it a week or two."
"Great, I'll lead the army to Ghent tomorrow then." Albert had decided his course of action.

8Xyumbg.png

Albert was riding at the front of his 2,000 roughly assembled men marching into Ghent, the small Burgundian 1,000 man army ready for a battle, who would've thought the war with Burgundy would begin with such an anti-climactic battle?

ejbXdpI.png

Whilst Hainaut was busy sieging Ghent the allies went around and defeated all the little 1,000 man armies Burgundy had popping up around the place, Burgundy's main army was stuck in the south of Burgundy and neither Bar nor France would agree to let Burgundy through into it's northern half. After half a year Ghent was finally sieged and Hainaut split its 2,000 man army up to help with Holland's sieges over Burgundy, soon all of Burgundy was under siege by the alliance (well, ignoring the southern half.)

bq7Y1z8.png

Albert was looking through his mail one day in his tent-palace when he found one from Friesland, what could this be about?

Hello Albert, It's just me from Friesland, I wanted to tell you that we, that is me and you, are sort of at war. Um, I was told by Burgundy to join them, I'm sorry, they gave us money! My only request is that you go easy on us please, thank-you for being our friend in this endeavor.

jC5oBRK.png

The nerve of that man was unbearable, well, it couldn't be helped, they could be dealt with anyway. The next letter contained more happy news, the sieges in Vlaanderen and Cambray had been successes, as long as France and Bar held there ground, Hainaut was virtually unbeatable.

2GGielK.png

Brittany had bee watching all the time waiting too strike, they finally sent over their first army of 3,000, however it didn't go as planned for the Bretons and after a series of battles with the alliance they were wiped out.

ipQCuSo.png

After this battle the Hollander council had the ingenious idea of sending troops across France and into Brittany, soon the entirety of Brittany was under siege by the combined forces of Holland and Hainaut.

RRqy3i4.png

Another letter from Burgundy had arrived, Albert opened it expecting another rude taut from Phillippe, what he found was quite the opposite though:

Hello Albert of Holland and Hainaut, okay, I underestimated you;
how about we call the war here, I don't even expect a white peace,
I'll give you the province of Ghent and the city of Cambray with all its lands,
and also I'll through in a bit of gold for you, so what do you say?
Signed, Phillippe of Burgundy


lntQyz0.png

Oh good, Phillippe was seeing that he was wrong in his assumption that he could win just through being bigger, ants can defeat a dragon if the dragon can't fit into the ants nest. Friesland had also offered a peace for an adequate amount of ducats, the peace was excepted.

24BC6OF.png

After a while of sieging the mayor of Cambray came to speak to Albert independently from his king, "Hello, I'm here to discuss joining your country without Phillippe's consent, will you allow Cambray and it's land to join your nation?"
"I'd be honoured, you chose well, mayor, Burgundy is on a downward spiral."

a2WxXrc.png

The Breton King arrived in Mons with a wagon full off ducats, he personally pulled it up the hill to the palace of Mons and left it outside the gate with a simple message pinned too it: "Leave us alone.", given the amount of gold there was Albert complied without a second thought.

jdVwCms.png

The war map was getting to be very easy too look at these days, thought Albert as he looked down on the war map of north Burgundy, all provinces were either conquered or being sieged.

wZ4PwVz.png

Albert was up in the ruins of Mons palace looking at the sight, it still brought tears to his eyes to see all the horrible black, charred remains of his former home, he decided to visit the study where his father died all those years ago, he wondered whether the family portraits had survived the fire, probably not but it's worth a look. he opened the creaky door into the room, it was practically gone, only one portrait remained, the one of his son William. William was the heir to the throne and he had more support for his reign then when Albert became king. Albert pulled the portrait from the wall and moved towards the door when the wind blew through a hole in the crumbling wall and caught the exit and slammed the door shut shaking the very foundations, a rock from the cieling loosened and fell right down a with a crack, it broke Albert's skull. The portrait went clattering across the floor when a man reached down and picked it up, it was a good likeness, the man was William, the new king of Hainaut.

BrJaPb0.png

William sat and debated the problem with choosing an heir, his son Guillaume was the rightful heir as the older son, but he was infected with a plague and could die at any time, his other son Louis, while younger, had much more skill and was perfectly healthy; but Louis wouldn't accept it saying it was his brother's right, but Guillaume was expected to die soon despite all the efforts, maybe Louis would listen then.

Guillaume lay in his bed struggling to breath due to huge pustules in his throat, Louis and William sat to the side, "Louis, you have to take the crown" said Guillaume.
"But it's meant to be yours Guill, I'm the young one."
"But I'm going to be dead soon Lou, look at me!"
Louis looked at his pale brother, he knew he wouldn't survive despite all that was done. "If you die I will take it."
"Take it now Lou." Guillaume raised his hand with the heir's ring on it, "it can't be mine."
"Brother please?"
"Take it Louis, I want to see you take the ring before I die."
Louis carefully slid the ring off his brother's finger and placed it on his own, William gently patted him on the shoulder, "Don't worry son."
Guillaume smiled as his eyes shut, he let out a cough and a clump of dried blood came out, Guillaume had died, William sat with Louis as he cried for most the night.

XJ674VO.png

After Guillaume's funeral William returned to his duties, the province of Artois had decided to follow in Cambray's footsteps and William thought that with that good news it was finally time to end the war with Burgundy, he demanded all that he could get away with, he had hoped to get Burgundy out of Flanders for good but in the end he had to leave them with Valciennes, the peace was as follows:

Ql51gsl.png

William also had the cartographers draw up a map of Hainaut now, with added on ambitious borders he hoped to achieve one day.

9R01EWy.png
 
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ATBKING

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Very nice. Now if you mint just enough, you might be able to keep an army big enough to shut Holland up. Brabant seems to be the Biggest threat and I think I see Lorraine taking the fight to its enemies as well. It seems that your AAR's are merging. Whats next, Tuscany taking Central Italy?

Very good first Chapter. With that, the only Wallonians left are the nations Lux and Liege and the provinces of Valenciennes if Im not mistaken. I look forward to chapter 2!!
 

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Nice little empire already! I like the narrative, count me in!
 

Grundius

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And so you've turned the ant into the dragon... Your former allies now turn into targets for vassalization.... Promising start this AAR.

EDIT: Will you be turning into The Netherlands?
 

unmerged(521085)

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Great opening and very nice work against the Burgs.

Now I do have a problem with Louis killing his twin. (Being a twin myself) It's just not right. Twins are really close to each other.

Other than that, great AAR so fAAR.
 

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Great opening and very nice work against the Burgs.

Now I do have a problem with Louis killing his twin. (Being a twin myself) It's just not right. Twins are really close to each other.

Other than that, great AAR so fAAR.

Yeah. Like, really close.



Though I kinda feel bad about how often you and ATBKing are updating your AARs. Makes me feel bad about myself for not updating mine D: Oh well, that will have to wait, time to celebrate midsummer.
 

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I havent Updated in like two weeks and still dont plan on one for a while. Its summertime, Im partying!!

That's the spirit! Heading out for a midsummer party in a few hours. Gonna be good
 

Webstantine

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Great opening and very nice work against the Burgs.

Now I do have a problem with Louis killing his twin. (Being a twin myself) It's just not right. Twins are really close to each other.

Other than that, great AAR so fAAR.

Um... I'm sorry? I've actually known twins that dislike eachother, don't assume you'tr always the norm.

Also thanks for the feedback guys, I plan on staying as Hainaut though Grundius.
 
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TheNightFox

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Um... I'm sorry? I've actually known twins that dislike eachother, don't assume you'tr always the norm.

Also thanks for the feedback guys, I plan on staying as Hainaut though Grundius.

I don't mind at all myself.. just goes to show that the world isn't rainbows and unicorns :p
Mayhaps you ought to ally England against France.. should an opportunity arise.. keep going! I like this
 

aniuby

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Ghh ... Hainaut, of all the places. While I appreciate the acknowledgement in the opening post, I just can't stop curling up in revulsion about how you're playing one of those nations I love to hate. But that's definitely a very impressive fightback against Burgundy, even if it had the help of multiple attempts.

I do like the writing style, it's slightly more formal than either Tuscany or Lorraine, and that sets it apart - in the sense that it's different, not necessarily better from an AAR perspective, because that really depends on personal preference. But I do agree with some of the commenters above that the mass-killing sounds a bit rushed and emotionless, which makes it harder to believe that anyone (not just brothers) would do something like that. Don't worry too much about forcing out an update if you're busy with real-life business, we'll be here waiting patiently.

Just some quirks - it's funny how William (Albert's son in real life) has a game-created son called Guillaume, which is the same name in French. Perhaps there was a culture shift of sorts. And speaking of culture shifts, Wallonian Hainaut cannot form the Netherlands unless they culture-shift to Dutch or Flemish (the latter being a possible outlet). Good luck holding off the French behemoth hungering for their cores - you'll remember that's how ATBKing's Luxembourg game (almost) met its end.
 

Webstantine

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Ghh ... Hainaut, of all the places. While I appreciate the acknowledgement in the opening post, I just can't stop curling up in revulsion about how you're playing one of those nations I love to hate. But that's definitely a very impressive fightback against Burgundy, even if it had the help of multiple attempts.

I do like the writing style, it's slightly more formal than either Tuscany or Lorraine, and that sets it apart - in the sense that it's different, not necessarily better from an AAR perspective, because that really depends on personal preference. But I do agree with some of the commenters above that the mass-killing sounds a bit rushed and emotionless, which makes it harder to believe that anyone (not just brothers) would do something like that. Don't worry too much about forcing out an update if you're busy with real-life business, we'll be here waiting patiently.

Just some quirks - it's funny how William (Albert's son in real life) has a game-created son called Guillaume, which is the same name in French. Perhaps there was a culture shift of sorts. And speaking of culture shifts, Wallonian Hainaut cannot form the Netherlands unless they culture-shift to Dutch or Flemish (the latter being a possible outlet). Good luck holding off the French behemoth hungering for their cores - you'll remember that's how ATBKing's Luxembourg game (almost) met its end.

Of course I understand your hatred for Hainaut, when I started playing this game the very first nation I chose was Holland. Fighting Burgundy seems to be my forte these days, I don't see multiple attempts as cheating because I'm always starting from the same point.
Yes the writing style was supposed to make everything more sad sounding, I don't know why. The mass-killing was emotionless, I hoped to convey that. And in my opinion lots of people around the world would do that, and in history Louis XIV had a prisoner known as 'The Man in the Iron Mask' that is thought to have been locked away and had his identity taken because he was a better candidate then Louis for the throne - so it does exist in life, especially in royal families. But I agree that the two deaths were too close together, I'll try to not do that in the future.