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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Farquharson

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The Wind in the Heather - a Scottish AAR

Scotland 1419, version 1.07 with EEP, Normal/Normal

“Scots wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
Scots wham Bruce has aften led,
welcome to your gory bed -
Or to victorie!”

Robert Burns

Episode 1: 1419 - 1427
The Incompetence of a Regent



Scotland and her neighbours in 1419

In 1419 Scotland was a kingdom without a king. Or rather, she had a king, James I, but he was unfortunately being held in London, a prisoner of the hated English. Scotland was being ruled by his uncle, the Duke of Albany, who was quite enjoying this state of affairs and was in no hurry to have James back.

The English were meanwhile fighting a bloody war with France, attempting to hold onto their French territories. In March 1419 Aragon joined this conflict on the side of France, making England’s task that much harder. Albany formed his own alliance with Eire, hoping to grab some English territory for himself.

The following year the Duke of Albany died and for some inexplicable reason his son Murdoch became regent in his place, a man widely regarded as being totally incompetent. Murdoch himself believed otherwise however and he decided to prove his case.


Murdoch Stuart, Regent of Scotland: So - it’s incompetent they call me, is it? Well, I will show the people of Scotland the measure of my incompetence. We are going to war against England!

Chief Advisor: But Sire! The English have vast armies and lots of money to raise more - we have but 9,000 men in the Royal but Somewhat Paltry Scottish Army, and that is all we can support!

Murdoch: Yes, but you are forgetting that the Paltry Scottish Army is under the brilliant leadership of my own brother Buchan!

Advisor (checking game data on Buchan): Hmm - 3/2/3... Not that brilliant, Sire.

Murdoch: Just wait and see! The Paltry Scottish Army will prove invincible, I am sure of it! What’s more, it may have escaped your notice, but those vast English armies are presently far away in France, fighting to defend their ill-gotten gains there. Now is our moment to land a well-aimed kick in England’s proverbial butt!

And so, in January 1424 Murdoch declared war on England, and his Irish allies gladly joined in. Buchan led the Paltry Sottish Army into Northumberland and besieged Newcastle, while the Irish attacked Dublin, in the hopes of driving the hated English out of the Emerald Isle once and for all. A few days after the Scots arrived outside Newcastle, the first English counter-attack arrived in Edinburgh, in the form of an ambassador from Henry VI, the young English King.

Murdoch: So, what’s it to be? I take it you have come to offer us Northumberland? And perhaps Lancashire and Yorkshire thrown in for good measure?

Ambassador: Indeed not, you snivelling Scottish ratbag! I have come to offer you back your cousin James I, rightful king of Scotland, who is now old enough to rule for himself. All we ask in return for this generous gesture is the piddling sum of 200 ducats.

Murdoch: Well, I must say that’s very generous. You think I want to pay 200 ducats for the privilege of handing over power to some snotty-nosed kid? You can tell Henry this from me. Our glorious army is on its way to London to take our king back for nothing!

Ambassador: Very well, you barbaric ape - I will deliver your message, and I can assure you that Henry and his court will enjoy the joke immensely!


James I, Rightful King of Scotland

But when Henry received news of the hammering his armies were receiving at the hands of the Paltry Scottish Army, he somehow didn’t seem able to raise a laugh. Four times Buchan defeated the English, before overwhelming numbers forced him back to Edinburgh in May 1424 to recuperate. By October the Paltry Scottish Army had been restored to its normal level of paltriness and the English, evidently thinking that the Scots could be considered Officially Defeated, had headed south once more. Insolently, Buchan returned to Newcastle and began another siege.

The English only mounted one counterattack this time, which was of course defeated, and Newcastle fell to the victorious Scots in September 1425. Buchan marched on and besieged York, while a large English army gave him a wide berth and, marching through Lancashire to Northumberland, began an attempt to recapture Newcastle.

By April 1426 York had fallen to the Scots, while the English had still made little progress against Newcastle. Buchan continued south, laying waste to the rich farmlands of Lincoln and arrived at the gates of London in May. By now the English were sending desperate peace offers of large amounts of gold, but Murdoch’s orders were to accept nothing that did not include territory. Finally, in May 1427, London fell, and wild Scotsmen rampaged through the streets for several days, having a wonderful time.



The Paltry Scottish Army enjoying some R&R in London

Henry immediately made peace, handing over Northumberland, which his incompetent army had still failed to recapture. Reluctantly, the Paltry Scottish Army was persuaded to leave the pleasures of London and head back north. In July Buchan arrived back in Newcastle, where he was met by his brother Murdoch.

Murdoch: Well, my brother, you have certainly done us proud! So - where is our cousin, the rightful king of Scotland?

Buchan, slaps his forehead: Oh drat! I knew there was something I was supposed to do in London! How could I have forgotten? I guess it was all that looting, pillage and rape that drove it clean out of my mind...

Murdoch, with a discreet wink: Oh dear, you incompetent fool! How could you forget such an important matter as bringing back our king! That means I will have to continue ruling Scotland as regent, I suppose.

Buchan: Gee, I’m really sorry. I feel like a real dunderhead!

Murdoch: Oh, don’t chastise yourself. These things happen. In brotherly magnanimity I think I can forgive you this time. But don’t let it happen again!

Buchan: Oh, you’re too kind! I promise I won’t forget the next time...

Murdoch: And now I’d better get back to my royal - oops, I mean regent’s court in Edinburgh, to continue with my so-called incompetent rule.


James tries to get rescued during the Scots’ occupation of London

And thus was the pride of England humbled by Scotland’s Paltry Army and their Incompetent Regent. It seemed like a promising start to the game...
 
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Van Engel

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Great! a scotish AAR!
I have been scotland alot of times on the 1.07 without much sucess, normaly my 25.000 men get there ase kicked by the english after taking York so well done and good luck!
 

Farquharson

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Thanks, Van Engel and Semi-Lobster, for your encouragements!

Van Engel: regarding my success so far (which continues - read on :D) I am pretty amazed myself. The English have put on a pitiful performance so far, which suits me fine! I didn't keep the army Scotland has at the start, but disbanded almost all the infantry to save money. So the Paltry Scottish Army is almost all cavalry, which partially explains their incredible success against the English. :cool:

Episode 2: 1427 - 1437
Abusing the English


In 1428 Aeneas Sylvius, later to become Pope Pius II, visited Scotland on a diplomatic mission. “Nothing”, he observed dryly, “pleases the Scots more than abuse of the English.”


Aeneas Sylvius (centre) after he had become pope

Duke Murdoch Stuart of Albany, Scotland’s regent, was now generally regarded as pretty competent, and he was watching for any chance that offered itself to do just that.

In 1429 France went to war against England, but Scotland had a truce with her neighbour until 1432, so immediate abuse of the English had to be postponed. The war only lasted till 1431 when France ceded three provinces to England’s ally Burgundy. “How nice,” gloated Murdoch, “that England get nothing for all their pains.” Indeed they had handed over Gascogne to Foix in 1430 in order to get them out of the war. The Red Blob was gradually shrinking...

In June 1432 the truce ended. England was not at war with anyone, but nor were there any English troops in sight. Murdoch therefore declared war once more, and his brother Buchan was sent off to abuse the English again. The Paltry Scottish Army laid siege to York in July, defeating two English counterattacks in rapid succession. Meanwhile the Irish once again attacked Dublin, while England’s allies, Brittany, landed a small army in Northumberland and besieged the Scottish town of Newcastle.

By January 1433 York had been captured and the Scots rampaged southwards, pillaging the rich farmlands of Lincolnshire again. This war was beginning to bear a striking similarity to the previous one.


Will, a Lincolnshire farmer: Lookee, Cedric - isn’t that there yon rabble as passed through these parts seven year ago?

Cedric: Aye, it looks mighty like ‘em, Will.

Will: Who are they anyway? Comin’ an’ campin’ out in our fields, wearin’ outlandish gear an’ playin’ rowdy music on outlandish instruments all night.

Cedric: Rock festival.

Will: What’s that, Cedric?

Cedric: Rock festival - I read about ‘em somewhere. Leave a mess somethin’ terrible behind ‘em so they do. All drunkenness an’ free love, from what I’ve ‘eard tell.

Will, suddenly interested: Really? Do they let anyone join in?

Cedric, as Will starts off at a run: ’Ere Will, come back! I think you need a ticket or something...


The Lincolnshire Rock Festival gets under way

The Scots soon moved on, however, and London was besieged in February and fell in September, while a large but terrified English army assembled in Sussex and stood around doing nothing.

Meanwhile the Breton Army in Northumberland had given up their siege of Newcastle and sailed across the Irish Sea to try their luck with Belfast. Murdoch sent an emissary to the English King Henry VI offering to stop his current abuse campaign in return for Yorkshire. Henry refused. Buchan accordingly led the Paltry Scottish Army northwards once more, holding Celtic Rock Festivals in Lincolnshire and the Midlands, and besieging the town of Lancaster. In November 1433 Henry finally gave in and handed over Yorkshire to the jubilant Scots. Buchan met his brother in York.


Murdoch: Well, my heroic and brilliant brother, you have certainly abused the English pretty thoroughly this time.

Buchan: Shucks, it was nothing, really.

Murdoch: You always were too modest. Anyway - what about our beloved cousin James, rightful King of Scotland? You’ll have remembered to bring him with you from London this time, of course?

Buchan: Er... How can I put this?

Murdoch: How about “No”?

Buchan: Well, that does kind of sum it up, yes, but I didn’t like to put it so bluntly...

Murdoch: Buchan...

Buchan, trembling slightly: Yes...?

Murdoch: You’re an idiot.

Buchan: Um... Yes, I guess you’re right. I don’t know how I could have forgotten AGAIN... Anyway, I did bring something...

Murdoch: Go on - you may yet manage to redeem yourself.

Buchan calls some soldiers, who come over, dragging a large boulder.

Buchan: I brought - this!

Murdoch, examines the boulder carefully, then gives his brother an odd look: A boulder. Very nice. We have quite a lot of these in Scotland already, actually...

Buchan: No, no, this is no ordinary boulder! This * he makes a dramatic gesture, indicating the boulder * is the Stone of Destiny!

Murdoch, with a gasp: Not - the Stone of Destiny!!???

Buchan: Yes!

Murdoch: Er... what’s the Stone of Destiny?

Buchan: Don’t you remember? His eyes grow misty and a piper’s lament can suddenly be heard playing in the background. 'Tis the ancient coronation stone of the Scottish Kings, stolen and taken to London by the evil Edward I of England in 1296! Now the Kings of Scotland can be crowned on this boulder once again!

Murdoch: Hmm, yes - very comfy, I’m sure...Except that you forgot to bring the current King back with you.

Buchan: Ah - yes...

Murdoch: Which means I will have to continue ruling Scotland as regent in his place.

Buchan: Listen, I’m really sorry...

Murdoch: Oh, well, not to worry. He sits down casually on the boulder. Maybe it’s just my destiny...


The Stone of Destiny

And so Murdoch returned to Edinburgh and had the Stone installed in Holyrood Abbey, to await such a time as a rightful King might be found who would require to be crowned on it.

In the meantime, the English were still trying to expand their dominions in France, and in 1434 they declared war on Provence and their allies Auvergne, Bourbonnais, Aragon and Navarre. These nations proved singularly incompetent when it came to abusing the English, however, and in 1436 the war ended with Provence paying 120 ducats in indemnities.

In 1435 the Scottish Commander Buchan died, leaving the country in mourning and the army in the somewhat less capable hands of the Earl of Douglas. Less than two years later, Buchan’s brother Murdoch also died, leaving Scotland not only in mourning again but also leaderless.

Fortuitously, at that very moment James I somehow managed to escape from his English captors, and made his way north to claim his throne at last. He brought his English wife Joan Beaufort with him as well as his six-year-old son, also called James. He was met near Edinburgh by a group of nobles who, seeing their chances of wielding immense power in Scotland suddenly about to diminish, took the matter in hand and promptly assassinated him. The murdered King’s wife, a vindictive woman, quickly had them arrested and then spent a long time torturing them to death.

She took her young son to the safety of Edinburgh Castle and had him crowned king as soon as possible, making use of the nice boulder which Buchan had so thoughtfully brought back from London. Of course, with a king only six years old there was still plenty of scope for ambitious would-be regents to seize control of Scotland, and the first one to do so was of course the only man in Scotland with an army to back his cause, namely, the Earl of Douglas.



Scotland and England in 1437
 
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Warspite

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This is a blast read, the pictures and humor really add to it, good stuff :)
 

Semi-Lobster

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:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Excellent work! I believe it's only proper now to start a rock concert everywhere in Europe!
 

unmerged(15337)

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Very well done, Farquharson! Don't the Scots get CB shields on Ireland anymore? I just finished a 1.05 GC with Scotland and my approach, after floundering unsuccessfully against the English, was to smash the helpless Irish first. With a stronger base I had an easier time against the English.

The Celtic music festivals would be enough to defeat anyone, I would think. As usual your pictures are excellent. Congratulations on another great AAR. I think you have found your true calling. :D
 

Van Engel

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Great! more English head knocking and humor to come i hope
 

Farquharson

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What a lovely pile of posts!

ladyfabia: Stupidly, I forgot to select the independent Wales option before starting the game. I'm sure they'd have made an enthusiastic ally in my Celtic Alliance! Never mind - Wales will end up as part of Greater Scotland sooner or later anyway :D.

Warspite: Thanks - I'll try to keep the entertainment level high!

Valdemar: Ditto - I'm enjoying myself anyway! Incidentally this AAR is my most "historic" so far, in that I'm researching each episode fairly thoroughly. I was hoping that this wouldn't squeeze out the madness, so I'm glad you don't think so!

Semi-Lobster: Why stop at Europe? I intend to offer the excitement of Celtic Rock Festivals around the world! :D (Not that this is a wc attempt, btw, but I do plan to have a decent-sized colonial Empire)

jwolf: Sadly, no - no shields in Ireland. I have a vague idea that Eire may be diplo-annexable if I keep them with me while I annihilate the rest of England.

Judas Maccabeus: Oops, sorry! I confess that I hadn't read your AAR before I started mine. I had noticed the title while browsing in the LibrAARy, but (oh, the shame :eek:o ) I didn't even know that was a quote from Burns's poem. Anyway, it fits so well for Scotland in EU2 that I would argue that it should be an obligatory opening for EVERY Scotland AAR :).

And last but not least, Van Engel: Here it is...

Episode 3: 1437 - 1449
The Impatience of a Young King


Archibald, fifth Earl of Douglas, was not over-active as Regent. The English were temporarily at peace with everyone, and had for some reason stationed sizeable armies in all their provinces which bordered Scotland. In November 1438 Douglas was forced to release a large amount of treasury money in the face of a severe famine, but that was the sum total of his notable achievements before he died in 1439.

After his death the powerful Douglas family failed to hold onto the reins of power, and the Keeper of Edinburgh Castle, Sir William Crichton, took over as Regent. Another Douglas, with the unfortunate title of James the Gross, took command of the Paltry Scottish Army. As Keeper of Edinburgh Castle, it was Crichton’s responsibility to officiate at the King’s ninth birthday party.


King James II, aged 9: Hey, Uncle William! Do I get to be a real King now that I’m growed up?

Sir William Crichton, Regent of Scotland: Ahem, well, nine years old is not really all that grown up Your Majesty.

James: Aw, but I can do loads of stuff, now! I can read and write - look I can even write pottry like my Dad!

He offers a scrap of paper to Crichton.

Crichton: Hmm - let’s see, a Royal Poem, how splendid! He reads:

“My name is James and I’m a King
I like to jump and dance and sing
I can’t help wishing, all the same
That silly old Crichton would let me reign!”

Er - yes, Your Majesty, very drole. I think we’ll just wait a few more years shall we?



The young King James with his pet stag, Stanley

Meanwhile, “Silly Old Crichton” was keeping his eyes on his arch-enemy England. The news from the continent was encouraging. True, England had succeeded in annexing her vassal Brittany in 1439, but surely it was only a matter of time before those wild Celtic provinces would start to revolt. The English were then taken into two wars by their Burgundian allies, first against the County of Holland, and then against a clutch of Austrian allies. The French were evidently spoiling for war as well, as they decided in November 1440 to issue a guarantee of Scotland’s independence.

As expected, Brittany declared independence again in May 1442, and declared war against their former English oppressors. This was excellent news for the Scots, of course, but the time did not yet seem quite ripe for Scotland to go to war herself. If only France...

Ah, there it came in July 1442 - France finally declared war on England, bringing in their allies, Foix, Savoy and Castile. Crichton ordered a significant strengthening of the Paltry Scottish Army, and prepared for the next invasion of England. A White Peace was signed between England and Brittany, but the English were struggling to hold their own against the French. In May 1443 Crichton issued his own declaration of war, and James the Gross, Earl of Douglas, led the now Slightly Less Paltry Scottish Army, consisting of 16,000 horse, south to besiege Lancaster, while their Irish allies once again attacked Dublin.

In June 1443 a peace was signed in England’s Austrian War, which meant that the English now only had two wars to worry about - one against the French Alliance, and the other against the Scots and Irish. In August they even managed to march a small army up to besiege York. Later in the year two English attempts to break the siege of Lancaster resulted in rapid Scots victories, and in February 1444 the city fell to the Scots.



Scots Cavalry chasing the English into a river

This was Crichton’s main objective in the war, but he did not even bother to offer peace at this point, knowing that the Scottish Army would be disappointed if they weren’t allowed to sack London once more, and hold rock festivals up and down the English countryside. First however, the English were driven from Yorkshire, then London was besieged in May.

In December 1444 an insolent troop of Burgundians landed at Kingston and laid siege to York, and around this time the siege of Dublin was taken over by the Castilians, who succeeded in capturing the city. Then London fell to the Scots in March 1445. The ever stubborn Henry VI refused to hand over Lancashire, however, and the English peasantry were treated to some riotous Celtic celebrations in the Midlands, before the Burgundians in Yorkshire were dealt with, and the Scottish Army settled down to a siege of Lincoln.



The Scottish tour kicks off at Knebworth in Hertfordshire

In July England paid Savoy 50 ducats for peace, but they were still at war with France, Foix, Castile, Scotland and Eire. The siege of Lincoln was reinforced in December, and the following month, January 1446, Henry accepted Crichton’s terms and handed over Lancashire.

At James’s sixteenth birthday party that year, Crichton’s excuses were starting to wear thin.


James II, waiting to be King of Scotland: Come on Uncle William, it must be about time for me to be King now.

Sir William Crichton, Regent of Scotland and Organizier of the Royal Birthday Parties: Ahem, well Your Majesty, I must say you’re coming along well with your lessons and all, but there is one teensy thing.

James: Which is...?

Crichton: Well, Your Majesty still has - dare I say it - a teensy bit of an English accent, for which we can thank your dear departed mother. How will you be able to lead the Scots in their continuing quest to abuse the English at every opportunity if you still sound like a snivelling Sassenach yourself?

James: Oh... Er - Hoots mon, ock aye the noo... How’s that?

Crichton: Er - let’s leave it a year or two more shall we...?

June 1447 saw the Breton province of Armor revolted away from England to Brittany, and the Scots decided to enter a royal marriage with this burgeoning Celtic nation. Then in August of that year a strange and frightening sign was witnessed in the heavens over Scotland. What could this ominous falling star mean? Alas, the truth became all too clear two years later when, in May 1449, France made peace with England, extracting from them not one single French province, but only the sum of 90 ducats in indemnities.

At his nineteenth birthday party in October 1449 James stood up to make an important announcement.


James II: Right ye wee twat Crichton, Ah’m no takin’ ony mair o’ yurr piddlin’ excuses tae stay Regent a day longer! Ah’m King o’ this nation, an’ Ah’m gonnae show yuzz hoo it’s done!

Crichton: Ah - how wonderful! I see Your Majesty’s Scots Diction classes have had some amazing results!

James II: Yes, I thought so too. So - now can I be King?

Crichton: Well, let’s see - do you hereby solemnly promise to do everything in your power to crush the despicable English underfoot?

James II: I do!

Crichton: Do you promise to lead the people of Scotland to glory, wealth and greatness?

James II: I do!

Crichton: And finally - do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster?

James II: Hoots mon, of course I do!

Crichton: OK, you’ve got the job.


The situation in 1449. Heh, heh! Now that I’ve satisfied Scotland’s (totally unhistoric) claim to the North of England, and have a real monarch on the throne, I can start to conquer England proper :D.
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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Get the sassanechs! Enlighten them as to sensible drinking hours and decent fizzy drinks! ;)
 

Semi-Lobster

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So when DO you intend to diplo-annex the Irish? Good luck on your celtic rock world tour!
 

unmerged(9046)

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Come on Scotland, Let's hear you roar.

CELTS ROCK

CELTS ROCK

We will, we will rock you!
 
Last edited:

unmerged(6777)

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A delightful first few posts to what promises to be a highly entertaining AAR. I like the little historic touches (which, I suspect, will become harder and harder to do as Scotland begins to resemble England...unless you graft English history onto your nation) and the humour's great! I was half expecting the response to James II's self-proclamation to be "What? I don't understand a word you're saying..." :D

Keep up the fun!
 

Machiavellian

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I am enjoying this new AAR. I see you seem to be having much more success with Scotland than with Nippon.
 

unmerged(10971)

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Machiavellian said:
I am enjoying this new AAR. I see you seem to be having much more success with Scotland than with Nippon.
But Scotland doesn't have 100 years of severe revolt risk attached to the "Breaking of the Douglases" event, now, does it? ;)