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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Slargos

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Tsunami AAR

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Crazy Man Mowers in action in Tsunami I in his back garden

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Wyvern

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Great session - well I would say that wouldn't I after what Burgundy and England managed to accomplish :D

A couple of screen shots from the end of session to wet the appetite.

Western Europe
bur1441a.jpg

Turkish East
bur1441b.jpg
 

hansmaa

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Serbian AAR

When the game started, Serbia was a 2 prov. country. After several nice talks with the Great Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (Archduke) we ended up with a non-agression pact.

That made it possible for Serbia to survive with it's pitiful 8k army.

Around the same time the Serbian King decieded to ask the Hungarian King to create an alliance so that we could share peace together. The hungarian King saw the wisdom of this and thus created the Hungarian/Serbian alliance.

It was soon joined by Croatia and not long after by the Ottoman Empire (which had woed Serbia for some time)

By some unknown reason Serbia was then DOWed by Wallachia.... which we promptly occupied.

After annexing Wallachia we we're not the most liked kingdom around, but still we went on to DOW Bosnia (we have a CB on them) in order to draw Ragusa (Bosnian ally) in to a war....

This worked and a reload later the Serbian King was driven down to the docks in Ragusa, while the people cheered !

After the successful annexation of Ragusa Venice was asked to join the alliance. Serbia views her Venetian brothers and sisters as a very importaint addition to the alliance and hopes they will enjoy a rather prolonged stay :D

to be continued
 

Swuul

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I started with Mamelukes. Making most of a difficult situation Mamelukes agreed with Ak Koyunlu that Mamelukes and AkK would defend each other. With the Ottomans Mamelukes made an agreement: Mamelukes won't interfere with Anatolian business and Ottomans accepts Aleppo to be the border.

Mamelukes then declared war on the Kaliphate (and Timurids joined in to help their vassak). The aim was to force convert and gain access through the Kaliphate and rob Isfahan from Timurids. Then one helluwa thunder started in real life, and I didn't want to risk my computer, so I shut the computer down at the re-host. Some 25 minutes later we lost electricity for a bit over two hours.

When I got back, I got Mamelukes again. They were in darn bad shape. I was told Ottomans had DOW'ed despite our pact, and Algiers had joined too. The armies had been fighting against the Timurids at the time of the new DOW, so Ottomans and Algiers had a clear upper hand. So clear that it was obvious Mamelukes would be annexed soon.

At the next re-host I plrdged for a new nation, and got the Timurids. Infrastructure was in good shape, but most of the known world (known to Timurids, that is) where at war with it. It had also lost basically all of its western provinces, including Isfahan. After heavy fighting against the various nations and rebellers peace was finally reached, Timurs had regained 5 of its previously lost provinces (but 4 remained still in enemy hands, including Isfahan). But once the truce periods ended all neighbours DOW'd one after one. Golden Horde, Khazak Horde and Qara Koyunlu overrun provinces in the west as the Timurids troops destroyed the Uzbeks in the east. The Hordes, QKoyunlu and Nogai remain to be dealt with, and most likely the Hedjaz and Oman will join the fray too once their truces with Timurs end. All this while the sooth-sayers are telling that within a few years Timurids will fall into even greater tumult...
 

artemis667

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Hungary, 1419 - 1441

The situation in 1419

Hungary was the leader of an alliance with Siebenburgen, Bohemia, and Luxembourgh. The King of Hungary, ZSigmund, ruled not only Hungary but Bohemia and Brandenburg as well. But in practice, those countries looked after their own affairs, and maintained diplomatic and administrative independence. Croatia was a vassal state of Hungary.

Hungary had knowledge of tax collecting, but like much of Europe this knowledge was not implemented. While a large country with a massive army (25,000 infantry and 25,000 cavalry) the king made the decision to immediately disband the infantry, as Hungary could not afford to support an army of that size for a long period. Funds were set aside to develop tax collectors in the wealthy province of Magyar.

Hungary's domestic affairs also were in need of reform. Politically, Hungary was highly aristocratic, highly decentralised, somewhat narrowminded, and heavily enserfed. The nobles of Hungary prospered heavily from this setup, but it had the potential to stagnate the country's economy in the present, and also the future. The immediate concern of ZSigmund was to centralise power, and his first legislative reforms were aimed at decreasing the power of the Hungarian nobles.

The Initial Years

ZSigmund's first diplomatic act was to negotiate peace between Venice and Hungary/Croatia. Thankfully, all parties desired a quick end to the war and white peace was signed on Jan 20, 1419. Later in 1419, King Stepan Lazar of Serbia opened up discussions with the King of Hungary. The Serb envoy was welcomed, and once it was established that Hungary had no territorial intentions on Serbia's lands, Serbia was welcomed into Hungary's alliance (on May 8, 1419). Later on, this alliance was joined by Croatia (Jan 3, 1420).

The question of Byzantium was posed in 1420. They were under siege in Thrace by the Turks and Morea by the Venetians. There was intense pressure on the King of Hungary to act in their defense, but under the circumstances there was nothing that could be done. Constantinople fell to the Turks on October 24, 1420 and the Eastern Roman Empire was no more. This sent shockwaves throughout Europe, but this news quickly became a historical detail as Western Europe was occupied with the bloodbath that was occuring in France.

In the latter half of 1420, the Croatian people petitioned the King of Hungary for independence, as they could ill afford the small but significant portion of tax revenue that got diverted to Hungary's treasury. ZSigmund initially requested that Croatia send a substantial personal 'gift' before they would be granted independence, but after Croatia pleaded that they had absolutely no money and desperately needed to establish their economy, he relented and allowed them to end the vassalage in a magnamonious gesture of goodwill. Croatian independence was granted on October 24, 1420.

In 1422, Hungary decided that the Duchy of Siebenburgen should be directly incorporated of Hungary. In a highly controversial act, ZSigmund demanded that Lorand Lepes of Siebenburgen could not be trusted and must step down as ruler and hand over all control to Hungary. When Lorand refused Siebenburgen was banned from the alliance on Janurary 6, 1422 and Hungary declared war on Siebenburgen on Februrary 6, 1422. Siebenburgen's armies fought hard, and the war did not go smoothly at first. Many Hungarians died, but eventually Siebenburgen fell and was annexed on September 8, 1423.

The Balkan Defensive Wars

The 1420s were characterised by a number of strange defensive wars where small nations declared war on the Hungarian alliance, with seemingly little or no chance of victory. The first example of this was The Palatinate, which declared war on Bohemia in 1422. Hungary, Serbia, and Luxembourgh all joined in this war. Not one soldier from either side so much as swung a sword, but to the King of Hungary's surprise all of his offers of unconditional peace were refused, until August 5, 1425 when a white peace between all parties were signed.

A more serious war occured on September 26, 1424 when Wallachia and their ally Moldavia declared war on Serbia. Acting in concert, Serb, Hungarian, Bohemian, and Croat troops overwhelmed the Romanian armies. Serbia took advantage of the occasion by gaining the provinces of Wallachia and Bujak.

Economically during this time, Hungary made slow but steady progress. Organised tax collectors were set up to collect census taxes in every province. Also, new land was claimed in Magyar, further increasing the wealth of this province.

Diplomatically, great advancements were made in this period, courtesy in large to the skilled Serbian diplomats, who had been in talks with the rapidly expanding Ottoman Empire for several years. The Ottomans were invited to join the alliance with Hungary + co. on October 18, 1428. They accepted this alliance.
In addition to this, Hungary diplomatically revassalised Croatia, who no longer seemed to have any desire to remain independent.

Further pro-centralisation reforms occured in 1429. These were immediately followed by the revelations that many nobles were deliberately following a 'non-enforcement of ordinances' policy. ZSigmund was understandably furious, but there was nothing that could be done about it at that point in time.

The Austrian Wars and the Hungarian Peasant Crisis of 1440

In August 1432, after a few years of peace, Serbia declared war on Bosnia and their allies (with the aim of expanding into Ragusa, to gain a port). On one side, Hungary, Bohemia, Serbia, Croatia, and the Ottoman Empire stood against the alliance of Bavaria, Bosnia, Wurtemburg, Wurzburg, and Ragusa. These wars were bloody, but the opposition was small, and they were defeated and forced out of the war one by one. This process took some time and was wrapped up when Bavaria signed peace on June 18, 1437.

During this war an alliance was negotiated with Doge Foscarini of Venice, and Hungary welcomed Venice into the grand coalition on February 24, 1435.

On March 16, 1437, while Hungary and her allies were busy wrapping up the wars that started in 1432, Austria declared war on Hungary. Austria had a large, well equipped army that had the potential to cause severe problems. Indeed, the great Hun general János Hunyadi led an army of 10,000 horses and 10,000 men into Vienna against the same number of Austrian troops in an attempt to deliver a crushing blow. Most of the Austrians were slaughtered on the field, but János was severely wounded and had to retreat from the field. Demoralised after his loss, the Hungarians retreated, even though their casualties numbered less than a quarter of the Austrians, who regrouped and were preparing for a counterattack. However, the Ottomans demonstrated admirable support for their allies and sent a significant army across Hungary and into Austria. Austria was defeated and signed peace for 100 ducats on March 22, 1438.

In 1438 The Ottomans, Serbs, Hungarians, and others in the alliance were all at peace, but struggling with heavy war exhaustion. Serbia was regarded as a serious 'bad boy' by many European powers, owing to their annexation of Wallachia and Ragusa. Politics in the Balkans took a turn for the worse, as Bosnia, Wurzburg, and Austria formed a coalition. Bosnia declared war on Serbia in October, 1438 and Hungary joined the war. In doing so, Hungary of course broke the truce with Austria (even though they perhaps had a right to do so in the circumstances) which caused extreme instability in the country. Venice also honoured the alliance, but the Doge was furious at being plunged into instability. The Ottoman Empire dishonoured the alliance, having it's own problems to deal with at the time. Revolts began to occur throughout Hungary. In addition Croatia declared war on Serbia, and in honouring the alliance Hungary was forced to break the vassalship with Croatia.

Toward the end of 1439 Hungary was in dire straits. Rebels controlled about a quarter of the country and half of Hungary was under siege, either by Austrian or rebel armies. Hungary's remaining armies were too small to pose a threat to Austria's largest force, and they were busy with Croatia. Serbia was in just as much trouble, as Lithuania had joined in the war on Serbia, and was besieging a couple of Serb provinces. The tide turned when the Ottoman Empire rejoined the alliance on November 25, 1439. Turkish armies once more came swooping northwest through the Balkans, and in the coming months laid siege to the allied provinces that were in enemy or rebel hands.

However there were more troubles to come in 1440 when the Hungarian peasants decided it was time for a massive uprising - causing more instability (if that were possible) and revolts in the provinces of Pest and Ruthenia. This might have ben devastating had it come a year earlier, but at this time allied forces were in charge of the situation. Croatia was resolved on September 21, 1440, with Venice being given the province of Krain to rule as part of the peace settlement. On May 29, 1441, the Bosnian alliance made peace with the Balkan coalition. By this time, all provinces in Hungary were now controlled by their rightful owner.

tsu21440_burninghungary.jpg
 

Wyvern

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The war for Western Europe


On the one side stood Burgundy, England and Brittany. On the other, France, Bourbonnais, Auvergne, Provence. Before long Aragon, Castile and Portugal would join on the side of France.

This was Englands war really. We began not knowing anything about the English King (Slarvich), did he know how to prosecute the war? Did he need any advice? We needent have worried as he admirably took contol of the situation. We crash after about the first months play, fortunately we'd put in move orders for de-Pressy's southern army to go north, when we rejoined in December, 11 months later, de Pressy was still alive (phew) but only had 2.5k men left of a previous total of 10k. Burgundy was under siege by Orleans but French armies were looking very thin on the ground.

Time to mint coin and build some more men! 8000 cavalry were soon ordered and put under de Pressy's command along with the forces from the Netherlands. Champagne was put under siege and it wasn't long before France tried to drive us out with one of her few remaining armies, something like 7k men, only to have it totally destroyed

Picture shortly after french army destroyed.
bur1420.jpg


Brittany annexed Orleans which freed up our capital (it was within moments of falling), and now began a process of clearing out a few French minor armies and capturing/covering french territory. From France we were looking only for Champaigne and Nivernais to link out territories together, but as France wouldn't accept that peace, we went on to capture all of Auvergne's territory, gaining Cevennes first, then when Auvergne stupidly rejoined the war, annexing their capital. The allies plan now was quite simple - take ALL of France's territory leaving only the capital.

Iberia of course joined the fray. Navarre joined the French alliance in the very early stages of the war, Aragon and Castile waited too long really and the English armies smashed all their efforts to move north into France. They did have one effect of dragging out the war for a lonnggg time, but the end result was never really in doubt.

France is partitioned between the allies:
bur1426.jpg


And now the first strains within the alliance started to show - Brittany wanted to take Paris and gain the throne of France - England and ourselves as Burgundy wanted no such thing to happen. A would without France (and Richmont) was fine and dandy by us!

Despite warnings Brittany went ahead and declared war on France. With no leaders though he was always at the mercy of either Burgundy or England, and after negotiations we let England have the honour of taking Paris which she promptly did.

Well, Brittany had pretty much sealed her own fate and she probably knew it as she soon broke vassalage and joined the Iberian alliance of Aragon/Castile/Portugal.

We now switched to getting some of our core provinces. Lorraine was sieged and vassalised, but then Wurtemburg annexed them a couple years later :(. Geldre was attacked and Friesland annexed. Brittany could obviously see that all our armies were cut off at this point as Geldre had Zeeland under siege with around 20k troops, though I had both of Geldre's provinces under siege. The problem was, Brittany took this opportunity to declare war on England with the Iberian alliance behind them.

Well Geldre would have to wait so we offered them a white peace which they accepted and moved our forces (around 40k) out of the Netherlands and towards Brittany.

Brittany invaded with something like 30 to 40k, but the English intercepted this army before it did any damage, and Duke Philippe le Bonn had little to do except start sieging Brittany on orders of the English King. Once Brittany was sorted, 20,000 men went south to help patrol the Iberian border and fight rebels, whilst the English had a 40k army and leader there. The Iberians never made a serious attempt to push north but others took this opportunity to test Burgundy's strength.

First came the dow from Geldre, recently put in as a player position - predictable if annoying. Next came an AI dow from Austria/Savoy/Milan+assorted other minors. Two seconds later AI Denmark/Norway/Sweden dow'ed.

Ok, now this wasn't so good! Phillip le Bonn sped north with an army to deal with Geldre and the Swedish/Danish landings in Holland. Another army marched on Savoy. Geldre and her ally quickly put Friesland and Holland under siege, but then Geldre dropped! Damn, can't attack a dropped position, so Phillip broke off a 1k cavalry force and sped to join the army heading for Savoy. Linking up Savoy's capital was put under siege and little other activity came from Austria's alliance despite Savoy and Milan at least being player controlled. Anyway when Savoy's capital fell we made an alliance WP with them and sped north again.

Brittany by now was down and out, England was rather naughty, stealing the siege on the capital - what was he up to, now we couldn't force our peace terms on Brittany :(, but Brittany went AI on the next rehost and offered us Orleans, Maine and Limousin so we made a seperate peace. If England had played ball we could easily have taken all of Brittany's provinces in that war, as it was Brittany managed to hold onto 4 of them and remain a decent power.

Up north Geldre never stood a chance, we took Munster as our single German culture province off them and vassalised and bought a WP with Denmark for 50d. That took us to somewhere around 1436ish after which all has been peaceful in France at least. Well just before the session ended England invaded Scotland and invited us which was rather annoying as now I've got to deal with Danish landings again to no purpose :(. Ho hum.

Final political map of France and it's environs at end of session.
bur1441a.jpg
 

Dawkins

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The Death Of France

The situation faced by the reluctant patsy king of France was desperate. In the north, an army of 31 thousand English under Henry V was bearing down on a mere 19 thousand Frenchmen under an inexperienced commander. In the south, an army of 16 thousand English under the great leader Bedford faced off against 18 thousand rookie Frenchmen. Our manpower pool allowed us to build 10 thousand more soldiers. Thus, even if we had managed to get both our armies to safety, and combine them with the 10 thousand new recruits our total army would only have been 47 thousand strong. Combining allies forces into the calculation, this would mean 69 thousand on the French side, faced 62 thousand on the English. Taking generals into account, and the fact the English early advantage gave them the ability to recruit at will, the French situation was clearly hopeless from the start.

And in fact the reality was even worse than this hypothetical calculation.

Surrounded on all sides by human players, there was no-where to run. The northern army was harried all the way by the English, and despite retreating at every opportunity; a mere 2 thousand were left from it by the time they united with the 18k army in the south. There was no-where to build troops, since as soon as the English got wind of a French army forming, Henry V himself went and sieged the province with his largest army, meaning that for every 10 thousand cavalry we recruited, barely 5 thousand could get away.

Normally when faced with such odds, the strategy is to trade space for time, withdraw and rebuild. Unfortunately, with a human England in the north and south, a human Brittany in the west and a human burgundy in the east, there was no room to hide.

Economically we couldn't do anything since we had no time; tactically things were hopeless since we had no room. So we decided to cross the Rhone river, hole up in the mountains of the lower alps, recruit the 8k men that could be drained from that province and resort to the last option available to us - diplomacy.

Earlier in the war we had already convinced the Navarrans to join our cause. Now the French king pulled off a miracle of diplomacy, convincing the great realms of Portugal, Aragon and Castile to join our fight. It was at this time that the English and burgundians began to sue for peace. Burgundy wanted a "mere" two provinces, but the French king knew that England and Brittany would only take the rest, and removal of the burgundian army would do little to help our cause. Moreover, the French king saw nearly 100 thousand new Iberian troops approaching from the south, and his heart was filled with hope. He sent out his remaining cavalry army and caused havoc across France, breaking many seiges while avoiding the major enemy concentrations, before it was finally reduced in size and destroyed.

Desperately, the French looked over their shoulders to see what destruction their allies could bring, but the sight they were greeted with was a desperate one indeed.

In the north, Scotland surrendered most disgracefully. Scotland’s army had been destroyed, but their castles still held out, and would have taken years to fall due to the English navy being engaged against the Iberians in the south. Scotland's cowardly capitulation meant 30 thousand English under Beauchamp could now join the fray in France. Historians agree these men tipped the balance against the Iberians, allowing England to become the dominant European power. The French king implored the Scots to keep fighting, since it was clear whom the English's next target would be if France were to be destroyed. And indeed as I write this in 1440, Scotland cowers on its knees, army less, ally less and with its provinces ravaged by English armies.

Meanwhile, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, one after another the Iberian armies walked piecemeal into the English under Henry and were destroyed. The game was over, France was dead. As the French king and his entourage made their escape to the Portuguese court in Lisbon, they mused on the hopelessness of their cause. If a combined alliance of player countries including Scotland, Aubergine, Bourbonnais, Navarre, Aragon, Castile and Portugal couldn't defeat the English, was there ever any really hope for France? If 100 thousand Iberians couldn't defeat the English under Henry V, could we really expect 20 thousand Frenchmen to do the job?

Many of the French officials arriving in Lisbon were invited to positions of power in the Portuguese bureaucracy. From there, they are currently working with the Portuguese to see if some balance cannot be brought back to Europe.
 

Swuul

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"Highway" *in* hell

Excited like puppy I waited for the Tsunami session on Sunday morning. Sun was shining, the thunder of yesterday was a thing of past.

Finally we got playing. I got Timurids again. This time their situation was made way worse as two of the nations at war with it were given players.

I opened peacetalks with QaraK and Golden Horde. Neither was interested in peace. Nogai, Golden Horde, Khazaar Horde and Uzbek forces walked at will around Timur lands. QaraK and its puppet Dukakir were bottled up in west. Stubbornly QaraK refused to even discuss.

With no other source of help I asked Ottomans to help. Despite their own problems they must have seen the opportunity. I asked QaraK three times to quit the war now, as they would soon be dead. QaraK just replied "Well kill me". And alas, they were killed. Ottomans trashed QaraK and Dukakir as they pleased when QaraK stubbornly refused to talk with the only one who could have helped them.

Meanwhile more east the situation was going from worse to terrible. China with its puppets joined war, even though we Timurods had previously only heard fairytales of China. I accepted the first peace offered by Nogai and China respectively. Timurs lost 4 more provinces, but peace was finally gotten.

During the war Timurid fiancial situation went from bad to terrible. After the third loans money where running low despite mints printing new money as fast as the could. It was obvious that bankrupcy was coming within 18 months. So, Timurids took two more loans and begun building three fortifications and a new army. Bankrupcy came. The Golden Hordes king was not pleased with this, as he claimed "Timurids go ankrupt and they are building 20 fortifications". We Timurids would want to suggest this king to visit a local healer, as his vision is rather poor.

Luckily a new ruler took control of the Golden Horde, one with whome negotiations could be continued in a civilized manner. The relationship started well, but unfortunately the Golden Horde was then ripped apart by new rebellions.

Timurids did have the chance to take back Isfahan from the Hedjaz when Golden Horde provide access to the western parts of the Timurid lands, and Ottomans provided acces to the heartlands of Hedjaz. Isfahan was brought back to Timurids.

Timurids had unfortunately no possibility to build the Observatory, as new loans where not acceptable and Timurids simply couldn't scratch together 300d. Timurs built dipersed armies as the soothsaers told terrible times are coming.

Indeed, the Timurs were then put into a bad situation. Half the armies melted away. 4 new rebellions struck. Revoltrisk soared up. Timurs put their troops together into a 14k army of 8k cavalry and 6k infantry. Situation looked good despite the grim odds, the field army was much bigger than any of the rebelgroups. Then I was knocked out.


At rehost I was asked to sub for Venice and leave the Timurids. So I found myself in control of the Venetians in 1454.

Venetian situation was looking pretty grim. Just 3k of cavalry under the splendid commander Calleoni. But Milan was besieging Mantua with 16k, and Venice was in the war alone aainst them.

The treasure showed 91d, income 23.01, inflation 9.1. So nothing wrong with that :) I gave thus orders to expand the army with more cavalry. Finally, when Mantua was about to fall I ordered the army on the move. The Milanese were slaughtered. Then the hell begun.

The game seemed to stall. Next I see how Calleoni is killed as the calendar jumped 21 days forwards in 2 seconds. Not enough with that, Venice had also taken a loan. A loan!!! Despite there being money in the treasury! Moaning and copmplaining about this I was given advice: "Put that money in use". So what the heck, a new army was ordered, but money was left in treasury.

Next calendar jumps 34 days. I see Venice has a new army, but it's retreated out of Venice. Not enough with that, Venice has 239d in treasury. 239d, wtf? Oh yes, a new loan has been taken.

Now after that it gets a pure hell. At worst the other players tell I am lagging 6 months. Even with the hellish problems Milan is forced to WP with the aid of Hungary. Ottomans DOW and annex Morea. Rebellions pop up everywhere. The difficult part is that as I see everything after a terrible lag Venice fails almost everything. It is basically impossible to move troops, as there is always the ris that they will move to somewhere where the rebels have a concentration of troops. It is almost impossible to put traders, basically all attempts fail. It is even impossible to pay the loans back despite the fact that there's money in the treasure :( Still, Corfu and Dalmatia rebellions where stopped.

I beg and pleade for rehost, as Venice will surely be destroyed because of this. There is obviously something screwed big time with the Internet connection (perhaps the thundering that goes on for the third day has something to do with this? Never have I experienced this bad lag) and I just wanted out of the game so that the real Venice player could take over :(

Despite my pleads the game is pushed to January 1461. Venice is all but ruined. It is promised to be edited. I sure hope it was. I certainly didn't want to join the game anymore today, I first have to find where the problem is.

A most vexing experience :(
 

Stingray

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A short note of the Great city of astrakhans archivements.

After having fucked scotland bad, I took control of astrakhan. I held Astrakhan itself as well as orenburg. I'm allied to sibir, I have no TCs and my army consists of 1500 men, 375 are cavalry. I do however have a grand income of 6,9d, which is a lot at the time.

I start minting money to get some TCs, and I start negotiations with Crimea to invade the GH and snatch some provs (there was a FAA in kouban). It stalls however as Mowers realise that his economy is crap, and on the next rehost, he switches to genoa.

I make up a plan to invade nogai, but their 31k on the border chnges my mind. I start negotiations with the OE, trying to get a stable border as well as an ally to my eastern push. The peace treaty is accepted, but OE tells me he's got more important matters in the south to take care of. I start minting money again, now forced to do the push on my own. I build up a decent army of 8k, get's MA through Sibir, my ally, and then invades the Khazakhs.

Stupid as I am, I call my ally sibir, which I later discover is the leader of the allience. Thus, after taking the capital, they make peace, forcing me with them. I DOW again, stab-hits doesn't matter yet... And at the end of the session, 2 provinces are under my control, and the others are soon to be besieged.
 

Wyvern

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Burgundy and the Crown of France!

So where were we? Oh yes, France was down to a one province hub that had reapeared in Berri after a revolt against the Duke of Bourbonais. Other than that, France was divided up between Brittany who owned 4 provinces, and England and Burgundy who pretty much split the rest. Burgundy's worry now was that England might decide to go it alone and stamp down on the Duke, so when Portugal (Dawkins) came a calling asking if we'd join them in a future war on England we were not surprisingly all ears.

After due consideration we all decided at our advice to wait until the English Civil war struck in 1455, but in the intervening years we weren't quiet, capturing our core provinces of Lorraine, Luxemburg and Alsace off Wurtemburg. After that apart from a minor BB war against Saxony we sat back and began dilligently saving up and raising our army to our support limit of around 80k.

When England finally got the civil war in mid 1555, after a rehost in 1556 the war began with the Iberian alliance of Aragon/Castie/Portugal and Brittany attacking England. We declined to come to Englands aid - what a shame :D - and joined Aragon's alliance. We had over 900d saved up in our war chest!

England had leaders galore and hunting them down at the start was of utmost priority for if she ever managed to link up her forces into a sizeable force, someone like Talbot or Warwick would make mince meat out of us. Talbot was sitting in Languedoc with about 30k men so Philippe le Bonn (3/3/3) marched south with 60k to do battle. Never have you seen someone run so fast. From one province to the next Talbot legged it, his army getting smaller and smaller. He eventually managed to link up with an army from the north to bring his army back up to 25k after losing most of it in the south, and so here stood the situation in 1456 as Philippe le Bonn pressed the chase.
bur1456b.jpg


Talbot would be defeated again in Maine and for the next 12 months he'd lead a merry chase from one province to the next, retreating every time and gradually trying to get north and the presumed safety of the English fleet. Such was not to be though as finally the last remnants of his army were wiped out upon the plains of Brabant. Truely no leader has ever run as much as Talbot did.

Now one by one the English provinces on the continent were put under siege and captured. England still had leaders though and York made a landing in Flandern with 30,000 men, but again he was no match for the superior numbers Philippe had under his command. With 8000 men though he would barely manage to escape back to his ships and return to England.

At Englands refusal to accept defeat, Philippe now launched his boldest move - an invasion of English soil itself. Landing with 30,000 men he marched on Anglia, only to see twice that number bearing down on him. For the first time it was now the turn of Burgundy to retreat. Despite reinforcements landing in Kent Philippe did not have the numbers nor the skill to match up to the English leaders and in the scramble to retreat back to the ships, Philippe was mortally wounded.

Despite this set back, England was still in serious trouble. Revolt risk in England was running at over +10 percent, her monthly income had dropped from around 50 ducats a month at wars start to little over 10 ducats, and naval strength was at best only equal to the allies, and not sufficient to stop allied landings in England.

Now came the time to discuss peace. We wanted the English enclave around Il-de-france plus Lyonnais (ie Caux, Picardie, Il-de-France and Calais). Brittany was after Normandie and Pitious, whilst Aragon and Castile wanted the south. Without getting 100 percent war score though it was impossible to get England to accept the loss of his French provinces. Eventually we moderated our demands to leave him with Calais and Caux which he finally accepted:
bur1459.jpg


He would then give Castile the province of Gascoigne - but then refuse to make peace with Brittany and Aragon and begin landing armies against them putting Brittany under siege. This forced ourselves and Castile back into the war and Burgundy now was determined to get Caux and Calais. Castile was the alliance leader for Burgundy and Castile, whilst Aragon and Brittany fought on in their seperate war.

Though leaderless, our ecomony far outstripped Englands war ravaged lands, and at a desicive battle in Armour where an English army of somewhere between 30 and 40k was defeated by 50k Burgundian cavalry, any English pretentions of salvaging something from the war were gone.

It would take some time and a number of rehosts for the war to reach it's sick conclusion. Archduke took over the mantle of England at the end, after the last English offensive - and more importantly the last English leader - perished in a futile attack on the mainland. England now began double dealing with Castile and Brittany. Brittany had just gained Normandie and Poitou a few months earlier from England, and Aragon had got her demands met, now Castile who was alliance leader made an alliance white peace to take Burgundy out of the war with England. England dow'ed Brittany and then gave her Calais and Caux which the Iberian alliance had promised Burgundy.

King Philippe - yes he called himself King now - was not amused. Brittany had barely 11,000 men, Castile/Aragon/Portugal had been warring Algiers for a couple of years and had nothing in Iberia to speak of, whilst England's government had only just collapsed due to excessive rebels. Stitching up Burgundy at a time like this was one of the dumbest moves I've ever witnessed. Suicide on the grandest scale - at least for Brittany.

With a standing army still of around 70,000 men, nearly all of which was cavalry, we dropped out of the Argonese alliance and declared war on Brittany. After negotiating with Aragon we made a seperate peace with them - Brittany and Castile were the two who had stitched us up - they would be the ones to pay!

Charles the Bold was now King of Burgundy, Philippe having passed away from his wounds, and after Brittany was put under siege and an eye kept on the English fleet, Charles marched into Iberia. A number of defeats were suffered - against the odds to begin with, but finally he escaped and made a stand in Asturias, managing to send Castiles army running away after which he was able to withdraw and lick his wounds. The first invasion of Castile had proved indecisive with about equal losses, now we would wait to finish sieging Brittany whilst Gascogne was also taken.

Come 1468 and the last province Brittany owned fell at the same time as Charles launched his second and this time more successful invasion of Castile:
bur1468.jpg


As the session came to an end, Burgundy holds 100 percent war score on Brittany and is just about to offer a seperate peace for her french culture provinces - Normandie, Caux, Calais, Vendee, Poitou. Brittany will be left with her Gaelic provinces. From Castile, Gascogne will be demanded. Castile would be wise to accept sooner rather than later..... :)
 
M

Mowers

Guest
Well,

Lots to say.

Firstly I am sorry to all the people who couldn’t get in. I had absolutely no idea so many of you would show up. Secondly I am sorry to those of you that had to put up with 24 player mega crash, I should have just asked people to leave, but its so hard to do.

So a quick history, followed by an analysis and some answers as to the next session.

So a quick history of what happened from my perspective. important to note that all countries mentioned had a human player!

1419-1469

The East

We didn’t introduce the Eastern powers till around the 1430’s. That was to say Novgorod, Muscowy, Poland, Teutonic Order, Lithuania and the Golden Horde.

In the initial stages Novgorod and Muscowy were badly defeated in a war against Lithuania and Poland. Meanwhile the Teutonic order expanded into Prussia. The Golden Horde, huge but utterly incapable, started to sink under its own weight and rebellions gradually tore it apart.

By the 1450’s war broke out again. This time and alliance of Novgorod, the Golden Horde, Lithuania and Poland were defeated by an alliance of Muscowy and the Teutonic Order. Muscowy ripped into the Golden Horde and Lithuania, tripling in size. Whilst the Teutonic order annexed Novgorod and smashed Poland.

Meanwhile Astrakhan slowly expanded and a fairly significant but impotent Crimea emerged out of the Golden Horde.

So we were left with a very powerful Teutonic Order and Muscowy and with everyone else looking very weak indeed.

Italy

Its difficult to describe what happened in Italy. The entire region was plagued by continual wars that no one country ever really dominated. (Although we did have a substantial Naples due to a error – which will be changed) We had player nations for Milan, Savoy, Venice, Genoa, Naples and the Papal States, we even had the Swiss in at one point. The renaissance never arrived in Italy, well if it did I certainly didn’t notice.

Italy became a dangerous place to be when the English invaded Savoy and held territory adjacent to Milan. But that danger receded with further wars in France.

No one power ever dominated Italy, territory continually changed hands leaving us pretty much were we started in 1419 but with a fair amount of inflation.

The Middle East

Byzantium fell immediately to the Ottomans with the help of the Venetians. No one had enough diplomats available to assist and that really spelled the beginning of the end for everyone else. One by one all of the other player countries in the region were destroyed. Serbia, Qara Kon, mameluks and Ak Konulyu were all wiped out. With a totally fragmented and collapsing Timurid empire to the East there was nothing that could be done to stop the Ottomans once Byzantium fell. Hungary alone stood, but only by allowing the sacrifice of Serbia.

We were left in 1468 with a massive Ottoman Empire that stretched from Egypt to Iraq, from Kuwait to Serbia and across to Georgia.

The West

This region had a lot of player, we had around 11 players in Britain, France and Iberia. This was reduced down to six by the end of the session.

The first war saw Burgundy, Brittany and England destroy France and the rest of the French minors. (Who had the support of the Iberians) Auvergne, France, Provence and Bourbonais were all removed from play.

The second war saw Brittany wiped out by England and Burgundy.

The third war saw the destruction of the remaining French and British minors, including Scotland, by England and Burgundy.

The forth war saw Burgundy, Brittany, some Italians and the Iberians totally remove England from the continent. England promptly collapsed having refused any form of peace deal, Wales and Scotland re emerged as countries. This left southern France under the control of Aragon and Castille, Western France under the control of Brittany.

The five war saw Burgundy turn on Brittany and Castille. The war currently continues. But Burgundy is now very much the dominant power in the West.


Notes

A few points to dwell on.

I should have created more minors in and around Anatolia to start with, I just didn’t expect Venice to actively aid the Ottomans. I should have kept more minors in and around the Ottomans, such as Karaman, but its difficult to find them. In my defence I believe the SP community have created a super country in their desire to see the Ottomans emerge. However, I do have a very good plan to deal with our uber Ottomans in the future which I am sure everyone will like.

In Italy, the failure of most people to develop economically was disastrous, the continually infighting had disastrous consequences. As I was in the thick of this and part of it all I think this was a fair judgement.

In the East, the attack by Lithuania and Poland on Muscowy whilst allowing the Teutonic Order to expand was in the end disastrous for them. It took around 30 years for it to rebound, but rebound it did. Failure to pay attention to Khal and Peter E was not a good idea. The end result was that Muscowy and the Teutonic Order are now very much the dominate powers. This will make for a most interesting second session.

In the West. I have one very significant thing to say.

Don’t create monsters, create minors

The west was played out very interestingly with some great turns but there was some extremely short sighted play. If by over throwing one threat you replace it with an even bigger one. It was inevitable that whatever “french” national culture that England backed to the hilt would eventually turn on him. The regional obsession in the expansion of self rather than creating a power balance that one could control was always going to end in disaster.

England could have probably survived as a significant power but it was far too aggressive and thus the Iberians were always going to back any one who was prepared to fight it. Failure to then get out of a bad war early only compounded England’s problems. People, learn to give in when you are losing. I don’t think I have ever seen a nation come back from the brink by just saying “nuts” to all calls for cease fire.

I think we can congratulate the Iberians on never fighting one another. I was convinced that they would fall apart, but they didn’t, which was very much to their credit. Although I think some bad foreign policy judgements were made they did stick together which made them credible and considering the amount of changes, I think this was impressive. Allowing Burgundy to then take over most of the remaining French provinces was also disastrous, and despite multiple warnings this self fulfilling prophecy eventually came true.

Conclusion

Great game. We will be continuing and a date will be announced. It will not be next weekend.

There will be some sort of Burgundy solution. To an extent Wyvern can decide his own destiny.

I have a good plan for the Ottomans, but its nothing drastic and involves no rules.

I will introduce Sweden in the next session.

Thanks to everyone, most people made a really big effort and I am especially grateful to certain people for their support throughout the weekend.
 
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TheArchduke

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Who will stop the Ottomans? Noone will! And when they come? Then we run away and make peace.

Neighbour #1: Byzantium Empire

The situation in 1419: Ottoman Empire has 8 provinces of which 7 are not of her state religion. The coffers are full and the army stands big at 60k but costing 20 ducats/month with 3ducats/month income. Best way to loose an army? Use it. So let´s attack Byzantium early as to establish an Empire and unite our scattered realm. The cavalry was divided from the infantry and sent in three groups to Thrace whilst the Infantry got rid of the artillery and followed suit.

As it was friendly pointed out to the Sultan by the Emperor of Byzanz an annexation was impossible due Byzanz holding two provinces. Hmm that sounds like trouble. Wait for 5 years for the truce expire and thereby loose precious stability? Then we have to "organize" another owner for Morea? Any volunteers? Venice it seems. Great tell them they may attack and gain Morea.
Any further advice for our diplomatic corps, Sultan? Surely talk of peace to the human controlled powers of Mamelucks, Serbia, Ak Koyunulu. Else they could think of uniting against us.

And so in Autumn 1419 Venice declares war on Byzanz. And that siege of Morea takes time. Even a new Doge is appointed but he stays true to the treaty and finally in Autumn 1420 Morea falls and finally together with Venice the Byzantium Empire is annexed. Halfway through the war the army was brought to half maintenance and together with the newly established capital and its CoT the Ottoman Empire can nearly fully keep up the army. Still too much army? Oh there are more neighbours..

Neighbours #2, #3, #4 and #5: Karaman, Candar, Teke and Albania

So let´s strip Karaman off those two provinces but still half of our army is idle. And so as to keep the army busy war on Candar(expanded by the annexation of Trabzon) was declared. 2-province again? No problem at all. Ak Koyunulu is eager to take non-state-culture and non-state-religion Trabzon. Luckily Candar is allied toTeke. Despite that the Sultan doesn´t grow tired of more war and the oppurtunity to gain Hellas is too good to miss. So let´s dow Albania too. Having Cbs and those events is nice and our stability is still at +2.:)

So as our army is on vacation in those 4 countries the Mamelucks attack the Kaliphate and the Timurids looking to expand their empire. Fine with the Sultan for now. He was busy consulting his new cavalry detachment in Anatolia.

Finally in 1423 both Albania and Karaman lost their oversized realms and coffers to the benevolent Sultan and had to recognized the Sultan as their Overlord. And one year later Candar and Teke were annexed as Ak Koyunulu was so nice as to take Trabzon from Candar.

Annexing costs BB sure but our monarch is not all to gifted diplomacy-wise meaning we only gain one diplomat per year and we need a stable recruiting ground in Anatolia and some defensive depth.

Time to let WE come down a bit and acquire our next target: Ak Koyunulu.

Neighbour #6: Ak Koyunulu

Many Powers moved to the east and Ak Koyunulu was suddenly without a player but still with a goldmine the next target was clear. Our northern border was secured as Serbia was fighting with Wallachia and Moldavia and seemed to have fun so we congratulated them and our armies crossed the border to Ak Koyunulu. After 1 year they happily gave up Trabzon, Armenia, their treasure chest and basically their autonomy as they saw it was a burden to heavy for them but a direct conquest of the shiites in Nuyassabin were avoided. By stationing some troops in Armenia and some sweet-talk a direct confrontation with the Khan of the Golden Horde was prevented and 1-2 state gifts found their way to Muscowy as to prevent Lithuania from rampaging across the Northern Regions.

An unholy alliance and Neighbour #7: Mamelucks

1 1/2 years of Peace were used to get infrastructure and trade research up to 2 and begin massive negotiations with the northern hungarian alliance. Our first real enemy, The Mamelucks had arrived and we better dow him with a secured back, no?
So on October 18th the Ottoman Empire joins the alliance of Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Luxembourgh and Bohemia. And 2 days later the main army under Murad crosses the border followed by two sieging detachments. This caused the Mamelucks to settle for 2 provinces less in the East and hastly retreated their armies whilst key provinces were besieged and new conscripts were scattered and soon the Warscore was up to 22% through battles only.

Interregnum by v.Stein

Then I crashed and through dubious methods Mamelucks recovered again, pushing me to quit the game for this day. Stein was so nice as to take over.
Dulkadir was so nice as to annex Kaliphate under his reign and he basically crushed the Mamelucks under his feet. Gaining 1/2 of their territory in one war and stripping them off their CoT. The file puzzles me a bit but it seems he was also occupied helping Hungary against Austria.

So back on the throne on Sunday and in 1441 I saw that Stein did a great job of keeping OE ahead in tech and not expand into Europe prematurely.

Neighbours #8 and #9:Qara Koyunulu and Dulkadir and the remnants of the Mamelucks

Played by a human player and occupying 4 provinces and allied to Dulkadir which had yet to see the ottoman light the next target was Qara Koyunulu. Occupied in the East by attacking the Timurids played by another player nation the OE was happy to assist to pacify Qara Koyunul. The declaration of war was issued in 1442 and 1443 Dulkadir acknowledged the Sultan as the Overlord and the old realms of the Kaliphate were seized thereby the Sultan proclaimed himself Kaliph. Again avoiding Nuyassabin which had the nasty habit of always ending up in the wrong country. Anyway Azerbaijan and Kirkuk were ceded and Qara Koyunulu was now under the benevolent protection of the Ottoman empire which was immeaditly shown by reining the rebels in Nuyassabin in.

At a sudden rehost declared that Qara Koyunulu wasn´t a viable player nation anymore. So the force containing the rebels in Nuyassabin was immeaditly retreated and in a second war the non-player Mamelucks were reduced to one province.

Neighbour # 10:The Knights

Qara Koyunulu Ai played decided to waste one point of Ottoman stability on dowing the Timurids who immeaditly white peace the Sultan and after Nuyassabin defected to the ottoman vassal of Ak Koyunulu there was no reason to keep Qara protected anymore. War was declared on the Knights soon afterwards. After loosing 20k in total to the small force of the Knights the opposition was finally crushed and the island of Rhodos annexed into the ottoman realm. The year was 1450.

Domestic Development

After years of investment infra 3 was finally reached in 1449 and a period of minting began in the ottoman realm began and as a celebration of the new balance of 1211 ducats in 1450 a refinery was erected in Smyrna. In the next years 7 missionaries were financed and various nations received Foreign Aid and all of the ottoman vassals united with their overlord in one big alliance as the Ottomans left the Hungary and Serbia alone for now. Founding the Enderum sure took more cash from the ottoman coffers but as 1453 proved to be an exceptional year the inflation was still neglible.

Finishing Karaman, Dulkadir, Cyprus#11, Georgia#12 and Ak Koyunulu

With Mehmed ruling the country diplomats were no longer a problem resulting in the diplomatic annexation of Karaman(1454), Dulkadir (1455) and Ak Koyunulu(1457). Also Georgia who had gained Dagestan by defection soon saw that occupying turkish-culture provinces was a failure as she was stripped off all her provinces. Cyprus who was unlucky enough to be allied to Georgia was also "persuaded" to join the Ottoman Realm.

Wars without casualties or #13 Lithuania and #14 Serbia

As the Middle East was pacified and conversions suceeded, the Ottomans seeked to expand into Europe. A cry of help arose from the TO and Muscowy resulting in financial aid and sooner or later direct intervention and as 40k Ottomans crossed the border Lithuania was only happy to cede Jedisan and Bujak after seeing Ukraina under siege.

Also in a secret conference Venice and Hungary agreed that Serbia was only a hassle to all peace-loving nations in the neighbourhood and the Ottoman Empire moved in hastly to secure Kosovo and Wallachia for the Sultan. Morea was also acquired as Venice joined Serbia in the war(Don´t ask me why.;) against the Ottomans but was easily persuaded by the 60k stationed in Turkish Europe to quickly cave in.

And at the end of the session Georgia was annexed into the realm making the first Ottoman expansion complete.
 

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Thats a very accurate summary as far as I can see Mowers. I think people may be interested if I shed a bit more light on the Iberian situation from my position as Portugal....

When I joined Portugal in around 1425, Aragon, Navarra and Castile were all run by very competent players, and we immediately agreed upon the importance of maintaining a balance of power in France. To this end, our policy was to support the weakest against the strongest. Of course if we were successful this would normally lead to the weakest BECOMING the strongest, and so our support had to change instantly if the situation demanded.

This delicate playing off of one country against the other requires very good concentration and focus. It worked very well to start with, as we removed England from the continent. Unfortunately while this was happening, the Aragon player changed at least 6 times, maybe double that, and the castile player at least 3.. and we lost the navarra player who moved to Novgorod. Some of the replacements were very good and recognised instantly the important role we were playing in France. But some were bad.. really bad. If fact, I gave up completely on the Burgundy situation after being told "just let him have them" and "you worry too much, Dawkins" by a certain Aragon player who seemed more interested in sending endless colonists to Sardinia and the Balearics to get their population above 5 thousand !!!

Wyvern pulled some very ruthless stunts as burgundy, which got him where he is today. There's nothing wrong with that of course, but the cost of such behaviour is that those around you will be very unlikely to trust you again that game. Unfortunately, I was the only player who'd seen the whole thing unfold first hand, since all the other countries had switched players. Possibly the worst of all the player change problems was England. What we needed was England to make a moderate peace with us, then join our alliance with Brittany to stop further burgundian expansion. What we got was a bitter English player who brought his country to its knees then quit... completely ruining any hopes we had of maintaining a balance of power.

Probably my biggest mistake was right at the end, when I encouraged Brittany to do a deal with England grabbing Calais and Caux for Brittany before Burgundy could finish seiging them, followed by an alliance leader WP from castile which left Burgundy with no new provinces. This would have been a plausible policy 5 years and a rehost earlier... before England had been half wrecked by rebels due to having no player for many years. But as it was, England was in no state to help us, and Iberian players had no idea what was about to hit them and were completely unprepared to put up any resistance against Burgundy, who naturally turned on us immediately for our betrayal.

All in all great stuff, and I found it very entertaining playing a Portugal trying to dictate the fates of Spain, France and England with only my 15k manpower pool as leverage :D
 

Wyvern

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Some further thoughts from Burgundy as we seem to be bearing our souls :D.

My most ruthless action - and I think my single and only ruthless action was to turn on England. I make no apology for that, I was after the throne of France so there had to be a show down between ourself and England at some point. The idea of endless eternal alliances is not something I subscribe to :).

The war was great fun, trying to juggle and direct our fleets to patrol the channel whilst doing the brunt of the fighting against Englands armies. Castile landed in England at the start of the war whilst we dealt with Englands continental armies. Unfortunately England had shipped a leader (York) back to England in the months before the war was declared so Castile never stood a chance. I expect the fear of future landings though kept England from moving the 30,000 men she now had stationed in England to the continent where they might have tipped the balance in those early days.

Hmm, seems I got side-tracked there :D. Now after England lost on the continent and gave Burgundy and Castile some of the provinces they demanded (I had to stab hit to get them so didn't get everything the Iberians had promised would be mine) - at that point the Iberians should have peaced out with England for a WP if they were serious about maintaining the balance of power as Dawkins suggests. Actually as Portugal he may well have wanted to do just that, but then Brittany and Aragon would have got nothing from the war. As it was they forced ourselves and Castile to re-enter the war so as to force England to give Aragon and Brittany their war demands. Well this was fine by me, now I really could get the last two provinces promised me, but it was hardly conducive to helping the balance of power in the region :).

Then of course their betrayal at the end could only have one consequence with Burgundy turning on them - and as I could see all of Iberia at the time I knew they had nothing to oppose me. Of course I though it was all Castile's doing - now that Dawkins has admitted Portugal was behind it all, well perhaps I should punish Portugal as well :D.

I was surprised when Aragon agreed to WP me, but then again he'd have been the one to suffer the worst in the war (after Brittany of course) and from his perplexed comments it was easy to tell he hadn't been behind the plotting so I honestly had nothing against Aragon - the offer of an alliance to Aragon against her treacherous allies was and still is sincere - Charles the Bold of Burgundy/France is fully prepared to support the King of Aragon's claim to the throne of the Kingdom of Spain should he wish to take up the offer.
 

hansmaa

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How the Serbian line of kings lost their Kingdom

As we started the next session in 1441, the hope of the Serbian King was to survive and maybe expand his realm by staying firmly in the alliance with Hungary & Venice while keeping friendly relations with the Great Ottoman Sultan.

At this time Serbia had 4 provinces, but little infrastructur. Most of the money had been spent fighting wars in order to expand from the rather pitiful 2 provinces we had in the start, expanding into Wallachia (our 1 non-culture province) & Ragusa (our road to the sea)

The (in hindsight flawed) idea of the royal house of Serbia, was that if we could play the friendly bufferstate between Europe & the Ottoman Empire, we could expect to be rescued if the Great Sultan really decieded to attack us. Holding the territory from Ragusa to Wallachia meant that the Ottoman armies would have to enter Europe through Lithuania or by sea. Such a strategic placement would surely be seen as beneficiant by all christian leaders we thought.

And thus, having based our grand strategy on this belief, we woed the Sultan, while staying firmly in the European sphere of influence.

Our armies roamed far and wide, helping our allies in their wars. And when Venice anounced that she intended to attack Bosnia, we, the Serbian King, looked at our knights and said,

"Let them. We will not stand in their way. They are our allies - and you my brave men have more than often enough shown your gallantry in battle! And more than this, most of the time you have fought bravely, riding bareback on donkeys armed with little less than a wooden stick and your trusted poker."

For such was the state of our finances.
We, the King sent a message to the Doge of Venice, telling him that although the serbian people would be grief-stricken and probably see meteors for a year on end, taking all sorts of stab-hits, this probably could be avoided if the Doge would throw a great party in Serbia to celebrate his victory when it was acchieved.

The messenger from the Doge must have been waylaid by bandits, because we never got a reply to our request, even though we put RSVP on the envelope and sent a copy ahead in advance.

Beginning to think that the alliance we were in was not quite the thing we thought it was, we viewed the sudden disapearance of the Doge (Moridin) and his interim replacement by his younger brother Doge jr. (Jarkko) as a hopeful sign of the future being brighter. And so it was. We we're confident that the place in the sun was in Serbia, and that people from all over Europe would flock to Ragusa for their holidays thus giving our finances a hefty boost.

Unfortunately for us, Doge Jr. was plagued by a severe stutter! And worse that that, he had inherited his brothers war with Milan.

As the alliance saw how Doge Jr. tried everything from banging his fist on his head to banging his head on his fist in attempt to order his troops about, we joined the war. What are allies for?

So we fought the Milanese here and sieged them there and spent time in Venice in order to prevent the milanese from doing the same thing to Venetia.
Well, of course "we" were the crack Serbian troops along with some Hungarian troops. As far as I can remember that is... Surely the brave Hungarian troops must have been there. This was after all a war our ally had asked us to help in!
Anyways, even though Doge "Stutter" Jr. walked and talked with people in order to help his war (such as raising a 1000 horsemen), the result was not always a happy one. His stuttering orders often gave him more than he had bargained for... and at a fixed rate pr. head!

Then, out of the blue summer sky, the Ottomans declared war on us. They had already told us that the military access they had with us was unneccesary, but had also on our polite request as to why it was unneccesary told us that it was of minor concern as they had no intention of pestering the Serbian realm with stray ottoman jay-walkers.

The war they won swiftly! We had 4k infantry, armed to their teeth with - well fists and teeth basically. So we promptly withdrew them into Hungarian territory in order to preserve their lives.... they would have stood no chance after all.

As every town in the kingdom of Serbia was sieged, the Serbian king pleaded with Europe and Poland/Lithauen in particular to help. Our be-lowered allies would not it seemed. But no-one wanted to aid us in our need of dispair. Not a single christian soul. We, the most christian Serbian king, think we are alone in actually having such a faith. Claiming it however....

While pleading for help with the rest of the known world, we still managed to keep a stiff upper lip and deal politely with our conqueror. In trying to save Serbia (and thus it's value as a buffer between Europe and Asia) from the horror of the Sultans truely great armies, we first pleaded to become his vassals as well as paying a hefty dowry to whoever he wanted to marry off.

Having seen his wives from afar - and through shaded glass - we knew it would be a costly price to pay, but we needed to keep Serbia intact and undivided.

However, this offer did not please the Great Sultan, and we thus changed our offer to Wallachia as well as becoming his vassals. This time we didn't mention any dowries. The Sultain was obviously not in the mood.

And still Europe was silent. We, the most christian Serbian king, think god cried in his heaven for surely it rained that day the peace was signed.

We would keep all the food we could carry out of Wallach & Kosovo, but nothing more. Keep Serbia & Ragusa the Great Sultain said.

Seeing where the wind was blowing, we, the Serbian King, dressed as an orthodox munk and traveled in secret from Serbia to Ragusa. There we spoke to our people.

"I will go out in the world to seek out someone who will help us in our days and years of need. I will come back, and when I do, Serbia will once more be great and undivided!
I do not know when I will be back. It's a big world out there, and a lot of kings & princes to talk to. Time it will take, but surely I will find someone who will help us. And when I do, the world will once more know a great Serbia!"

As the serbian people cheered, I set sail for Africa.

to be continued
 

unmerged(11031)

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The Rise of Aragon.... Or how France was won... (But not for us)

First of all I would like to thank Juba for subbing in on some of the points I missed. he did an excellent job of looking after Aragon once I toook them over properly. Not sure who took them for the finally session, but I had to go. However they kept us intact so thats all good.

The ooc Situation

My Iberian brothers and Brittany really should have trusted me. Yes Burgundy was strong, but I do not think she had any intention of moving agsint us for at least 10 years, once the English was was done. We could have then built up our strength in the mean time. And as for building up those provinces, I did it slowly, because what can I say? Income is good.
 

Dawkins

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Originally posted by Lord_Robertus
And as for building up those provinces, I did it slowly, because what can I say? Income is good.

At infra 1, increasing the population of Sardinia from 3000 to 5000 increases its production income by 0.2d per year, and trade taxes by 0.3d per year, for a grand total of 0.5 per year. It takes 20 colonists at 22d each to achieve 5000 population. So that's a total expenditure of 440d to achieve 0.5d per year more.

There are other factors, and population will become more important as infrastructure rises, but I think its pretty clear that investing that 440d into a manufactory would be money better spent (the long term investment return on manufactories is famously good). Province population is surprisingly unimportant in EU2. Also, considering we were involved in some pretty desparate wars at the time, the money could also have been put to very good use invested in military clout..

Originally posted by Lord_Robertus

My Iberian brothers and Brittany really should have trusted me.

Given your track record in the field of national economics, forgive us if we are wary of your advice in the field of international diplomacy :D
 

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Castille 1424-1456

Well Castille was a model of ecomonic prudence during my spell as advisor to the Spanish King, Juan, from c1424 to 1456, more or less living off census tax income for most of that period (even during the wars against England), and investing in tech instead, though we initially raised funds to promote some more tax collectors and send more colonists to the Canary Islands.

Of course, we weren't completely idle during this period, annexing the Islamic country Granada (perhaps a bit too early IMO, OTOH, does help in getting excess BB out of the way), and eventually deciding to split Navarra with Aragon.

We did our bit for the first proper war we had with England and Burgandy. However, it turned out to be a lost cause trying to defend Brittany from the combined Anglo-Burgundy forces, since we lacked the naval power to really do anything serious in England itself (or even to help in Brittany). Still we took Gascogne along with Navarra, and tied down 40k England armies in the south of France.

But we bided our time, and knew that Burgundy would sooner or later have to betray England (and even a wise English player would have realised that, though of course, such a ruler would have never gotten into that situation in the first place).

Sadly, just as our plans were coming to fruition (a sizeable cavalry force, a larger navy, and of couse persuading Burgundy to join our alliance, and of course the showdown with England), the advisor had a stroke, and though he carried on for a few more months, he had another more fatal stroke soon afterwards, and never saw what happened.

However, his memoirs revealed that his future plans were to take as much of Southern France from England as possible (along with Aragon), and ultimately do a deal with Aragon which would be even bigger than any ambition to unite Spain she may have had.
 

unmerged(10915)

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Muscowy

Well, i dont know when started, but i think Muscowy had been introduced earlier, but then dropped. Muscowy had been AI run for a while.

Anyways, i started with a nice army (a bit unpractical though, as most of it was infantry), about 200d and 0.6 inflation. Every single country around me except for the Golden Horde was player played, so whatever i did, i had to choose my steps carefully.

To the west, there was Poland - Lithuania, a great country, able to field vast armies. At this time, they were somewhat of a power in the region, so whatever i did, i would have to keep an eye on them.
To the north, there was Novgorod. During the years of AI-run, they had lost lots of their northern Kola provinces, including Ingermanland to Sweden. They were somewhat weak, but bordered my capital. If they were to recieve funding from some nation wanting the east to be divided, they could likely be a real pain the arse.
The TO lay beyond, perhaps the second biggest power factor behind Poland-Lith.

The Golden Horde was crumbling from revolts and instability, Astrakhan and Crimea had broken free, but Kazan hadnt, so i had to act fast before anyone else did. I couldnt be sure either if Lithuania had some aspirations that way.
But if i invaded the GH, i would practically leave my back open, so i sent a formal invitation for an alliance to Novgorod and luckily, they accepted. Novgorod wanted TO lands, mostly Pskov, which had been taken alot earlier.
While they invaded, i honored their call, but didnt send any armies in action, since all i wanted was a preoccupied Novgorod.
Having fixed the northern front for the time being, i began asking Lithuania what their ambitions were. The west they said, but they did not accept my RM invitations, so i couldnt trust them all too much. Besides, having positioned a 40k army on my border didnt ease me up all too much either.
Anyway, i invaded the Golden Horde and occupied three of their provinces with minimal losses (this would mean alot in the upcoming events). The grand scheme was to take all provinces bordering player nations, giving the east to myself.
It was about now that i crashed for the first time and when i returned, Kazan had broken free. I shouldered on, changing my war goals abit. Around now, Novgorod had peaced out with TO, returing to Status Quo.

It was just then that Lithuania DoWed me. I had noticed their armies mobilizing, so my expeditions in GH were already on their way home. Around then i noticed Novgorod had joined the Lithuanians, eager for taking the crown of Russia.
They hit me in Tula about 40k vs 35k. My spread out army had just arrived, giving me some important cavalry and i won the battle. The lithuanian army was severely beaten, I think it was down to about 11k.
Muscovite emmisaries were sent out in Europe, asking for military support and monetary aid and due to the charm of me, i managed to reap up quite a fortune. The TO promised to intervene, fearing their own extinction. The OE promised monetary support and military support if things went too badly.
Some skirmishing followed and i was about to invade Novgorod when i crashed.
And man what a crash it was. It took me about an hour to get my connection back up again and when i returned to the game the state was like this:

Muscowy had won the war, gaining a province from Lithuania and two from GH. The army was fine and a bailiff was being appointed. BUT THE INFLATION! 13.8%!!! AND TWO LOANS! ARRGH! How the hell the standin could raise the inflation that much, i have no idea. He had also invested half his research in miltary tech (!!), loosing valuable years of gaining infrastructure.
The TO had taken large parts of Novgorod, becoming the dominant factor in the region. This was kind of a sore ache, but we had to overcome it. After paying of my two loans (by begging various nations for cash), Peter (TO) asked me if i wanted to have a go at carving up Poland and Lithuania. So i wanted and i started building up a more advanced army and a war chest, again in part thanks to foreign aid.
Lithuania was greatly battered from the last war and had a very small army and rebels were plaguing the land.
It was like cutting through butter really, nothing of the behemoth only half a decade before. Peter was having a bit of problem with Poland though, but im sure hes informed everyone about that.

The GH, fearing that they were the next target, decided to invade Muscowy. It was perhaps the only choice for them, but there was no chance they would win the war. About now, Lithuainias government collapsed, giving me more than half their provinces, but at the same time giving me a huge BB. Well, there was nothing but to shoulder on and i prepared my armies to invade the GH.

Thats where it all ends and i hope the next session will be as rich with events as this one.
 

Peter Ebbesen

the Conqueror
55 Badges
Mar 3, 2001
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The Goon's Tale

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The Teutonic Knights 1450-1468
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The Goon Moves Into the Shantytown
......The neighbourhood, so long quiet, had gotten populated all of a sudden.. Two barbarians, Novo and Musk, had moved into the caves to the east. Two knights, Big Pol and Little Pol, had moved into the splendid mansions to the south, and a big lumbering Goon, Teuton, had moved into the shantytown up north...


Peaceful Goon and #1 Henchman
teutonic_knights.jpg


Peace and quite could have reigned, but it did not. Within a day, Novo was setting fires in the eastern shantytown, while Musk was cheering him on. Teuton the Goon was much dismayed.

Teuton (Goon): Why, oh, why do you burn the shantytown?
Novo (Barbarian): Because it ought to belong to me.

Now, this frightened Teuton the Goon quite a bit, but he knew winter would come sooner or later, hopefully putting out the flames, so he turned his attention to the south. If one of his new neighbours was bad, perhaps another one was good?

Teuton (Goon): Would you care to ally with me, or will you attack me as well, with hordes of firelighters?
Big Pol (Knight): We'll see, we'll see. We have a truce, so we won't burn while it lasts...

Poor Teuton checked his calendar, and saw that that was a mere 11 months. Well, perhaps they will be reasonable at that time, he thought. :)

The eleven months passed and another 12 months, and despite the constant burning in the eastern shantytown, the Goon was feeling more secure.... Until one day he saw Big Pol and Little Pol standing on the edge of the shantytown with a calculating look in their eyes:

Teuton (Goon): Well met. How may I help you?
Big Pol (Knight): You do know that we have ancient claims to parts of the shantytown, I presume?
Teuton (Goon): It is my shantytown

[Big Pol and Little Pol shared a knowing look]

Big Pol (Knight): And it is a nice shantytown, you've got here.
Little Pol (Knight): Yeah... Looks flammable
Big Pol (Knight): Would be a real shame were it to burn down
Little Pol (Knight): Yeah.

[The Goon looked frightened at this talk of burning]

Teuton (Goon): Well, I could consider selling parts of it to Little Pol for a mere 400d
Little Pol (Knight): That's a lot of money
Big Pol (Knight): And you are not mentioning my claims. I want the western parts of the shantytown
Teuton (Goon): But I don't want to sell the western parts of the shantytown, I like them just like they are

[Big Pol and Little Pol shared a knowing look.]

Big Pol (Knight): I see... Thank for your time

[Teuton looked scared. To the south, ever more of Big Pol's and Little Pol's firelighters were assembling near the shantytown]

Teuton the Goon considered that neither Big Pol nor Little Pol had so much as offered anything but only claimed, that they had denied his generous offer, and that they wanted to take fully 25% of his shantytown away without a fight. Teuton pondered Big Pol's closing statement and in the context, it was ominous...

The Goon drews the obvious conclusion: Those knights were up to no good, no good at all,
and he began drawing up devious plans to frustrate them.


Two is Company, Six is a Crowd
Now, it came to pass that after several years passed, Novo the Barbarian apologised for setting fire to the eastern Shantytown and he withdrew his firelighters and the Shantytown was at peace, and the Goon saw that it was good, and he sent many thanks to his friends.

Friends? Yes, indeed, the Goon had friends. West of the Shantytown lay dense inpenetrable forests and hills, suffused with small castles, rural villages, and quaint man-eating monsters. The small castles were populated by man-sized lemmings, and it turned out that they had long had good relations with the Shantytown, indeed, they had formed a compact of self defense: Whenever one was threatened by sinister forces, they all rushed to his defense, smothering the sinister force under their steel-clad bodies. When they didn't run into a lake, jump from a cliff, or die of starvation in wintertime, that is. While not an ideal defensive alliance, it sure beat not having one, and the Goon smiled at the friends and patted them on their heads and did not eat too many of them by mistake when they came visiting, all the way from Bremen, Holstein, Mecklemburg, Oldenburg, and Pommerania.

It happened one day that the Goon heard that Novo the Barbarian had betrayed Mush and joined Big Pol's and Little Pol's gang, and that they were beating up Musk somewhat fiercely. Knowing that Big Pol and Little Pol had many forces at their command - he had seen a fully 65,000 patrolling south of the Shantytown the two years past, twice the size of the Shantytown's constabulary - this worried him more than a bit. Once they had finished beating up the hulking barbarian Musk, would they not turn on the Goon as he had long feared?

It seemed likely.


The Northern Blue Blob

Swiftly, the Goon reunited a small hut named Ingermannland with the Shantytown, this hut having been infested by a Northern Blue Blob of exceptional strength of prowess in years past. Yet against the Goon and his friends it could not stand, and it withdrew to the North where it belonged. Now, standing on the very border of the Shantytown, the good Goon Teuton, by standing on his tip-toes, could see the caves of Novo to the east...


Warlike Goon and Company
teutonic_knights_fight.jpg



The Snowball Fight
Remembering the years of fire in the Shantytown and the dreadful triple alliance surrounding, the Goon dearly wished to intervene before Novo, Big Pol, and Little Pol could succeed in killing Musk. However, such a major operation, involving the launching of thousands of snowballs from the secret silo's in the Shantytown, would require money, and money was in short supply.

Fortunately, where there is a will, there is a way, and the Goon willed it. From far to the South, the great Gorilla of Constantinople sent fully 400 shiny ducats, if only the Goon would help save Musk. Likewise, from the far west, the Peakock of Aragon sent more than 60 shiny ducats, and the Goon could now easily afford the cost of ammunition.

The Goon blessed the launchers, and the Snowball Fight began.


The Friends of the Goon in Action, 1459
tsunami2_1459.jpg


The fight lasted for but a year before Novo the Barabarian was humbled and Big Pol and Little Pol were defeated and made peace with Musk. Secretly, Teuton the Goon wished that Musk had kept up the fight a bit longer, so they together could really have taught Big Pol and Little Pol a lesson, but that was not to be. Thus the Shantytown expanded northwards and eastwards and a year later, Musk the Barabarian had Novo's head on a spike, which was most unhygienic.


The Shantytown at Peace: only a few fires remain, 1468
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The Goon's Devious Plan
Now, all was peaceful in the Shantytown, but the Goon was not truly happy. Sure, Big Pol and Little Pol had been taught a lesson, but once they had recovered from their thumping, they would be as nasty as ever. Perhaps, just perhaps, it was time to put his devious plan in action?

Yes, perhaps it was time, at that. A deeply religious Goon, Teuton did not, of course, want to embark on such an adventure without the blessing of the lord, so he sat on his favourite rock, put on his sun-glasses, played the banjo of appelation, and appealed to the lord:

Teuton (Goon): Hi Lord. Sorry about killing off Novo like that, but when Big Pol, Little Pol, and Novo united and started hurting their neighbours like that, I had to react lest I be next on the list. I hope you do not mind.

[and the Lord answered in a voice of doom, but then, he always did, so that did not particularly trouble the Goon]
Lord (Diety): Not at all - they all deserved it

Teuton (Goon): Hmmm. I could attempt to eliminate Big Pol, letting the Shantytown substitute for Big Pol's mansions in the Eastern European scheme of things. Would you mind terribly?
Lord (Diety): Do what u like :), Just dont go for Scandinavia or HRE

Thus reassured that his plan would not interfere overmuch with the Lord's greater schemes, so long as he did not touch the Northern Blue Blob or annoy the Lemmings (and why would he do that? Lemmings were his friends!), Teuton the Goon walked to the Northern shantytown, and called out to Musk the Barbarian, who was still licking his wounds.

Teuton (Goon): Hypothetically, Musk, how would you feel about the two of us attempting to partition Big Pol's and Little Pol's mansions a few years time?

And there was no answer for the longest time. Teuton called out, again, and again, and suddenly, after a long while, ten answers from Musk arrived on the clear air - obviously, most of them had been delayed by the curious echoing pines, forcing a synchroneity of arrival - or something like that..

Musk (Barbarian): Hmm, I'll think about it... When would this be then? That would of course demand that i recieve some of your Russian lands... I do not like you holding Pskov nor Olonbets...

Teuton (Goon): Anyway, my proposition is simple, Barbarian. Dissect Big Pol's and Little Pol's mansions and kick out the knights while we have the choice, with me getting the west and you the east. And if it means giving up your orthodox cores later, that is not really a problem.

And Musk looked pleased at this thought and after some negotiations, they agreed to go hunting knights in 1466. It was time, past time, for Big Pol and Little Pol to face....


The Wrath of the Goon
As 1466 arrived, the Goon and Musk began hurting Big Pol and Little Pol quite badly. Even the Goon's friends, the western lemmings, joined, though they were of scant aid as they preferred to die from starvation in Lithuania, the westernmost of Little Pol's mansions. Nevertheless, the Goon's constabulary quickly overwhelmed Big Pol's firelighters, and it looked to be a short fight.


The Wrath of the Goon, 1466
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Ha! The Goon was much mistaken. Some financiers with the financial sense of a rock (and a stupid rock, at that), who had never heard of credit ratings, loaned a lot of money to Big Pol. Big Pol happily took the money, when they were so lacking in sense, and quickly built a huge army of firelighters, with which he struck back from his holdout Podolia. After all, he could always default on the loans and declare a bankruptcy... Those financiers would lose all their money, but hey, these things happen. Meanwhile, the Northern Blue Blob was burning Kexholm, but knowing that the Lord had prohibited the Goon from harming the Blue Blob, the Goon ignored it - for now.

Suddenly faced with a scary army, Big Pol's murderers, the Goon's constables were killed one by one, and by the middle of 1467 he only had 2,000 left out of the 32,000 he had started with. Fortunately, the mansions of Mazovia, Wielpolska, and Krakow were still under his control. Desperately, the Goon began hiring new constables, while cursing the lemmings who were still enjoying their stay with Little Pol, until, that is, Little Pol's government fell (he stumbled), and Musk took over half of Little Pol's mansions. But did the lemmings then turn to aid the Goon? No, they did not, they marched into the sea instead, which was sort of silly.

So it came to pass, that by early 1468 the Goon had recruited 7,000 constables, and now had fully 9,000 in Prussia, but the remainder of Big Pol's murderers were marching to kill them off, and there were rather more of them.

And the Goon looked at his savings, and saw that he only had 192 shiny ducats left, so he took a single loan of 200 shiny ducats, even though its interest would cost 1/7th of his income for the next five years, and he hired a band of lemming mercenaries passing through for 283 shiny ducats, and in a grand battle in Prussia, he defeated Big Pol's murderers, and he prepared to strike south again, and let the scattered Poles feel... The Wrath of the Goon


[And, of course, both Lithuania and Poland, which have already suffered bankruptcies, are set to go bankrupt again soon... The second for Poland and the third for Lithuania... Good lord, how I hate bankruptcy armies in MP. Fortunately, they should be gone with the latest beta pacthes.]