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Tom D.

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Hello everybody and welcome to my second AAR. I know I said in my previous AAR that I wouldn't start this thread until August, but I already wanted to start this AAR now. I had a try this weekend to learn the new mechanics added with Mare Nostrum in patch 1.16 and 1.17 and when it went well, I started to keep the screenshots from the game.

So why Flanders?

The Lion rises: the nation which everybody wants to lead to glory, I mean: it's Flanders.

Personal reason: I'm born in Flanders, so I thought it would be nice to play as Flanders. Flanders also starts in a threatening position, being in a PU with Burgundy and surrounded by Austria and France if the BI fires. A bit like Byzantium.

As for mods, I am playing without any mods and there are no major DLC active. And believe me, playing as Flanders without "Support independence" option is really painful.

I have already played until 1520 to make sure I wouldn't need to end this AAR after the first chapter. But things are looking good for now.

I won't be making any promises about when the chapters will be released, I don't know it myself. We'll see when the time is there.

I hope you will like it :)!

Table of Contents:

Prologue: The Burgundian crisis
Chapter I: 5th of December 1451 till 31th of December 1456
Chapter II: 31th of December 1456 till 4th of May 1479
Chapter III: 4th of May 1479 till 3rd of April 1499
Chapter IV: 3rd of April 1499 till 3rd of June 1517
Chapter V: 3rd of June 1517 till 22nd of December 1524
Chapter VI: 23rd of December 1524 till 20th of October 1533
Chapter VII: 21st of October 1533 till 20th of August 1540
Chapter VIII: 21st of August 1540 till 16th of May 1555
Chapter IX: 16th of May 1555 till 2nd of August 1574
Chapter X: 2nd of August 1574 till 23rd of March 1590
Chapter XI: 23rd of March 1590 till 15th of May 1599
Chapter XII: 15th of May 1599 till 13rd of September 1625
Chapter XIII: 13rd of September 1625 till 13rd of March 1640
Chapter XIV: 13rd of March 1640 till 6th of February 1658
Chapter XV: 6th of February 1658 till 1st of August 1674
Chapter XVI: 1st of August 1674 till 24th of May 1688
Chapter XVII: 24th of May 1688 till the 28th of December 1693
Chapter XVIII: 28th of December 1693 till 28th of December 1700
Chapter XIX: 28th of December 1700 till 28th of December 1712
Chapter XX: 28th of December 1712 till 26th of July 1720
Chapter XXI: 26th of July 1720 till 22 January 1728
Chapter XXII: 22nd January 1728 till 4th of January 1739
Chapter XXIII: 4th of January 1739 till 15th of February 1742
Chapter XXIV: 15th of February 1742 till 21st of September 1751
Chapter XXV: 21st of September 1751 till 8th of August 1761
Chapter XXVI: 8th of August 1761 till 5th of February 1771
Chapter XXVII: 5th of February 1771 till 21st of April 1781
Chapter XXVIII: The Battle of the Yellow Sea (21st of April 1781 till 30th of August 1781)
Chapter XXIX: The Korean Invasion and Defence of Ceylon (30th of August 1781 till 24th of April 1783)
Chapter XXX: The War to end All Wars (from 24th of April 1783 till 5th of November 1785)
Chapter XXXI: 5th of November 1785 till 1st of January 1820 + overview
 
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Prologue: The Burgundian crisis

Tom D.

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Prologue: The Burgundian crisis

Although the 'official' beginning of this AAR should be the 5th of December 1451, the first signs of Flemish resistance towards Burgundy were seen on the 11th of November 1444. On that day, a new local governor named Karel II Jaworski came to power. Jaworski was a true Fleming, but as his name indicates, he wasn't native to Flanders. Karel II was a son of a former Polish merchant from Krakow, who moved to Brugge after his wife died. There he started a local business trading in cloth and soon the Jaworski family were well known and very influential in the merchant class of Flanders.

So when Karel II became the local governor of the small Kingdom of Flanders, he made it clear to the Burgundian overlords the time that Flanders would bow before them would end. And rather sooner than later.

Two years after Karel II rose to power, the Burgundian king died, leaving a child as heir. A regency council was installed to govern the country until the new king could take power. Karel II clearly saw the signs of a Burgundy in decline.

With a weak regency ruling over Burgundy, Flanders was able to maintain diplomatic relations with the Holy Roman Emperor in Austria. On the the 3rd of December 1447, Austria accepted Flanders to join the Holy Roman Empire. Flanders became the 59th member state of the HRE. The court in Bourgogne was furious when they heard the news, but there was nothing they could do.

Charles I de Bourgogne, who ascended to the throne a year later, decided a mutual enemy was necessary to keep his PU members under control. And he soon found a victim: rumours arrived at the Burgundian court about French weakness, and on the 18th of April 1451 Charles decided to attack France.

Charles led his army personally, but was wise enough to announce his heir before he left the country: Charles (6/4/4) would take the throne if Charles died during the war.

And that's exactly what happened: only half a year later, on the 5th of December 1451, Charles I de Bourgogne had been killed. He personally led his troops into battle. During a heavy cavalry charge, the King fell of his horse and was later found dead. His naked and disfigured body was found in a ditch, with his head being clift in two.

Burgundy was in turmoil, and Austria and France took the advantage: they split Burgundy in half, with the Low Countries going to Austria and France taking the southern provinces of Bourgogne and Artois. The two countries decided Flanders would be left alone, and Flanders was now officialy independent.

Karel II Jaworski (3/4/4) crowned himself King of Flanders, and although his legitimacy was low, he had the ambition to make Flanders great again!

20160521122929_1.jpg
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As a side note, the funny thing is I just had taken several loans to hire mercenaries to raise liberty desire and to declare independence during the war with France. But the Burgundian Inheritance was faster than me.
 
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bbqftw

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Saves you the stab hit but arguably gives you the hardest Low Country diplomatic configuration to play out of. Interesting!
 

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Tom D.

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Saves you the stab hit but arguably gives you the hardest Low Country diplomatic configuration to play out of. Interesting!
Flanders is indeed not an easy country to begin with, certainly after the BI. But with the right allies it should be OK.

Thanks for the nice artwork ;).
 

atwix

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subbed
 
Chapter I: 5th of December 1451 till 31th of December 1456

Tom D.

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Chapter I: 5th of December 1451 till 31th of December 1456

< 5th of December 1451 - Brugge >

Karel II was tired but happy when he left the party to celebrate Flanders' independence. When he entered the palace, he asked his diplomat Boudewijn Van Lichtervelde to join him to discuss some state affairs. When they were alone, Karel asked Boudewijn his opinion on how Flanders should survive:

"Boudewijn, while those aristocrats are still feasting I am concerned about how we will survive. Flanders is a small kingdom, and we now have to face two external threats called Austria and France. If we don't look out they will vassalize and annex us just as Burgundy would do." Karel said.

"France and Austria are indeed trouble on the horizon for our country my King, but we all know that they are hostile towards each other. We should take advantage of this." Boudewijn answered.

"And how do you think to do that precisely?"

"Allying one side in the conflict. I personally think Austria is the best option. We joined the HRE for protection, and if we are able to ally Austria we are sure the Emperor will protect us personally. On the other hand this would not improve our position in Paris, but this doesn't mean we can't improve our relations with them."

"But what if France declares war on Austria? If they are stronger we might already lose everything we gained today."

"Politics aren't without a risk my King, but it will be totally worth it. I am sure of it."

On the same evening, a request for a royal marriage between Karel II's niece and the heir of the Austrian king was sent to Wien. The Austrian king accepted the proposal, strengthening the relations between both countries.

But on the same evening Karel did also sent another request, this time promising his nephew to marry the niece of the French king. France clearly had difficulties with Flanders because they were weak, but they too accepted the proposal. Flanders had secured its position with Austria AND France this way.

And soon after, a formal alliance was signed between the kingdom of Flanders and Austria. Flanders became a noticeable subject to talk about for European aristocracy, wondering how the small kingdom would proceed.

The wedding with Austria seemed very productive, as Karel II's niece gave birth to a daughter, Margareta (1/3/2). She would be the next heir to the Flemish throne.

Allying Austria seemed a very good choice because they also granted Flanders an Electorate in the Holy Roman Empire. This will enable Flanders to chose who the next Emperor of the Empire should be, and it will greatly improve the status of Flanders within the Empire. Karel accepted the offer, and was granted the title 'King-Elector', which became the new title for the King.

With the position of Flanders assured in the HRE, it was time to expand the realm. There were three targets for expansion in the Low Countries: Utrecht, Gelre and Friesland. Utrecht was the best target, because they don't have any allies. Austria won't join the war because they are the Emperor, but Flanders should be strong enough to face Utrecht. War was declared on the 25th of February, 1455.

The two armies met at Gent, with an 8000 men Flemish army defending against the 7000 men army of Utrecht. On the 5th of May the army of Utrecht was defeated.

20160521124404_1.jpg


The disorganised and beaten army retreated to Utrecht. Still recovering from the heavy blow, the Flemish army marched to Utrecht and stackwiped the remains of the army. The siege of Utrecht lasted half a year, and Utrecht was annexed on the 31th of December 1456.

Karel feared Austria might demand to release Utrecht again as a HRE minor, but because of the high relations and the fact that Flanders was voting for Austria, they decided to leave Flanders alone. Flanders' position in the HRE was solid now.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks for reading, and as with my previous AAR: constructive criticism and questions are always welcome :).
 

Nikolai

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I look forward to following this.:)
 

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wait what? Austria gave you an electorate?

I thought they preferred theocracies and republics..
 

Tom D.

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I look forward to following this.:)
Welcome aboard Nikolai!

wait what? Austria gave you an electorate?

I thought they preferred theocracies and republics..
I don't know anything about that, but maybe the AI prefers their allies as first choice and than look at the theocracies and republics? I'm very pleased with it of course :D.
 

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I discovered that most difficult games will receive magical luck that almost never happens, and makes that game even more precious than ever. No support of independence Flanders is a pretty impressive start, and the surprising elector status would change the game a lot. It will be interesting to see what way you go: Netherlands? HRE Emperor? Colonial? or just BLOB? The dialogues in between were very well written too.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Good to see you starting another AAR. The King of Flanders will find glory! ...perhaps as the Emperor of the HRE?
 

Tom D.

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I discovered that most difficult games will receive magical luck that almost never happens, and makes that game even more precious than ever. No support of independence Flanders is a pretty impressive start, and the surprising elector status would change the game a lot. It will be interesting to see what way you go: Netherlands? HRE Emperor? Colonial? or just BLOB? The dialogues in between were very well written too.
Every game needs a little bit of luck. I remember one game as Flanders (a couple of patches ago, but still) where Burgundy lost all his PU's in 1448. I was like 'Really?' and I was hoping for that initially to happen too, but than the BI fired. It's definitely more difficult because of limited expansion plans and having two major powers at your doorsteps but with careful diplomacy everything should be possible.

And again, the amount of content you have and which specific DLC changes the whole game, and with every DLC the game needs to be played differently. If I had the AoW DLC I could ask France and Austria to support my independence and it would be stomping Burgundy until you own the whole Low Countries region. Whether that would be exciting or entertaining is personal. I wonder when I'll ever buy a DLC :rolleyes:...

But to answer your other questions: I really want to form the Netherlands although I will have to give a reason for it since the Netherlands = Dutch and AAR = Flemish but I think it would be possible. Even if it wasn't for the story, the Dutch ideas and definitely the Dutch Republic are very good and even OP when it comes to German ideas and a Feudal monarchy. As for the rest, Emperor might be possible, but whether I would be able to unify the HRE... Going overseas is always enjoying to do, even if you know that Africa lies there and the Americas over there. Every time you explore a new province it's like 'Yay, another province!', or that is what I think of it. Blobbing is not something I usually do, I'm never leading more than 1 or 2 offensive wars at the same time, I like to progress gradually.

Good to see you starting another AAR. The King of Flanders will find glory! ...perhaps as the Emperor of the HRE?
Thanks, but we aren't speaking anymore of the King of Flanders: it is 'THE KING-ELECTOR OF THE KINGDOM OF FLANDERS' and glory will be his part ;). As said above, HRE Emperor is possible.

Welcome aboard all :).
 

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Well, if Donald Trump is leading Flanders back to greatness you positively cannot fail! :p
 

Tom D.

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Chapter II: 31th of December 1456 till 4th of May 1479

Tom D.

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Chapter II: 31th of December 1456 till 4th of May 1479

With the conquest of Utrecht, Flanders' ambitions to become a regional power became clear. The people of Utrecht were very rebellious minded after their annexation, and received sufficient autonomy to govern themselves. But this didn't help Flanders to grow in strength, so Utrecht was made into a State, reducing the autonomy of Utrecht. The question was not if but when they would rebel.

< 30th of November 1460, Brugge >

Karel was sitting at his desk, writing letters to his general in Utrecht to prepare himself for a rebellion, when a cleric from the administration of the Kingdom came into his office.

"My King, I have arrived with great news: our administration has reached lvl 5, enabling us to choose a first idea group for our Kingdom." the cleric said.

"Is it true? Finally, we are able to strengthen our realm with some good ideas. And I think I already know which idea group I’m going to take." Karel answered.

"So we are going to take Quantity then? Our manpower reserves are indeed pretty low and we could use some more able men in our armies with the upcoming rebellion."

"Oh no, I wasn't thinking of Quantity. What benefit would Quantity give for such a small nation as ours?"

"So than it will be Administrative. A good choice my King, mercenaries are always needed in a war, and this enables us to save our precious manpower."

"You have some very weird ideas about 'strengthening' our realm by ideas. Mercenaries are way too expensive to hire, let alone we could sustain them. No, I was thinking of the Exploration idea group."

"Exploration my King? How would this strengthen our realm, some very low development provinces with a high 75% autonomy will not provide anything useful for our realm, I am sure about that. Please reconsider your choice my King."

"It is not the provinces which are interesting me, it is the rich trade from India and the East Indies. They seem very lucrative, and if we are the first one to ensure us a monopoly we will dominate Europe. And reconsidering my choice will not be possible, I have already unlocked the first colonist. Quite expensive these guys, 400 DIP points. But I guess they know what they're doing, right? I hope they do, for such a price... "


"I thought Exploration was meant to explore the Americas as everybody is talking about. Portugal and Castille can’t stop pretending they’re going to take over everything…"

"Of course, but do you think it would be wise to colonize the Americas, let it turn into colonial nations for some reason and then after 100 years lose them because of high liberty desire? I thought not, we can govern the African, Indian and East-Indies provinces ourselves, which is a lot easier. Now you must excuse me, I have a rebellion to take care of."

"Of course my King, I am certain you will be right about colonizing Africa."


20160521130014_1.jpg


While the cleric was leaving the room, Karel thought he heard him say something like "fool", but he was convinced he had misinterpreted it.

On the 3rd of October, 1462 the expected rebellion of Utrecht occurred. An 11 000 men rebel army attacked the defending 10 000 men Flemish army. The rebellion was led by a certain Fabian Leicher, who got executed after the rebellion was crushed. Utrecht was secured for the Flemish kingdom, and as a punishment their autonomy got reduced even more.

20160521130300_1.jpg


In the meantime, Karel moved earth and heaven to ensure an alliance with Poland, which he finally could secure on the 29th of March 1467. Flanders was now allied with Austria and Poland-Lithuania. The marriage was hold in Gdansk, which was recently conquered by the Polish from the Teutonic Order.

With time passing by, the Flemish kingdom became a small but stable kingdom. Karel II’s legitimacy was still very low, but once his daughter would take the throne, the problem would be resolved. Trade was flourishing, but it still provided a meagre 1,82 ducats a month. The English had a vast monopoly, counting 75% of the whole English Channel trade value. If Flanders wants to survive, it would need more money. They just needed more of everything to be honest.

So this drove Karel II to declare war on the English on the 4th of March, 1473. Spies loyal to Flanders had fabricated a claim on Calais. The English would get support from Portugal, Aragon and Ulster. Flanders is aided by Austria.

20160521150857_1.jpg


Flanders and Austria alone were no match for the combined strength of Aragon, Portugal and England. Karel II was hoping his nephew in Paris could convince the French king to attack England or Aragon.

While the Flemish army was waiting for Austrian reinforcements to attack, diplomats from Paris and Toledo arrived at Brugge to confirm that their countries are willing to aid Flanders with subsidies. Castille is giving 3,02 ducats a month while France gives 2,03 ducats a month. This helped funding the war and filled the Flemish treasury, as Flanders was now generating more profit than during peace time.

With Austrian reinforcements arriving in the Flemish kingdom, the English army at Calais was attacked. The English and Austrian kings led their armies themselves, but the Austrian king was better at charging his cavalry which brought victory to Flanders, and Austria too of course.

While Calais was under siege, terrific news arrived from Karel’s nephew at Brugge: France declared war on Aragon! This would provide unofficial support for our war. Victory was assured.

After two major battles, a Flemish defeat at Artois and three victories against England peace was concluded with Aragon: they would gain nor lose anything, and signed a white peace. France can have it all if they want.

After the war with Aragon stopped, the Castillian subsidies were cancelled, but Flanders still had a positive balance because of the French subsidies.

After some time, Portugal signed peace after they got completely sieged: they would annul all their treaties with England and Castille. After that, England decided to cede Calais to Flanders and to renounce their claims on Labourd, improving our relations with France.

20160521152551_1.jpg


Peace followed, and the Flemish army was stationed at Kales (apparently the new Flemish name for Calais) to defend themselves against a rebellion. On the 15th of March 1478, Austria passed the first Imperial Reform in the Empire. This would give members a build cost reduction of 5% and an increase in the total amount of goods produced of 5%. A Casus Belli was now available for the Emperor against all countries who unlawfully have Imperial territory.

Only a year later, on the 10th of April 1478 a new group of ideas were able to be chosen, and Karel decided to take Quantity, because of manpower issues.

To celebrate the recent victory against the English, a tournament was held and a unheralded commoner defeated all his opponents. He offered to help his country by leading the Flemish army to victory. Everybody had seen his competences, and Karel decided to accept his offer. A 100 tradition general would lead the army, costing 25 prestige and legitimacy. Karel's legitimacy was 0 again, but the common people still loved him.

And on the 4th of May 1479, Karel II Jaworski died in his sleep, after ruling the country for 28 years. A big ceremony was held in Brugge, with his daughter Margareta IV Jaworski taking the throne. Her rise to power increased the legitimacy of the dynasty to 82. The succession was safe.

20160521153150_1.jpg

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I want to note that a rebellion occurred again during the war in Utrecht, but with Austrian reinforcements tied up with my army I decided to make a detour, if you know what I mean ;).
 
Last edited:

atwix

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exploration huh.

Let me grab my popcorn.
 

Nikolai

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TheAnguishedOne

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Exploration as your first choice is... unexpected. Hopefully it'll work out for you. Perhaps Flanders will rule Africa one day.

Defeating England is a good way to end Karel II Jaworski's reign. I'm sure Margareta IV Jaworski will make her father proud.
 

Kagemin

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Very different approach in this one, interesting. Looking forward to the Flemish (?) colonial Empire. :)