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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Seelmeister

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xdu1.jpg


Contents

Chapter One) Reforging the Auld Alliance, 1444-1458
Chapter Two) Losing the Peace? 1458-1464
Chapter Three) The Second Anglo-Scottish War
Chapter Four) James III and the Quest for the New World
Chapter Five) The Reformation and the Spanish Armada
Chapter Six) The Third Anglo-Scots War
Chapter Seven) The Ambition of King James III
Chapter Eight) The Fate of the Islands, and a Preacher Called Knox




A Brief Introduction

The first Stewart king, Robert II, came to the throne in 1371 following the death of David II. Scotland was a land of powerful nobles and clans, and in 1406 the future James I was sent to France for his protection. He did not arrive, being captured en route by the English and held for ransom for 18 years. Following his release, James returned north with his English bride and began to expand and centralise the power of the crown in Scotland, clashing with the powerful nobility who had prospered during the long regency. He was assassinated in 1437, bringing James II to the throne who reigns in 1444.

Scotland in 1444 already has its first ancient university; the University of St Andrews was founded in 1413 and was the third university established in the English Speaking world.

The country is a land of contrasts; the south is already anglicised, relatively wealthy with trading connections stretching to the Low Countries, the north German Hanseatic Ports, Poland and beyond, while in the north powerful clans hold sway, not least among them the Lord of the Isles and the Black Douglas. Gaelic is widely spoken north of Stirling, and the formidable terrain makes exercising control from the Lowlands very challenging.

7c4q.jpg
The Declaration or Arbroath, signed in 1320 brought the first Wars of Independence to an end. A second series of wars were fought between 1332 and 1357,
resulting in an indemnity being paid to England.​

The wars of Independence in the previous century had eventually secured Scotland's independence from her powerful southern neighbour, and since then England has been embroiled in the 100 Years War on the continent, offering Scotland relative protection. However, English fortunes have faltered and the French are in ascendancy, so soon English ambition may once again bring her armies north of the Tweed.

2v5x.jpg
Linlithgow Palace, about 20 miles outside Edinburgh. The town burned down in 1424 and in the century which followed
successive Scottish Kings developed a grand palace. The palace was largely destroyed by the Duke of Cumberland in 1746.​

This AAR will be played in Ironman mode on the default settings, and will largely describe the gameplay. I will try to add in some historical flavour, as game events permit. I aim to produce around one update per week, although this may fluctuate slightly. I do not expect to be massively successful, there is unlikely to be Scottish holdings on the continent of an early Great Britain, perhaps not at all. I hope that this will maintain a sense of tension throughout the AAR.

All criticism, comments, suggestions and questions are more than welcome!

The banner image is of the striking Dunnottar Castle with the North Sea in the background, about 15 miles south of Aberdeen.

dksy.jpg
Scotland in 1444.​






I was humbled that 'Your Wee Bit Hill and Glen'*was nominated for the weekly AAR showcase, 6/10/13 - 13/10/13. Thanks to Densleyblair!
 
Last edited:

Gotya64

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This looks good! I've heard horror stories about playing as Scotland, so hopefully you can buck the odds.
 

Belgiumruler

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Nice! I actually visited Dunnottar, and I am intrested how this turns out!
 

Stuyvesant

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I haven't followed any Scottish (Scotch? Scots? I never know the proper usage of one or the other) AARs before, so this should provide an interesting perspective.
 

Tommy4ever

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So in.
 

LordTempest

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After several unsuccessful attempts as Scotland which all resulted in me being overwhelmed by Irish/Lollard/English rebels, I must say I look forward to seeing this AAR commence! Go forth Seel, and teach me how to play Scotland in EUIV! :)
 

Seelmeister

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This looks good! I've heard horror stories about playing as Scotland, so hopefully you can buck the odds.

Thank you, and welcome! Scotland certainly don't start in the strongest of positions, but there are some advantages that can be exploited

Looks good, Seelmeister. I'll certainly enjoy this!

Welcome, glad you're along for the ride Densley!

Nice! I actually visited Dunnottar, and I am intrested how this turns out!

It's a spectacular castle isn't it? I studied in Aberdeen a few years ago, and really enjoyed the visit there.

I haven't followed any Scottish (Scotch? Scots? I never know the proper usage of one or the other) AARs before, so this should provide an interesting perspective.

Welcome! I'll do my best to keep this interesting, more powerful neighbours should guarantee it though. I'd personally use 'Scottish', although Scots would also work.


Welcome! I hope you enjoy the AAR.

After several unsuccessful attempts as Scotland which all resulted in me being overwhelmed by Irish/Lollard/English rebels, I must say I look forward to seeing this AAR commence! Go forth Seel, and teach me how to play Scotland in EUIV! :)

There are many unsuccessful attempts behind this AAR, although this is my first attempt on ironman. The English Rebels and Lollards can be a massive problem early game, and things don't tend to get any easier. Glad to have you along Tanzhang.

Thanks for all your comments, first chapter is being redrafted and will be posted later today.
 

Seelmeister

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u3t9.jpg


Your Wee Bit Hill and Glen – Reforging the Auld Alliance 1444 – 1458



hj94.jpg

Here are the six provinces which make up the realm of James II Stewart, King of Scotland. James is a decent (3/2/2) King and will at least ensure us a relatively steady flow of monarch points, although it is slightly concerning that he has no heir yet. We are, however, one of the poorer countries in the game, with base tax values ranging from just 1 to 7. This gives us an income of only 3.87, which is barely enough to hire a single advisor and support our military. Our geographic situation is hardly encouraging and offers little opportunity to capitalise on early game trade; the only node we have power in is the North Sea, worth a paltry 2 ducats, and for the first hundred years or so there will be little opportunity to encourage trade in this direction. This makes sense; at the start of the game Scotland lies on the periphery of the known world. We are not en route to very much at all, and therefore cannot expect to entice a large volume of trade in our direction. There are three nodes which flow into the North Sea; Chesapeake Bay, Hudson Bay and the White Sea, but all three are undiscovered at the start of the game.

We have two land borders in game terms; with the Norwegian Orkney Isles across the Pentland Firth and of course with England to the south. To our west, the isle of Ireland is divided, although England has already established its control over Dublin and the Pale. Unfortunately, none of the Irish provinces have a particularly high base tax either, so there is no 'get rich quick' scheme to be had there.

Our first priority is to hire an advisor; admin points are the most important and so we fill the slot with a level 1 . With our remaining cash a new barque will be built to improve our trade fleet.

Our small fleet of three barques are sent to protect our North Sea trade, our rivals Norway are competing there and wield greater trade power through their provinces, so we must combat this at sea. I leave one merchant collecting from the North Sea, but there is little point in assigning my second merchant anywhere just now; I have no trade power in London, or indeed anywhere else. Nevertheless, seeing1/2 next to the merchant icon annoys me, and so we send our man to transfer trade power upstream from London.

7pgu.jpg

With our two diplomats, there are far more choices. Obviously, we want to maintain strong relations with France, with with our common enemy this will not be difficult. I will try to secure a royal marriage and alliance soon, but for the time being our first diplomat is sent to improve relations in England. This will ultimately succeed in only delaying any aggression; the AI has already selected a domineering attitude towards us so there is little chance of gaining even a royal marriage. I'd still like to keep relations relatively positive for the time being however.

Our second diplomat will be used to secure our first territorial expansion. Norway is part of the Danish led Kalmar Union, who can bring a far great navy and army to bear that we, and so it is to Ireland I turn my attention and begin forging a claim against Tyrone.

8dql.jpg

The three missions we can choose from are to improve our prestige, solidify our relations with the Papal State, or to Honour the Auld Alliance. The last is a Scottish mission which requires France to be at war with England, and nets us 1 stability and 30 army tradition if we declare war. While I have no intention of declaring war against England just yet, neither of the other two look particularly appetising and the +1 stability is especially useful, so I choose this mission.

With the initial decisions made, its time to get going. The first year of the game passes relatively uneventfully, and by the start of 1446 we have a claim on the province of Ulster. It's owner, Tyrone, has not formed any alliances, but just as we load our army onto out fleet in the Irish Sea a powerful revolt breaks out, routing the 3,000 strong Irish army and laying siege to the province. We would struggle against such a force, and so I opt to wait until the revolt has succeeded to launch my invasion.

71at.jpg

The rest of 1446 passes with little to report. We slowly accumulate ducats which are used to expand our small trading fleet. At the turn of the year, a conflict emerges between the King and the Black Douglas, head of one of the more powerful Scottish noble factions. Historically, this occurred as James II attempted to consolidate his power in the realm, and our options are to either break the Douglas, destroying their castles and confiscating their lands, or to make peace with the family.

The first option would grant us a decent gold boost, a very tempting 50 admin points but at the cost of 12,000 rebels rising in our capital. The safe option, making peace, costs 5 prestige but brings a 1 stability boost.

9lxn.jpg


As tempted as I am by the 50 admin points, the siege in Ulster is almost over and I don't want to delay my invasion any further. 12,000 rebels would require a significant expansion of the Royal Army, which numbers just 6,000 men, and so the monetary gains of taking on the Douglases would more than accounted for by the recruitment. I play it safe, and take the stability.

Finally, in June 1447, Ulster falls and the revolt is over. Although it has delayed me, the rebellion makes my invasion even simpler – there is no defending army to fight, and my troops land immediately meaning the garrison has not recovered to full strength. War is declared and my invasion begins disembarking.

3rj2.jpg

With no opposition and a weakened defence, the siege of Ulster does not last long and by late 1449 the province is well on it's way to becoming a Scottish core. At just 4 base tax, it is not the wealthiest, but is still better than nothing. Apart from a small boost to income and manpower, this is the first province we control which lies in the London trade node. This means, rather than waste that second merchant, we can begin to collect a very small amount of trade from the second node. We will be hit with a pretty heavy negative modifier for collecting in a node which doesn't contain our capital, but it is still better than having the merchant contribute nothing.

At the end of 1449, after 5 years of gameplay, we finally get an heir. The (very anglicised) Charles will be our next King. As went enter the new decade, the first of what I hope will be many monopoly companies is formed. We opt to get the benefits gradually over time, which will increase our trade efficiency by 15% for ten years, and gives us a 50 diplomatic point boost. All in all, a very positive event. We continue to slowly increase our trade fleet, and Ulster becomes a core province in February.

f5e0.jpg

As well as slowly increasing our economic base, it is worth looking at what options we have for further expansion. England is being beaten by France, and a revolt has broken out which has occupied much of Wales. However, now is not yet the time to strike, as the English situation will inevitably deteriorate further. Instead, I start to improve relations with Leinster, and secure an alliance with them. We are not the only ones expanding in Ireland however. Munster declare war against Connaught, and annex them in 1452.

1gbq.jpg

By mid 1452, England are slowly losing more and more ground. It is time to make our first excursion over the border. We begin fabricating a claim on Cumbria in August. That same month, we increase our administrative technology, which allows the first idea choice. In our current geopolitical situation, a set of military ideas like quality would be very useful. However, it is a mistake to choose a military idea at the start. The first few levels of military technology come with significant improvements to morale and tactics. If you are using your military points to unlock ideas, you will fall behind in tech, and your 'high quality' army will be smashed.

In other circumstances I would quite often go with trade or expansion for my first choice, but the last thing I need right now are more merchants that I have nowhere to send. Instead, I choose exploration ideas.

A quick glance over the channel shows that although we enjoy a fairly positive relationship with France (+77), they are not inclined to sign an alliance with us. The distance between borders, our poor army strength and France's neutral attitude towards us mean we are 30 points short of securing their agreement. Our current relationship grants us just +19, so there is plenty of room to improve this, and a better relationship will hopefully encourage a friendly attitude which should make an alliance possible. This is, however, unlikely to have changed before the declaration of war; we will not have our French safety net yet.

qiez.jpg

By May of 1453, England's control of their land has deteriorated further with rebels active in East Anglia as well as nationalists in Wales. The English, clearly fearing a Scottish invasion to add to their troubles, decide to guarantee our independence in a bid to show that they pose no threat. I response by ordering 1000 infantry in Ayrshire. Finally, in November, we have finished our claim on Cumbria. England are only allied with Switzerland, and so we can assume that there will be no threat from overseas during this war. There are no English soldiers in Ireland, so I withdraw all my forces from Ulster to concentrate on the invasion. War is declared on the 26th November, and Leinster answer our call to arms, pledging their 3,000 men to attack Dublin. By going to war we also satisfy the conditions of our mission, giving me a bonus 1 stability and 30 army tradition. Our next mission is to forge a claim on Connaught, we hold off this for the time being.

ery4.jpg

With the revolts in full swing further south, we are free to begin a siege at Cumbria. Throughout the winter, there is no sign of either English or rebel armies, and the siege proceeds steadily. We soon have amassed enough monarch points to research level 4 military technology, which boosts tactics by 0.25, morale by 0.5 and infantry shock by 0.1. This is a far more significant boost to our army than the first quality idea would have given. Our war score at this point is -7%, but this is because we have not yet captured out war goal, and English fleets patrol the seas, blockading our ports.

With our trade fleets couped up in port and the increased armies requiring supplies, our balance has slipped and we are making a small loss each month. By March 1454 we are forced to take the first of what I expect will be several loans. With the interest being levied at 4%, each loan will make a further dent in our balance sheet. The longer the war goes on, the worse our condition will be at the other en.

cxvr.jpg

During 1454 there is still no sign of any hostile forces, but it appears that much of the south coast has fallen into rebel hands. This is part of the risk we run invading at this time; the English rebels may number tens of thousands of men, and can be just as much of a threat as the English army. After a drawn out siege, Cumbria surrenders on the 27th December. At this point, we are still losing the war badly; -14% to be precise. This is entirely due to the comprehensive blockade that the English Royal Navy have set up around our coast. With just three large ships and ten barques, we stand no chance of lifting the blockade, and so our armies much capture enough cities to force our enemy to the negotiating table.

tvv5.jpg

With Cumbria in our hands, we march south to see how the rebellion is proceeding. There are 12,000 rebels in Lincoln, and a further 10,000 heretics in Oxfordshire, effectively blocking our route to London. We withdraw north and begin a siege at Northumberland. With Yorkshire separating us from the rebellion, we can withdraw should the need arise.

Cumbria is, however, the war goal, and so the longer we hold the city, the greater our war score will be. By mid 1455 we have reduced the deficit to just -8%. The alliance have a total of exactly 14,000 men, but it is almost certain that all these men are the Swiss contingent; England’s rebel problems would not permit armies to be at full strength.

By October, we have had to take our forth loan. Total debts stand at around 75 ducats, which is not critical yet but is not ideal for such a poor nation. The defenders at Northumberland continue to hold against us, we are still many months from taking the city.

1js9.jpg

Finally, in March 1456 the city accept that no relief is coming and surrenders. Further south, 12,000 rebels have advanced to Yorkshire, while Dublin has surrendered to Leinster in Ireland. Our gains, combined with the effects of the ticking war score, mean we have 0% war score overall. We will need at least 10% to secure any real concessions from the AI, notwithstanding the high war exhaustion and ongoing rebellions, so we still have a lot of work to do.

With a large rebel stack deterring any advance into Yorkshire, we return to Edinburgh keeping our army intact. The province of Lancashire is currently rebel held, but does not contain any hostile forces, so we could potentially advance south along the west coast. In May, we complete our claim against the province of Connaught, and gain a conquest casus belli against Munster. As we have completed our mission, we also gain 5 prestige and 25 military power. The three missions available are to improve our prestige, become Papal controller, or to take Connaught. This third mission gives 25 admin power on completion, so I choose it.

nzi2.jpg

While keeping the men in Edinburgh ensures we are not beaten in the field, we will need to increase our war score if we are to take anything from England. The army is ordered south to Lancashire, and we begin the siege of the rebel held city. By August, our armies have made little progress, but Yorkshire remains in English hands which at least ties down the 12,000 rebels. Our war score has reached +2 by this point, so finally our gains and the ticking war score outweigh the effects of the English blockade. Unsurprisingly, England would be very happy to sign a white peace with us at this stage, however, they will not countenance even the smallest of concessions.

In November, Yorkshire falls to the rebels, but they fortunately turn south allowing us to continue our siege of Lancashire. By early 1457, we have breached the city walls, and the garrison begin to tire. In the south, Cornish rebels finally declare their independence, and three provinces break away from England. This has a positive effect on my war score, as the provinces I hold are now worth slightly more to the diminished England. Without any other changes, my war score rises from +2 to +5. A large 16,000 strong heretic army have the Marches under siege to the south, and threaten my advance.

nujn.jpg

Finally, on the 25th April James II captures Lancashire. With a war score of 11%, a peace is possible. England would be willing to surrender Cumbria and pay 78 ducats. As tempted as I am, taking Cumbria from England will hardly close the gap between our countries, and so I opt to continue the war. James II and his 7,000 march east and begin the siege of Yorkshire. The rebel held city has a fully recovered garrison 2,000 strong, so I must hope that my forces can reduce the fort before any rebels show up.

By October, the heretics have captured the marches and on the 23rd they march north and begin the siege of Lancashire. James II has, however, created a breach at Yorkshire, and so we enter into a race against the rebels to take the city.

x2qa.jpg

By January, Yorkshire is close to falling, and fortunately the heretics have made little progress against our garrison. Very interestingly, developments on the continent force the English to withdraw their fleet, and with the blockade lifted our war score jumps to +30%!

I sieze the opportunity to propose punitive terms; England will cede Cumbria and Northumberland, and will pay 60 ducats. This offer is worth 41%, but the war-weary English are happy to accept and reduce their foes. Had I held on and won the siege of Yorkshire, I could perhaps have taken a third province, but this would only work were the English fleet to remain abroad. On the 30th January 1458, peace is concluded and the Kingdom of Scotland pushes the border south with our ancient enemy. The ducats gained from England allow all but one loan to be replayed, and we are only a few ducats short of being able to clear it as well. The first war of Britain is over.

hyhl.jpg

Reflections

Looking back on this, there were three key developments which I benefited from;

1) The revolts suffered by the English included a significant nationalist rising in Cornwall, which took three provinces and reduced the strength of the kingdom

2) When I had Lancashire under siege, the rebels captured Yorkshire but turned south. Had they come north it is unlikely I would have held them off – my siege would have been abandoned, I'd need at least two more loans to increase my army size enough to compete, and then would have been losing money even faster by paying the upkeep. This was a real turning point.

3) Finally, the English decision to withdraw the blockade opened that critical window where my war score was sufficient to take two provinces. Again, had they not done so I would have had to finish the siege at Yorkshire, and even then it is unlikely I would have been able to demand as much as I did.


All told then, luck played a major part in this war. Not only in its conduct, but also the fact I emerged totally unscathed; almost debt free and without losing men save to attrition. Indeed, I did not see a single English regiment, and I suspect for much of the war they had none. Any losses suffered would have cost manpower and ducats to replenish, and so this battle free war also reduced the debts I came out with.

Scotland has grown by two reasonable provinces, while England has actually lost five when you include the Cornish revolt. The balance of power still remains firmly with the English; despite their losses the wealth of the south east is more than a match for Scotland. However, while they remain so unstable the do not pose a threat.
 

DensleyBlair

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I'd say you got a very good break there. I've never played as Scotland, but I've certainly had fun destroying them as England! ;) It's looking to be quite the auspicious start.

I'm liking the writing, too – plenty of detail, coherent and lots of action to keep one reading. You've very much whetted my appetite for more.
 

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I'd say you got a very good break there. I've never played as Scotland, but I've certainly had fun destroying them as England! ;) It's looking to be quite the auspicious start.

I'm liking the writing, too – plenty of detail, coherent and lots of action to keep one reading. You've very much whetted my appetite for more.

Yeah, I've certainly enjoyed a bit of luck here. However, England do start with the fairly lethal cocktail of; 1) war against a vastly superior foe, in France, who will drive up their war exhaustion before making peace; 2) a difficult turn of events that are fairly likely to kick off due to the high WE, and which will ensure some kind of rebel activity in their British holdings; and finally 3) One of the worst Kings in the game.

These three combined mean that if you pick your time well, virtually anyone of England's neighbours can win the first one or two wars against them. Thus, your strategy becomes inflicting enough of a defeat to ensure that by the time England has recovered, the balance of power has moved sufficiently to offer you some protection.

If you don't do this, as you note, England are assured of dominance. Their missions means that there is little hope of reaching an understanding with them!

Thanks for your comments and feedback, redrafted chapter 2 now.
 

Nikolai

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Poor England always have problems with rebels. Good for the glory of Scotland though.;)
 

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xdu1.jpg

Chapter 2: Losing the Peace? 1458 - 1464

Following the end of the war, Scotland is in good condition. Relatively stable, with no war exhaustion to speak of, and a budget surplus, the near future looks positive. Our army withdraw north to Edinburgh, while the revolts continue unabated in England. Another positive of our 'light touch' war which largely avoided the various rebels is that it leaves our rival in a terrible condition; there is still no English army to speak of.

First things first, we order our trade fleet to return to the North Sea, and we begin the process of integrating our newly acquired territory. Cumbria is a relatively poor province, but Northumberland is more valuable. This is of course a positive, but it does mean that the coring costs are quite high at 132 admin points. This is compounded by the fact we only had a claim against Cumbria, and so there is no reduction in either the time or the cost.

jbfd.jpg

In Ireland, a new revolt has broken out, and Leinster has been overwhelmed by 7,000 rebels. Like Tyrone before, this is a rebellion of nobles, which means we need not worry about them crossing the border.

With our forces still intact, James II orders 5,000 men to depart once again for Ulster. The claim we fabricated against Connaught isn't going to expire any time soon, but it would still be wise to act on it now while we enjoy such an advantageous position, and can be assured that England will not intervene. On the 15th March we declare war, citing conquest as our goal. Unfortunately, we lose 1 stability due to having a royal marriage, but this is worth it to expand our control of the Emerald Isle.

q6ek.jpg

James II leads his men through Connaught and south towards Munster, where our enemy lies in wait. Munster can count on 3,000 men, led by the capable O'Brien who is a better general than our King, but our superior numbers ensure that the battle is won with light casualties and the siege begins.

Not intent to roll over, Munster begin recruiting a new army at Connaught. James II divides his force, maintaining the siege while easily overcoming these new soldiers in the north. The smaller force then begins a separate siege to complete our control of the west coast of the island. By November some progress has been made at the capital, with the garrison showing signs of fatigue and hunger, but the walls remain firm. We are, however, able to repay our final loan from the English war. A new regiment of 1,000 foot soldiers are ordered to begin assembling in Edinburgh.

elhb.jpg

Throughout the winder the sieges continue without interruption. By February, we are getting close to capturing Munster, although Connaught still hold out. The English look to be slowly gaining the upper hand over the rebels; East Anglia and the South Coast and back under the Kingdom's control, and the revolt appears confined to the Midlands.

We finally capture Munster in the summer, and James II unites his forces outside the walls of Connaught. Despite the appearance that England was regaining contol, the second half of 1459 sees an intensification of England’s rebel crisis, and in early 1460 the instability spills over our border. In February, 14,000 heretics cross the border from Lancashire and lay siege to Cumbria. Just weeks later, 4,000 peasants rise in Ulster to protest against the armies requisitioning of grain, and far more seriously 9,000 nationalist rebels rise in Northumberland, aiming to establish an independent kingdom across the north of England. While the revolt is in progress, out attempts to integrate the province are on hold. Fortunately, Connaught has finally surrendered to our forces, and so James II marches north immediately to confront the peasants of Ulster.

p9op.jpg

An envoy is dispatched to negotiate terms with Munster, and the King is not minded to treat them lightly. Connaught will be surrendered to Scotland, but Munster will also submit as a vassal to James II, transfer 50% of their trade power in the London node to use, and pay an indemnity of 108 ducats. This money will be essential to bolster our forces before dealing with the insurrection in northern England. The treaty does cause some aggressive expansion however, keenly felt by both England and Leinster who share a border with the land annexed. However, Leinster remain our ally, and the treaty gives us direct control of two of Ireland's provinces, and overlordship of a third, meaning we hold the balance of power on the Island. The process of coring Connaught begins immediately.

trdx.jpg

The peasants put up little resistance in Ulster, and soon the province is again pacified. The navy are on hand to bring the king home, and on arrival the 2,000 men who remained behind after the English War have swelled in number to 10,000, all infantry. Swiss and Italian mercenaries added to our numbers, and on the 18th June we are ready to march on Cumbria. In the time it has taken to recruit men and return the army from Ireland, the fortress at Cumbria has almost fallen, although the walls still hold. If we allow the city to be overrun, we will undo all the work towards integrating them (the process is 97% complete).

Battle is joined in early July. The heretics are led by Ian Crawford, a pastor who rallies against the wealth of the Church, demanding the turning over of land to the poor. Fortunately, he does not prove to be a particularly effective general. The Heretics are beaten back from the city walls with over 5,000 casualties – our losses are a slightly lower 3,500.

James II allows his men to rest following the battle, and our losses are somewhat replenished. In September, the army hits the road and marches east towards Northumberland. The insurrection is led by Henry Featherstonehaugh, a landowner who lost status following the Scottish conquest of the land. His 6,000 foot are complimented by 3,000 well trained mounted knights, and he proves to be a very capable general. The battle is drawn out and bloody, but eventually James' superior numbers win the day. 2,500 of the rebels are killed or captured, but Scottish losses number almost 3,500.

x4wb.jpg

With the unrest in our recent conquests quelled, progress towards coring the territory is resumed. Cumbria finished that same month, and Northumberland and Connaught should both be fully integrated during the next year. The mercenaries, only ever intended to be a temporary boost, are paid off, and our army returns to a more affordable size. Almost all the money gained from Munster is gone however.

The upswing in rebel activity has had a noticeable impact on England, who have lost control of all the country north of London, East Anglia excepted. The heretics, defeated in Cumbria, returned south and so will still be capable of causing England problems.

My next mission is to covert the culture in Ulster. Cultural conversions are not normally a good use of diplo points, but the mission offers a small refund of 25 points. Converting Ulster will increase our tax take, and slightly increase the provinces manpower contribution, so I decide to stump up the 100 points. The coring of our new territory reduces our overextension, and also boosts our income. Starting from such a small base, even a poor cored province can make a noticeable difference, and our income and manpower have grown sufficiently to allow James II to feel more secure. We are soon jerked out of this reverie in May 1461 when 10,000 heretics again cross the border and attack Cumbria. The 10,000 strong Scottish army marches confidently to meet them, but James has drawn a capable opponent in Jeremy Leicester, a 2 fire, 3 shock and 2 manoeuvre general. The second battle of Cumbria is a disaster for our forces; 5,500 killed or captured, while rebel losses are fewer than 3,000.

2fyy.jpg

The Scottish army flees as far north as Aberdeen, and despondently returns to Edinburgh. The cost of reinforcing drains our finances further, and by November we have only 4 ducats in the treasury. Our army has recovered morale, and is almost back to its full compliment of 9,000, but most pressingly the rebels are close to storming the city. James II must act.

As we march south for the battle, we receive unwelcome news from the continent. France have decided to revoke their guarantee of our independence. A diplomat is assigned to improve our relations with them, we could really do with that alliance.

Battle is joined in early December, and it does not start well for the Scots. James II is killed at the head of the army, and initial losses look heavy. The rebels, although buoyed by the slaying of the Scots king, are also suffering many losses, and their morale appears close to breaking.

2f6s.jpg

Our heir is still a few years from maturity, and 7,000 nobles have also risen in Lothian to dispute the composition of the regency council for Charles. Fortunately, the rebels break before we do at Cumbria, and our army can reinforce. By April 1462 we are ready to tackle the nobles, and Edinburgh is attacked. Our new general Mungo Lindsay is fairly skilled, and coupled with some generous dice rolls we soon defeat the rebels and restore royal control of Scotland.

This episode has decimated our manpower however; reserves have dropped to just 1,100 out of our 14,000 maximum, and we are over 3,000 men short of a full compliment in the army. The next few years will need to be rather tame.

While waiting for our manpower to replenish, we are making a small profit. Time passes uneventfully, England remain in a state of turmoil, but we are not troubled any further by revolts. At the start of June 1464 we are finally in a position to increase our army, 2,000 infantry are recruited from Cumbria and Northumberland to strengthen our force. On the 16th June, Charles reaches maturity and is crowned Charles I of Scotland. He is another fairly strong king, rated 3/3/4.

olg5.jpg

Reflections

A shorter update this time. Scotland has faced it's first real enemies in battle, and the results have been mixed. We still cannot support a large army, and our fleet is a huge distance from being able to stand up to England’s.

That said, this chapter went fairly well, we dealt with the rebels before they could undo our progress towards creating cores, and with 2 provinces, one vassal and one ally in Ireland I'm fairly secure there.

The Kingdom of Cornwall look reasonably strong, and so I'll seek to improve relations with them to establish an alliance. For some reason, they have designated me as a rival however, so my visions of an anti-English alliance may flounder.
 

Stuyvesant

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Impressive gains and good use of English weakness. Still, your hold on your new territories is a bit tenuous, when the rebels can throw such large armies at you. Not to mention the occasional excursion by English heretics into your lands. I think you'll be busy with rebels for a while, before you can start chewing away at England some more.
 

DensleyBlair

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I'll echo what Stuyvesant said; seems you've still got a bit of work to do pacifying those northern– sorry, southern (Cumbria and Northumberland as south Scotland rather than north England is yet to sink in. ;)) provinces. Those rebel armies are getting quite large – and my experience with England suggests that they'll only go one way. During my own religious turmoil period, I was facing stacks of 25k Catholics at any one time. Not pretty.

That said, you seem to be consolidating well. Honestly, I don't think you should be looking to England for further conquest. Perhaps finish off the Emerald Isle and then take back the Orkneys and the Shetlands from Norway – or whichever Scandinavian country happens to be exercising hegemony over the rest at that point in time.

And looking even further forward: any colonial plans? Perhaps a Darien Scheme could go well in this history?
 

MiniaAr

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Would it be possible to release Northumberland as your vassal and feed them slowly English provinces (on the East Coast for example), in order to reduce the coring cost?

Where are you on your exploration ideas? First and second one taken?

I like what you're doing with this AAR. :)
 

Seelmeister

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Poor England always have problems with rebels. Good for the glory of Scotland though.;)

Apologies for missing your post Nikolai, you managed to squeeze in between my last reply and the next chapter, welcome! Yeah, the English go through a tough period following the Hundred Years War, and this is about the only card I had in my hand at the start.

Impressive gains and good use of English weakness. Still, your hold on your new territories is a bit tenuous, when the rebels can throw such large armies at you. Not to mention the occasional excursion by English heretics into your lands. I think you'll be busy with rebels for a while, before you can start chewing away at England some more.

Yeah, were England to recover, I'd still be feeling a little insecure. I'm fairly sure that as things stand the English AI would not hesitate to come a knocking to try and recover the north of England - they can undoubtedly still field a larger force than I can.

I'll echo what Stuyvesant said; seems you've still got a bit of work to do pacifying those northern– sorry, southern (Cumbria and Northumberland as south Scotland rather than north England is yet to sink in. ;)) provinces. Those rebel armies are getting quite large – and my experience with England suggests that they'll only go one way. During my own religious turmoil period, I was facing stacks of 25k Catholics at any one time. Not pretty.

That said, you seem to be consolidating well. Honestly, I don't think you should be looking to England for further conquest. Perhaps finish off the Emerald Isle and then take back the Orkneys and the Shetlands from Norway – or whichever Scandinavian country happens to be exercising hegemony over the rest at that point in time.

And looking even further forward: any colonial plans? Perhaps a Darien Scheme could go well in this history?

You're quite right, the rebels can rapidly increase in size and strength, a few good leaders and I could be facing a major loss. The issue with Ireland and Orkney is that they are all relatively low base tax provinces; they are not going to make a huge difference to either my income or my manpower. Orkney is also still a part of the powerful Kalmar Union, which for now is an adequate deterrent for me.

Would it be possible to release Northumberland as your vassal and feed them slowly English provinces (on the East Coast for example), in order to reduce the coring cost?

Where are you on your exploration ideas? First and second one taken?

I like what you're doing with this AAR. :)

Welcome MiniaAr! Unfortunately, I've played on a little so can't check, but yes I believe I have unlocked the first idea, and have started to save towards my second. There is, however, little to be gained yet, as my colonial range would be far too short to reach anywhere. For this reason, I'll try to get to diplo tech 7, which increases colonial range fairly significantly.
 

DensleyBlair

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Nikolai

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