There Will Be War: Big Picture

It may perhaps be worth recapping a little bit of diplomatic history at this point. The fifty-year Cold War between the Holy Roman Empire (Italy, Bohemia, Germany, Arabia, and briefly England before its final collapse) and the Roman Commonwealth (Georgia, Russia, Byzantium, Brittany, Serbia until its attempted betrayal and resulting annexation, England before it switched sides, and Norway as an associated neutral) ended, not in the Great War everyone was expecting, but in the collapse of one bloc, much like 1989 in OTL. The trigger was Bohemia attempting to switch sides, getting cold feet, and ending up annoying both leading powers (Georgia and Italy) sufficiently for them to find common ground in punishing Bohemia. The upshot was that Italy gave African lands to Arabia, Arabia gave over parts of the Levant to Georgia, and Germany and Italy recouped their losses at Bohemia’s expense. Further, the HRE was disbanded and all the world joined the Roman Commonwealth, which was redrafted from a military alliance into something more like the United Nations. It now contains a clause limiting war gains to 5-10 provinces, enforced presumably – nobody has tested this yet – by the Hegemon declaring war on any offender and all the rest of the RC joining in.

This, of course, did not solve the actual security concerns that had led to the formation of the two blocs in the first place. This was demonstrated by

  • Skirmishes on the Russian-Bohemian border when Russia had rebel troubles and Bohemia (now with a new player, and renamed to Prussia, so I shall refer to it as Prussia from now on) tried to take advantage.
  • Norway and Brittany attempting to inherit and/or cause to defect each other’s vassals. Due to a NAP lasting until 1330, this has not yet caused a war, although Brittany has promised retaliation when their hands are unbound. Neither side got any actual advantage from this; we each managed to take over three counties from the other, of roughly equal value. Since this makes the borders rather ugly, we decided to hand back our gains and start over.
  • Norwegian assassins striking into Germany and Prussia to remove inconvenient heirs, clearing the way for Ynglings to inherit. Stiff diplomatic protests and retaliation in kind followed, not to mention the ethnic cleansing of Skåne. I have now decided that in the interests of not pissing off the entire world at once, I will not use this method to inherit any counties in Prussia.
  • Prussia, Germany, and Brittany ganging up on Byzantium to move the border south a bit. Budgetary and logistical contraints forced a WP.
  • Byzantium, Russia, and Georgia signing a defensive alliance, the Samoyeds Pact, thus recreating the original Roman Commonwealth. Note the parallel to the United Nations and NATO. The war alliance that won the Second World War no longer served its defensive purpose, since it contained both the opposed states. It was therefore converted to a debating society, and a new organisation set up to manage actual military defense.
  • Which instantly called into being its opposition, the Warsaw Pact. Or in this case, a military alliance between Germany and Brittany. Note that all of these are members of the Roman Commonwealth; they just don’t trust that organisation to safeguard their security, so they sign proper alliance pacts with nations who can.
  • And finally, the ongoing war between Norway and Germany. We had been clashing (in chat) over my assassins (the targets were Billungs, carillon’s dynasty) and his ethnic cleansing. Relations were not improved by my excomming carillon when I was briefly PC. He got out of that (by event?), but in the ensuing disloyalty I managed to snipe the Duke of Sjælland. In spite of our NAP, carillon decided that this was intolerable provocation, and declared war, accepting another excommunication as the price for punishing me. Ulmont decided that Germany could handle Norway alone, and chose not to eat an excommunication just to help. But I definitely saw blood in his eye when he longingly mentioned the date 1330. (When our NAP expires.) The war began quite successfully for me; 15k German invaders were met in Finnveden by 20k Swedish levies and comprehensively smashed; roughly 1000 escaped. It remains to be seen whether I can follow up this success; the manpower statistics show Norway and Germany roughly even in current manpower, with Germany superior in long-term manpower. But then there are the logistics; we will both have difficulty invading the other. We may end up with me in possession of Skåne and him taking Sjælland back. My war aim, though, is the recovery of at least the northern half of Denmark.

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