This session, which ran from 1485 to 1511, had considerable Events and much Drama; my AAR is in part a report on action which is still ongoing in the forums, and whose outcome is not yet fully decided.
- Finnish Knives: The relentless expansion of the False Empire continued with a demand for the two French vassals of mine that were left over from the Second Baltic Crusade. At the same time Ireland demanded the return of its naval bases in Iceland, and Novgorod decided to take the opportunity to round out its Finnish border. With Varingia supporting its allies, the war was clearly hopeless, and Saarland was persuaded at knife’s-point to break its historic alliance with the Ynglings and switch its protecting Great Power to Novgorod – and incidentally pick up Sjaelland to add to its collection of islands. Against such a coalition resistance was clearly futile in the long term. Fearing worse terms if I extended the fight, I acceded after some brief fighting in Germany.
- Rough Trade: With the alliance broken, Saarland was free to raid me, and vice versa. We had some discussion in TeamSpeak of whether raiding is actually harmful; we eventually figured out that yes, it does give you devastation, same as other kinds of looting. Still, this is not that damaging; and for a while I thought it was just free money. Now if that were true, then in some sense mutual raids are just trade: Both of us get more money. Of course, it would be a very rough trade, what with the whips, chains, slaves… But as they say in Finland, rough trade is best trade!
- Spanish Intervention: Searching for allies, my eye fell on the two very small player realms in the West, Leon and Poitou. After Leon lost to AI (!) Andalusia, and Poitou was beaten by AI Aquitaine, these countries have not been significant factors in player diplomacy; but there wasn’t any reason they couldn’t be restored. I accordingly offered Leon an alliance, and sent troops to Iberia to help it defeat Navarra and invade Galicia. We had some success with this, and Leon has made a modest recovery; however, until it decisively beats Andalusia and recovers its cores in Spain, it will be a very minor power. Andalusia, showing unusual good sense for the AI, is currently allied to Ireland and to the HRE.
- Unbalance of Power: Indeed, the size of the neon-blue Empire has not gone unnoticed. At the end of the session, what we had was an alliance between Mark, by far the largest player, with more than 1500 development, and Dragoon, third-largest with about 700. Additionally Gollevainen, second-largest player, was allied to Dragoon. Further, Mark and Dragoon had recently been at war with Yami and taken territory, and were fairly open about their plan to eventually partition him. It was therefore clearly necessary to put together a coalition against Mark, ideally one which included Dragoon. Negotiations for this, however, broke down, as Dragoon refused to backstab Mark, preferring if necessary to end the game.
- Terms of Surrender: Dragoon offered the following terms to the European powers, as a modus vivendi to continue the game:
<quote=Dragoon>Me and Mark are resolved to Win the game in Eu4 if that becomes an option. All Terms War or Otherwise are Rejected, I’m with the Holy Roman Empire. I hope I don’t have to see any of you against us on the battlefield.Here are our Terms.1. Great Moravia is to be Partitioned, This is unavoidable. I can see about bringing Mark around to apologize for being a Dick to Yami once we are all on friendlier terms.
2. King of Men’s Territories in Germany split between Mark and Myself at our discretion.
3. France and Spain are Mark’s spheres, and Players there are considered under his protection. Foreign Colonies in these regions are not to be tolerated.
4. All Lands East of the Elbe and Carpathian Mountains are dictated to by my Area of Influence, The Remains of Lithuania, Pomerania and Poland shall go to me, and my Current Border Deal with Golle I will honor.
5. An End to All Piracy and Coastal Raiding in Europe.
6. Ireland and Saarland is are not to be attacked, over their Northern Islands and Territories, and they will be allowed to take Southern England unhindered. Do as you wish in regards to America and beyond.
7. The Establishment of a Permanent European Diplomacy Room of a similar vein to the one the Asians have where Disputes, Trade agreements, Border Swaps, Institution Development and such will be discussed.
- The End is Not Yet: In view of this dominant alliance, I called a vote on whether to end the campaign and return to Crusader Kings for another go. The vote is very close, still hanging in the balance in fact; it will depend, I think, on the outcome of this session, which may be the last.
- The False Emperor: During the vote, Vaniver pointed out that Mark had been well over the realm-size limit at conversion, with 289 baronies as against the limit of 150. Although Mark says he openly bragged about this, and mentioned it twice to Dragoon, both GMs somehow managed to miss it, and to think that the 800 development the HRE had in 1444 was merely a quirk of the converter. Some discussion ensued on how to handle this. A rollback to 1444 with the HRE split in two was one possibility, but nobody liked it. Mark pointed out that, if he had released a large nation before conversion in order to get under the realm-size limit, he could then have bid for a personal union with it and gotten the development that way; against this, it’s not clear that he would have won that bid. I eventually ended up with a compromise which I am sure will please nobody: The HRE returns many of its recent gains to Germany, France, dez Neigh, Aquitaine, and Serbia, and its remaining northern territories are split off as a vassal.
- No Man Knows the Day or the Hour: We will play this session; it is not clear whether there will be a next one.
Europe in 1511, after editing the HRE. Loon is an HRE vassal.