The Ocho: Part 2 - Not So Borengland After All

Author: mrtherussian
Published: 2017-01-30, edited: 1970-01-01
Leaving the Choctaw behind, the dice hand us England for our next 47 years.

I know, I know. Great Power? More like Great Boring. But it turned out to be more interesting than I anticipated!

Part of the campaign:

The Ocho

Previous part:

Game: Europa Universalis IV

The Ocho: Part 1 - Choctaw

Images: 51, author: mrtherussian, published: 2017-01-29, edited: 1970-01-01

Europe in 1492 - Fairly Nominal
Seems pretty much business as usual. England lost the Hundred Years War. France is busy eating its vassal states. The Habsblob has begun to get tumorous. Ottomans are shoving in with the usual suggestively shaped border.

Things that stick out:

-England had to release Cornwall
-Poland eating Hungary instead of Tuetons
-France ate Aragon, Naples is Independent
-Galicia-Volhynia was released from Poland

Let's take stock and get this steamroller moving!
Ha Ha Nope
Blimey mate, the bloody Queen (God save her and all that) can't pop an heir our to save her life. The York bastards are starting to look cross-eyed at the throne but their bloody army'll wreck the country entire, see if they don't! C'mon m8 I'll wrek u swer on me mum.

Wanker. Tart. Loo. Fish and chips. Apples and pears. Fanny. Harpooooon.

Okay, that's out of my system. Should be able to proceed fairly inoffensively now.
5 Year (Payment) Plan
Looks like the crown went on a bit of a spending spree. There are a series of hefty loans coming due in short order. Cutbacks on the tea budget are out of the question, so the army budget takes the hit instead.
The Scotch Pact
The haggis-eating menace has allied itself with our bitter rival France as well as the freshly independent Swedes. England must bide its time for now, but sharing the Isle is out of the question.
The Emerald Isle Shivers
The Irish, on the other hand, are amenable to a diplomatic solution provided England proves she can properly protect a vassal of Ireland's size. Conquering the Highlanders might be enough to change their minds. There is the alternative possibility of just getting the King of Connacht drunk enough to sign the forms.
Tender Juicy Corn
Cornwall has no allies and only 3000 soldiers and the English claim the land is part of their core nation. Queen Elizabeth orders an immediate declaration of war.
Taking Stock
While the Queen's men siege Cornwall, Elizabeth reviews the diplomatic situation. Most of Europe is indifferent to England. Her staunch allies Denmark and Utrecht have a favorable opinion. The Portuguese would be allies as well except for a past surrender clause which forced them to annul all treaties with England.
Protests in Luneburg
Tales reach Queen Elizabeth of a strange new way of conceptualizing Christianhood. Calling itself Protestantism, this new heresy is gaining traction quickly in central Europe. The Queen remains confident that the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor will put down the heretics and thinks nothing more of it.

She moves on to tend to other matters. She must deal with the succession issue before she becomes too old to do so.
Civil War is Anything but Civil
Unfortunately Queen Elizabeth's health takes a quick turn for the worst. The medicus is baffled and can offer nothing beyond dailing leechings. After only a few days the queen loses consciousness and her spirit departs.

The succession is a disaster, and two prominent houses lay claim to the throne - Lancaster and York.
William York III
Most of the court recognizes William York III's claim as the legitimate one, however certain carrion-eaters smell the scraps that could fall their way if the Lancaster claim was successfully pressed. There will be bloodshed yet.

While King William III is impressively competent, his son Edgar prefers attending posh parties and the arts to learning matters of state. A passable diplomat only, he is not quite the son William would have asked for.
Cornish In, Yorkish Out
The King's army re-establishes control of Cornwall and reincorporates them into the realm. Meanwhile, reports of support for King William's claim to the throne stream in from a number of important duchies.
An opportunity to wrest away some Scottish land falls right into King William's lap. Denmark is trying to regain old lands from Sweden, who are allied with Scotland. The King of Denmark simply wants the Scottish kept busy, but William plans to do one better than that.

Rifling through the Queens desk, he finds them - the documents that were "found" which prove England's legitimate claims to all of the Scottish lands.

William sends a bird to the commander of the army, Sir Daniel Hawke: March north.
Sir Hawke Swoops Down on Sir Law
Numbers and skill are both on the side of the English. Sir Hawke is a top notch general with eyes like an owl's when it comes to spotting distant opportunities to exploit on the battlefield.
8000 Scottish Infantry are massacred by cavalry charges and cannon. Scotland's bid to disrupt the English armies by splitting her forces has failed spectacularly.
Finally the Scottish cavalry are destroyed as well.
King William's apparent legitimacy is already a shambles and he has many fights ahead of him, so when a brilliant strategist of lower birth is located the king has no issue snapping him up. Arthur Burgoyne is knighted immediately.
More Like Lollygagard Heretics
Sir Arthur attaches to some newly commissioned cannons specially made for blowing up Scottish walls and heads to the front.

Meanwhile King William receives reports that the Lollard heretics in Meath refuse to return to the fields.
As predicted, certain less than savory elements within the country stand for the Lancasters.
England is not the only country to suffer a succession crisis. The King of Burgundy dies heirless and his titles are likely to pass outside of the realm.
Burgundy is split between France, Austria, and Flanders. Dire news for England, as all three countries will now contest control of the Channel.
Unfortunately the English armies cannot take control of more than Aryshire before the Scottish wisely take their hits and bow out of the war. True friends as they are, Denmark forces Scotland to hand over control of Aryshire province, giving England access to the safest route to Ireland in the process.
The English claims to coastal France have lost their validity to the tides of time. Without the claims between them, the French attitude towards England becomes one more of indifference than rivalry.
King William orders the Lollards dealt with by froce. Sir Arthur crosses to Ireland and after a fierce battle, the heretics scatter and finally shut up about the whole religion thing.
Though over 12 duchies eventually proclaimed for house Lancaster, only one small uprising of 6000 troops ever came of it. King William's demonstration of force coupled with the legendary tactics of his pair of star generals keeps the Lancasters from doing much more than making noise and looking pouty.
The perceived invalidity of King William's claim on the throne and large number of loans taken out to fund the war with Scotland have led to massive unrest in the peasantry. "Why ain't we got a real king eh squire?" English peasantry will seize on any opportunity to wave their pitchforks in the air rather than into their hay.
Luckily a period of peace allows English manpower to replenish to the point where the peasant agitators no longer fancy their odds in a straight fight.

An uneasy peace settles over England.
King William is approached by a Dutch drill instructor who promises to revolutionize the army. English army tradition is abysmally low, so the king is more than willing to go into more debt for this boon.
While England tended her internal issues, France had expanded deeper into the Iberian Peninsula. Now, however, the French face a war on two fronts with powerful opponents in each war. King William orders a feast when he hears the news that his three greatest rivals are busy butchering one another.
A major distraction for France is exactly what King William needs in order to bring the Scottish to heel. There is only the small problem of the truce...
Tales of strange lands across the sea have reached England from Iberia. Initially dismissed as mere fancies, the king and the merchants' guild have finally heard them from enough different sources to start taking them seriously. King William purchases fleet basing rights from Norway and orders three frigates to sail west from Iceland, the Assurance, the Victory, and the Smallpox.
The anullment runs down and Portugal can finally be allied again.
Poor Polen has bitten off more than it can chew.
The truce with Scotland ends and France is still mired in two massive wars. Brittany can be safely ignored as the irrelevant pinky finger of France. King William orders the assault to begin.
The Scottish put up only token resistance. Utrecht proves to be particularly vicious in the war, actually beating the English to Lothian and trouncing the main Scottish army.
In short order the Scotch lands are all sieged and their King must accept the vassalization terms.
Meanwhile to the south, Cornish nationalists threaten to disturb the internal peace. King William responds by ordering the complete destruction of the Welsh culture. Hope they like fish and chips in Glamorgan.
The first trans-oceanic English colony is established on the island of Trinidad. 3000 English foot soldiers ensure the natives don't get any strange ideas about how they should interact with the new settlement, though the official English policy is one of assimilation rather than pointy bits and gunpowder due to the extreme distances and the need for maximum army strength at home.
After 14 (boring) long years of peace and exploration, Scotland is fully annexed into England.
With three Kingdoms and an entire island under his control, King William moves for formal recognition of his realm as the Empire of Great Britain.
Yet parts of the British Isles remain in decidedly un-British hands. Nobles and peasants alike clamor for their conquest.
King William decides to begin with the Irish. The fools are still closed to the idea of peaceful vassalization, so force of arms must be considered. Their only notable ally is Denmark, but something tells the king that they'll be otherwise occupied for a while.
None of Ireland's allies are foolish enough to contest the British right to rule over the Irish. On Britain's side, Utrecht is basically frothing at the mouth for the chance to do some more murdering across the sea, but they won't be needed for this war.
The tiny Irish force is crushed by general Sir Charles Herbert with ease.
A quick carpet siege follows. The Irish are hopeless.
With the Irish well in hand, King William turns his attention to Orkney - currently under Norwegian rule. Norway is a shadow of the country that one invaded and conquered half of Britain, and has not a single ally to aid them. The attack is ordered.
The Irish are utterly defeated. The bloodshed could have been avoided if clearer heads had prevailed in the Irish court, but what's done is done. Vassalization terms are signed. The Emerald Isle will soon be ruby.
In the year 1526 and assured of success in the unification of the British Isles, King William goes to his rest.

His less than stellar replacement, King Edgar, takes the throne along with his own equally mediocre son as the new heir-apparent.

Legitimacy issues continue to plague the York family as a rebellion immediately forms to put a Lancaster back on the throne.
King Edgar begins his reign by doing the only thing he can passably do - diplomacy. He forces the Norwegians to hand over all of their non-mainland possessions. From now on the British Isles will include a lot more islands, and the whole Northern Atlantic belongs to her alone.
The Norwegians resist their new overlord mightily, continuously rising up in rebellion. Half of the British army is dedicated to island hopping in order to tamp down the rebels, but each fight must be a beach landing under heavy fire. Morale is low.

The long history of questionable legitimacy has finally come to a head. A Lancaster pretender to the throne takes the opportunity to press his claim.
The Irish army moves to link up with Sir Charles Herbert's forces bolstered by some very expensive mercenaries (absolutely the best, King Edgar was assured, with the strongest pointy bits and the boomiest explosion tubes). Together they will attempt to dislodge the rebellion from Cornwall and retake Kent.
Meanwhile, the other half of the British army is stuck recovering from heavy losses fighting in the hills of Iceland. The rebels could have finished off the army, however their commanded decided to focus on the siege first.
King Edgar must plunge deeply into debt and painfully tarnish the British reputation in order to prove the legitimacy of his rule. This is but one of many times he has had to make such a decision during the Civil War.
The largest uprising of the war occurs outside of London with 31,000 rebels laying siege to the capital.
Kent is freed but King Edgar must go even deeper into debt hiring enough mercenaries to deal with the huge army at his doorstep. Even with both halves the British army combined plus all mercenaries, this will be a hard battle.
Over 14,000 Britishmen die to secure the King's peace.
The Irish bow out to lick their wounds as the retreating rebels are pursued into Kent. With the whole British army right on their heels they panic and finally disperse without a fight.
After another year of desperate political maneuvers, King Edgar finally convinces the nobles that his rule is right and just. The few contestants left in the realm put down their arms and ambitions... for now.
Finally it is the year 1539 and our time with England comes to an end. Four years of peace and exploration followed the end of the British civil war. King Edgar continues King William's colonization scheme, focusing on North America where the British can easily establish a stable self-sufficient colonial nation while Portugal, Castile, and France fight for the bits of the Caribbean.

The annexation of Ireland is halfway completed and the ugly puke-yellow of Connacht will soon be painted over with a rich red hue.
Europe is heating up.

-An enormous Muscovy has eaten Finland and is decimating Sweden.
-Poland lost the Baltic coast but regained Galicia-Volhynia
-Castile was forced to release Galicia, then Portugal took it over
-France stabilized against Castile and Austria and pushed deeper into Iberia
-Orthodox Georgia is independent and strong
While none of the religious turmoil has touched British soil yet, the Protestants have made huge gains. The Reformation has also gained a lot of traction outside of the Germanic countries. Austrian Catholicism is besieged on all sides.
Britain maintains her allies from 47 years ago. None lost, none gained. This strategic choice may help keep Britain from being dragged into senseless European conflicts.
The Known World according to Great Britain

Next chapter:

Game: Europa Universalis IV

The Ocho: Part 3 - Notorious Y.A.O.

Images: 82, author: mrtherussian, published: 2017-01-30, edited: 1970-01-01

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