Novgorod the Russian Republic: A MEIOU&Taxes AAR Part 2 Master of the Rus

Author: aquila
Published: 2017-12-03
Hey everybody, I'm back with Part two of my Russian Republic AAR. As before my goals for this play through are to remain a Republic as long as possible and achieve aesthetic borders while role-playing a republican Russia. 50 year chunks seem to be working at the moment so I've decided to stick with it for now. I'm not posting most events unless I find them interesting, nor of the Estate interactions though I think I might change that for future updates. Sharp eye'd among you might notice this album is a mix of .PNG and .JPG. At the recommendation of a user on here I switched to a different screenshot method during the play-through, let me know how it looks and if you like it more or less. The initial stages of any Eastern Europe game are somewhat conquest heavy since the provinces are not super wealthy, however I am almost at a point where I'll be able to build more regularly especially once I take Engineering ideas and get more of central Russia. Once that happens I'll show more of the economic side of things along with province growth and such. Thanks for taking a look!

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Novgorod the Russian Republic: A MEIOU&Taxes AAR

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Game: Europa Universalis IV

Novgorod the Russian Republic: A MEIOU&Taxes AAR Part 1 Controlling the North

Images: 25, author: aquila, published: 2017-11-28

The beginning of the 15th century for our Republic. Господин Великий Новгород or Lord Novgorod the Great, stands at the forefront of Eastern Europe rivaled only by the southern Mongolic tribes after the defeat of Lithuania with the Treaty of Minsk proving the rising prowess of Novgorod. Our people have had their belief cemented that they must take up the mantle of leader of the Orthodox church with Constantinople falling to the Turks and the southern princes not capable of leadership. As they were unable to stop the hordes or the encroaching Catholics. Novgorod stands alone the chosen people of God, we will take back what is ours давай!
Nominally the city of Novgorod itself is the center of power and our Посадник or Posadnik maintains a strong executive backed by the figurehead Prince of Novgorod an elective position which in the past was largely determined by which principality had the most influence. Since Novgorod's ascension as dominant among the Rus the opposite has begun to prove true with the prince being elected from whoever Novgorod wishes to influence and some expect that with the addition of new Principalities to our territory that princes elected internally may soon become the norm. Despite being a fully functional republic the Boyars hold significant influence as the major landholders, though with the rise of traders and craftsmen in Novgorod, and now Pskov that may change.
The Вече or Veche is the ruling body chaired by the Posadnik, with a respectably large stone building in the city and is well maintained by a moderate annual stipend, though some feel it is growing small and homely given our rising power. In addition the Princes own estate is upkept through this fund and is the primary place of interaction with foreign diplomats. It too is sizable but not particularly grand. This may have to be addressed when more funds become available.
More importantly to the Veche, Novgorod is not a well educated place compared to western europe like Italy or France in part to our large and sparsely populated territory. We maintain funding to a number of religious and secular places of learning and of course the church educates its own who contribute to the republics body of knowledge, the Archbishop himself being an integral part of our government. Once the Muscovites are taken care of this may have to be rectified lest we fall behind the westerners whom our traders tell us of.
Indeed while we are ahead of many of our neighbors those few of us who have been to Paris and Italy speak of advancements much ahead of our own particularly in ship building and administration.
In order to facilitate the long term goals of the republic we must move to centralizing power in Novgorod, more closely binding our territory new and old to the Veche. Currently our republic is largely decentralized, while the Posadnik has strong administrative powers diplomatically, Militarily and in the city itself, the individual Veche's of the republics towns and cities hold large autonomy in day to day affairs. This must change.
Our biggest rival in the minds of the people is Muscovy who maintains diplomatic control and alliances with many of the southern principalities, a war with them would be difficult but not unwinnable. Still it might be better to strengthen our self first rather than sacrifice many soldiers in an uncertain war.
Election time, While the current Posadnik is a capable man the older citizens remember Lukinich's 28 year rule with constant warfare and vote to keep leadership fresh electing Sergei Spyachy, the nephew of the past Posadnik Semen Spyachy who began a long period of relative peace.
However we have discovered a young nobleman from a family who owns land near the Gulf of Finland. The Prince takes a liking to his daring and introduces him to the Posadnik Saveliy Obolensky. He introduces himself as Iosif Strigin the man who will defeat Muscovy in the name of Novgorod. Saveliy assumes this to be a young mans boast until he outlines a detailed plan to do so taking advantage of our superior guns and veterans. A plan that might work.
Sergei proves himself a match to his uncle by choosing to base the new coinage of the republic with a small paper representing the treaty of Minsk as opposed to himself or another figure, improving faith in the republic.
The matter of trading policy is brought to our attention and the Viche rules that supporting trade will benefit everyone including the guilds in the long term.
Two years later Muscovy is at war with one of the minor mongol tribes. The posadnik decides that this will be our best opportunity and so war is declared over the rightful ownership of Mozhaysk.
The initial battle occurs in Ryazan, troops of our allies the principality of Tver and Yaroslavl occupy the north and we move to destroy the Ryazanians before they join their Muscovite lords who are besieging our isolated territory.
The Karachevites attempt to join the Ryazanians but arrive after the battle was won, our forces however were belegured from the previous battle and the Karachevites escape complete defeat.
Some months later we intercept the Muscovites attempting to attack our allies besieging Vladimir. The battle is won but it is not a convincing victory, our cannons give us the edge in what is otherwise a fairly even match in numbers.
Several months pass with no major battles, we manage to capture much of Muscovy's territory however including the city itself while our armies rebuild. The Muscovites however are not idle either and capture some of our land in the southwest. We move to relieve the people in those areas and win a victory forcing them to retreat to what controlled land they have left.
Luckily with Moscow taken we are able to catch up with them before they can regroup. General Strigin knowing that our allies from Tver would be waiting in catch them runs the Muscovites ragged before smashing them against the lines of our allies in a complete encirclement.
General Strigin then goes to remove the rest of their forces, attacking the regrouped Ryazanians.
In preperation for future wars the Veche had begun instituting various economical reforms some decades ago to ensure that we would be able to pay the troops and build our grand city. These are completed shortly before the war ends.
Which it does ten days later, when the Posadnik travels to Moscow to oversee the "Grand" Prince sign the treaty of surrender known as the treaty of Moscow. Muscovy gives us our rightful land and releases the Principalities of Vladimir and Nizhny Novgorod which they had incorporated. While this is not a huge gain in terms of territory for us, it is a huge loss for the Muscovites who will not be able to match our strength in any future wars. Our people recognize this as the symbolic ascent of Novgorod as the sole power of the Rus and celebrate the hard-won victory in the streets with a parade for the veteran soldiers.
Along with victory comes waves of militaristic pride, and so the grandson of the famous general Mikhail Massalski the Bear of Finland, is elected Posadnik.
The Mongols however, grumble over these events. Nominally they control the Rus through tribute and aren't fond of us claiming to be its master. However they are dealing with insurrections in the Caucasus. General Strigin brings a bold plan foward to deal with this problem. The Mongols have a much larger army than us but he's reports state that they are drained of men due to infighting and previous wars. He claims that if we are able to win the initial battles the White Horde will be unable to recover, and it's possible Hungary may attack them since they have been fighting over control of the Carpathians for some time. Opinions are somewhat split with most of the Veche and church supporting the war but the Posadnik and Prince unsure. After much deliberation and late nights the Archbishop manages to convince the Posadnik to go to recall the legacy of the Bear of Finland and go to war.
After the war with Muscovy our manpower was low and so the Boyars are asked to provide levies for the republic which the acquiesce to on the promise of new territory. Initially general Strigin is able to occupy much of their northern territory without any push back but it seems their army was simply making its way north and a battle takes place in Bersh. Despite better strategy on the part of general Strigin the terrain is unfamiliar and our cavalry takes heavy losses. Eventually we are forced to pull back even though our infantry are doing well less the be overrun by the Tatar-Mongol horsemen.
We pull back and let them push all the way to our far eastern territory before attacking their army again. This battle goes far more in our favor because the hordes are without a general and retreat not long after our initial attack due to it's ferocity caused by faith in the church because the archbishop sent priests to strengthen the armies resolve.
General Strigin is proved correct again, the Kievan Mercenaries which have been harrying the south report the Hungarians have declared war over Carligatura and have pushed deep into the Hordes lands.
We take this opportunity to push back and recapture Kazan. The Horde chooses to fight us instead of the Hungarians after losing some battles to them, this proves to be a mistake. General Strigin learns from past failure and wins a victory at Samara.
It takes besieging much of their land to convince them to give up their Northern territory including Kazan, but they must since the Georgian people have risen up in the south and they've lost to the Hungarians in the west. This marks the beginning of the end for the Tatar-Mongol yoke over Eastern Europe.
The people settle down for what will hopefully be a long period of peace. Unfortunately this only lasts 6 years. Ryazan knows Muscovy is weak and wishes to free itself from her and place their own prince on the throne, we cannot pass up this opportunity to decisively prevent Moscow from ever rising again and agree to support them.
The first battle of the war goes overwhelmingly in our favor. Muscovy had split their army and we catch a smaller portion defeating it with few losses.
We are able to occupy much of their land with no more major battles until we find the Karachevites not far from Moscow and defeat them.
An easy war ending with the second treaty of Moscow which transfers control of the city to a new Veche effectively placing it under control of the Republic of Novgorod. The grand prince of Moscow moves his court to Rostov but his lands are fractured and will be easily dealt with later.
After a series of expensive wars the court of the Veche and the palace of the Prince have fallen by the wayside. In order to combat this we double its yearly stipend and place a large sum into it's upkeep funds.
The same can be said of funding for the arts and other such endeavors, and so likewise we double their yearly funding and add generously to their endowment.
We dare not sit idle for too long lest enemies grow around us, further we must spread the faith which has saved us. To this end this splinter tribe of Tatar-Mongols must bow to Novgorod and Christ.
An easy victory, we destroy their forces in the initial skirmish and capture their main settlement where their Khan bows to us.
Election time once more, the Posadnik Dimitry Dolgorukov has proven to be quite a worthy man and is reelected for a third time a rare occurrence in the republic.
Dolgorukov seeks to continue expansion in hopes of perhaps winning a fourth election, he has us declare war on Lithuania to free our kin living under them while they war with the Horsemen tribes to the south
while the Lithuanian's find themselves unable to move back north to defend they hire the traitorous army of the Prince of Tver who we soundly defeat at Novgorods walls.
Unable to defend themselves we take much of their bordering land which by right belongs to us.
The Archbishops hand can be felt in these past few wars as they have all had some religious backing. It would appear that the state and Church are becoming intertwined.
A brief peace follows, until we receive word of the "Grand Prince of Moscow's" trouble with rebeling horsemen. The Veche encourages the Posadnik to declare war and take advantage of the turmoil.
This is decided to be the best course of action and the first battle takes place on Nizhny Novgorod's lands where we soundly defeat our inferior.
They sue for peace and it is decided the the lesser Novgorod should bow to the greater. We force them to swear oaths of fealty to the republic and bind their fate to ours which they have no choice but to accept. The Posadnik chooses this instead of outright annexation to avoid adding more territory far from the capital to administer directly. This way we can integrate them slowly and more efficiently in the long term.
The Muscovites are unable to mount a defense and we take more of their land, humiliating the once great duchy.
Along with the increased ties between the church and the republic we see a willingness of the citizens to go to war to crush the infidels. The first of these wars takes place against a minor Mongol tribe and their heretical allies Ryazan.
Driven by God our army defeats theirs outside of Moscow.
Then our new General Vsevolod Kashin uses his logistical prowess to run them down before they can regroup and captures the majority of their army.
Before long they sue for peace annexing the entire tribe. For their Heretical impudence we also annex the Murom and the surrounding territory.
High after our victory against the Heathens we march on the once great White Horde, which has almost completely collapsed in the wake of attack and rebellion from the Volhynians.
With no large battles we occupy their lands until they sue for peace and annex more of the southern Steppe.
(lost track of the date, had to timeline back to 1450 for a picture). 50 years later, Novgorod has established itself as master of the Rus, though with perhaps a new enemy, the Kingdom of Halych-Volhyna rising in the south among the ruin of the Tatar-Mongols. Though the Republic has suffered ups and downs it seems the the Russian people have acknowledged that we are truely the Third Rome, and like Rome of old the people must rule and fight for themselves not any King or Emperor. The Prince is an excellent position of great importance but always balanced by the Veche, Posadnik, and Archbishop. Some even are beggining to envision a Republic not just of Novgorod but of all Russia. A Russian Republic! Давай!
I should note that I decided to Mod in a custom government for Novgorod since it really isn't very well represented by a Merchant republic. In addition to these modifiers it doesn't have the same extreme limitations of number of states, this makes it better than the Merchant republic but I think the autonomy and max centralization nerfs provide a fair balance.

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Images: 335, author: Shoggy, published: 2017-12-06