MEIOU&Taxes 2.0 Brittany AAR/Mod Showcase -- Part 0: Prologue

Author: Findan
Published: 2017-07-03, edited: 2017-07-07
Rather Death Than Dishonor -- Europa Universalis IV with MEIOU & Taxes 2.0 modification

Follow a lone man's epic quest to make Brittany a great power and learn a thing or two about the freaking amazing mod MEIOU & Taxes.

About the AAR in general:
- Read with vertical scrolling on, contains lots of text
-"comedic" and historical, mild roleplay
- light narrative focus, heavier gameplay focus
- Mostly screenshots
- Some crude language
- Lengthy explanations of M&T mechanics
- Advice for new players of M&T
- The writer isn't a native speaker
- How i do talk england?

Part of the campaign:

MEIOU&Taxes 2.0 Brittany AAR/Mod Showcase

This AAR will showcase features of the brand-spanking new version of the MEIOU & Taxes mod for EU4, a version that adds some minor bits and bobs such as POPULATION, REVAMPED ESTATES WITH PERSONAL ARMIES AND TREASURIES, FUCKING URBAN POPULATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, EDUCATION, DYNAMIC PROVINCE MODIFIERS, PRODUCTION AND INDUSTRIES, AND OH MY GOOOooOoOOOd

Ahem. Yeah, not a big deal at all. The mod is available on Steam Workshop (http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=962223737) and Paradox Forums (https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/m-t-download-thread-version-2-00-link-to-first-patch-post-bug-reports-here.1032433/). The WIP wiki is here: http://meiouandtaxes.wikia.com/wiki/MeiouAndTaxes_Wikia

Gigau, if you're reading this, I expect the check to arrive within a week. Shilling isn't free, you know.
But first of all, a history lesson. Shocking! It's not like EU4 is a historical game. But sarcasm aside, if you're doing your 9th world conquest and using paper mana to magically make your subjects happier, it's easy to forget that the game is supposed to be historical. But we're not in vanilla anymore. We're in MEIOU & Taxes, a mod that puts "historical" back into "historical grand strategy time-sink".
This means, among many other things which will appear during gameplay, that at game start in 1356 there are several historical wars. One such war is ongoing in Brittany between the houses of Montfort and Blois. What's this war about? Who is fighting? Why is one side allied with England and the other with France? Story time, everyone. Sit down and grab a glass of whatever you people drink nowadays.

If you're not interested in history, skip to the next part and explain to me why you like playing a historical strategy game.
We begin with Duke Arthur de Dreux, who married twice and had plenty of sons. From his first marriage, he got John, his heir, and a guy named Guy. From his second, he got John. Of Montfort.

After John became a Duke, he didn't like Count John very much. Probably because people confused them all the time, he had no beard and his mother (John's half-mother) Yolande was a bitch who gifted him socks every Christmas. Because John had no children, there was a chance that John would inherit, and that horrified John. A beardless Duke of Brittany? Absolutely disgusting.

He wanted to give the duchy to the king of France after his death, which the nobles whined about, so he went for the second best option: his brother Guy's daughter Joan would inherit and marry the French noble Charles de Blois. This was OK because Brittany had agnatic-cognatic succession. If you don't know what that is, play CK2.

(image: depiction of Arthur de Dreux)
Charles of Blois, the son of French King Philip VI's sister, was a cool dude. Mostly because he had a nice beard but also because he was so pious he was declared a saint (then a dude got pissed by this and
spammed the pope with angry letters saying Charles wasn't canon so the pope cancelled his canonization). Supposedly he placed pebbles in his shoes, wore ropes tight with knots near his flesh, confessed every night in fear of sleeping in a state of sin, inspired loyalty by his religious fervour and ordered the massacre of 1400 civilians.

Truly, he exemplified catholic virtues. Jesus would've been proud.

(Image: 17th century depiction of Charles. That beard is sexy.)
But later Duke John had a change of heart. He shaved his own beard and reconciled with his half-brother John (probably because his asshole mother was long dead) and made him heir. This didn't please the nobles (who thought beards were cool) nor the French (who really liked Charles' moustache). People bitched, whined and complained but John was old, tired and half-dead. His last words about the succession were "For God's sake leave me alone and do not trouble my spirit with such things."

I didn't make that up. He really said that.

(Image: John's smiling corpse carried in a box. He smiled because he no longer had to deal with inheritance crap.

Gosh I wish I was inside a box like that)
Duke John died in 1341. His brother from another mother Count John declared himself Duke and occupied towns and cities of Brittany as fast as possible before the unrest would spawn noble rebels. But unfortunately for John, the Hundred Years' War was a thing that was happening.

England and France were taking a break, sharpening their swords, fletching arrows and oiling their muscles, or "obeying the terms of truce and maintaining peace in the name of Christ " as it was officially called. King Philip VI of France had heard from his maid who had heard from her niece who had heard from his friend who had heard from a merchant in Nantes that John loved sucking English cock. Philip took these factual news very seriously and began to support Charles of Blois to keep the English away from his backyard. Also because he liked his beard.

(Image: people pay homage to the new John, uncertain if he was actually the old John)
Nobody knows if John had really liked english dick, but now he was forced to like it if he wanted to keep his title. He allied with King Edward III of England and promised to support him in the war.

Charles and his French pals marched to Brittany and gave John a real pounding in the battle of Champtoceaux and the Siege of Nantes while the English were busy sipping tea -- wait, they had no tea back then. How am I supposed to make stereotype jokes about English without tea?

Anyways, the English weren't there so John lost so bad that his mercenaries deserted him and the townspeople of Nantes forced him to surrender and kicked him out of town. How embarrassing. The French imprisoned him and Charles regained Brittany. There, the end. Charles won, everyone is happy.

(Image: an unrelated battle, nobody bothered to paint images of the battles mentioned above)
The year is 1342 AD. Brittany is entirely occupied by Charles of Blois. Well, not entirely... One small town of indomitable Montforts still holds out against the claimant.

This town was Brest. There, John's wife Joanna and her son John held out. Charles and his allies attacked, but the English finally arrived and beat back the blockading Genoese navy. The French had
gone to Calais to face the English invasion, the Blois mercenaries ran to their boats and escaped to Spain and more English reinforcements arrived. Things suddenly looked bleak for Charles, but never underestimate a bearded man.

(Image: modern-day Brest. No breast puns please.)
Small-scale fighting continued for a while. Montfortists relied almost entirely on the English while Charles held on mostly on his own with occasional French support. John was released from prison in 1343 in return for a huge bond and a promise that he would stay in his eastern estates. This, in addition to Joanna going insane and infant John not being particularly qualified to lead a claimant faction meant the Montfortists had no real leadership. Charles kicked ass and took an important town by assault (which resulted in about 1400 civilian deaths, oops), then John escaped to England like a pussy, Montfortists crumbled and victory was near once again.

English attempts to attack Charles ended ultimately in failure, despite initial victories. Not only that, but John got sick and died in 1345. Even God thought Charles should become the Duke, if not for the strength of his claim, then for his pure badassery and tenacity.

(Image: Battle of Auray for no particular reason)
Then the French did what they do best: lose against invaders. You might've heard of the Battles of Crecy and Calais.

French defeats meant lost support for Charles and opportunities for the English. Charles began to lose ground and his attempt to retake a town from the English in the Battle of La Roche-Derrien ended in his imprisonment. He was sent to the Tower of London and kept there for many years. If you ever visit the place, you might find age-old strands of Charles' legendary beard in one of the cells.

(Image: the capture of Charles de Blois [his beard had been captured earlier])
The Pope pressured the French, Bretons and English to stop killing each other for once and make a truce in Brittany. This didn't prevent one of the coolest medieval battles taking place: the Combat of the Thirty. Or, well, it wasn't a battle but a large melee. The end score was 6-9: knights and squires of Charles had killed nine montfortists and won. Too bad this changed jack shit, but hey, at least we got a cool painting out of it.

In 1353 a treaty was signed and Charles was freed. If he did two things, England would recognize him as the Duke of Brittany. One, he would pay a ransom of 300,000 crowns. Two, he would ally with England and seal the alliance by marrying John (the other John, the son of the John who had died, who was the half-brother of John) to Edward III's daughter. The marriage required French approval, but before that could be given, the King of Navarre (who was a friend of England and had inherited Normandy from his father as you can see in M&T) wanted the war to continue and assassinated the Frenchman responsible for negotiations. The treaty was cancelled but Charles was already free. Typical English politeness, letting a prisoner go before the terms of his release were fully negotiated. Hey, you can make stereotype jokes about English without tea!

(Image: that cool painting of the Combat)
Now we finally come to 1356, the starting year of M&T. King John of France (seriously why are there so many Johns?) had been captured in the Battle of Poitiers and this is represented in the game by having France in an interregnum. John of Montfort, son of John of Montfort, was a big boy now (16-years-old, to be exact) and ready to kick some Blois ass.

M&T's scenario isn't fully historical, however. John didn't return to Brittany before 1362 and the war only continued a year later, after Charles' wife Joan said "fuck that bitch ass motha fucka" when John tried to negotiate with him (that quote I did make up). It all ended quickly in the Battle of Auray in 1364 when Charles' beard was cut and he committed seppuku out of shame. Rather Death Than Dishonor, as the Bretons say. His widow Joan realized she was the bitch ass motherfucker who was fucked and surrendered.

(Image: The Battle of Auray, for real this time)
A treaty was signed and John fulfilled the ambition of his father by becoming the Duke of Brittany. He declared that from now on only males could inherit to prevent such a succession mess from happening again. But the inheritance treaty was later broken and female succession became a thing again, so when Anne inherited Brittany in 1488 France formed a personal union over the duchy, forever ending its independence. I hope people realize that succession favoured men not just because people were really sexist back in the day but because agnatic-cognatic succession could result in a real mess.

(Image: depiction of Duke John. His moustache was shorter in reality.)
This is whole thing is bullshit because Charles was, de jure, the rightful claimant and more importantly had a better beard than anyone in house Montfort. Therefore I will indulge in alt-history wankery with the help of modern video game technology and give the crown of Brittany to its rightful, bearded owner.

See you in the next part, where we finally get to the actual game.

(Image: a bust of Charles in Versailles. Look at dat beard.)

Next chapter:

Game: Europa Universalis IV

MEIOU&Taxes 2.0 Brittany AAR/Mod Showcase -- Part 1: War of Succession

Images: 84, author: Findan, published: 2017-07-07, edited: 2017-07-09

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