The Holy Roman AAR
In the beginning, the "Holy Roman Empire" is nothing more than a fractured system of dukedoms and principalities, lead by a man of low authority who fancies himself an Italophile, living and governing out of the northern Italian region of Bologna. Set right in the middle of everything, you know things are going to get hot and quick for the empire and the emperor. Kaiser Friedrich the Champion commissions his son, Prinz Heinrich, to be the man in charge of the main Imperial army, which isn't much at this time consisting mostly of lowly spearmen and some mercenaries. However within a few years, he is able to take the independent castle of Bremen to the north, and at the request of the council of nobles and no doubt the Kaiser himself, Florence soon comes under Imperial rule.
Things are going relatively well for the as yet decentralized empire. The Prinz was married off to a French royal princess assuring peace on the western front and a recent alliance with the Milanese is a gesture from the Kaiser that he has no intentions of moving in on their nearby lands, mutually beneficial for all concerned. However, the Venetians are not fond of this newfound friendship, seeing as how if the Empire is allying themselves with the West, they are only left with conquest in the East. Already not happy with the Germans in northern Italy, at around the year 1187 the jealous eyes of the Venetians turn toward the Kaiser's Italian holdings. Bologna is besieged and a war is underway.
Prinz Heinrich arrives with the Imperial army and makes quick work of the besieging Venetians. The Kaiser turns his attention toward the city of Venice, where the Venetian Doge rules over his subjects. He gives the word that should Prinz Heinrich take the city, he will be crowned King of Venice and rule the city at the conclusion of the war. A tempting offer for anyone, the following year Prinz Heinrich takes his army and marches across the bridge laying siege to the Venetian capital. A sizeable army outnumbering Heinrich's own and with some superior troops and equipment is levied to defend their homeland, but before he can even build up enough sieging equipment to assault the city, a smaller Venetian force comes from behind and sandwiches the Germans, cutting off any escape route and outnumbering them even further.
This will be the fight that defines Prinz Heinrich.
This will be the fight that establishes his legacy.
This will be the fight that breaks the will of the Venetians, having their leader captured or killed, losing their capital.
This will be the fight that is coming up next........