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Thread: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

  1. #1

    Default [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    Update 2009-03-13: I have decided to stop this AAR and keep a save of this campaign in a safe place for the time being due to the AI not being able to offer any decisive and interesting options despite many attempts. I will resume it once the AI has been improved via mods or patches.


    WARNING

    This thread is very image heavy.
    Even though I used Spoiler tags to keep it readable, it may take a little time for the images to load entirely. Sorry for you all with slow connections.



    Last updated: 2009-03-11
    Latest time line: Part V (1741-1750): The years of change


    Difficulty: VH/N
    Note: Nationalist comments are part of the tale and I guess part of Total War!! Don't take them personally.

    Note: I'll try to update here when there is a new post.
    The French Empire

    Part I (1700-1711): End of an era:


    Click on button for this part's details. Warning, image heavy
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    1700-1703:

    My first priorities were to secure my eastern and southern borders. We had been walking a fine line with Savoy and the alliance with Austria of the eastern provinces did not really comfort me. I knew there would be problems as soon as our good king Louis XIV's health begun declining. A fort and proper garrison east of Marseilles was my very first move.



    Then, I looked east, beyond Austria and I found Poland. Hoping that they would act as a counter weight when/if Austria claimed the throne of France, I quickly arranged an alliance which I hoped would last as long as possible, without dragging France into too many conflicts in the process. Austria would have more than what they asked for should they try and walk west.


    This alliance with with Poland would also give me, on the long run, support from Russia, an awaking lion far in the east, already hungry for blood and land


    I have to admit I welcomed the bloody war that erupted in 1701 between Prussia and Austria, hoping that Prussia would put up a good fight and if not, that Poland would not look well on Austria's territory expansion on its borders. All in all, good for France!


    I of course also had to deal with these beer drinkers and sausage lovers of Alsace Lorraine but the supplement of garrison, part of my plan to secure against any Wuttenberg (pawn of Austria) ideas, solved their "claims" swiftly. They will see the beacon of light that is France and renounce the ways of the savage Germans.


    By 1703, the southern coast of the Americas were looking promising and when my first fleet arrived, it was only promises of riches beyond our dreams that was presented. I would make sure to secure this trade route in the future, and of course, look also to the northern Americas and use every opportunity to get France's share of the natural wealth.


    My first plan was first to secure the pirate islands once and for all. First by controlling the seas, then sending home grown troops out there to make sure they saw how things had to be done. This would take some years, but was a very important part of securing a safe and sound foothold over there.


    The foolish and greedy rebels of the United Provinces were of course trying to make up for their weakness in Europe in the Americas, but that would not happen and I already started to plan for their demise with my Spanish ally...









    1703-1711:

    As expected, Savoy declared war early 1704, more of a gesture than anything else. My recent garrison kept them at bay and, wanting to avoid bloodshed, I dispatched representatives to the area. Austria did not follow it's Savoyard ally into the conflict of course.


    One of my agents, Urbain Despréaux, became really popular in the following years due to his various actions in weakening the various ressources in Savoy as well as "helping" a promising (and arrogant) Savoy general retire early. Mister Despréaux would prove very valuable in the years ahead so I advised him caution in his daring actions.




    By 1705, my forces had taken Antigua, a known pirate stronghold and were preparing to move toward Trinidad & Tobago. I was quite pleased to see the first part of my plan in action and a success. The years to come would be bloody for sure, but such is the way to ensure peace on the long run.




    Safer waters (as in, controlled by me) toward the amazonia trades allowed me strengthen my positions there and between 1705 and 1710, ships kept going, bringing more and more riches each time.


    A much less enjoyable news came back in 1705 however when the Huron tribes, north west of Upper Canada, started gathering along my borders and sure enough, war found a way that same year.




    After being mostly stationary for 3 years, I became REALLY worried when my Iroquois scouts reported their armies "gone from sight".


    Aware of the natives incredible skills through thick forests, I immediately ordered search parties, offering grand rewards to whoever returned with news of the Huron. News came 2 years later: they had crossed the border!


    Armies were dispatched from France to deal with this conflict once and for all as I did not want to be dragged into hide and seek games with these barbarians, but the cost to France's economy would be dire for half a decade. Hopefully future generation will see this as beneficial. Meanwhile, I try to strengthen my contacts with the Iroquois, an apparently much more peacefully native tribe. Time will tell if France can benefit from this.

    As the year 1711 approaches, The kingdom is overall safe from threats. But history has a way for driving itself forward, and all changed that year:



    ...



    Edited:
    - Savoy war in 2004? Nope!
    - Added spoiler tag to keep the posts decent and visible only if you want to.
    - Corrected locations mistake, Hurons were in NW of Upper Canada, not New France, obviously.
    Last edited by kemor; March 12, 2009 at 06:07 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    Part II (1711-1720): The clouds after the sun


    Click on button for this part's details. Warning, image heavy
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    The Sun King's aftermath:

    With the corpse of our beloved Louis XIV resting peacefully in fresh earth, Europe, led by Austria, followed the roads of war once more. Claiming the throne of France despite the will of the Sun King and rightful power of Louis XV, Leopold I pushed France into a conflict that would not see an end for at least a decade.

    With Great Britain and the United Provinces now threatening all northern France and trade routes, the timid Louis XV decided to deal with manageable threats in hope that time would transform this conflict into a simple disagreement. Savoy and Wuttenberg would be the pawns used to show the strength of France and it's king!





    The Savoy's war

    General Claude de Villars was dispatched from Paris with a resonable force to deal with Savoy, one way or another. Obviously the subtle ways of late Louis XIV did not send the proper message and it had been decided that Savoy was too great a risk, and a cost, to play mind games.
    General de Villars, eager to mark his name into the papers of France's new king, boldly moved his troops into Nice to face the Savoyards.
    Superior training and tactic prevailed and it was on this day that the legend of General de Villars began, as he led the charge into the barricaded lines.




    With "affordable" losses on his side and total defeat of the Savoyards, General de Villars decided to push forward into Turin without delay. Despite Louis XV orders to offer no surrender as this campaign was meant to show the strenght of the Kingdom, it was offered, and refused. In 6 months, the battle for Brudges was over and after bloody ubran fightings, Savoy lay battered and conquered in front of General de Villars.




    The southern border was safe once again, France, via nice, had now a way into Mediterranean trades, which would prove very useful in the years to come.


    The Huron war

    With France being under direct threat on the mainland and the Americas trade routes cut off by the United Provinces and Great Britain, the regions of Quebec and Upper Canada were left to themselves to handle the discreet but powerful danger of the Huron tribes.

    Short on modern supplies and with no news of reinforcements from France, the Governor of Quebec turned to the friendly Iroquoix for council and help. For more than a year many skirmish battles were fought mainly by the natives to give time for Montreal and Quebec to train a proper army. The skills for ambush of the Iroquoix, as well as their culture, never ceased to amaze the Governor and during these years, a true respect developped.




    In 1712, Quebec's army was ready and on the move. Most skirmishers were recalled to join the force and the first real battles against the massive invading Huron forces were fought. By combining modern technology and Iroquoix's ways of war, the Huron were pushed back after a very long and bloody battle far north west of Quebec.




    The victory cries were short however as, the same year, another force of Huron revealed itself from it's hiding right on the doorstep of Montreal! The city would be under siege in a matter of weeks and there was no way the main force, led by the young Philippe de Vaudreil, the very son of the Governor of Quebec, could reach it in time.

    Militia was trained in a hurry both in Quebec and Montreal, hoping that it would be enough to keep the Huron's at bay.


    Here, Philippe de Vaudreil was left with an impossible choice: To come back and pray for a timely rescue of Montreal, or to push forward into Huron territory to deal with the threat once and for all, praying that Upper Canada would prevail. After much consideration and, according to some, under advisement from an Iroquoix chief, the latter was chosen and he pushed his armies to their limit to Fort Sault St. Marie.


    God must have been on the French's side in this far away land, for not only Montreal was able, after a very bloody battle, to push back the invading forces in 1712, but de Vaudreil managed to siege and take the Fort the very next year, leaving only a very remote Huron stronghold far to the north west.


    By 1714, the Huron were no longer a threat. Despite not being needed anymore, the Governor welcomed the Iroquoix with wide arms and went to meet the tribe leaders on many occasion in the two following years. Philippe de Vaudreil was named temporary Governor of the newly conquered territory though his father became increasingly worried as more and more he went on "wild trips" with the natives, sometimes for weeks...


    Another type of war, Europe, the northern front

    As France received good news from their remote colonies of Upper Canada and Quebec and the victories of de Villars against Savoy were still clamored, the situation for the Kingdom was dire: another type of war was being fought and France was losing!


    With thousands of men garrisoned on the eastern border, thousands more still in Savoy to secure the land and arrange treaties with Geneoa, France was close to bankrupcy due to it's only trading port, Le Havre, being under constant blocade from Great Britain and the United Provinces. No match for a naval conflict against these nations, the country was in a dire situation. Despite high taxes however, the people of France understood the severity of the moment and decided to give King Louis XV a chance.

    The plan to remedy the situation was threefold:


    - First bring money in.
    Use Nice, the newly captured trade port from Savoy, to secure trades far from the reach of the Great Britain and United Provinces ships. Here, the Ottoman Empire was the best candidate and despite their many differences, a treaty was agreed on, with rumours mentioning vast amount of money to Ottoman officials. Another deal was made with the far and emerging Maratha Condederacy.




    - Second, a display of strength.
    Deal with the threat that was Wuttenberg as fast as possible, in continuation with the idea that France needed to show strength without engaging directly with the greater powers but that obviously Savoy was not enough. To that end, the famous General de Villars was recalled from Savoy to lead the eastern armies.

    Faithful to his reputation, de Villars engaged into battle with Wuttenberg and in 2 years, brought it to it's knees. His use of the newly trained Grenadier forces in the campaign of Wuttenberg would be studied for decades in the acadamies of France.






    With this threat dealt with, his new orders were to push forward into Bavaria with his elite troops and by 1718, de Villars entered Munich triumphant with minimal losses against incredible odds. By that time, de Villars was legendary in France and was worshipped by his men. His Grenadiers shock troops were feared across all Europe.








    - Third, balance of power.

    This was the end goal of all the campaigns of France: re-establish a balance of power in Europe with France at it's center. Doing so would re-open the trade routes and by this, allow France to secure it's treasury and strengthen all it's positions.

    By 1716, Great Britain and France met on equal terms to discuss a cease-fire. As Louis XV thought, the English had very little love toward the United Provinces and their rapid growth since the capture of Hanover was starting to worry them. The cease-fire allowed Le Havre to become once again a major trading port and for almost a year afterwards, Paris was under near constant celebration.

    By 1717, France needed a new ally in the East to use as leverage against the coming economic (and land) war with the United Provinces. Here, only one stood above the rest: Prussia.
    Fighting against incredible odds since early 1700, Prussia was now an Empire and had crushed Austria almost entirely with the help of Poland. Now faced with the Ottoman Empire to the south and the threatening protestants of the Provinces to the West, Prussia was all too eager to sign an Alliance with France, whose recent conquest proved strong enough to be respected by Friedrich the 1st.
    Worried about his empire being overstretched and wanting to strengthen this young alliance, King Louis XV, in 1718, boldly offered the newly conquered Bavaria to Prussia. This left General de Villars a bit angered since he had lost good men in the battles but he withdrew nonetheless into Wuttenberg with his armies, ordered to strengthen the frontiers with the United Provinces.





    1717-1720: The silent years

    By 1718, France was now seemingly at peace and new alliances made the French Empire a major player in Europe.

    The war with the United Provinces was a silent one, with no troops involved directly. This war had some casualities however, including the famous French agent Urbain Despréaux, who was discovered near Cologne and disappeared in 1714. His skills in information gathering were cruely missed since.


    Other than that, it was back to business as usual in a newly configured Europe. Great Britain was showing a vastly increased interest in the new world, which was a growing worry since Louis XV had high hopes for Upper Canada and Quebec, seen as beacons of the French power over sea.


    The geopolitical landscape by the year 1720 was a dangerous one and with the current alliances, one wrong move would put all Europe into war once again...


    As Louis XV thought about the future, one thing became clear: Seas had to be controlled.
    With his country almost brought down when the trade routes had been cut off, he now clearly saw that the only way to secure France on the long run was to use the shipyard of Brest and Marseille to build a fleet that would commend the respect and fear that France needed. Once done, the Kingdom would be able to deal on equal footing with the foolish Protestants rebels of the United Provinces while keeping Great Britain at bay.

    ...



    Edited:
    - Added spoiler tag to improve overall presentation.
    - Corrected locations mistakes, Turin and not Bruges, Upper Canada and not New France.
    Last edited by kemor; March 09, 2009 at 11:29 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    Part III (1721-1731): The peaceful wars


    Click on button for this part's details. Warning, image heavy
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Strenghtening the Empire:

    As Louis XV devised plans to make of France a powerful naval presence, an untold and unsigned peace was agreed on between France, Spain and the United Provinces. All parties involved agreed to stay on their respective borders and not interfer in the trades.

    In Wuttenberg, Brigadier General Camile d'Hostun had replaced Marshall de Villars who had been recalled to Paris for a new mission. The man had an old and dusty hatred of the Dutch and along the years, he did not make the peace an easy task. His frequent meetings with the Prussian generals were things none could ignore, but his power in the region was uncontested, and uncontestable.


    Austria was, by that time, only but a shadow of it's former self. Engaged on many fronts, it was lessened to an holding east of Italy and the emerging French navy, helped by it's Prussian allies, made sure that they were not going anywhere. By 1721, Austria was a long gone threat and was barely ever mentioned in strategic discussions. By 1724, Austria's forces were defeated by the Polish armies
    Some murmured that Austria's presence had only been replaced by a more dangerous one (Prussia) but none could speak of this openly.





    In 1721, Spain finally dealt the final blow to Portugal and could now safely turned it's force toward Northern Europe but mostly toward the it's new world colonies. In the 5 years afterwards, Spain's presence over Europe would remain subtle as an ally of France against the Dutch.


    Of almost no consequences to France during the years 1720-1731, Prussia and Sweden declared war on each others. France agreed to support Prussia but all in all, only words were exchanged and words are free.


    Due to this overall uneasy peace in western Europe, France could finally reap the rewards of it's early 1700 trade investments. The obvious will of King Louis XV to finally give France a modern navy also boosted the morale of various trade partners and overall, money was flowing.


    The dying of Louis XV in 1727 had barely any impact on the overall French strategy in Europe and only minor ones in the north African campaigns. Louis XVI was young but eager and for years, he would follow into the plans laid before him by Louis XV.


    Quebec, a new France, a different France

    Far west of the various schemes of Europe, New France, Upper Canada and other bordering French colonies were developping very fast. In half a decade, the city of Quebec became a pole of wealth and culture, the echo of which brought many from the old world. The Iroquois tribes of the south were friendlier than ever and Monsieur de Vaudreuil, Governor of Quebec, made sure that the two very different cultures of the New and Old worlds did not conflict but benefited from each other.

    In late 1720, the newly conquered Huron territories were given to the British crown, officially as a token of the newly founded peace, unofficially, so they would act as a buffer against the Huron and ensure stability in the northern territories.


    The hero of the Huron war, Philipe de Vaudreuil, did not return with the rest of the troops in 1721 however. Rumours among the Iroquois tribes mentioned that instead he pushed north deep into Huron territory with some of his troops and new mentor, a very powerful Iroquois warrior. News of his probable death arrived late 1721 when Iroquois scouts reported that after waging a war of skirmish against the Huron, he fell to a massive ambush, outnumbered 3 to 1.




    Between 1721 and 1730, The Northern French colonies were peaceful and propser overall. It is to be noted however that in 1727, a small force of Iroquois warriors, dressed in their most beautiful garbs, arrived in the port of Brest. These men, explorers among their kind, wished to know the Chief of the French country and, after some time, they joined the Franco-Prussian/Dutch front as scouts.


    Most died of disease in 1728 however and some went missing while scouting on the northern border of Rhinelands.


    To fight in the North, build in the South

    Such was the plan of King Louis XV by 1721. He remembered stories about the dare and strength of the Dutch armada and did not want his beautiful news ships to be sunk in port like the British 30 years earlier.

    After much consideration, it was decided that the barbaric state of Algiers would make a perfect area to build an armada and General de Villars, once again and despite his age, was dispatched, with his famous shock troops, across the sea in 1722


    Taken totally by surprise and unable to get any reinforcements from their Tunisian neightbours, Alger fell in less than a week.




    It took however more than 3 years to calm the unrest but the deed was done and enormous fundings and ressources arrived in Algier's port at King Louis XV's demands. It would take even more years to build the fleet but there, there would be no trouble meanwhile.


    By 1725, Louis XV finally retreated in front of all the demands to launch an attack on Tunis, demands mostly held by greedy nobles of the court, wishing to expand their properties far from the capital.


    This course of action was however stopped before it really began by 1727 when Louis XVI took the throne and the troops were recalled to secure Algier's borders, then return home. Official letters were sent to the leaders of Tunis, promising peace as long as Algier was not threatened. Louis XVI also did not want to create religious unrest in the region and therefore used Algier purely as a military base in the years afterwards, leaving the people to do things their own ways, as long as it did not interfere with the Crown.


    Learning, experimenting, planning, acting

    While his plan for sea control was building up, Louis XV had learned a valuable lesson from the war against Great Britain and the United Provinces: money is everything. Still trying to avoid direct conflict with the Dutch (mainly to avoid having the British come back on the peace treaty) and still not being able to fight on sea, he turned his eyes elsewhere.

    In 1721, a very quiet battle happened, unremarkable in many ways, yet historians will most likely see it for what it was in the years to come: a full stage economic war. Following the King's order, a small force of French troops marched into Dutch Guyana. Local forces were no match against the French troops freshly arrived from France and now, The United Provinces had lost their only foothold in the Americas.


    His wish for sutble steps were however put to ruin in 1722 when a battered Prussian force was intercepted by the Dutch in Rhinelands. Brigadier General Camile d'Hostun saw an opportunity to give some pay back to the hated Dutch and rushed to the rescue of the Prussian.


    The combats were bloody and after 2 days, the Prussian forces were escorted by the French armies to safety, while the Dutch troops were left routing back into their region.




    It took 3 years to calm the Prussian, the Brigadier General AND the Dutch but between 1723 and 1728, no futher land battles were fought.


    I did not have Fraps running for some time from here on so I kept taking screenshots into nothingness

    In 1729, the newly created French fleet had it's first victories along the Spanish coast and quickly moved to Amsterdam, in preparation for a very bold plan devised by Spain and France to end the conflict in one swift move...or two.

    Blockading Amsterdam cut the ressources of the United Provinces almost completely. To push them even harder, small troops were constantly sent between 1728 and 1730 into Rhinelands to sabotage various costy installations.

    Early spring 1731, the plan finally went in motion fully. 1/3 of the French army of Wuttenberg moved into Rhinelands border, apparently heading Northeast for another sabotage run. The forces garrisoned in Cologne took the bait and moved to intercept, only to fall into an ambush by the rest of the French forces. The Dutch troops were utterly destroyed.
    At the same time, Spanish troops moved east and in a week, dispatched the remaining garrison and took Cologne. Not wasting anytime, Brigadier General Camile d'Hostun pushed Northwest to the Netherlands border, only to be joined by the newly trained army directly from Paris.

    By summer 1731, the United Provinces were in dire situation. From one of the most influent power in 1720, it was now under direct threat by both Spain and France, it's economy ruined. No peace talks were offered and the citizens of Amsterdam knew fully well that none would be offered: Spain and France were coming for a payback and this time, the British crown would not interfer...





    ...

    Last edited by kemor; March 09, 2009 at 11:21 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    Part IV (1731-1740): The long years


    Click on button for this part's details. Warning, image heavy
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    A calm decade

    Aside from the campaign against the United Provinces during these years, Europe and the world saw many changes that, while not directly affecting France, are worth mentioning for their probable influence on future events.

    1734 was a very important year diplomatically speaking. First, the long-lasting though mainly untested alliance between France and Poland came to an end when an explorer gentleman from Louisiana bedded the daugther of a powerful Prussian general while on a trip to secure trade deals. Things escalated very fast from there, with the General being killed in a duel and the officials of Poland claiming foul-play for the gentleman had use some kind of custom two-shot pistol. In any case, between the cousins of Louisiana and a strong but far ally that was still entrenched in a war against Sweeden, Louis XVI decided, after months of deliberation, to denouce the French/Polish alliance.




    It was during that time that news of the recent successes of Sweeden reached the western borders of Europe and, to everyone's surprise, it appeared that Moscow had fallen!


    Louis XVI signed peace with Sweeden in 1736 and both countries resumed their trade exchanges.


    By the end of summer 1734, the kingdom of Morocco, most likely following religious leaders claims, declared war on France and asked for the immediate liberation of Algier. Louis XVI was troubled by this affair since he had always viewed Algier as a country in it's own right, simply ruled on the grand scheme of things by France in order to strenghten it's naval position. To him, never the people of Algier had to suffer for their faith or cultural beliefs and, for the past years, the area was calm and the port of Algier was rapidly spawning the last vessels of the French fleet.






    Spain and France met on this issue on many occasions between 1734 and 1736 and it was agreed to include Algier in the "Netherland-Flanders agreement" at the condition that Spain sent craftmen and scientist to assist in the construction of at least 3 great French vessels. In anticipation for this, Spain launched a full scale attack on Morocco, sinking the whole fleet with the aid of the newly constructed French fleet still in the area and when the final act of the now decade old "Netherland-Flanders agreement" between Spain and France finally came into effect in 1740, Spain had control of Morocco and Algier, and was apparently bent on pushing futher east.


    In 1736, news from the far east India arrived in Paris declaring the end of the Mughal Empire. This was to be expected and was welcomed by most as it offered stability in the region and, to most, stability meant trades.


    During these years, The Kingdom of Great Britain, much like the Kingdom of France, enjoyed a peaceful time. The crown of England was very focused on their American colonies and years after years pressured the King of France to release New France, Upper Canada and Arcadia into their hands. This claim was denied every time but each year, new offers were done, much to the annoyance of Louis XVI.


    The British disengagement from the European threater became clear by 1735 when they left, as Spain and France had forseen, the United Provinces to themselves.


    During this period, the colonies of France oversea were still expanding very quickly. Exchanges between scholars and intellectuals of Quebec and the college of Orléans were published regularily and overall, these years of calm saw, both in France and oversea, a cultural evolution of rare intensity.


    The unpopular war

    On spring 1732, the forces of France finally moved into the Netherlands.While a small regiment secured the port and various positions in the south, the main armies went Northwest to deal with the United Provinces armies.

    The fights lasted more than 6 months but by the end of winter 1732, Amsterdam was under siege, and all the cities and strategic points of the country were under control.










    From that point on, something very important happened, not on the front, but in universities and various intellectual places in Paris. The city was surrounded by more than 3000 troops and the defenses of Amsterdam would not be able to offer much of a fight. Louis XVI however, ordered not to attack.
    In paris, by 1730, and while the patriotic spirit was high all across France, the dream that was the United Provinces had spawn many subversive elements. Publications were distributed secretly, warning Louis XVI that should the people of Amsterdam suffer under the assaults of the French army, it would make them martyrs in the eyes of a lot of people. This would have been of little consequences if one of the closest advisors of Louis XVI did not share these ideas...
    Louis XVI by that time had become an undecided man and not really understanding or seeing the changes that had already happened in his country, he just let the status quo stand, even dispatching emisarries to Amsterdam to agree on surrender. Sadly, all these emissaries were partisans of the Dutch very evolved ideas and these talks never really helped and the siege lasted...and lasted...

    Meanwhile, the fleet of the Untied Provinces that was scattered all around the globe started to appear on the western coast of France, a last effort to defend their ideas and country, but they were all intercepted by the powerful and modern naval forces of France, and sunk without mercy


    In 1734, the already troublesome indecision of Louis XVI became flagrant when, most likely to focus on their African campaign and to get out of Italy, Spain sold/traded both Lumbardy AND Sardaigne to the United Provinces. Here, the King simply did not know what to do and left matters into the hands of others.
    These others agreed that Lumbardy was not a worry but, with it's trade port and rich lands, Sardaigne was an interesting area and started planning for the future. The mediterannean fleet was dispatched to keep an eye on the port meanwhile.


    By 1736, Amsterdam surrendered without any further fights (Note: this is the first time that ever happened to me in a campaign). This was at first seen as a superb victory of France and Louis XVI was eager to finally see Spain honour the deal of the "Netherland-Flanders agreement". Things however, did not really go as planned...


    (Note: Holy cow, Dutch were REALLY pissed from here on!)

    Spain, arguing that for the agreement to take effect, Amsterdam had to be conquered, refused in 1736 to honour it: France had to pacify the region first. Pressured by the intellectuals and scholars of Paris to go easy on the Dutch on one side and pushed by the General of the eastern armies to end this once and for all, in a bloodshed if need be, Louis XVI simply vanished from the court for nearly a year and a half, thinking.

    Meanwhile, with the country left in the hands of the dutch-hater General Camille d'Hostun, blood was being spilled in the villages of the Netherland. Bored by guarding duties that were not deemed proper for the elite Grenadiers, the rebels were a welcome distraction...






    In 1738, the South army captured Calgari without much fightings and return to Paris a couple years later.


    Finally in 1739, the Grenadiers had cornered the rebels in the university of Amsterdam and it was burned down in an ultime act to calm the rebels, killing everyone inside. It worked in effect and by 1740, Spain agreed that the city was now "conquered" and honoured the final deal: Spain would take control of the Netherlands, giving Flanders to France. Spain finally had it's revenge on Amsterdam and what happened there in late 1740 when the army walked into the streets of the conquered city was not for the faint of hearts...

    (Note: it really took me 4 years to have Spain agree on exchanging Flanders with Netherlands and they only agreed when rebellion was dealt with. No idea if this is AI coding or something else but that whole part played beautifully!)

    While strategically perfect for the Kingdom of France, the "Netherland-Flanders agreement", devised in secret back in 1730, had not taken into account the radical cultural changes that 10 years of peace in the Kingdom had created. The popularity of Louis XVI and his undecided behaviour in state affairs was a growing worry by 1740 and while trades and peace were present, a subtle tension was rising in some circles...










    ...

    Last edited by kemor; March 11, 2009 at 05:00 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    Part V (1741-1750): The years of change


    Click on button for this part's details. Warning, image heavy
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Prosperity in the west, war in eastern Europe

    With the conflict against the United Provinces pretty much over in western Europe, calm and prosperity, already present in the previous decade, continued to be enjoyed by most citizens. The republics of Italy and Genoa were growing steadily and Spain could now focus entirely on it's African threater.

    Great Britain was still focusing a lot of it's ressources on the American colonies but still, only words were exchanged over this matter and no military actions of note were taken by the British crown.

    In 1743, Poland, who had been pushing Spain to excerce blockades of all Ottoman trades using Spain's gibraltar control, became angry and sent a formal declaration of war. Poland just wanted to make a point but soon enough, their point was taken...and fought. Between 1743 and 1750, all polish trades coming in and out of the mediterranean sea were blocked by Spanish forces around Gibraltar. This weakened Poland economy a lot, showing once and for all that if you wanted to make a point in 18th century Europe, you'd better have something to back it up!


    By 1744, Spain had lost the control of Tunis but armies and an entire fleet were dispatched three years later and by 1750, Spain had once again the control of the region and was preparing for a push toward Tripoli.


    In eastern Europe, war was still going strong between Poland, Sweeden and Russia between 1741 and 1750. While by 1748 Russia had reconquered Kiev and was holding strong in Ukraine, it became clear that Poland, allied with Russia, would not be able to keep playing on the same level for long because of economical problems. While still strong, it's armies were less and less replaced or retrained and their little diplomatic mistake with Spain will surely impact how things would go between Sweeden and Russia in the next decade.





    The pen is mightier than the sword

    Louis XVI was overall glad with how things had gone regarding Amsterdam and by 1741 considered the whole Dutch affair dealt with. Now completely disconnected from his people and the realities of the time, he was most of the time found either dining with Prussian diplomats (who knew how to play him) or simply locked inside Versailles, gone from the public eyes for weeks.

    Things however, were NOT settled with the United Provinces, far from it...

    First, in late summer 1741, an agent sent to report on how the Italian states were doing, made a simple stop in Milan, mainly because he was enjoying the food there. What he discovered however was an entire army being trained and the people of Lombardy embracing completely the Dutch ideas and cultural advancements. His surprise was so immense that he almost died at a restaurant, chocking on fine pastas, as he overheard these news from a couple of Milanese brigadiers dining close-by.


    Meanwhile, in France, the most renown universities and colleges had become conference centers for a lot of the most brillant and prominent Dutch schoalrs, who had fled Amsterdam (now in hands of Spain) only to find refuge in the very heart of their conquerors.


    What the United Provinces could not do by strength of arms, they were doing by strength of words! By winter 1741, nearly all the intellectual class of Paris had rallied to the ideas of the Dutch and a French republic was no longer an idea but a cause to fight for. The first strikes begun that winter and almost never stopped for 5 years.


    Still totally estranged with the realities and unable to understand this new wave of ideas, Louis XVI tried at first to appease the people by giving them food and lower the taxes but by the end of summer 1742, it was clear that troops had to be brought in as fast as possible to help with the situation.


    The army however was not very keen on policing their friends, brothers and famillies and during that time, not many of the ones in places of power in the army were nobles who still hold religious respect to the crown. The situation went in 2 years from bad to worst...

    Things really escalated when in winter 1743, Louis XVI was convinced by the Prussian diplomats to let some troops from Prussia be garrisoned outside Paris, should the King need help (Note: sneaky fellas! No idea why they parked 3000 men there!). That winter, more than 3000 Prussians walked through Wuttenberg and toward Paris.

    One of the most respected Brigadier general of the French armies, Raphael Caron, in post in Alsace Lorraine then, was shocked by this affair and by the fact that his own king was trusting Prussians more than his own troops. With his familly still in Paris, he was sick with worry and sent letters to the King to have him recalled, his claims denied.


    By 1745, Louis XVI thought that things were now under control and that his good people were now calmed down. He ordered the troops of Louis-Bernard Bontecou to resume their route toward la Guyanne and to carry on their mission in pacifying the Pirate cities once and for all.


    That was exactly what the partisans were waiting for and the riots started once again a few weeks after Bontecou's armies departure, despite more than 1500 French soldiers policing the region. During winter 1745, partisans in Paris were revolting and when the army was sent to pacify the troublemakers, all hell broke lose...




    Revolution!


    During the troop intervention of the past winter, partisans and innocents alike died under the fire of Prussian and French troops. When in spring 1746, Brigadier General Raphael Caron received the news that his wife and 6 years old son had been killed that winter, their house burned by the Royal gendarmerie to repel the partisans, he finally declared his siding with the partisans and, leading the entire Eastern armies, marched west toward Paris.

    Missives were dispatched to all the partisans who had the will but not yet the strength to go against the Crown's forces AND it's Prussian protectors and by early Summer 1746, the force of the Revolution had all gathered In Clermond-Ferand, soon to be joined by Brigadier Caron and his troops.
    He died on the battlefield near Orléans while fighting one of the Royal forces reinforced by some of the Prussian troops but the deed was done and the partisans had already rallied.






    The fights went well into winter 1746 but when spring arrived, France was a republic and the Louis XVI's head was resting 20 feet from his body near la Bastille....




    New ideas, new France and new alliances

    After the first election, the very first act of the president was a symbolic but very important one: Peace was signed with the United Provinces and trade resumed. While the French Kingdom had fought for more than 20 years to conquer the United Provinces, in less than 6 years after apparently succeeding, the culture, ideas and spirit of the United Provinces had completely eradicated the old ways of France, transforming it from within into one of the biggest and strongest republic the world had ever known so far.


    With a new governement in place in the aftermath of the revolution, relations with Prussia did not really go well. It's armies involvement in the atrocities of winter 1746 in the streets of Paris were still vivid and by 1748, the alliance was broken and the eastern army strengthened once again.


    For 3 years, France, lobbied heavily by Dutch diplomats, tried to make a deal with Spain to reclaim Amsterdam, hoping to give it back to the United Provinces in exchange for various technological partnerships but to no avail. The French governement was so insistent that in 1749, the French-Spanish alliance, on-going for more than 60 years, was broken...

    By that time, the colonies of South america were not really affected by the changes happening in the mainland, their concern being the security of their own land, the threat caused by the pirates and how much money the trades were generating. When in 1749 the famous Pirate holding of Trinidad & Tobago was finally captured, they returned to their overall comfortable lives, at least for the land owners.


    This decade was also very peaceful for the northern colonies, with New France and Upper Canada, now enjoying a solid alliance with the Iroquois, still growing strong. It is to be noted however that the relationships with the Cherokees were somewhat lessened during these years as more and more they saw their northern brothers as puppets of the French and most likely felt cornered by the British and Louisiana, both looking with hungry eyes over their fertile lands.

    Between 1746 and 1750, France found new allies with Denmark, Genoa, the Italian states and even the United Provinces. In 1750, France was a stable republic, with 1 year to go before it's second elections and was more patriotic than ever.

    Student then direct heir of the United Provinces revolutionnary ideas, many scholars in France thought that it was France's destiny to enlighten the world, to be the leader of freedom of mankind, the protector of republics and the liberator from tyranny! A nice program that however, for some reason, did not really sit well at the diplomatic tables with the various European nations...


    ...


    (Note: it took me hours and many reloads to deal with the whole revolution thing as it's not very practical in Empire TW. The fact that for some reason, Prussia had 2 full stacks RIGHT next to Paris for more than 4 years was odd and DID NOT make things easy for partisans, I tell you that. Since I play every single battle, the whole affair was very stressing but overall quite fun!
    I wished however that partisans of a revolution could capture lesser cities, hire troops and retrain others but instead, you have to do with what you are given. I had to move the eastern army right on the border and invent the whole Caron story in order to have enough troops during the revolution otherwise it was simply not doable.
    Also, revolution arrived a bit too early but I just couldn't cope with the clamors for reforms despite having an insane number of soldiers in Paris. Since you can pick a side once, I just had to choose at that time, so went partisans, which I felt was how things should go in the story.
    Again, I have NO idea why Prussians were there or why Dutch sent all their frikkin scholars into my colleges (and only mine, no spanish ones!), without duelling anyone, just sitting there for years. Made it funnier though.

    Overall, I advise EVERYONE who cares about a campaign but sides with revolution to, as soon as ones arrives, stop, reload last year's save, make a safe copy of it, then proceed again. If I hadn't done that, this campaign would have ended in 1746 with my 250 partisans troops against 4200 Prussian/French soldiers around Paris...)

    Last edited by kemor; March 11, 2009 at 05:49 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    reserved Part 6

  7. #7

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    reserved Part 7

  8. #8

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    reserved Part 8

  9. #9

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    reserved Part 9

  10. #10

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    Nice!!!

    but


    1703-1711:

    As expected, Savoy declared war early 2004


    mid 2004???????? dang.


  11. #11

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    I like it! I'll probably steal some layout ideas for my next AAR.

    Keep it up!

    btw a little typo in the middle:
    "
    703-1711:
    As expected, Savoy declared war early 2004"

  12. #12

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    What difficulty where you playing on?

    Thanks, I am planning to play as France, next, and Ill heed your advice!

  13. #13

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    I don't much care for the way in which you spoke of the germans...unless it was for drammatic effec.

  14. #14

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    Last updated: 2009-03-08
    Latest time line: Part II (1711-1720): The clouds after the sun

  15. #15
    Shacklock's Avatar Semisalis
    Join Date
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    Manchester, England
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    467

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    Hmmh, one of my favourite AARs up so far. Good job

  16. #16
    Musthavename's Avatar Bunneh Ressurection
    Join Date
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    Somewhere in the room you're currently in.
    Posts
    7,590

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    Very nice! Keep up the good work.
    Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of the day.
    Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


  17. #17

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    ooh, Nice AAR!

    i'm watching this one!

    so, Europe is in the brink of disaster, eh?

    let's just hope that no nation would do something stupid in such situation...

  18. #18

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    Beautifull AAR and I love the way you use diplomacy as a meaning to gain power and position
    I'm currently playing as France and I think you should gain territories in Italy I did that and ended up with Corsica, Genoa and Rome (Huge Income) Excited for next update good luck.
    You see that ?

  19. #19

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    Thanks for the comments. I'm really having a blast though it's taking longer and longer per turn now


    Also, I added spoiler tags and will keep using this format as the posts were becoming too big and I found it was hard to read for newcomers. Hopefully this will help.

  20. #20
    iRaQi's Avatar Tiro
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Iraq/mosul
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    202

    Default Re: [ETW AAR] France, birth of the Empire.

    Nice AAR:original:


    ‎" قال يسوع إغفر لهم يا أبي،
    لأنهم لا يعرفون ما يعملون. " (لوقا

    Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

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