After NER 2.0 was released, i decided to give ER a go and started new campaign as France. Campaign difficulty set to Normal (Remind me to do something about stubborn AI at Hard, to tone it down a little bit to get more realistic), Battle difficulty set to Hard.
In first turn i spend all moneys on upgrading economy buildings across the continents, and recruiting Colonial militia in North and South America to guard cities and ports against Pirates. Fleet from North Atlantic was moved to Mediterranean to neutralize Barbary Pirates, because there is a peace with England and such small fleet would be just too weak against them anyway. University started military research to provide my infantry with bayonets and (later) canisters, while i started to reorganize my army.
Army from South France moved to Alsace (while one regiment stayed to guard Marseilles), Northern Army positioned against Dutch camped in the fort at the borders.
I have also made trade agreements with Ottomans and Mughals, as well as with Wurttemberg and Westphalia,who only accepted to trade with me combined with Military Alliance, which actually wasn't that bad idea. During AI turn Austria asked for Alliance + trade rights.
Next few turns i slowly built my economy, reinforced armies with Guard Infantry units, and line Infantry.I have also tried to diversify my trade routes, to be less dependent on north Atlantic port which is just too vulnerable and undefendable against British. Sometimes around 1705 Poland-Lithuania and Prussia declared war to my ally Austria, and i have decided it is good opportunity to train my army and strengthen my relationship with Austria. Alsace Army went on march, reinforced by Elite Musketeers De La Garde Heavy cavalry.To get them into Austria i had to negotiate military access with German Allies first, but because Bavaria didn't allowed my army to pass, i had to go through Alps which took few turns, anyway i came just in time to clash with large Polish Army trying to attack Vienna.At the beginning it didnt look well for me, and my allies had just two units which got routed very fast and left the battle. Because they had more guns i decided to send my Gendarmes to attack their gun positions, which went well in the beginning with first battery,but attacking second my gendarmes routed but at least same time as decimated artillery crew (both my cavalry men and artillery crew got several volleys from Polish Line infantry standing nearby..
Anyway, after both batteries silenced, Polish army decided to attack my positions in two waves. First hit my left wing, second went against my right wing. To not get overrun on left, i called my Guard Cavalry and routed few infantry regiments which charged my infantry (and routed one of my regiments). Attack on the right wing was not successful either, because my defending units were better positioned and couldn't be overrun because of village at far right. at the right moment i also send my best Line regiment to advance in the middle and attack one of the groups in the flank. Together with my Guard cavalry which already lost about third of men, this attack routed enemy army and it left the field.
Big victory, but my army lost about third of men, and replenishing them cost me almost half of my financial reserve.. Anyway it meant Austria didnt fell and their armies could continue fighting Prussians instead of returning back to help capital city.
Year later,things went south when Great Britain joined Prussia and started to blockade my ports in north Atlantic. Luckily i had garrison in LOrient, so they didn't destroyed my new ships which were being built there (4x 50gun, one 74gun and one 60gun Ship of the line). To my big surprise, instead of keeping blockade, British fleet (4x 50gunners, one 60gun SOL, 1x44gun Frigate, 3x 32gun Frigate and few brigs) landed with invasion force led by Duke Marlborough in Gascony.I have immediately send my North Army to meet them, anyway because they had cavalry while i didn't i had to withdraw to Paris and fortify there. Next Turn Marlborough attacked, in battle where i could loose my campaign!
Battle was fought at the outskirts of Paris, my main line was formed of City Garrison force placed in Quintrix double line and heavy artillery in first line. I have also placed my Line regiments on the flanks (right wing again was protected from enemy artillery by village. I have placed my four elite Vieux regiments in reserve hidden in small grove.
British attacked with cavalry against my right wing and concentrated infantry against my center. I had to form square to hold off cavalry but one of my Line regiments was routed by combined attack (Pikemen with cavalry). Center initially held ok, but AI send Guard Infantry regiment against left flank which routed several Garrison units and i had to reinforce first line with second line units. both my artillery batteries got overrun, Garrison battalions had enough. Situation on the Right wing was even worse with cavalry routing both line regiments (at that point i almost thought everything is lost and i will loose the game), so i had to send my guards to stop them. Several volleys made the trick and English cavalry routed and run away. because center position started to collapse, i send remaining of my Guards there just in time to clash with British 1st Guard and 33th Foot regiment. Because both units were spent after battling my Garrison Line, Petit Vieux regiments proved their reputation, fired several volleys and charged into wavering British Guard which routed them. Once Guard started to run, remaining units started to waver and were overrun by my bayonet charge with two Vieux Regiments. At that point AI cleared the field and left me victorious...
After battle reinforcement from Alsace (four Etranger Regiments) came, which allowed me to pursuit retreating British. Second battle was pure gamble from their perspective as they send everything against my center trying to break my line, while etrangeers are still marching to reinforce my army. Anyway, Petit Vieux infantry again stopped their attack while Etrangeers pushed forward on left flank which was too much for them (Duke Marlborough was killed in action by my Guardsmen) and they routed.
British army was destroyed, Duke was dead. British fleet returned to channel and blockaded my trade port again. but my fleet was almost ready, and i have reinforced it with ship of the line i had in Mediterranean. Captain of my largest ship (74gun Invicible) got promoted to Admiral, and fleet is about to clash with British in a battle that will decide who will control the Atlantic next few years...
will be continued...
(here i must end, because i had to go to work... )