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Ripster8
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Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:52 pm

July 1640 - April 1641

Kassel falls to the heretics in October 1640. Wallenstein and his army retreated safely to Gottingen and are now at full strength and heavily entrenched. After a long, harsh winter the 1641 campaign season opens with the situation as follows:

april1641.jpg


Wallenstein faces Gustavus at Gottingen. Tilly waits at Frankfurt with additional forces. Bucquoy remains at Prague. The Spanish continue to keep an eye on the French. Obviously, the Swedes will attack at Gottingen and if that city falls the invasion of the Rhineland and the Palatinate will quickly follow.

From the heretic side, Gustavus' army was out of supplies when they took Kassel and his starving soldiers thoroughly looted the city. This led to supply problems over the winter and some losses to attrition. Saxe-Weimar's army made it through the winter with no losses, but his soldiers are looking a little thin right now. Supply is definitely the main constraint on the Protestant advance. As for the ravenous French? They passed a merry winter at Metz, fullied supplied by large depots at that city and at Nancy. Whether they will leave the dinner table to conduct offensive operations remains to be seen.

The Catholics have 136 gold (the 'requisitions' and 'contributions' RDCs were used whenever possible), 215 WS, 747 EP, morale is at 101 and the CP is now at 106%! For the first time in years the heretics outnumber the Catholics!

The Protestants are now receiving income from France (but no more huge subsidies), Sweden, the Hanseatic Cities, Berlin and Kassel. They have 309 gold, 255 WS, 115 EP, and morale is 108. Still no sign of Saxony and Brandenburg entering the war (although they are both at 100% Protestant support).

I expect the heretics to be at Frankfurt before the end of the year. The wreck of the Catholic cause approaches on swift wings...

(Game notes: the heretic dimensional portal at Verden continues to spew out a new militia unit most every turn. Either that or these Protestant folk are taking the whole 'be fruitful and multiply' thing very seriously! That and the mysterious 'PRO-swedishreplacemnts"' event fires several times a year.)
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Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:11 pm

May - November 1641

Gustavus attacked at Gottingen but was unable to dislodge Wallenstein until Saxe-Weimar and his army arrived. Losses were heavy on both sides but superior numbers won the day. Wallenstein retreated to Frankfurt to regroup and Gottingen fell to the heretics in October 1641. Gustavus pulled his army back to Hanover to lessen the supply drain on Kassel and Gottingen. With two large depots supplying his forces Gustavus hopes for a better winter this year!

The French finally pushed back from the dinner table and decided to attack at Strasburg. Since this would cut the Spanish Road, Feria and his army responded, pushing the French out of the province in bloody battle. Once again, losses were fairly even, and both armies retreated after the engagement.

The Spanish decided to threaten Paris and sent Francisco forward to besiege Soissons. Unfortunately the weather turned and supplies ran about before much progress was made. Back to Brussels goes Francisco!

Nov1641.jpg


The year's campaign has reduced the Imperial treasury to 44 gold, while the heretics are down to 144 gold. Perhaps the Catholics can out-last the Protestants after all? Either way the next chapter in the story of this war will be told at Frankfurt.
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Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:30 pm

November 1641 - April 1642

A quiet winter as the adversaries prepare to continue the struggle. As the 1642 campaign season opens, the situation is as follows:

April1642.jpg


Wallenstein is at Frankfurt, Feria is across the Rhine at Mainz, with each army comprising some 2000 CP. Tilly is at Heidelberg with a small force, and Bucquoy remains at Prague. Francisco arrived back at Brussels after sustaining heavy losses to his army from his winter retreat. He will not be trying anymore offensive actions this year, as the Catholics do not have the money to pay for Spanish replacements. The Catholic plan is simple: defend in place and hopefully kill enough heretics so that they will give up the fight.

On the Protestant side, Gustavus is at Hanover and Saxe-Weimar is at Gottingen. Both armies are at full-strength. The French spent a jolly winter at Metz, for once fully supplied. The strategic problem facing them is getting over the forested hills south of Gottingen. There is no source of supply between Gottingen and Frankfurt, so the heretics will have to march quickly, conquer Frankfurt without delay and keep themselves supplied while doing it. It will be difficult to supply one 2000 CP army south of Gottingen. Supplying both Gustavus and Saxe-Weimar will be impossible. Yet in the past it has taken both Protestant armies to defeat a single entrenched Catholic force. How the heretics attempt to untie this Gordian Knot will tell the tale of the 1642 campaign. I imagine their solution will probably involve a sword...

Regarding resources, The Catholics have 117 gold, 205 WS, 737 EP and morale is at 100. The overall CP is 108% in favor of the heretics. The Protestants have 228 gold, 246 WS, 130 EP and their morale is at 108. The Protestants still have the money advantage but will it be enough to triumph? We shall see...
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Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:56 pm

May 1642

The Protestant strategy for 1642 becomes clear: end the war once and for all! (Cue dramatic music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jK-NcRmVcw)

May1642.jpg


Saxe-Weimar is heading directly for Frankfurt with Gustavus following behind. The heretic hope appears to be to strike hard with the first army and then finish Wallenstein off with the second. And even the fully-fed French are coming to the party, moving on Mainz to support the attack. Of course if there are not enough capons and Reisling in Mainz they may well return to Metz! 'Du champ de bataille et la cuisine! Pas l'un sans l'autre.' (The battlefield and the kitchen - can't have one without the other!)
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Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:27 am

June 1642

The French were soundly thrashed at Mainz and beat a hasty retreat to Metz. The capons and Riesling of Mainz are saved!

Junebattle.jpg


The battle at Frankfurt did not occur. Apparently the heretic army was able to cross the Main River unmolested but then John-Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp (Say that three times fast!), commander of one of the army's groups, appears to have wrested control of the entire army from the redoubtable Saxe-Weimar which threw the Protestants into confusion, cancelling the planned attack. This actually worked out well for them since they avoided attacking across a river. (I don't know how/why this happened, but strange things happen in war sometimes so I am just going to run with it.) In any event, Gustavus and his army are close at hand, so blood will flow again in July.

JUNE1642.jpg
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Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:45 am

July 1642

Feria give La Valette a kick in the pantaloons as he retreats:

Julybattle1.jpg


Wallenstein sees an opportunity and attacks the confused Protestants before Gustavus can arrive. He wins a bloody battle and drives them across the Main River.

Julybattle2.jpg


Gustavus's army is prevented from reaching Frankfurt by the retreat of the defeated rabble of Saxe-Weimar/J.Friederich. But next month, the Lion of the North will surely cross the river...

July1642.jpg
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Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:32 am

August 1642

Gustavus crosses the Main and defeats Wallenstein yet again. While the Swedish king took heavier casualties in the assault, during the pursuit Wallenstein's army sustained 106 hits at the hands of the heretic cavalry:

Augustbattle1.jpg


Feria crossed the Rhine to support Wallenstein. Too late as Gustavus repulsed the Spaniards and drove them and Wallenstein back across the Rhine, with another 50 hits incurred in the retreat:

Augustbattle2.jpg


Wallenstein will move south to recross the Rhine at Strasbourg. Feria will remain at Mainz and regroup. Bucquoy has been ordered to move west from Prague, but he will not arrive for several more months.

August1642.jpg


On the Protestant side, the army of confusion (commanded by either Saxe-Weimar and/or J.Friedrich or maybe somebody else, who knows!) will retreat to Gottingen to regroup and lessen the supply demands on the area. Gustavus will try to capture Frankfurt before winter. The large Protestant supply train has just arrived and should give him 3-4 months of rations. The French, well, the French will rest, regroup and eat well through the winter at Metz!
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Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:33 am

August 1642 - May 1643

It was a long, cold winter at Frankfurt for Gustavus and his lads. The city has still not fallen and the Swedes couldn't get three breaches in Frankfurt's defenses to save their lives! However because of the ample heretic supply train the Protestant army did not suffer too badly and prospects are good that Frankfurt will fall soon. The garrison is on its last legs, having eaten everything edible in the city but each other (But I haven't seen Fat Franz from the 2nd Pike Company in a few days. Ah well, at least we had a hearty stew in the mess this morning! Hey, wait a minute...). But the delay in capturing Frankfurt has brought Gustavus other problems:

May1643.jpg


The Catholic armies stayed close to Frankfurt through the winter, and with the arrival of Count Bucquoy's long-dormant force they are preparing to fall upon the Swedish king. Saxe-Weimar's army is at least a month away so Gustavus will fight this battle alone. Can he possibly defeat three Catholic armies in a row? We will soon find out...

Resource-wise, the Catholics start this campaign year with 105 gold, 196 WS, 745 EP, morale of 101. The overall CP is 105%. The Protestants have 226 gold, 261 WS, 156 EP and morale of 106. Not really much change from last year, overall.

(To solve the command problem with one of the Protestant armies, I removed Johan-Freidrich from group command, took him out of the army stack completely, then added an anonymous colonel to take his place as a group commander. Back to Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp you go, my lad! Somewhere to the north, I think... Saxe-Weimar is the superior commander in this case, 4-4-4 to 3-1-1 I believe.)
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Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:17 am

May 1643

Wallenstein arrived at Frankfurt first and was defeated:

battle1.jpg


Bucquoy and Feria arrived a day later and together they defeated Gustavus and sent him north across the Main with heavy losses (72 hits in the retreat):

battle2.jpg


Saxe-Weimar could not reach Frankfurt in time to save Gustavus. It is ironic that the last of the city garrison was expiring from hunger as these two battles erupted. Gustavus could have walked in through the gates unmolested if only he had been given a few more days. But such are the fortunes of war. In any case, the campaign situation is as follows:

May1643.jpg


Feria and Bucquoy will dig in at Frankfurt in case Saxe-Weimar moves on the city. Wallenstein will cross the Rhine to bolster the defenses. Further south the French have roused themselves to attack Strasbourg once again. Right now there is nothing to stop them. And the Catholics spent some 75 gold on replacements. They will not be able to replace any other losses until new income arrives. But on a happier note, the treacherous King of France, Louis XIII has died, joining his foul henchman, Richelieu (who died in December) in the lowest circles of hell. Their betrayal of Holy Mother Church was truly infamous!

'Vermis eorum non morietur et ignis eorum non extinguetur."( Their worm shall not die nor their fire be quenched.) Isaiah 66:24
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Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:59 am

June 1643

Saxe-Weimar crosses the Main and is decisively beaten. In two engagements he loses almost 17,000 men, to the Catholic 12,000. Both Protestant armies are wrecked and will need to retreat north to refit. Wallenstein will attempt to pursue them as they flee, but the heretics have a head start. In any event, aside from the French siege at Strasbourg, this ends the campaign season for 1643. It will take several months for the Protestants to rebuild their forces and by then it will be autumn. It is unlikely they will come south again with winter close at hand. The Catholic cause endures, against all odds, for another year!

June1643.jpg


Feria will move to Mainz to refit. He will attack south if Strasbourg is in danger of falling. Bucquoy will move to Wurzburg to lessen the supply demands on Frankfurt. Wallenstein will see what he can catch on the road to Gottingen before returning to Frankfurt. The Emperor, the King of Spain and the Archduke-Elector each breathe a sigh of relief and a prayer of thanks. It was a defensive victory, true, but at least it was not another defeat. Perhaps the tide is turning once again in favor of the Catholics? But whatever the case, all of Germany is sick of this endless and terrible war...

suffering.jpg
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Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:01 am

July 1543 - April 1644

The Protestants made good their retreat with no further losses. Wallenstein got a bit carried away and ran out of supplies during his abortive pursuit. He lost some lads to attrition before he made it safely back to Frankfurt. The only other event over the winter is the outbreak of a civil war in England. More heretic mischief, but at least it forces England out of the war. English troops and money are withdrawn, a small loss to the Protestants, but every little bit helps! Alas the child King of France, Louis XIV, had decided to continue the war against the Hapsburgs. At least his first minister, Cardinal Mazarin (yet another Italian hell-spawn!) has deemed it in France's best interests to do so. Not that French armies have accomplished much so far, although their money has been instrumental in the Swedish successes.

So, as the 1644 (!) campaign season opens, the situation is as follows (remarkably like 1643, actually):

April1644.jpg


Feria is at Mainz, Wallenstein at Frankfurt and Bucquoy at Wurzburg. Francisco is at Brussels. The Catholics remain on the defensive due to a lack of funds. They have 85 gold and their armies require 6 gold a month in upkeep. Precious little is left for replacements.

The heretics are faced with exactly the same dilemma as last year: how to establish a foothold in the Palatinate? Attacking Frankfurt frontally has failed, so some new strategy is required. An attack on Koln with the French in support? A move on Wurzburg, a city with a large depot and unprotected by a river? An offensive in Bohemia is out of the question since Saxony never entered the war on the Protestants behalf (despite a decade of 100% Protestant diplomatic support). Tiny cities, long distances, mountains and forests - no, Bohemia is unapproachable at this point. Decisions, decisions, decisions... (The heretics have 209 gold for this year's campaign. Their armies require 5 gold/month for upkeep.)
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Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:29 am

May 1644

In a shocking development, the French army captures Koblenz by coup de main. It is believed that the city's extensive wine stocks are what prompted the speed and effectiveness of the French advance. But whatever the reason, the heretics now have a city on the Rhine to use as a base of operations. Saxe-Weimar is besieging Koln. Gustavus was attempting to move south but was badly delayed by heavy late-spring rains. The Catholics can only wait for the next Protestant move. Frankfurt cannot be left unprotected, and the Spanish are not strong enough by themselves to defeat the heretic forces.

May1644.jpg
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Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:41 am

May - August 1644

Wallenstein and Feria move north from Mainz and attack the French at Koblenz:

Septemberbattle.jpg


La Valette is trounced and sent packing to Trier, and the loyal Catholic citizens of Koblenz immediately open the gates to their liberators! Unfortunately this victory is offset by the loss of Koln to Saxe-Weimar.

September1644.jpg


The loss of this strategic point is a great blow to the Catholic cause. Koln is a large, rich city and it will provide a secure base of operations from which the heretics can threaten both the Spanish Low Countries and the Rhineland.

In other developments Pope Urban VIII dies to be succeeded by yet another Italian non-entity, Innocent X. Like his predecessor, Innocent is more concerned with crushing his Italian rivals than in supporting the war against the heretics. Although he has a falling out with the French it does not lead to any change to the belligerent policy of Cardinal Mazarin. And he thunders mightily against the Protestants but to no effect. Innocent X is just like a small dog with a large bark. Ignore him and eventually he'll move on to something else...

Innocent X.jpg


Perhaps there is a reason the Lord is turning away from the Catholic cause, a very good reason...
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Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:05 am

August - October 1644

Twin defeats! Wallenstein pursued what he thought was a defeated foe to Trier. But the French, defending their well-stocked kitchens, turn and fight like lions. Wallenstein is repulsed!

octoberbattle1.jpg


And then Gustavus, seeking to lessen the supply burden at Koln, attacks at Koblenz and defeats the Spanish in a bloody engagement:

octoberbattle2.jpg


This leaves the situation confused and desperate for both sides, especially as winter has made an early appearance along the Rhine.

october1644.jpg


Wallenstein will attempt to retreat to Mainz. The Spanish, now under the Cardinal Infante, will seek to hold at Koblenz. Gustavus will either have to fight again in the snow and hope for the best, or withdraw to Koln. It promises to be a miserable month for the soldiers of both sides.
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Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:32 pm

March 1645

After another quiet winter the 1645 campaign opens as follows:

March1645.jpg


Wallenstein is entrenched at Koblenz, Feria at Mainz and Bucquoy at Frankfurt. Additionally, Francisco was moved to Juliers as a better position to threaten Koln from. Saxe-Weimar and Gustavus are both at Koln, and supplies were very tight over the winter. The French are at Trier and could attack either Koblenz or Mainz. The Protestants have 216 gold, the Catholics 123.

It looks like Koblenz will be the center of attention this year, along with Koln and possible Mainz. Either way, the Rhine may well flow with blood this summer.
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April 1645

La Valette and Saxe-Weimar fell upon Wallenstein at Koblenz and routed him. He lost another 111 hits in the retreat:

Aprilbattle1.jpg


The Spanish army (this time under the Cardinal Infante) moving to support Wallenstein was similarly manhandled, losing 87 hits in the retreat:

Aprilbattle2.jpg


Wallenstein will retreat to Frankfurt to regroup; the Spanish to Mainz where Bucquoy has moved to defend the city.

April1645.jpg


The heretics are besieging Koblenz. Gustavus remains at Koln under the watchful eye of Francisco.
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May - June 1645

Gustavus, seeking to expand the heretic supply base, attacks at Juliers (Julich) and routs the much larger Spanish army under Francisco and captures the city:

Junebattle.jpg


Although the battle casualties slightly favored the Spanish they took another 66 hits in the retreat. Notable, too, is the wide-spread cowardice of the Spanish troops, especially as contrasted with the experienced and brave Swedish troops. The tercios ain't what they used to be!

La Valette captures Koblenz and digs in. Saxe-Weimar will move to support him, but the Cardinal-Infante and Bucquoy are much closer and will move north to contest control of the city. Francisco and his cowardly army will retreat to Brussels, tails between their legs.

June1645.jpg
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Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:03 am

July 1645

La Valette, seeing the approach of two Catholic armies, moves into the fortress of Koblenz. He waits for the promised relief column led by Saxe-Weimar and will then sortie forth. It works out as he planned, but the bloody battle goes to the Papists:

Julybattle.jpg


Both Protestant armies retreat towards Trier, but at least Koblenz remains in Protestant hands. Unfortunately for the Catholics, the Spanish army is afflicted by dysentery and since Bucquoy is too weak on his own to continue the siege, both Catholic armies retreat to Mainz. More blood, more bodies and all to not much affect...
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August - October 1645

The 1645 campaign ends in exhaustion and bankruptcy for both sides.

October1645.jpg


The Catholic armies have been driven from the west bank of the Rhine. Wallenstein is at Frankfurt, his army intact. Bucquoy is at Heidelberg with a damaged force. The Spanish are at Brussels and moving to Wurzburg. Both Spanish armies are damaged but there is no money to buy replacements. The Catholics have 55 gold and needed replacements will cost 45 gold. With army upkeep costing 5 gold per month there is no money for replacements right now. Hopefully in the spring new tax income will be collected and yet another round of requisitions and 'contributions' can be extracted from the weary populace. Until then, though, the Spanish armies will stay off the front lines. And in another blow to the cause, Count Olivares, the Spanish first minister, has died. He was an ardent supporter of Catholic efforts in Germany and his passing may give Spain an excuse to make peace with France and leave the Emperor and the Archduke-Elector to their own devices. Spain is wracked with unrest and civil revolt. Dutch and English pirates raid Spanish colonies and repeatedly intercept the Silver Fleet, absolutely wrecking the kingdom's finances. Whatever happens, the Spanish war effort is on it's last legs.

While the Protestants captured Koblenz and Julich this year, they, too are out of money. They have 42 gold and need 30 gold in replacements. Their armies cost 5 gold per turn so, like the Papists, no replacements will purchased until more money is found.

Kingdoms are being shaken to their foundations. The armies are reaching the breaking point. Soldiers are growing harder to find and harder to supply. But for Germany it is much, much worse...

yetmoreexecutions.jpg


If this continues much longer there will be no one left to execute. What difference will it make how you pray to God, if there is no one left to pray...
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Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:06 am

Things are rolling towards an end-game of some sort. This has been and continues to be a fascinating read. Thanks for keeping it going.

-C

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Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:22 am

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment, Maaster Random. It is exhausting and somewhat tedious to continue the fight but I intend to see it through to the end, bitter or no!
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Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:05 pm

You are near the end Ripster! go on!
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Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:55 am

Thank you, Leibstandarte. I am pressing forward and will not quit until I see the victory screen!
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November 1645 - May 1646

A quiet winter, distinguished by widespread requisitions and forced contributions used by both sides in order to keep their armies fed and fit. The Palatinate and northern Germany are being bled dry, and the peasants of France and Sweden are also paying a heavy toll in blood and treasure. But whatever the source, the Catholics (152 gold) and Protestants (123 gold) have scraped together enough money to continue the war for yet another year. The 1646 campaign season opens with the situation as follows:

May1646.jpg


Late spring rains delay the start of the season until May. Wallenstein is entrenched at Frankfurt, Bucquoy at Heidelberg. The Spanish armies, at Brussels and Wurzburg, are being held in reserve since they are still damaged from the battles of 1645. The Catholics are choosing to focus their money on keeping the Imperial armies at full strength. For now the Catholics will remain on the defensive on the east bank of the Rhine. The Catholic cities of Mainz, Worms and Strasbourg are exposed to Protestant attack, but the Emperor and Archduke-Elector have decided to give the heretics the first move.

The Protestants have Gustavus at Koblenz, La Valette at Metz and Saxe-Weimar at Koln. The heretics could either move into the Spanish Low Countries or go ahead and attack the vulnerable cities on the west bank of the Rhine. Their supply situation is good, but they start the year with less money than the Catholics, which argues for a more conservative approach.

The drums beat, the trumpets sound. Unfurl the banners, once more to war!

March.jpg
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Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:38 am

June 1646

In a shocking development the Protestants seize both Mainz and Aachen by coup de main. (I did not garrison those cities since they have always been Catholic. I have no idea why garrison units did not appear!) In addition, La Valette leads the French against Strasbourg and places the city under siege.

June1646.jpg


The Catholics now cannot cross this stretch of the Rhine unmolested: Gustavus is dug in at Mainz and La Valette at Strasbourg, the only bridges in the area. It would be suicide to attempt the crossing of a major river against an entrenched and determined enemy. Additionally, the weak Spanish army at Brussels is no match for Saxe-Weimar. If more of the Spanish Low Countries is lost it could force Spain out of the war. The Catholic leadership hastily orders 50 gold worth of replacements to bring the Spanish armies up to full strength. The stalemate of the last few years appears to be breaking...
Last edited by Ripster8 on Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ripster8
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Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:26 am

June - September 1646

Philip IV, King of Spain, demands that all Spanish armies move to defend the Spanish Low Countries. In accordance with those orders the Cardinal-Infante makes a rapid move up the east bank of the Rhine to attack Koln, which appears to be undefended. The second Spanish army, now under Tomasso (!) moves to Liege. Unfortunately, the heretics get wind of the attack and Saxe-Weimar returns to Koln just in time to defeat the Spanish:

Septemberbattle.jpg


The Spanish are thrown back across the Rhine and must now make a rapid retreat to Frankfurt before winter. But the effort wasn't completely fruitless as Tomasso recaptures Aachen (the walls there must be in bad repair...). And with Saxe-Weimar's army damaged Tomasso is considering an attack on Koln. Capturing that city would cut the Swedes off from their base of supply in northern Germany and could end the war.

Strasbourg falls to the French and La Valette contemplates a move into the Palatinate. Bucquoy is in a blocking position at Philippsburg. And seeing that Gustavus has had no luck against the walls of Worms, Wallenstein makes a swift night move across the Rhine to besiege Mainz. There is still more blood to be shed before the 1646 campaign season ends...

September1646.jpg
Last edited by Ripster8 on Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ripster8
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Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:37 am

October 1646

Gustavus falls upon Wallenstein near Mainz and is defeated:

Octoberbattle.jpg


But the Swedish king is not driven from the field so a renewal of the battle is likely. Wallenstein intends to stand his ground.

The Spanish army retreating from Koln is suffering terribly in their march. But Tomasso and his force has had success, capturing a huge Protestant supply train (4 wagons) outside of Julich (I told them to retreat to Koln but they just weren't fast enough!). Tomasso will besiege Julich, now that he is fully supplied, and see if Saxe-Weimar seeks battle.
Last edited by Ripster8 on Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ripster8
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Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:57 am

November 1646

The Spanish achieve some degree of revenge of the defeat at Koln, ravaging Saxe-Weimar before the gates of Julich:

Novemberbattle.jpg


And Tomasso decides to continue the siege since he is fully supplied with heretic supply wagons!

Wallenstein decides the better part of valor is to retreat safely across the Rhine, leaving Mainz in Protestant hands. Gustavus lets him go without a fight, since his army has been badly damaged. The unfortunate army of the Cardinal-Infante has still not reached Frankfurt and is in very bad condition.

The days have grown cold and gray. At night the sentries can see their breath in the frigid air. The soldiers of both armies are praying for snow so that the battles will finally end, at least for this year.

wintersoldier.jpg
Last edited by Ripster8 on Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ripster8
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:46 pm

March 1647

Another brutal winter finally ends. The once-rich cities of the Rhineland have been reduced to poverty by the hungry armies billeted in them. There is widespread starvation at Mainz (Gustavus) and Strasbourg (La Valette), while Wallenstein is able to keep his army fed by drawing on both Frankfurt and Mannheim. And Bucquoy had no supply problems drawing from a three-city area. Tomasso besieging Julich was able to live off the heretic supply wagons he captured, and Saxe-Weimar at Koln passed a comfortable winter, drawing supplies from all of northern Germany. But worst of all was the army of the Cardinal-Infante. Beaten at Koln, the army made a three-month journey in bad weather before reaching Mannheim just a shadow of the proud force that had crossed the Rhine with flags flying and drums beating. It is a major blow to the Catholic cause, but whether it will make any difference in the fight for Germany remains to be seen.

As the 1647 campaign season opens the situation is as follows:

March1647.jpg


The position of the armies is as stated above. Tomasso has not yet captured Julich, but he finally has a breach and will try to storm the city this month. Saxe-Weimar is recovering his strength at Koln and may well strike at the Spanish. Worms remains in Catholic hands, so that is an obvious target for the heretics. At Strasboug the southern door to the Palatinate is open. Whether the French will cross the river is another question.

The French conquest of Nancy, Trier and Strasbourg, along with the destruction of the best of Spain's troops, may be enough to satisfy the ambitions of Cardinal Mazarin, a careful, methodical man ruling a large, unruly country in place of a child-king. Perhaps it would be best to take a few bites of the elephant and leave the rest for another day? But in any case it is obvious that the Swedish and French interests are beginning to diverge, politics being politics and all. An ally is an ally as long as he serves my purposes and after that? Well, hopefully it won't come to blows!

The Catholics have 122 gold but need 60 gold in replacements for the Spanish - they will not be purchased at this time. The Protestants, at full strength have 130 gold. Enough for both for yet another year of war.

rocroi.jpg

(The destruction of the Spanish Tercios at the Battle of Rocroi, 1643.)
Last edited by Ripster8 on Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The Hanged Man is a representative of humanity who is found between two kingdoms - that of this world and that of heaven."

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Leibst
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Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:40 am

Can you put here a saved game Ripster?
it will be very helpfull for my tests.
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