The Duchy of Austria: Crucifix of Venus
“Let other others wage war, but thou, O happy Austria, marry; for those kingdoms which Mars gives to others, Venus gives to thee”
Well, not quite. This is Total War, after all. Sounds cool, though. This is another AAR from our on-going internal testing. Hope you all enjoy!
Secure from the metropolis of Wien, the duchy is in an advantageous position to further their influence and territory. I quickly made strategic alliances with Hungary and the Papal States. The alliance with the latter would prove a boon in my future conflicts with the other Catholic princes and polities. With command of Wien and the Habsburg hereditary lands, the duchy was ready to assert itself as a player beyond central Europe.
Our main conflict was with the Swiss. Right away they attacked our castle in Friedburg. Boasting superior forces, they rushed the castle after situating their siege engines, but they were driven off by the determined efforts of the garrison led by the Count of Friedburg.
Although the victory was a large setback for the Swiss, it was only a matter of time before they regained enough strength to resume their open defiance and attack the duchy’s most remote outpost again. Reaching the Swiss homeland would be stymied by the lands of the rival HRE duchies. The had to be brought to heel before we could definitively stop Swiss resistance. The aim was clear: they would all need to be brought into the fold by force.
True to the nature of the duchy, many loyalties and alliances were acquired through the deft of use of diplomacy, namely through marriage. The duchy’s princesses helped affiliate this, and the fruit of their diplomatic labors helped secure our eastern borders. Marriage alliances with the Hungarians and Venetians made it so that we could focus our efforts on the rival HRE duchies and the Swiss. Through the use of well placed bribes and military actions, their cities fell.
After bringing our rival duchies to heel, we pressed the attack on the Swiss. Their poor economy, improvised armies and defensive posture made them easy targets. The war came to a head quickly as the new duke took lead of his armies for the final battles of the conflict.
The knights of the duchy proved flexible. Adopting the fighting manner of the Swiss, they fought with the same valor as the phalanxes of old.
The annexation of the Swiss homeland expanded our sphere of influence, but also brought us into the periphery of another: the Duchy of Milan. The Milanese armies were formidable and their coffers deep. Their standing on the world stage was equal to our own. The inevitable conflict with them would be prove to be our greatest test. However, the advent of Churburg armor made our forces all the more formidable! With the Alps as our backdrop, there was no denying this storm of swords.
Luckily for the Milanese, the pope called for the hostilities to end soon after they had began. Risking excommunication, I took one last territory from Milan and triggered our victory. We only got a quiet admonishment from the holy father.