The Swiss Confederacy-A Mini-AAR
Hey guys! Hope all is well with everybody during these uncertain times. Below is my AAR for a short Swiss campaign that I played during a recent round of beta testing. After calling it a wrap on this campaign, the benevolent Tsardoms team asked that I share it with you all. I hope all the long-time followers as well as recent devotees will enjoy my humble offering. Please note that this will not be one of the more grand and epic narrative-driven AARs that I've seen on TWC. Although much of the narrative focus for Tsardoms TW may be on the Balkans, we cannot forget that this was also the era of the Swiss Confederacy's ascendance as an influential fighting force. If you have not already, please check out the wonderful units displayed in this faction review from a while back. No different than the other factions, the Swiss unit roster is a marvel:
Part I: The Campaign
First, some units. I found myself relying on these units throughout my campaign: comprising the famous Swiss halberdiers and pikeman as well as some crucial mercenaries in the form of Burgundian archers and German knights; not to forget our trusty canton general's bodyguard. The mercs helped in my critical shortage of quality long range missiles and heavy cavalry.
Starting with a poor economy made the early game difficult. Thankfully, once I started to capture settlements from the lesser HRE duchies, my economy started to kick in and I could aggressively pursue the defeat of my first enemy, the Duchy of Austria. The isolated, corner position of the Swiss also made for a secure starting position, with only lesser 'rebel' factions standing in the way. The conquest of Hapsburg lands was not difficult since my Swiss forces routinely overpowered the Austrian feudal levies. Although most of my men were militia-grade, their superior quality allowed them to stand their ground against Austria's tougher, armored fighters (though I wouldn't recommend this).
The war with Austria proved unfortunate for them. Multiple victories over the duchy led us to the very gates of Vienna, which fell after a siege. The capture of Vienna proved a great boon for our cause--the metropolis was rich and developed. This was in stark contrast to our quaint mountain cantons back home. Seizing this city, along with the other large towns and cities along the way, brought us to a different level in terms of finance. Although the war with Austria would continue for years, the loss of their capital was a crippling blow from which they were not able to recover from. At campaign's end, the Austrians ad been stripped of all their ancestral lands and were only surviving thanks to their successful crusade at Lepanto, which they still held.
The struggles in Italy are real. At one point, I declared war on Milan,but made the mistake of not attacking them for some time. The Milanese were powerful, and had no problem sending stacks to the Alps. Although my militia-heavy forces could easily dispatch Austrian feudal levies, the Italians could recruit numerous well equipped mercs and militias on a large scale (including some tough armored cavalry). The only way that I managed to avert a complete disaster was to ally with Florence and gifted them the Milanese capital in order to create a buffer and to pit these two polities against each other. Como was one of my victory condition requirements, so I stopped venturing further into Italy after it was in hand and secured with friendly borders. A protracted war with any of these polities would have been doom.
What also motivated my decision to stay out of Italy as the sheer amount of armies at play down there.The Papacy, Milanese and Florentines were off and on at war with each other and looked like they had ambition far beyond their native peninsula. Needless to say, I was not about that life.
With the Austrians all but defeated and my settlement victory conditions completed, I started to wind down my campaign (I only had to destroy Austria to get the win). It was during this time that those blasted Karamanids won the campaign! Alas, I took this time to look how the rest of the world of Tsardoms fared.
Part II: The Endgame
A look at the maritime republics. The Ragusans ended up with a sizable portion of land, so they kind of went the mainland route to expansion. Genoa and Venice, on the other hand, did what was expected of them: creating holdings across the waterways. Genoa even managed to take Constantinople and hold it. Venice messed around and got a crusade called on them, but have been managing to hold their capital despite the doom stacks. On a side note, the Angevin kings of Siciliy had been relegated to an island and were on the cusp of defeat against the Ragusans.
A look how the Balkans played out. The Serbs and Bulgars managed to expand their borders, while the Ottomans established a foothold and kept pushing. Moldova have managed to keep it together while in a constant state of war with the Golden Horde. The mighty Kingdom of Hungary collapsed, with its boundless lands being divided between their neighbors.
I'd like to thank the Tsardoms team for the opportunity to check out this amazing project. I'd also like to thank all the researchers who helped put this amazing faction roster together. The level of detail in this mod was astounding. I haven't played a M2TW campaign in years and this was one of the best times that I've ever played any sort of TW campaign. The Tsardoms TW faithful are in for an amazing experience.