Friday, December 13, 2013

Stu Plays Civ: Britain, 1067 AD - 1311 AD.

(This is the latest in a series of posts about a Civ IV file wherein I'm trying to recreate the British Empire. Previous posts can be seen here, here and here. Anyway, without any further ado...

The Chronicles of the Kings of Britain, Part IV

From the reign of King William I of the British Empire (1066 AD - 1117 AD)

The death of King Edward II, the Confessor, brought a brief succession crisis. Brittany, an independent duchy on the Continental side of the English Channel, has long been an ally of the British Crown, and then it came under the personal union of Edward II in 1047 AD. The personal union ended when he made us, his nephew, Duke of Brittany.

Brittany had originally been founded with the fall of Roman Gaul. As the Franks poured into the territory, so did the British from Cornwall. King Malcolm's War, which raged from 325-355 AD, saw the expansion of Breton territory all the way to Champagne. Norsemen were hired to fight the Franks, and promised lands and fiefs of their own out of the conquered lands. Our ancestors were those Norsemen who conquered Normandy.

The throne was promised to us by Edward II decades ago, but three other claimants stepped forward. The question nearly led to civil war, but all parties agreed to put the question to Parliament. We had an advantage over the rivals; our dukedom's sovereignty meant that the British War Cabinet had consulted us on the delicate question of the invasion of Japanese Aotearea. We were initially contributing a token force to the effort in exchange for some minor lordships in the islands, but instead we promised Parliament that upon our accession, Brittany would contribute the bulk of invading forces, using our best troops.

Which is precisely what we did after Parliament's war party installed us upon the throne. The elite cavaliers of Brittany, the Zealanders (named after the isle in Denmark from whence the unit's founder came, six centuries ago) led a force of British grenadiers and Maori allies (for the Japanese had treated the Maori viciously) against the Japanese colony of Otautahi in 1070 AD. There was present a British mission in Otautahi, Christ Church, which was ordered protected by the Zealanders after they arrived in the city itself. The Maori, eager to revenge themselves on the Japanese, began putting the inhabitants of Otautahi to the sword. Many of the Japanese civilians fled to Christ Church, where the Zealanders refused to give them up to the Maori. The other Maori chiefs agreed to spare the Japanese in Christ Church, which became the center of British administration in the islands, which were renamed New Zealand in honor of the gallant Zealanders.

Our generals and admirals, impressed with the ease of success in New Zealand, decided to press on to the Japanese colonies in Australia. The leader of the Zealanders, Sir Alan Tasman, personally led the amphibious invasion of the Japanese city of Mouhininiru, which fell in 1074. He gave his name to the island of Tasmania upon which it rests, and he renamed the settlement after his second-in-command, who died in the fighting.

In the course of prosecuting the war, we managed to secure the aid of Russia and Spain against the Japanese. Their monarchs were chiefly seeking an excuse to modernize their fleets, and we sold them naval technology at a good profit. We realize that the war will cost a lot of money, so we desire to procure this money abroad if at all possible. We are draining the coffers of Brittany to pay for this war, and plan to leave the duchy as a gift to the United Kingdom upon our death. Though it be an accounting move, it will keep the British public satisfied, as their taxes aren't raised for this war and domestic spending stays at normal levels. (Indeed, domestic spending has increased. The lawlessness of British Amazonia has long been cited as an impediment to business, so we have increased expenditures for courthouses, bandit patrols, and the like. Trade in the region has increased markedly as a result, and we have been able to invest the profits elsewhere.)

The eastern coast of Australia was dominated not by Japanese fishing colonies, but by their Aboriginal allies. They have been conquered in short order, their rudimentary weapons like nothing against grenades, cannon and cavalry. The colonies of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria have been added to our domains, and our cannons are being shipped overland in a surprise move. We hope to catch the remaining Japanese colonies in western Australia unawares, trapping their armies against the sea with cannon fire while marine grenadiers sweep in amphibiously. However, my health grows weak and I fear it must be my son, Henry, who will carry out this task. He will lead a United Kingdom of the British Isles, Iceland, and Brittany controlling a British Empire with possessions in Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific.

From the reigns of Kings Henry I, Stephen, Henry II and Henry III of the British Empire (1117 AD - 1272 AD)

The war for a colonial empire in Australia continues, but it is becoming apparent to us that the war will not be sufficient: Australia has been divided up between too many powers, and must be reunited if this desert nation has any hope of supplying a successful, unified polity to ours or anyone else's crown. The Hoysala Empire on the tip of the Indian subcontinent has, under their expansionist Rajah Vishnuvardhana, colonized northern Australia. The Chinese have a colony in northwestern Australia. The Malinese have a colony in southwestern Australia, right next to an Arabian colony. The Spanish established Seville Colony near the mouth of the Murray River. If we ultimately wish to unite this territory, we may have to face down our Spanish and Arabian allies, as well as the Chinese, Malinese and Hoysala. We hope to convince them to peaceably surrender their colonies through diplomacy, but if war proves necessary our descendants will surely not back down.

In 1128 AD, we conquered the last Japanese colony in Australia, renaming it Port Hedland. This victory gives us a clear hold on Australia's eastern and northwestern coasts. However, the Japanese still retain power in the Spice Islands to the north of Australia, and should their empire recover this could be a strong base from which they could attack us. To prevent this, we have decided that conquering the Spice Islands is necessary to make and keep Australia British, but we have no need or desire to rule them as well-they would prove too burdensome. Therefore, we have resolved to hand the southern Spice Islands over to the Holy Roman Empire, and the northeastern over to Spain. Vessels sailing out of Amsterdam have long done trade with the region, and the new German colony will give added strength to nearby German Indochina. Spanish Annam will be stronger with a Spanish Manila next to it. The territories' new ownership will help balance power in the region in our favor, and erect a screen for Australia through which the mighty Asian powers of Mongolia, Japan and Persia must pass enroute to Australia. We will not abandon the region entirely, though; we plan to keep the Japanese colonies of Singapore and Southeast Papua for ourselves, watching the Spice Islands from both ends with powerful armies and navies.

This was accomplished in short order; we then decided it was worth it to take the rest of the Japanese Empire outside of the home islands. Japanese Kamchatka was seized and handed over to Russia in 1158 AD, and Japanese Alaska was conquered and given to the United States in 1166 AD, the last action of King William's War. Peace would be achieved with the Japanese Empire shortly after, in 1172 AD, in order to respond to a new threat.

The Khwarezmid Empire declared war on us in 1160 AD out of a refusal to pay tribute. We believe that they seek to conquer Jerusalem and the Hejaz, as those are our nearest territories to them. We had to evacuate Jerusalem in 1164 AD ahead of a heavy Khwarezmid assault that would have wiped out our forces there, and swiftly reinforced Mecca against assault. The Shi'ite Khwarezmids made much of this, saying that they sought to liberate Mecca for Allah and Ali from infidels and heretics. We had to rush troops from Australia to reinforce the Hejaz Army, but in 1172 AD Jerusalem was retaken and then we seized Baghdad in 1184 AD.

We moved to attack Isfahan in a surprise attack, but we depleted our garrison in Baghdad in order to accomplish this, and the Khwarezmids took advantage of this by liberating Baghdad in 1192 AD. We retook the city in 1194 AD, so this proved only a minor setback.

The decision was taken to encourage the fall of the Khwarezmid dynasty. They were indeed mighty, with lands spanning from Mesopotamia to frozen Sibir, and this might encouraged arrogance... arrogance that would perpetually threaten the Levant and Hejaz if it were not dealt with on a more permanent basis. Being unwilling to conquer and hold any part of Persia overlong, we needed a new patron willing to take on these lands. We had sent an envoy to Vsevolod III of Russia asking for his assistance against the Persian menace, but he demurred then. After the crushing of Persia's cavalry over the campaigns for Jerusalem, Baghdad and Isfahan, he magically manifested a pair of brass ones and declared war.

This was the advantage we sought, and we could now remake Asia to our benefit with Vsevolod III as an ally and a custodian of the lands we sought to deny Persia. After the fall of Isfahan, we wrecked the roads, and left behind a suitably large garrison force in Baghdad and Isfahan to keep the Persians out. The main body of our armies avoided the Persian heartland, and set off for Turkestan and Siberia. These armies were dubbed the Siberian Expedition, and vowed to not cease until they washed their blades in the Arctic Ocean.

In 1206 AD the Raj of Hoysala, to pay for a pressing war upon the subcontinent, sold us his colony and all associated rights in Australia. We renamed the chief settlement of the territory "Darwin," in honor of our ambassador in Mysore, who obtained the territories for us. In other developments in Oceania, we conquered Persian Fiji in 1220 AD, sweeping the last vestige of Persia's colonies away. We elected to retain Fiji, as it is fairly close to Australia and New Zealand.

The Siberian Expedition, once assembled, wasted little time dealing ruthlessly with the enemy. Khuram fell in 1216, with the roads cut behind it so that, even should Khuram fall, the enemy would be unable to dash into our rear areas easily. Bukhara and Tashkent fell soon after, and after that we pressed into the Khanate of Sibir, subject to the Khwarezmids. We took from the Khan the cities of Omsk, Khatanga, Tomsk and even his own capital of Sibir, handing him and his entire khanate to Vsevolod III as the Russian settlers in the region pressed eastwards, freed of the Tatar yoke.

Peace was concluded in 1250 AD, when the last Khwarezmid agreed to marry his daughter to Hulegu, a Mongol prince we brought in as a client, and throw in his remaining territories as a wedding gift, provided that the British Empire would likewise grant him occupied Persia and Transoxiana. This we happily agreed to, relieving ourselves of every conquered Persian city but Baghdad. We kept Baghdad, realizing that the primarily Arabic people there didn't yearn for a reunion with Persia, and figuring that having a buffer province between the Levant and Hejaz and Persia would be to our benefit, that Jerusalem may never fall again. Giving the Khanate of Sibir to the Russians has empowered them and weakened the Persians under Hulegu, who must now rely upon us for his defense. This guarantees that we will have quiet and compliant allies to the east of British Arabia.

The Great Schism of 1054 had divided the Christian world, and a British declaration of neutrality, and communion with both East and West, was wearing thin. Neither Catholics nor Orthodox denounced us, afraid of turning us to the other side, but neither did they accept us. After the victories of Siberia, we felt it would be an excellent time to make a more formal declaration as to our Church. And that we did: declaring the Archbishop of Canterbury the Patriarch of the Celtic Orthodox Church, and equal in stature to the Patriarchs of Rome and Constantinople. We chose "Orthodox" over "Catholic" for the support of our Russian allies, whose own Orthodox Patriarch recognized ours before the Ecumenical Patriarch even had time to respond, and because we know there will be no meaningful political interference from the distant Byzantine Empire. Moreover, our Christian subjects in British Arabia were Orthodox rather than Catholic to a large degree.

The anti-war party of landed gentry were in power when the war began, and to secure their support we promised to hike tariffs to increase local industry throughout the Empire, and thus their economic interests. We also had to buy votes, and one such vote was bought for the Duke of Tangiers, who wanted local metalworkers laid off from the shipyards there put to work. We therefore commissioned a statue of the patron goddess of the ancient city-state of Tingis: the Roman goddess Libertas. Tingis had been conquered by British pirates in antiquity, and those pirates had been enslaved in Rome before they mutinied and gained their much-cherished freedom. Furthermore, if we must engage in such unseemly politicking to obtain funding for the war, we might as well choose the product to be a monument to British liberties, for which this war is ultimately fought. The statue was completed in 1272 AD, as our health was failing. I sent my successor, Edward III, to the dedication ceremony. It will also place him nearer to India, which he wishes to conquer.

We had to do this all over again when the radicals' party got in halfway through the war. As the price for their continuing to vote money for the war, also insisted on voting money to communities and social programs. Furthermore, these "liberals" insisted upon enshrining in law various traditional prerogatives of Parliament, strengthening their power and weakening ours. We fear that our successors will reign, but not rule. Ruling will be the task of ministers chosen by Parliament, and the first among them will be as good as crowned.

From the reign of King Edward III Longshanks of the British Empire (1272 AD - 1311 AD)

The remainder of our father Henry III's reign was spent evacuating the Siberian Expedition from Siberia and to the fortress city of Khuram, where Hulegu gave him permission to stage forces. The immense scale of warfare across Asia dwarfs Britain's small army, even after it was significantly enlarged for the Siberian Expedition. Should Russia, Mongolia, Persia, China or the Delhi Sultanate manage to gain an upper hand against the others, the resources of Asia could conceivably be used to conquer the entire rest of the world. We now know that was the design of Genghis Khan of Mongolia, though he was fortunately frustrated. However, were we to conquer but one of those powers, we could play in the balance of forces and guarantee that Asia will never reach beyond itself to threaten us.

We therefore set our military strategists to the task of discerning which power to conquer. The ideal seat of British power in Asia would be close to the present disposition of the forces of the Siberian Expedition in Khuram, easily accessible by sea (in order to maximize our naval advantage), rich in valuable trade goods, and with as small of a land defense perimeter as possible, given the nature of land wars in Asia.

Persia was instantly ruled out - the old Khwarezmid domains were too distant from the sea, and too elongated and flat to be defensible against large armies of cavalry. They were better divided up and given to Russia or Hulegu, as they were. They're most useful as a buffer and a weakened allied state. China and Mongolia too were ruled out - their wars against each other have left the landscape of East Asia a confusing patchwork of tributaries, and their war will likely be fought for decades hence, possibly even centuries. Adding British arms to that calamity would only waste our soldiers with little to show for it. We also ruled out Russia - they are our allies, and a European power to boot, and far too distant from the sea to be ruled with anything but the greatest of cost and effort.

This left India, its lands controlled directly or indirectly by the Delhi Sultanate. Khuram was near the Khyber Pass, allowing passage from Persian-ruled Afghanistan into India, close to the troops of the returning Siberian Expedition. The subcontinent jutted out into the sea, whence Arabian and Chinese traders came to traffick fine wares in great quantity. The Himalayas to the north of India are an effective barrier, making invasion possible only via Persia, Tibet or Indochina. German Indochina poses no threat to us, Persia is controlled by our allies, and the Tibetan border can be reinforced and held against large armies, as in the narrow mountain passes their numbers will count for nothing.

Upon the death of my father, Henry III, we were in Tangiers, dedicating the Statue of Libertas. We immediately sent the Fifth Fleet to British Arabia with ourself upon it, vowing to accomplish British control of India. The forces stationed out of Khuram were renamed the Army of British India, and in November 1272 AD they swept into Baluchistan enroute to Delhi in an unstoppable mass. Meanwhile, troops landed at Bombay, the headquarters of the Sultanate's fleet. We obtained Spanish and Chinese aid for our war; the Sultanate's colony on the easternmost point of Brazil would be turned over to the Spanish (if they could conquer it, which they proved unable to), and China would get the Sultanate's Chinese territories, taken in the midst of the greater war with Mongolia. The Sultanate is now isolated on all diplomatic fronts as our soldiers take possession of the subcontinent.

Delhi, the great city itself, was the first to fall, in 1278. Bombay fell not long after, in 1284, and the Royal Zealander Regiment accepted the city's surrender as it paraded through the streets. Varanasi fell in 1286, Madras fell in 1294, Calcutta in 1296, Rangoon in 1300, and Chengdu in 1310. The Sultan of Delhi escaped to his colony in Aceh, where we concluded a peace treaty with him wherein he renounced all claim to India and China, granted us his colony in Alaska (which we handed off to the Americans) and changed his title to Sultan of Aceh. We granted Chengdu to the Chinese for their aid against the Sultanate, and that concluded our war.

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