Part 3: Claiming the Throne of AragonPart 3: Claiming the Throne of Aragon
There's still a few loose ends to wrap up from the war with Granada. When Algiers entered the war on their side, they became the senior member of the war on the enemy's side. That means that even though I ended the war with Granada, the war against all of the other members of Granada's alliance web is still going. The wars against all of these other nations do us no good, because we only declared war with a casus belli against Granada. Taking any land from these other nations would come with full infamy cost, and I'm not really interested in any other token demands I could make of them. We have better things we could spend our time on right now.
Clicking the little Algierian flag in the lower right section of the screen by the vertical menu brings up this war overview. We can see each side's number of troops and ships, a list of all the battles that have taken place, and an overall measure of which side is winning. The positive 13% indicates that Castille and Portugal are considered to be winning the overall war by a small margin. You can click on any of the coats of arms here to open diplomacy with that particular nation. Since Algiers is the senior partner of their side and Castille is the senior partner of our side, making peace with Algiers will cease all hostilities between all nations involved on both sides.
Algiers isn't willing to concede defeat without us actually sailing over and occupying some of their provinces, and they aren't even willing to agree to a "White Peace", which is when both parties agree that nobody won. I offer them a handful of ducats for peace instead, and they take it.
We're at 3 stability now, and I go to check what that 6 star banker I recruited can do. 1% interest on a 5 year loan of 221 ducats. 221*1.01^5 = 232.27, so in addition to the 221 ducat principal that we need to pay back at the end of 5 years, we would have to pay around 11 ducats of interest over 60 months, or about 0.2 ducats per month rounded up. I take 2 of these loans out to fund a military buildup, and immediately spend it on recruiting 15 new regiments across the country.
I also want to take a quick look at one of our new holdings, the province of Granada. There are a few things of interest here. This province is actually really well developed. It has a level 1 building of each type constructed in it, and so does our new province of Almeria. If you seize a province that you have a core on, you get to keep all of the buildings that its previous owner had built in it. If you take a province that you do not have a core on, all buildings are destroyed when you take ownership and you need to rebuild them yourself. This makes core provinces very valuable targets.
You might notice that both Castille and Granada consider this province a core. That means that I could potentially go to the first tab of my national menu and release my the nation of Granada as a vassal state (we're not going to do this). It also means that if Granadan nationalist rebels spawned here and I allowed them to occupy the province for long enough, Granada might break off and re-appear. Other nations can also try and demand us to release Granada as a free state as part of a peace deal during war.
The local majority religion is Sunni in the 3 new provinces we've taken from Granada. When a province's religion differs from your state religion, you suffer tax collection penalties, stability cost increases, and increased revolt risk in that province based on how intolerant you are towards that particular religion. I have 2 missionaries right now, so I send one to Granada and one to Almeria to begin conversion. Gibraltar will have to wait until I produce a third missionary.
All of the new regiments I commissioned have finished and I organize them all into armies that I place along the borders of Aragon and Navarra (which has apparently been conquered by Sicily). One army contains 11 regiments (7 infantry and 4 cavalry), and the rest of my troops are divided up into armies of 6 regiments.
Enrique finally produces an heir, and he's actually pretty good! Hopefully he won't die of some terrible illness before he grows up.
We send a diplomat do the kingdom of Aragon to politely let them know that we are claiming their throne. This doesn't make them very happy at all and our relationship with them drops by about 100 points. This may be a good time to describe why I want to claim their throne. We don't have cores on any of Aragon's provinces, and they have a ton of provinces. If we were to take their provinces through regular wars, it would probably take 2 wars and we'd end up accruing something like 32 infamy altogether. After all that is said and done, we would have all of their provinces, but we'd have to wait another 50 years for them to be considered core provinces of our country.
Claming a throne of another country is a pretty fantastic alternate way of taking territory. After you claim another nation's throne, if their ruler dies with no legitimate heir, their nation becomes the junior partner in a Personal Union under your king. The nation continues some normal administrative operations as an AI nation, but you are its king, and it cannot form diplomatic relations on its own or go to war on its own. A nation in a personal union under you that you form an alliance with, much like a vassal state, will always come to war with you when called because they don't have a diplomatic web that conflicts with yours.
Every time your ruler passes away and a new heir takes the throne, there are 3 possible things that can happen with the junior partners of your personal unions:
- The junior partner may break the personal union and install someone else on their throne. This would probably only happen if you have terrible relations with them.
- The personal union may continue as normal.
- Your newly crowned king might inherit the junior kingdom, and all of its provinces will become part of your primary kingdom. Any inherited provinces that share the same culture group with you will immediately be cored and all of the buildings in those provinces will transfer intact.
That third possibility would work out great for us, because all of Aragon's provinces are in our culture group. Even if we don't inherit them though, they'd make a strong ally as a permanent junior member of a PU. As it turns out, there's really no reason to wait for their ruler to die to form the PU. There's also the chance that he could produce an heir, which would immediately cancel our claim on their throne. Thankfully, when you claim another nation's throne, you also gain this CB:
The Claim Throne CB allows us to force a personal union on that nation immediately in a peace settlement. Its in our best interests to make use of this CB as soon as possible before they produce a legitimate heir, so I declare on them right away. Brittany and Sicily are allies of Aragon. If Sicily joins the war, I could potentially seize Navarra from them too, albeit for full infamy cost. Since I know this isn't going to be the same kind of pushover as Granada, I request Portugal to enter the war with me right away.
War is declared with the Claim Throne CB. Portugal joins our call to arms like a champ. Brittany and Sicily both join in on Aragon's side, but Brittany is also in the middle of a separate war with England, so I doubt we'll be seeing any of them. Our stability drops 1 point for declaring war on someone who we have royal marriage ties with.
Time to max out our investment in Stability again. I take the opportunity while I'm here to enact war taxes. This give us a huge boost to taxes collected both monthly and annually, but increases our war exhaustion by .10 monthly. One of our current ruler's stats reduces our monthly war exhaustion by .08 monthly I believe, so as long as we don't suffer too much attrition we should be able to keep this up for a while before suffering any really bad ill effects.
I take a look at the war overview to see what our odds look like. We outnumber them in both infantry and cavalry as well as in naval forces. Also, some of the land forces counted in their total are away in Sicily and up in Brittany. All of our forces are concentrated on the Iberian peninsula.
My army and navy tradition scores were just barely high enough from the previous war to allow me to recruit a general and an admiral. I pick up one of each. They are terrible, but they are still better than no leader at all.
You assign leaders to armies or navies by selecting the unit you want to place them in and clicking the spot on the unit panel where it says "No Leader". This brings up the list of unassigned leaders so you can pick one to fill the spot. I assign the general to my large army, and the admiral to my single navy which contains all my ships.
I order our navy to move into the Gulf of Almeria for now. This will bottle Aragon and Sicily up in the Mediterranean. They won't be able to sail past and drop off troops on my southern or northern coasts (or in Portugal) without getting in a huge naval battle here first.
The larger army is ordered to the far end of Aragon. I'm not sure where their troops are, but I'd rather find them with my big army if I can. The smaller armies of 6 regiments are sent into the border provinces to begin sieging.
After a few days, Aragon's main army comes into sight and it is making a beeline for Toledo. By hovering over an army, you can see in the lower right tooltip where they are headed and what date they are expected to arrive there. I change my large army's orders to head for Toledo, and it looks like they will arrive there before Aragon does.
Aragon's army meets Castille's in Toledo. Our forces are even, but they are suffering terrain penalties as the attacker. One of my smaller armies in Alicante wheels around to join the fight in Toledo and stack the odds further in our favor.
While Aragon's army is tied up in battle, my other armies split up and spread out to siege all of their northern provinces, along with Sicilian Navarra.
Aragon's army takes heavy losses and we win the battle of Toledo. They are on the run towards Alicante. Anxious to wipe them out completely, I order our two armies in Toledo to chase them down. If we can catch them in Alicante before the end of the month, they will still be flatlined on morale and we may be able to completely wipe them out.
Unfortunately, I forgot to check the morale of my own armies and somehow my 11 regiment stack was not in fighting condition. They chase the fleeing Aragonese army down and then promptly die and/or surrender to them. This isn't quite what I wanted to happen.
My smaller army, which is actually IS in fighting condition catches up on the following day and starts enacting revenge. I split some of the northern sieging stacks up, leaving behind only the minimum amount to continue a siege and send the excess troops south to make sure Aragon's troops get wiped out.
Portugal's army just happened to be in the neighborhood and dropped in to help me out as well. Aragon's army is in serious trouble.
They are beaten in Alicante and then chased to Toledo where they are wiped out.
Aragon doesn't have any soldiers on the field anymore and all of their provinces in Iberia are under siege. I notice that we have 4 magistrates that have built up and take a quick break from watching the war to deal with them. I'd like to hire another highly skilled advisor at some point, so I go to the cultural tab and have them all commission some artwork. Our cultural tradition is getting higher, but I'd prefer to get it much higher before considering using it to attract a great person.
I'm feeling a bit curious, and send the fleet over to Sicily to see how formidable their army looks. With Aragon under control, now I'm thinking that maybe instead of just seizing Navarra from Sicily we can get something more significant from them. They only have 8 regiments in their standing army.
All of Aragon's provinces are still under siege. In fact, some of them have already been occupied. I reorganize some of our spare men into a 12,000 man army and load it onto our navy for an invasion of Sicily.
I unload them in Messina and then march on Palermo. Hopefully our superior numbers will beat out the terrain penalties from being the attacker here. If we have a disaster and lose this entire army, we'll simply have to be satisfied with a decisive victory against Aragon alone.
We skirmish in Palermo and the Sicilians quickly retreat to Messina. I make sure to check our army's morale and then I order them to follow the fleeing enemy.
Another minor skirmish happens in Messina, but the retreating Sicilians are run ragged by the time they get back to Palermo and another attack completely destroys them.
The army in Palermo is split in to three and then sent to siege all of Sicily's provinces. I should point out that by this point, enough of Aragon's provinces have been occupied that they would be willing to accept our demands and be forced into a personal union. We don't want to do that yet, though! If we end the war with Aragon, it will put us at peace with all of their former allies as well. We're on the verge of getting something quite nice from Sicily, so the war is going to have to continue until we finish our sieges in Sicily.
Finally, all of Sicily's provinces fall to us.
Demanding their full annexation doesn't seem very appealing to me right now. Without a proper casus belli, we'd subject ourselves to a huge Infamy hit for taking everything from them. Instead of annexation, lets click on Demand Tribute and take something else.
From here we can make all sorts of demands on them. We can force them to revoke cores that they have on provinces that they don't own, to break treaties that they have with other nations, or we could ask them to release Navarra as a sovereign state. Instead of any of that, I'm looking at vassalization. Forcing them to become a vassal state will allow them to continue to exist as an AI nation, but they will pay us half of their taxes, and we'll be able to use them as a rock solid ally in all of our wars. Also, Sicily is perfectly placed to be a stopping off point for our navies, halfway between Castille and the Holy Lands. Finally, at any point after 10 years from now, it will be within our rights to demand the annexation of Sicily through diplomacy. Diplomatically annexing a vassal only costs us 1 infamy per province taken.
Vassalization is demanded, and they have no choice but to accept. I also make them throw in 25 ducats, just 'cause.
Aragon has been occupied for a long time now, waiting for us to finish in Sicily. The Baleares are still holding on, but they've simply lost too many of their big, core provinces to refuse the demands that I want to make.
Its time to force a personal union on Aragon. Notice how the cost to demand their vassalization would be 196%? Even if we were to fully occupy them, our warscore would only max out at 100%. Large nations are essentially immune from being entirely wiped out in a single war.
Aragon is now ruled by the king of Castille. If we get lucky, then after Enrique III dies, his son Alfonso will inherit Aragon and we'll be able to form Spain. Either way, we've increased our strength significantly with this victory.
Let's take a look at the map. With Sicily a vassal and Aragon in a personal union under us, all of the Iberian peninsula (minus Portugal) is under our control. Frankly, Portugal has been such a good ally to us so far that I could count them as another element of our control over Iberia.
Two of our loans are coming due in just a little under 2 years from now. We don't quite have enough ducats to pay them back, and our monthly and yearly budgets are not looking very good at the moment. The next update will probably focus on a period of peace where we get our economy under control and engage in some diplomacy with our friends and subject nations.