Part 21: Austria Part 4: 1469-1535Austria Part 4: 1469-1535
Let's take a quick look at how being Emperor impacts our military strength.
Our land forcelimits receive a huge boost from member states contributing to Imperial army. Normally we build up to our forcelimits, but this is just too much to maintain right now.
Likewise, our Manpower receives a healthy boost for the same reasons. We're unlikely to ever be short on manpower due to combat losses or attrition with a pool this large.
And this is really unrelated to being Emperor, but our Land Tech level is keeping up with even our most advanced neighbors due to our policy of ignoring every other tech. This causes our other techs to lag behind, clearly.
We have several Imperial Ban CBs to reclaim imperial territory, which is nice. We also have a Subjugation CB on Lorraine that is going to expire in a few years. We have a mission to vassalize Lorraine, so we'll make use of that one first.
Lorraine and its isolated handful of allies are unable to handle our gigantic armies. After the mission reward, we end up with a net reduction of our infamy. This is a pretty good deal for acquiring a new vassal.
An Imperial Ban CB against Portugal comes next. They inherited Pommerania a few years ago. We need to reclaim that territory for the Empire.
At first they are unwilling to return it, but after negotiating military access through France and Castille and landing a drop pod full of space marines in Lisbon they change their mind. We receive 3 cored provinces for the bare minimum of infamy.
A new mission to vassalize Mecklenburg is obtained. This is accomplished quickly as well. You can probably tell by now that we're creating a vast network of vassals across the empire. Vassals are far more likely to vote for our proposed reforms.
Leopold dies of natural causes and Ferdinand II is chosen as the next emperor by the electors. Retaining control of the position of Emperor between rulers has caused us to gain authority. We still need more authority to pass another reform, though.
Releasing Pommerania as a vassal is beneficial to us in three ways. We gain another relatively secure vote for our future reforms, we immediately lose some of our infamy which I've allowed to build up, and we gain more imperial authority for restoring an an imperial state.
While we've been busy inside of the empire, The Golden Horde has cut a path of destruction through the Balkans. Diplomatically annexing Transylvania puts our borders up against the Horde, and thus puts the two of our nations at war. Hordes are always at war with bordering nations except while in the standard post-war truce period, or if either party is being forced to pay tribute to the other.
We begin occupying Golden Horde lands, but they can't be ceded to us in a peace settlement. Hordes have a special mechanic you can see here where we send colonists to the territory as if it were a colony. These colonists arrive extremely quickly and they add 200 to the settlement as opposed to the 100 that a colonist would normally add to a colony.
Once this stretch of territory is occupied, we begin sending colonists to reclaim provinces from Budjak to Serbia.
The hordes live up to their name, and field gigantic armies. Unfortunately for them, I happen to have a horde of imperial vassal states that sort of do the same job except better. This Golden Horde army takes one look at the cluster of banners on the other side of the river and says "nope".
Our colonists finish resettling Serbia and continue on into surrounding cities.
After some time passes, we've occupied and resettled several horde-ravaged provinces. We have more important things to do than build an Austrian snake of territory through horde lands, though. I end the war here and then blockade our territory's southern border by releasing Serbia as a vassal. Our eastern borders are made safe when Poland seizes horde territory, blocking us off from Asia.
Our third and final war against Hungary begins. We also declare war with an Imperial Ban CB against Portugal, once again, who has taken Imperial territory on the border of Italy and France.
This is what happens when we declare war now. More than a dozen vassal states follow us into wars, and little piles of banners go flying all over the place as they fling themselves into battle on the Empire's behalf.
Austrian borders just prior to the 1550s. Our newest territory includes land seized from Portugal just to the southwest of Switzerland, as well as Hungary's capital province.
The diplomatic map once again, displaying which countries we have arranged royal marriages with. This is worth doing just for the chance to randomly inherit a throne by chance, but it also helps us inside the empire by influencing monarchies and making them more likely to vote on our reforms.
We've accumulated enough imperial authority to propose another imperial reform. Our relations are strong with every single state in the HRE, so I feel confident that we'll get this to pass.
The other member states are beginning to see how these reforms are structured to benefit and strengthen the emperor, as evidenced by the token amount of infamy we gain per month with this last passing motion.
Another emperor perishes, and we retain the crown. This revolving door of new kings is actually getting us quite a bit of imperial authority. Our new ruler is terrible at everything but diplomacy. I can live with that, though. Diplomacy is important right now.
I think Franz may be a bit paranoid about the previous two emperors' lifespans. As soon as he takes the throne he goes a bit crazy. It looks as if it may have only been a temporary fit of anxiety, though.
Well actually, maybe we can blame the Protestant Reformation on Franz going crazy. He changes the state religion of the Holy Roman Empire to Protestant and we start converting provinces as quickly as possible. We hire a theologian advisor and pass beneficial religious ideas to expedite our country's conversion.
This throws our diplomacy into a state of turmoil. Our relation levels with every Catholic nation drop to rock bottom and a hundred years worth of diplomacy is erased. Vassals and marriages remain, but alliances and military access pacts are all void and null. Additionally, the majority of our spheres of influence become invalid, making diplomacy more difficult overall. It will take many, many years to get back to the point where we can easily pass reforms.
Our first batch of diplomats head out to re-establish formal alliances with our vassals. Once we've got alliances in place with all our vassals once again, we'll begin working on increasing our basic relations with all HRE member states until they are at least above 150 with each and every one.
Some member states can sense which way the wind is blowing and convert to Protestant on their own. This is great, because we gain imperial authority when HRE member states are converted to the Emperor's faith.
The electors are becoming worrisome. They are unwilling to vote for an emperor of a different faith. We still have the majority, but it isn't anywhere near the unanimous support we had as a Catholic emperor. There is a way to fix this, however.
We can use the new diplomatic option "Enforce Religious Unity" to compel member states to convert to our religion. The elector Saxony doesn't look like it will give in to our request. This is okay. If they don't agree to the diplomatic solution, we are immediately granted another option:
We gain a Religious Unity CB against them. This allows us to invade them under the pretext of forcibly converting them to the true faith. Our vassals will be very likely to agree to our religious unity requests diplomatically, though. Especially once we have several spheres of influence again.
Saxony is made to convert, and while we're at it we invite them to become another of our vassal states.
After a significant amount of further conversions, religious unity wars, marriages, alliances, spheres, and thousnads of ducats worth of gifts to HRE states, we're finally able to successfully pass another reform. Our overall diplomatic status still isn't as robust as it was before the Reformation, but we're getting there. Also, look at how lopsided the effects of the reforms are becoming.
An Imperial Liberation war against The Hansa allows us to liberate 3 member states and force change their religion all in one go. There's no question that we'll have enough opportunities to get the remaining authority that we need for the last few reforms. There are still a few handfuls of Catholic member states to convert.
The religious map is starting to look awfully blue, but we won't stop until it is solid.
Franz manages to push another reform through, revoking the rights of HRE member states to declare war on one another. I think they actually still technically can, but this reform removes their ability to gain CBs on one another.
Just after his reform is passed, Franz dies in 1535 and the crown passes to Georg I with the electors now firmly behind us Austria once again. As an added bonus, we inherit the throne of Bohemia. This connects our core Austrian territory to our holdings in Brandenburg.
Austria, 1535. We have three reforms left to pass with enough authority accumulated to enact one. Several member states remain Catholic, however, and will be a thorn in our side when trying to pass the last few reforms.