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Dangers of the History book.

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Jason
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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by Jason on Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:21 pm

How is Bavaria viewed? It often seems to me to be a nation that doesn't quite achieve what it could of done. I think it had a good sized population and good resources around 1700, I wonder if it could have become the German power?

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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by Guest on Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:09 pm

Bavaria should be one of the most interesting positions to play in the game. In 1700 Prince Max was in his prime, a skilled general who fought against the Ottomans he had a plan to restore the honour of the Wittelsbachs and the rich resources of Bavaria to make it happen.

Unfortunately, he tried to play off every side against each other for his own advantage which led initially to him being mistrusted, then hated by everyone. He would fight alternatively for the Hapsburgs, then for France, often changing sides in the middle of wars. Even family alliances didnt mean anything to him as a Bavarian princess was married to the Dauphin and would have become queen of France had she lived. Max II married a Hapsburg. His wife, understandably, detested him. Rampant ambition mixed with bitter jealousy of the other electoral princes (Prussia, Saxony, Hanover) just made him a political disaster.

For most of the WSS he was in prison (he was a particularly ungrateful prisoner) and Bavaria was partitioned. His dream of a Wittelsbach emperor did come true with his son, who only reigned 3 years. Unfortunately on his death Austrian armies invaded Bavaria and Max III faced an impossible situation. If he wanted independence from Austria he had to submit to Prussia. I actually quite like Max III who was much more cultured than many of his predecessors and Bavarian culture reached a high point under his son, Charles Theodore. His son, Max IV continued the great Bavarian tradition of treachery by serving France, then Austria, then back to France again when Napoleon finally sorted out Bavaria by making it a Kingdom, removing old grievances. To his credit he did seem to have finally decided to support Napoleon until 1813 when he changed sides again, only to be betrayed by his new German allies.

If only he had been nicer to those more powerful than him and recognised that he needed their trust and support, then with solid allies Bavaria could have been the power who unified Germany. Looking at what happened, though, it is very hard to be sympathetic to any country whose leaders were incapable of fidelity.

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Jason
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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by Jason on Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:35 pm

Thanks Louis

A good summary and does make me think Bavaria would be a fun one to play...one day...

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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by Guest on Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:00 pm

I think that as a middle-ranking German power Bavaria is much more interesting to play than Prussia or Hanover. Hanover would always be distracted by England and Prussia by Baltic struggles. You could play peacefully if supported by a peaceful France or Austria, or aggressively if supported by an aggressive France or Austria, effectively holding the balance of power. Provided you are consistent, it should be relatively straight forward, but if you start changing sides then you risk being divided by either. An honourable Bavaria could well unite many smaller states behind it and ultimately stand for election as Emperor. I lack the diplomatic skills for such an endeavour, but in the right hands I'm sure Bavaria could do very well.

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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by Stuart Bailey on Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:51 pm

I wonder if because Prussia ended up as the major power in Germany this means other powers in the HRE like Bavaria, Saxony, Flanders, Hanover are treated as 2nd rate compared to Prussia due to players hindsight?

Does anyone know how the Prussian, Saxon and Bavarian starting positions actually compare? I suspect that in 1700 Prussia may not even be No2 in the Empire.

I would also say that its the outside involvement Prussia & Saxony with the Baltic and Hanover with England which gives these positions "interest". Bavaria, Savoy, Lorraine and Flanders really do need diplomatic skill of a high order.......one slip up and the French can flatten you like a bug. But toady too much to the French and you are branded a French Poodle and a 5th column.

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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by J Flower on Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:46 am

It may well be the case that because of Frederich II, books on Prussia are much readily avaliable which makes the posiiton seem more attractive & easier to research.That maybe a reason for it's popularity among the German states. Although in 1700, it was stilla work in progress it was no means clear that it would rise from the sandbox of the Baltic to become a major power. The other German nations could have also have risen above there station. Indeed thr Elector of Hanover becoming King of England can be viewed as a successful example, Hanover itself may not have benefitted but the Saxe-Coburg dynasty certainly did.

When I started in game year 1702 Prussia had an Army of 33F, 48 Cav 4Fa, a yacht club of less than 10 vessals all told. Ok this isn't the initial start position. I guess Prussia has a slightly larger army as a % of population to reflect historical facts.

Saxony could be a major player position if it can keep it's ties to Poland, & make them work in an efficent way. Easier said than done admittedly.

Leige-Kln also has potential snapping up Lorraine is possiable if somewhat dangerous with out French permission, Pfalz could also be secured.

It is probably fair to say that in 1700 at the game start there is a lot of potential for a lot of the German states to increase there power & influence. It is a case of who is ready to bite the bullet & search for Glory.

Bavaria is land locked, it's only way to expand is probably diplomatically, if it tries the military option it will get into trouble with other members of HRR, or France. A couple of royal marriages could tie in Wurtemburg & Baden. Getting a member of the family installed as Archbishop of Leige-Kln ( as was historically the case) would open doors there as well. To become Kaiser, Bavaria lacks the military clout at least initially. To get any way near there needs to be a degree of German unification that will run into trouble with the neighbours. If Bavaria could tie it's colours to the Austrian flagpole then there may be a case for an Austro-Bavarian position instead of an Austro-Hungarian one. It would draw Austria into Germany & away from the balkans which could put a differant angle on German & therefore European play.

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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by J Flower on Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:38 am

I see there is a part of the G7 thread about historical play.

Do we need to play Historically, or can we cast of the chains & do as we feel fit for our relevant position.

We can be guided by the history book but do we need to copy it?

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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by Guest on Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:21 pm

J Flower wrote:Do we need to play Historically, or can we cast of the chains & do as we feel fit for our relevant position.
We can be guided by the history book but do we need to copy it?

This really brings you back to the first question on this topic.

LGDR is described by Agema as Counterfactual History, although I think that the further games move away from 1700 the more it becomes an exercise in alternative history. The rules are flexible enough for players to chose their own course, but if you suddenly want to make a radical departure from the historical constraints of a particular country, you will encounter resistance. This could be from your own nobles, other players or the referee.

Often the easiest course is to follow what your nation did historically, but to only do that would be rather boring and defeat the object of counterfactual history. Marxist historical accounts tend to stress the inevitability of events and the omnipotence of certain forces over mere human will: philosophically this is the opposite of counterfactual history. Within LGDR no nation is doomed to inevitable decline, though some are rather tough to play! For me what gives the game lasting appeal is that the more you research the history, the more ideas for possible game lines appear. On top of that players interpret their characters differently and have different playing styles. Others have made the observation that the way France is played in G7 is somewhat different to how it is played in G8. The more lucid and well researched the interpretation of the character, the more historical detail is brought into the game, the more enjoyable it is for all players. A good player should make others rise up to his level and challenge them to respond historically. Over the years there have been many examples of excellent play, but they all seem to share a respect for history and the conventions of the game.

It is, of course, possible to forget history, to play as either a wargame within the world of LGDR, or to proscribe behaviours/philosophies to your character so unhistoric that the idea of counterfactual history breaks down. Im sure there will be someone who knows the game far better than I do who can point out a time when the Shogun of Japan decided he would play as a Spanish King, or perhaps a Chinese Emperor colonised America or sent an armada to invade Spain? Crazy things do happen. But I think the game works best when the players operate within the historical framework of the positions they take on and act within the philosophies and models of behaviour of the time. Why play Venice if you have no interest in Italy or canals? There will of course be different interpretations of how characters should be played, and we did have a long discussion about how Louis was being played in G7. The Louis of the 1670s/80s had different priorities than he did in 1700. Perhaps 1700 rather than 1680 was chosen as a start date precisely because of this? Such differences of opinion can themselves be seen as examples of counterfactual history. With all the various options open for intelligent players to explore, there is no need to either copy the history book or ignore it.

I also happen to think that it is important to follow the lines each individual game has developed along. If you fail to understand the causes of current wars or the reasons some players don't seem to get on, then you are ignoring the history of that particular game. Nothing kills a game faster than repeated changes of allegiances, players who break treaties or disregard previous agreements. After all, how can you explore counterfactual history if the game itself loses touch with its own history?

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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by J Flower on Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:07 am

I think Louis has made a good point with in game history, if a game has been running for a number of years then it will eventually diverge from the written histories. The problem is then for new players comuing in, they may well have researched the period in question to the best of their ability but will come unstuck when they use that as a starting point in the game. I think most players are usually prepared to welcome new players and give them a brief biased introduction to the history of the game. It is certainly something I would encourage new players to ask for & hopefully other players are willing to give.
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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by Jason on Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:53 pm

I'd agree, most (if not all) players are very welcoming to newbies and help them out as best we can. Its one of the things I like about the games and the forum.

J Flower wrote:I think Louis has made a good point with in game history, if a game has been running for a number of years then it will eventually diverge from the written histories. The problem is then for new players comuing in, they may well have researched the period in question to the best of their ability but will come unstuck when they use that as a starting point in the game. I think most players are usually prepared to welcome new players and give them a brief biased introduction to the history of the game. It is certainly something I would encourage new players to ask for & hopefully other players are willing to give.

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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by Guest on Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:56 pm

Jason wrote:I'd agree, most (if not all) players are very welcoming to newbies and help them out as best we can. Its one of the things I like about the games and the forum.

Completely agree - it is very rare for players new to a position (even if not new to the game) to be deliberately pounced on. They may find themselves in a fix if they join in the middle of an existing war, but they would normally be indulged if not courted by current players during the first few months as they find their feet. Of course how long that period lasts depends on their own actions and there have been one or two high profile characters who seemed to join simply to be controversial or to attack existing players.

It is in everybody's interests to welcome new players, as without new players joining in, who will replace the old ones?

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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by J Flower on Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:44 pm

Maybe it would be an idea to have a brief summary, once a year in the game, just a few lines at the end of the year to let new players have at least a small inkeling as to what has gone before, there was a degree of that with the old economic reports. But maybe a list of major engagments, births & deaths would be a small pointer for new players in established games.

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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by Guest on Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:13 pm

Good idea, though it would need to be written by someone impartial!

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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by Stuart Bailey on Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:33 pm

The Real Louis of France wrote:Good idea, though it would need to be written by someone impartial!

Like me????? Very Happy Personally I would not trust that Watts fellow as I am sure several new players have started the game with briefings totally biased against me.

Ok I may have impaled the odd agema NPC but its not as if I do it that often.

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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by J Flower on Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:38 pm

I think you should be let off for good behavior Stuart, afterall it was only the one ambassador your troopers nailed to the door. could happen to anyone.

Maybe a brief summary could be sent each years end, or maybe the wikipedia bits could be a bit more often updated, the danger there is that differences of opinions could spill over. Maybe Richard could be talked around into a few lines as a form of summary, a bit like the summing up a tthe bottom of the old school reports, obviosly missing out the bits like could do better if he tried, or does your child actually attend our school as none of the teachers have ever seen him.

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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:40 pm

J Flower wrote:... does your child actually attend our school as none of the teachers have ever seen him.

How did you guess Question
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Jason
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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by Jason on Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:37 pm

The Real Louis of France wrote:
J Flower wrote:... does your child actually attend our school as none of the teachers have ever seen him.

How did you guess Question

Could be worse, could be...do you actually teach here as none of the kids recognise you...

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Re: Dangers of the History book.

Post by J Flower on Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:35 pm

As peace may be about to become a topic in G7, could it be that the protagonists will look to the history book for answers to there troubles, will it be a simple exchange of a couple of Boarder towns as was historically the case or is it going to be the C20th option of a war of destruction.

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