Habsburg Herald’s 1315 Game Review

Three Key Events of 1315

1. The Third Great War of Europe

The Grand Coalition of Western Europe, under the leadership (consecutively) of Ionut Dorin, King of Wallachia and Queen Giulia Aldobrandeschi of Flanders, reduced the Kievan territory to nearly nothing. However, the war ended without the Kievans leaving the game, or more accurately threatened to end without the Kievans leaving. Without such a decisive victory in sight, interests within the Grand Coalition diverged and soon some leaders decided no longer to pursue the Kievans. It was obvious to some that once the Grand Coalition gave up pursuing the routed enemies the enemies would regroup and once again become a menace. Nevertheless, the Coalition splintered and the war came to a silent end.

2. The Wallachian Crisis 

I initially wanted to list “The Great Trials of 1315” (as Guglielmo named it) as the second key event, but I was satisfied merely mentioning it as part of the description of the Wallachian Crisis. 

No doubt for any good or decent game, the presence of veterans and the continued mentorship that veterans can provide is important. King Ionut Dorin, King Hector Barbossa and their team of friends were such figures in the history of this game, and this writer has been a key beneficiary of their generosity and friendship. Therefore, I selfishly proclaim that the demise of this group of veterans would be the second key event of the year.

What happened prior to their frustrated exit from the game was a Great Trial Abuse, when “[t]here were days on [the] forum when the first 3 pages of unread posts were just [Wallachia’s] ridiculous trials.” (George Killian). Again, these series of trials were caused by the Kievans’ tricky ways.

3. The Invasion of Austria

Near the end of the year, the Kievans, with their newly earned/enslaved Hungarian allies invaded the then Duchy of Austria and took for Hungary several pieces of territory. When this happened, most of Western Europe expected and hoped that the Grand Coalition could be revived and the Kievan threat could be dealt with. That did not happen, and quite remarkably Western Europe stood by while vultures plucked off the carcass of a friend. However, it was understandable why the leaders acted this way. With the failure of the Grand Coalition during the Third Great War and the embarrassing end of the Wallachian leadership, few would have had the courage to dare mobilise half of the game population to meet the challenge. In fact, perhaps if I were a king not in a close alliance with Austria, I would have done the same thing. Perhaps history would judge these Western actors more harshly.

What happened after the disastrous invasion, was that Austria and Bavaria, in either a stroke of brilliance or in a moment of folly merged to form an Archduchy of Austria. Never before have a nation been born in such ignominious circumstances.

Until today, the Kievans have not shown any sign of further encroachment.

Person of the Year

The Kievan Soldier (not the leader)

I would resist celebrating the leadership, although grudgingly I must applaud their efforts. However, this year I wish to honour the nameless, under appreciated, and sometimes neglected common soldier of Kiev – who probably can’t even or would never read these words. The way they stayed in the game despite having their state tore into shreds in the early part of 1315 speaks volumes about their honour and loyalty. The victories towards the end of the year wouldn’t have been possible if these common soldiers failed to stay on and fight.

Honourable mentions: None. Most behaved most dishonourably. We ought to reflect and strive to do better this year.

Closing remarks

I was motivated to write this post, because I suddenly thought about the previous Game Reviews I have written. It appears I have written Game Reviews for 2012 and 2014 – but not 2013. And I was determined that I wouldn’t give 1315 a miss. It was helpful that I kept records of several moments of the game through my forum magazine (link). Much of the material in this post is drawn from that forum magazine.

Some of us believed we would start the year again with conflict. And indeed many sources are apparent. I can only wish that this time we show a little more conviction, a little more trust and a bit more solidarity. Let us learn from the common soldiers of Kiev, instead of from proud kings and queens.

On a separate note, I wish all of us a happy new year, success and happiness.

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David von Habsburg

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