Life is always there...Sail on!
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Before taking final decision to definitively begin this actual Game, I made a series of optimizing experiences, about from hyper-rapid expansions to mass ship-gathering, from time saving measures to automate pirate punishment. I am todays finally about realizing another huge time-saver praxis, that I need most repeatable results and a spare time in beside my actual Game, to formulate the process as I wish.
As always, I modified the last Roland/Ugh! Map, I brutally increased Beer Production, and added some drama to Grain Production also. This eases some problems of the first year, that "annoy" greatly. On the other hand, I dismounted 5 Self-Sufficient-Region Concepts; as this reduces logistics fun... So all southern regions are without Whale oil, for exemple.
Applying Turkish Building is more than a costly diversion in the first years of the Game, as any resource production (money+material) can not cope with well-known voracious requirements of the Technique.
So the Game begun. Patrician Level, Hometown Riga... Riga is one my favourite towns, as this is one of the 8 KneipenAuftrage centers, with often a captain. This practice became an absolute beginning action for my games. You will obtain a fully upgraded crayer after escort/fugitive mission; then by you will have 2 pirate ships under your command after first or second day of the Game. Crayer will thereafter down white/black coggies, while snaikka will wipe small whiteies.
Every second is precious in the first two months. My 40th Kontor was founded at 4.6.1300. Simultaneously, I ,'tried' to establish firstly a triplets of brick and pitch works, 'as possible' followed by one or two timber mill. Salt importing cities are vital in these first months, all possible quantites are bought and kept as a precious asset for future use. You may add Hemp *and then* Fish to this list, fortunately the Game begins with a huge stocks on all Marketplaces @264, so all possible goods was also bought and kept, while money permits the commands... Then Iron goods, is to be secured in the ships' cargo holds, *not* for sale but for fueling your construction orders. Then Wine and Spice, to be secured as quickly and continuously as possible, to finance construction operations, while bringing an important income and reputation. In this phase, it is also time to think to establish Arbitrage Elements, and each-city's-own supply convoys... All Mediterranean Trade Centers may be discovered at this timeline. With this abundant number of ships, all southern industrial and exotic products are ripe to be picked by your quickly and easily established glorious convoys. Another level-3 crayer may sail to Atlantic, for onward transmission to American Land.
Your quickly rising reputation in the Whole Hanse, will cross your road with a suitor in the eve of June 1300; to possibly decide to marry with a respectable wife, with a cog and crayer as a dowry.
In early August 1300, all white competition was wiped, Naval Yards at Edinburgh are producing 700'er hulks. Once you developed this Edinburgh Yard to its full capacity, every captured pirate ships are of 250, 350, 550 and 700'er tonnage... Good to be on standards!! Simultaneously you begun to swim in bombards/mortars and cannons too. Than repeat this process in neighboring cities and so on.
In the end of summer, Mediterranean Pottery, Wine, Cloth, Spices etc. begun to flock in all cities. This will add a massive amount of income, reputation and happiness.
First Winter to be passed with some micromanagement on survival goods, especially grain. Sometimes depleted stocks may lead a 'dissatisfied' mood, you have to act to do the necessary.
Encircled between these storming events, you prepare to celebrate the first New Year 1301, first 8 months of your career... Looking through your Mayor Mansion's window to your convoys at Port of Riga under heavy snow, you are hearing the whisper of your wife, her head leaned to your shoulder:
" The Hanse is Yours"...
Name: MoS von Baulöwensburg
Company Value: 54.9 Mio, 143K in cash
Ships: 1 146
Sailors: 11 846
Very heavy ship gathering, very humble construction operations...Beside precision-promoting level-2 walls in all cities. Simple but efficient arbitrage elements on most lucrative goods, made secure cashflow. All necessary convoys are busily operational. The residents are treated in *tightest-possible* Satisfied mood, with highest-possible selling prices according this status. At this year end, I am positioned mostly on huge-stacked goods in every kind at ship's cargo holds, ready to use wherever and whenever.
Year of 1302 will be a simultaneous blitzbuilding period in all cities, and give Company Value Curve a skyrocketing acceleration. Actually-automated movement system of the strategically deployed War-Fleet will give sufficient construction time for the rest of the Game.
Well, I am very satisfied with WarFleet's performance, but for perfect automation, there is more to tweak on some parameters:
-firearm distribution or (combined) firearm yield
-staff composition and distribution
-captain's sailing and fighting skills.
Actually I am far from be sure to define a "Critical Mass" that fits all ship types of the Blackies. Better not to bother until the appearence of the Full Capacity / Standard Vessels...Then all the experiments were done.. Beside mostly spectacular results; I am not happy with some engagements that end by randomly sinking of the target.
I will almost begin to feel that pirates have some small different behavior modes and staff numbers, according to their Names.
The current matter is to apply, preferably a formula (if not: more formulae) to provoke the target to attack, and finish off it by capturing. This system is performing under 'simultaneous' conditions:
-There is 100 Pirate Maps (Avenge My Brother Missions)
-Always 2 Escort/Fugitive Missions; given between 8 towns.
-Countless Patrol Missions
-After accepting Pirate's Nest Blow Missions, every day from Edinburgh, five ships of the same type emerges. So one day 5 snaikkas, another day 5 cogs, then 5 hulks, then 5 crayers and so on. Always @ lvl-2 upgraded.
So at the bottom line, this made 282 ships in 2 months, with simultaneous heavy construction business. Logistic supply of all cities is not a problem since months ago.
Another image just for a comparison... 161 new ships in a Month.
The shifting in Median Condition was partially due to pounded status of the newly acquired ships, but mostly because I drove my biggest convoys to icebergs until ca. '45' health. Then let them repair in other Naval Yards to spectacularly accelerate the process to bring them to full potential.
Above document was taken at the very first moments of May 1301. The salvoes have fallen exactly on target... 163 ships in a Month; sustained and repeatable... This convinced me to make a small projection for min. 1800 ships / year ratio. As my objective with this game: 2 000 Captains, 20 000 Ships, and 200 000 Sailors. Assured about WarFleet performance, I may report all Hanseatic Waters are..Clean!
Of course, these results were not granted from thin air.. There are 240 armed ships currently surveying Hiding Zones, and 32 others (8 naval bases x 4 ships) are missioned for Escort / Fugitive sorties.. ca. 70 more are actually moored in all other ports of North and Baltic Sea, ready to accept Patrol Missions. Some speedy Crayers are handling rear-guard duties. So a stunning total of 126 convoys, formed with the best ships (a total of ca. 380) of the Hanse, equipped also with elite staff and state-of-the-art hardware...
Here below you will see a to-date situation of the WarFleet's allocation... Supply Convoys were temporarily stopped at their servicing ports, for clean appearence of the Strategic Deployment.
There are actually 2 convoys on every and all 100 pirate map spot. There will be soon 3 convoys, for not permit overcrippling, and some more crayers will also be used to cover still blank areas.
On the other hand, construction programs are finally begun to be applied in a concrete manner. Brick and Timber production potential were already widespread, and Brick Yards and Timber Lodges are now full-bodied. Salt is abundant, with medium-scaled Hemp production, they both mainly supporting food-services. Iron Goods were scarce at the beginning, but with early and rapid construction of Iron Ore smelters (to also support city productions), this bottleneck were eliminated long since. There is also some triplets of Whale Oil installations of the North. Not yet any skin production, but on the queue.
As in every Game for me, exploiting the potentials of Mediterranean Harbour Towns to the full... is now mandatory. Most southern productions were more or less / partially financed by selling (already) big overproduction of northern Beer.
Once material and money scarcity is not a deep concern, some months ago, I dared to make a diversion, if not a phantasy.
I (with difficulty) applied this project only in my hometown, beloved Riga. This is actually the only town with a complete level-2 wall, with Mayoral-intervention of course.
Riga is actually a shelter for 3460 happy inhabitants, actual biggest city of the known World.
EDIT d. Pinguin: Korrigiert (-> Fettdruck) nach Vorgabe des MoS.
Actual Game dates of 21.May.1301. A good occasion to write down and evaluate a year's outcome and process assessment.
SHIPS are all we need!
This doctrine is from a recent experiment, but actual Game was conducted under exactly the same planning and exact application:Quote
Originally posted by Mayor of Smyrna
...... under the command of my 1/5/4 captain, my first snaikka (she is now a Museum Ship at the Port of Riga) acted as a submarine in North Atlantic, when crossing an unprotected convoy. Ex. Pirate Crayer was under a 'short' repair at Malmö.. The '5' sailing ability of the captain was not a simple word here. I made several save/loads every time to find the best wind conditions as my capturings took 15-20 seconds each... Every captured snaikka was sent to a different port, from Novgorod to London (not directly however; beginning from the nearest port after the capture, and visiting all the cities in alignement en route to destination). I did not bother with their repair needs at this timeline. After reaching the ports, the ships firstly sold their items (only at very high prices = pure benefice) and begun to make a rotation with the nearest neighbour. In these rotations, every very cheap item + items in desperate need in the next port (again save/load every time) were bought, to be sold thereafter...and so on... On the go, every Tavern in every city was aforetime checked for captains, escort-fugitive missions (if the vessel is in a good shape) and Avenge-my-brother pirate hunting locality maps.
Meanwhile, as I was an humble brave shopkeeper.... arrived first building permission in tandem for Malmö - Boston at the night of 14.05.1300. I immediately found my first overseas trading office here (thus enabling myself to carry out activities in the local Weapons Smith there also_as selling surplus of firearms_) and my naval micro-management has gained more flexibility. Now all captured goods were poured to the office, and a sophisticated arbitrage system did not delayed to be established here.
All the surplus of the captured and after Malmö_emptied vessels (there was already [all-1] of my ships were as "captured"), were ordered now to set sail to Edinburgh, as the only pirate city. From the very beginning, except some critical and immediate ones, all my repairing tasks were accomplished in Edinburgh. ......
Of course, this kind of brutal start is not recommended for dove-like players. But I am not interested here with a clean(!) game as fresh snow, or playing the Game as it was conceived(!) to be played...
I will soon itemize the benefices of this start one by one. The results / advantages are clear and obvious. What I may object: as some players may actually wish that *may* this Game can not be played like this in the future... I reply: On the contrary, a sophisticated Game like Patrizier, may and will be played under all but all styles of playing...Everyone may choose and show her/his argumentation then. To make long story short, I wish the Playing Style of the Game will remain *As Is*. With Turkish Building, with Arbitrage, with actual Ship Gathering options, with possiblity to demolish competitive buildings, etc. etc..
So, being back on my tracks...When beginning to this Game (as maybe for all my others), my action plan was completely based on Blazing-Fast expansion in the whole area. This blitzkrieg of expansion:
1./ Will immobilize all of white competition,
2./ Permit me to put my hands on all "cheap" city stocks before they will be depleted,
3./ Establishing Kontors in every city to control what will happen there "before being too late",
4./ Dealing with all 40 cities "simultanously", thus rising reputation levels to never seen highs,
5./ Having a "big" fleet to rule the waves:
As this never changed since the first humans existed: Control means Power!
Ships are the only instrumental tools in this Game: Without ships, we are struck. So what will to do with ships, since first minutes of the Game:
1./ Firstly, must obtain as much as them,
2./ All map must be covered by your ships, the earlier, the better.
3./ Sell all (except Iron Goods, Hemp, Salt, Brick; if not badly needed, Timber also) "captured" Cargo at nearest port possible. Then a little later, a little bit farther. At first days of the Gameplay, there will not be a better action for rapid rep. gaining. Oh! Hot cash also...
4. Drive quickly those Iron Goods carriers to Permitted Cities for Kontor establishing.
5./ All map must be covered by your ships, the earlier, the better.
6./ Those captured Pirate Crayers... Choose 3 of them with 3 captains, make them Convoys and drove them to Mediterranean. Since August 1300, all 12 Med Centers are discovered. The legend waves in whole Hanse, the echoes returns to you as massive prestige gain and lucrative trade opportunities.
7./ One more crayer convoy for America.
8./ Quick! Establish arbitrage Convoys with 4/5 captains on Iron Goods, Skins... or with whatever may be used.
9./ All map must be covered by your ships, the earlier, the better.
Now you may take a little breather, and look around with attention. It's now time to think of economic penetration. At this turn, we will not wet our feet.
BRICKS are all we need!Quote
Originally posted by Mayor of Smyrna, 27.May.2004, 03.52 at PatricianWorld Board
With this last "Stettin Experiment" in mind, I'm applying now this knowledge in Lübeck again, over my previous 52 000_populated (with 300 workplaces+88 fisheries) buildup. In this Patrician 3 game, really: BRICK IS EVERYTHING...
When this' done and obtain the new number of population in Lübeck, I'll evaluate the total Hanse population by proportional comparing of each city inhabitants, over Che fugger's savegame, and continue to precise building on other cities.
I'm yet finding possible to reach ca. 1 500 000 inhabitants in the whole Hanse on Standard Map with a "very clean" shot.
After founding Trade Offices, the second important priority (before doing someting else about constructions) is to establish.. triplets of Brick Yards *everywhere possible*. 30 Bricks+3IG+3Timber+3000 Thaler for that, is not detrimental. After only 5 Days, they are ready.. Ready to produce this blood of contruction...ready to attract more people. At the beginninig phase, if conditions permit, one must go until having 3 x 3 = 9 Brick Yards in everywhere possible to built them. Effective or Low Production ratio is not so important.
In My Game, I intentionally did not give more priority to Pitch Boilers, as this Good is mainly needed for naval yards, but I already have Yardloads of ships.
So in the first wave of construction, Brick Yards are Nr._1 of priority. This is not to be discussed for me. But as known, the Generalities must always be articulated to other support arguments; this brick story is not an exception.
PER process of aligning 9 Brick Yards:
3 Timber Lodge
3 Grain Farm
is needed at first hand. They must not needed be on the same location of course. I suppose at this phase, all City-Supply Convoys are already up and running. Finally, Fish is also (for this moment) abundant at most of MarketPlaces; so after this operation, you secured this Big Four...In the process of establishing this solid base of the pyramid, you have simultanously to conduct another Sub-Operation that will support this Big4: Some triplets of Hemp Farms and Salt Works...
An then, if you finally can manage to scatter some triplets of IG Workshops and Iron Ore Smelters somewhere possible, you may take another little breather, and look around again with calm attention.
By the way, you have to be married and get elected as Mayor.
I took this screenie of Personal info from Windau, because in Riga, my reputation had decreased.
Then, the beginning of the beginning ended. But our work is not yet done. Just one last major operation: Distribution / Selling of the Goods by Kontor Administrators; so all city-supply-convoys will only be busy for dispatching Goods.
At this very early stages of the Game, every minute and every penny is precious. By 40 supply-convoys, you can then eliminate from the very early months, the facts and risks of accumulations (money lost) and shortages (money lost) at all served cities. For medieval PR operations and Social Engineering applications, there is no need to be so kind to the people. The more you give, the more they demand... So are the decisions of Hanseatic Politburo and Presidium:
A correct treatment is largely sufficient (not to forget under "annoying" conditions, all construction operations will suffer heavily).
After all, as in real life, "if we will minimize our ambitions, our disappointments will be minimized also"..... Recommended to everyone, except myself.
I wish to forward this thread with some laterally-conducted discussions. Maybe it's too monotonous to follow standings, after standings... So some notes, comments, jokes, announcements, braggings, documents etc. will be added; always getting adhered to the subject of this section.
So, for those who did not already see, I wish to present:
Magna Carta of all Hanse Maps*
* The Carta Marina by Olaus Magnus (1490-1557) is the earliest detailed map of the Nordic countries. It took twelve years to finish. The first copies were printed in 1539 in Venice. Its existence had long been considered apocryphal, until a copy was discovered in Munich in 1886. Another copy, found in Switzerland in 1962, now resides at Carolina Rediviva, Uppsala, Sweden.
The map is divided in 3×3 sheets with the dimension 55x40 cm (height×width), each made from a separate woodcut block. The notes on the map in Latin were translated by Olaus himself into the Italian and German language. Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus (Rome, 1555) is a much larger commentary on the map.
For an in-depth study of this beautiful Map: http://bell.lib.umn.edu/map/OLAUS/MAP/indexm.html
To save this Map as a document of Reference, a glorious scan with incredible details, of 5.21 MB of File: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carta_Marina.jpeg
This Carta Marina is very inspiring, indeed.
Some other items of value, for ambitious traders:
Incredible but true!
In Icelandic Waters, between Hamburger and Scott, hulks engaging...
402 years before the Battle of Denmark Strait, a naval clash showing Bismarck (built @ Blohm & Voss, Hamburg) versus (Scapa Flow/ islands @ Northern Scotland) seesawed Hood.
Just I could not resist to post!..
Since the beginning, 1915 ships were already inventoried for Grand Fleet.
As for a reference , I wish to present my habitual Ship Naming Convention:
At first, while naval yards are far from full capacity, the ships are labeled as follows:
Type:................Level 1...........Level 2...........Level 3
Labeled......Snaikka 015......Snaikka 12.....Snaikka 90
Labeled.......Crayer 028.......Crayer 23......Crayer 180
Labeled..........Cog 045...........Cog 37...........Cog 290
Labeled.........Hulk 055...........Hulk 45..........Hulk 350
When full capacity is reached, I simply use the type of the ship as label, for *all* non-upgraded vessels. For level 2 and level 3 units, canonic nomenclature continues to be used; for all other units, Name-Follows-Function.
In May of 1301, some important foundation-stones were finally laid down; these elements will become pivoting axis in future development:
- City Supply Convoys (when I talk about 40 supply-convoys, one must obviously see [X Nr. of supply convoys] = [ 40 Cities ] - Depot(s).. In actual Game, I followed classical 5 RegionalLager approach.
1./Scarborough: All english coast
2./Gröningen: From Köln to Ripen
3./Göteborg: Western+central scandinavian coast, Aalborg, Naestved
4./Stettin: All southern baltic coast, from Flensburg to Memel.
5./Reval: NorthernBaltic, from Visby to Nowgorod.
So these 35 Supply Convoys were recently passed from a complete overhaul, all ancient and sub-standard vessels were discontinued. Now, every convoy was compiled with brand-new hulk 500's.. Formed by 12 hulks, carrying capacity of each convoy reached to ca. 6000 fass, for cities of 4500 to 5000 inhabitants. For 3 river cities, a convoy of 25 crayer 30's were reserved, a total capacity of 7500 fass each. During all this service, Brick and Fish will be excluded. Least experienced Captains were hired for this transport-only duty, as this post is ideal for them to improve their skills. Orlogs were formed by adding only 4 bombards+20 staff.
- Arbitrage Groups were reorganized also, now with only 5/x/x Captains and Cog 045's. I use every possible commodity suitable for the job, even Beer.
Not forming Outriggers yet... I may be completely wrong, but after all those years of Gaming, it seems that being a Captain of an Outrigger is an ideal post to 'rapidly' gaining experiences of all categories. Initially I choose crappiest captains for them, but after a while I find an 1/5/4 or 5/2/1 captain!! After ca. 5000/6000 inhabitants per City, Outriggers become a source of revenue, beside prestige.
Thank you very much for your last and informative post about Naval Construction; rich in long calculations and refinements; it took its place in my 'Game Data Documents'/Patrician III folder. Since I am mostly interested in Cargo Holds' Capacity, I may humbly add my last action (it is one of the other important events of this May 1301):
- Now, as of 1.Jun.1301, all 40 Naval Yards of the Hanse are constructing full-capacity vessels, in every category, in every Yard. This was mainly because I drove many hundreds of my vessels to the Icebergs in March 1301 until falling to ca. 45 health. Then I disbanded some of the convoys to make a reasonable simultaneous yield to every (not yet fully-developed) Naval Yard. In a very short period, they were upgraded to full capacity. During the process, just some millions of Thaler evaporated... In sum, I am now enjoying to be on Standard-Gauge everywhere; in addition, after most of these actual Impounds, I am obtaining a 025 snaikka or 035 crayer.. Cool, indeed!
- All player houses in all cities were subject to Very High Rents.. Any problem until now.
- Meanwhile, I transfered most of my Commodity Stock from Ships to Regional Depots now. The bulk of my Brick and Timber continues however to be kept on convoys; I am mostly building "from-the-convoy"... Since the Production has gained todays a full-fledged acceleration and thanks to precise supply and arbitrage activities - > going hand-in hand with an immense program of construction... cashflow is not a concern anymore. So relatively high depot rents may now be tolerated. Since right now, after a year from the first gold, the Game is "unsinkable".
Just a small addendum to above message, posted some hours ago:
Local Prince, this blue-blooded LandLord, after two successfull sieges months ago, has turned his greedy eyes to prospering beautiful misty London. His very first attack of the Game was organized to Edinburgh; those brave Highlanders managed to repulse the assault of the troops. Beside sinking the town into the Beer, I did not to bat an eyelid.
The other 2 attacks were succeeded however; he spoiled ca. 160K of gold after each. In this Game, I am conducting a Neither Give nor Sell Anything to Landlord policy...With this in my 'actual' mind and realizing my inexcusable inertia during those last 2 sieges, at this 4th turn, I quickly acted before being too late.
As seen, our boys have done the job:
And this one below is after a quick fast-forward:
Whoa! This is not much worth the trouble!
Of course, in Riga, I did not forget to increase my BathHouse visiting cycles from weekly to daily.... just to be sure to keep memories of my colleagues, at their strongest.
" C'est la vie, mon Cher.. La Vie est un théâtre"..........
Originally written in the Diary
..When the light of day first gleamed in her eyes , we knew that she would become the light of our lives!
As a father of a 12 year old " nearest and dearest daughter", I loved this depiction.
Meanwhile, nasty events did not interrupt, to permit me to deal with family pleasures as I hoped to.
Enraged and completely vengeful, Local Prince amassed his troops and wished to show his might once again, conducting an offensive before one of the biggest towns, Scarborough. Actually, this great center of trade and production, either an important crossroad for all country-wide dispatching... is under constant threat. The people is shaken and demoralized. To establish (already tight) satisfaction level, local distribution network is forced to its extreme, as commodity stock at town's marketplace is doubled. However, all inhabitants are convinced that there is a solid political will that will not abandon the City to the mercy of those predators.
This is the 5th assault since the beginning of the Game and 3 were arisen in english mainland... At any rate, my work with the Prince will never be done.. I will do all my possible to dry all his alimenting sources and test his pain threshold...
In July 1301, it is planned that two important milestones will be reached:
Firstly, I will post a total inhabitant chart, that will exceed 200 000 people for the first time. This means, soon, in nearly all cities, another Construction Company more will be under duty. Therefore, Capacity Utilisation and related to this, Production Values will gain another acceleration.
Secondly, constant development of the Grand Fleet (very soon 200 Captains /2000 Ships /20 000 Crew corner will be turned), either in Commercial and Warfare domains will permit to spread our activities to a wider sphere of influence...In this regard, a comprehensive program of colonization in the New World is underway. On the other hand, constant increase in our global production will very soon permit our merchants to develop more sophisticated Trade Contracts in the mediterranean basin.
Who rules the Oceans will rule the World.
Well, I recently returned from a fascinating Voyage to Novgorod... The City of the far end of the world, famous with her "white nights". Located at the center of north-western frontiers of the Russian lands and at the crossroads of trade routes, Novgorod the Great has been exciting steady interest of Europeans since the early days of its history. Merchants, diplomats, travelers and scientists stopped off at the city on their journeys and got to know a far and mysterious Muskovy starting with the lands of Novgorod. The significance of Novgorod for contacts with Europe was so impressively great that some north-western map makers had thought it to be the center of the Russian state until the early 16th century. For Europeans it was a part of the national symbol, the national myth, a part of the poetic image of Russia, and in this perspective it was attractive and persists to be attractive for tourists, businessmen, scholars and politicians.
Novgorod Torg (Marketplace)
The settlement of the territory occupied by the present-day Novgorod dates back to the second half of the ninth to the tenth centuries. At that time, the military and administrative center of Priilmenye was situated at the very head of the river Volkhov. It was a fortified small town (gorodische) which controlled the movement on the transit waterway routes of Eastern Europe, that is, from the Baltic Sea on the Volga route to the Arabic East and the route from the Varangians to the Greeks leading to the south, to the Byzantine Empire. Since the early 19th century, this place has been referred to as Rurikovo Gorodische. In 1999, the Gorodische was integrated in the administrative territory of Novgorod the Great.
The middle and the second half of the tenth century witnessed the active settlement of Volkhov banks following the Gorodische. Clay soil and the hilliness of the land made Novgorod's first settlers pave walkways and courts and develop drainage systems there.
Novgorod and Hansa
The Hanseatic League represented a strategic trade partner of medieval Novgorod which in the 14th - 16th cc. consolidated North German cities with Lubeck in the head (officially till 1669).
The Hanseatic league was established to provide safe trade on better terms and conditions as it mediated between productive regions of Eastern, Northern, Western and partially Central Europe, gaining great profit out of that. There are two periods in the history of Hansa:
* 11th - 13th cc. as the so called time of "merchant Hansa", when the first merchant unions centered in Visbu (Gothland) were created.
* 14th - 16th cc. as the time when the "The Hanseatic League of cities and towns" (Lubeck, Bremen, Hamburg, Stralsund, etc.) based on "merchant Hansa". In 1356 it was called "German Hansa".
In 1356 the league of the cities and towns "German Hansa" were finally formed. The league aimed North German merchant protecting. The convention was the superior body. All the decisions made by the convention majority were obligatory to be carried out by all the Hanseatic cities and towns incl. ones that were not represented at the convention for some reason. The league never had strict border limits and thus, in its heyday Hansa united up to 100 cities and towns.
Hansa heyday resulted from the victory over Denmark (1367 - 1370) in the war of safe and free sailing in the Sound. The channel connected the Baltic with the North Sea and was essential for Hansa trade. Hansa didn't have constant finances, army or navy and its armaments consisted of the army and navy of different cities. Nevertheless, Hansa won the war against the most powerful at that time enemy the kingdom of Denmark and on May 24, 1370, there was the Treaty of Stralsund concluded. It assured the Hanseatic League of safe and privileged trade. Moreover, 4 fortresses on the East Sound were given to the Hanseatic League along with the two thirds of duty on them. The kingdom of Denmark also agreed to such humiliating conditions as not to elect any new kings without consent of the Hanseatic League. The Treaty finally resulted in trade monopoly of Hansa in the Baltic.
Novgorod was the leading trade partner of the medieval Hansa in Eastern Europe during its existence. Novgorod exported goods that had been also brought from other Russian lands. There was one of the greatest Hanseatic depots, located in Novgorod, along with all the others in London, Brugge, Bergen.
…In the 11th -12th cc. Novgorod had already got trade outpost of Gotland merchants - so called St. Olavhof ("hof" for "courtyard", German) with the church of St. Olav which was called "Varangian Chapel" by the Novgorodians. It was damaged by the fire of 1152 when former Novgorod marketplace was burnt down. There was Novgorod coaching inn with a church in Visby (Gotland) - the remains of it are still over there.
Later in the 12th c. German merchants primarily from Lubeck and other North German cities and towns came to Novgorod. They founded St. Peterhof in Novgorod - the courtyard of St. Peter (named after St. Peter Church of 1192).
Nowadays the Gothic courtyard has been replaced by the hotel "Rossiya" and the German courtyard - damaged by ages - is right opposite the Church of the Assumption on the Marketplace between ancient Slavnaya and Ilina streets (present Bolshaya Moskovskaya street).
Forming "The Hanseatic League of cities and towns" Lubeck and Visby resulted in uniting Gothic and German courtyards in Novgorod under mutual governing. The courtyards were connected with the road that passed through prince's courtyard.
Hansa courtyards didn't have constant population. The Germans came to Novgorod twice a year - in summer and winter. Being like fortresses the courtyards were paled with logs.
Inside the courtyards there were:
* a church where steven (general meeting) was held and daily merchant issues were dealed; the most valuable goods were also kept in there;
* two - storey houses ('doris'es) where merchants lived with their stewards and apprentices;
* premises for trade and goods storage ('klet's);
* a big chamber, clerks room, a mill, brewery and a hospital.
In the evening there were courtyard gates tight closed, dogs let loose inside, guard being on duty.
Novgorod officials had no rights to interfere with the internal afairs of the Hansahof. Thus, Novgorod depots was the most independent and isolated from the city it is located in comparing to all the other Hansa depots in London, Brugge, Bergen, etc.
As the only thoroughfare of the city, the river Volkhov was the main determinant of Novgorod's layout. Street walkways situated in the left-bank area, called Sophia side, were arranged in lines parallel and perpendicular to the river. The landmark for planning there was St. Sophia Cathedral (1045-1050). On the right bank, along with the axial Slavnaya street, the junction of streets was the Marketplace (Torg), originally located somewhat south of the Yaroslavovo Dvorische.
By the 11th century, Novgorod was already organized as a city with several administrative districts, called kontsy. There were three of them: Nerevsky and Lyudin on Sophia side and Slavensky on Marketplace side.
In the twelfth century, the plan structure of Sophia side became more radial, owing that to the construction of the Great bridge (located roughly in the place of the modern pedestrian bridge), the construction of the city fortress, the Detinets, and the rapid expansion of the city in area.
In the thirteenth century, the area between Nerevsky and Lyudin districts is becoming known as Zagorodye and is subsequently given the status of Zagorodsky district (konets). The span between the 12th and 13th centuries is the time of development of another district, named Plotnitsky and located north of Slavensky konets, in Marketplace side. These city districts had their own administration and enjoyed the right to proportional representation in supreme power institutions, e.g. the elective offices of posadnikovs and tysyatskies. In the 14th to 15th centuries, they formed the basis of the Novgorod state democracy.
The planning of Novgorod was strongly affected by churches and monasteries newly constructed within and beyond the limits of the city. Parochial churches were amalgamated to form cathedral areas. In the 15th century, there were 7 cathedral areas in Novgorod which comprised 160 churches.
In 1372, the Novgorodians began building a wall and a ditch of Okolny town, which was supposed to close the boundaries of the medieval city. The total length of this earthwork was over 7 km. Every street of the city ended in a stone passage tower which opened the way outside Novgorod. The city had drainage based on the elaborate system of water ditches and natural channels, and some plots of land were reserved for Novgorod's further development. In the 1360s, official documents started to name the city Novgorod the Great.
Novgorod Trade with Hansa
Export and Import
Due to Novgorod there was a thriving trade between old-Russia and Hansa. Thus, the leading medieval Russian exports included furs and wax, being highly valued all around Europe. There were a lot of western European monarchs and persons of distinctions wearing expensive fur coats, and hats made of rich Novgorod furs of ermine, sable, marten; Russian wax candles were lit on the grand altars of gothic cathedrals.
As squirrel fells as they are were the most saleable, they were abundantly exported to Western Europe. The most valuable furs were counted in pieces or sometimes in 'soroka's (Russian 'sorok' stands for English 'forty' pieces), squirrel fur - in hundreds or thousands or vats (up to 12 thousand fells could be placed in a vat). In 1350s a German merchant Wittenborg sold about 65,000 fells in three years. They were squirrel fells mainly, brought from Novgorod. In 1418 - 1419 another merchant Foeckinghausen bought 29000 fells in spite of ban against trade with Novgorod caused by disagreement between partners that used to happen sometimes.
According to A. L. Khoroshkevich, a researcher of ancient Novgorod trade, in the 14th - 15th cc. Novgorod annually exported over 500000 fells to Western countries.
Apiculture (collecting honey and wild beeswax), widespread in old-Russia, provided abundant wax exporting. Volga region, lands of Smolensk, Polock, Muromsk, Ryazan and Novgorod districts ('pyatina's) supplied Novgorod market with wax. From here it was imported to Western market by Hansa and Russia. Wax was sold in "wheels". Each wheel was supposed to be of a certain weight (in the 15th c. - about 160 kg) and certain quality that was certified by a special official seal imprinting "God's good" on wax. That meant that being spurious the good had been approved by God.
Along with furs and wax during the last decades of independence age and even later the Novgorodians exported leather, leather goods, incl. footwear, to Western countries. Sometimes they exported some agriculture goods and game birds (falcons).
A lot of essential goods were imported from Western countries as well. Most of them were sold in other Russian cities. Expensive fabrics especially broadcloth, nonferrous metal used in many arts were the most popular.
Goods of local weavers met all the demands of the population for daily life clothes. As for festive dressing, noble Novgorodians preferred to buy fabrics brought from abroad. The cloth produced in Ypre, Gent, Brugge in Flanders was the most popular. According to Russian chronicles, the Ypre broadcloth and scarlet (one of red colour) considered to be an expensive present for important people.
Hansa merchants brought here brass, lead, tin and other essential crafts materials, incl. alum used for leather tanning, parchment production. Imported Baltic amber was used for making jewellery; imported arsenic, quicksilver, vitriol were used in crafts as well.
Baltic herring, salt, and bread (in case of lean year) were also imported. According to a chronicler, in 1231 the Germans brought bread ands thus, saved the exhausted Novgorodians from starving to death.
Hansa merchants brought here French, Hispanic, Rhine and Greek wines. Moreover, in Novgorod courtyards the Germans brewed beer, mainly for themselves, and partially for sale.
Breaking bans from the West, caused by often wars with Novgorod, Hansa merchants sometimes brought arms and horses.
Crushed and stripped to the brick, burned down and robbed many times in its history, Novgorod nevertheless resurrected every time, rebuilt anew and remained undefeated and proud. Perhaps, there is something special in this land - maybe, memories of the former power and wealth, maybe traditions of the veche republic - which helps Novgorodians even today to find their own way of development and looking at life.
I just momentarily did stop because I am realizing that I came to the parting of the ways. The Game is on the beginning of July 1301. Some critical / strategic decisions must be taken now...and never be re-discussed thereafter.
Let's see at first the climatic conditions:
* Level-2 walls in some cities are recently completed, others will be completed in a very near future. So bigger protected zone for real estate properties.
* 5000 inhabitants threshold in some cities are recently exceeded, others will be exceeded in a very near future. So one Construction Company more.
* 2000+ ships are under use, all supply-convoys, fighting ships, captain/traveler ferries, arbitrage convoys, depot ships, construction convoys are all operational. Logistical performance measurement and evaluation system reporting any bottlenecks.
* Beside (in order of: be lacking) Skins, Cloth, Wine, Wool, Meat+Leather, Honey; and to some extent, Pottery, Spice... there is an abundance on all survival goods, for 200 000 people. So any concern about global pop number and its conservation and happiness. Brick, Timber and Iron Goods (Hemp is a little scarce) are sufficient, but not at a high level of "Hanse-wide" promoting Turkish Building style.
* Money is not tight but is not is not river-babbling either. Actual Game is still in the green after weekly balance-sheets, but without arbitrage elements, this structure / style of rapid expansion seems not standing for ages.
Beside these main facts, extensive loan-giving (very lucrative job: either for "very high" interested repayments or ship impoundings, after deadlines), high frequentness of "all" mediterranean trade stations, encouraging fellow Mayors to increase their military potential to contain 'LandLord'ly agression.. are habitual / actual practices. Since some months, Pirate's Nest alderman missions are successfully accomplished, thus being another good mine of supplementary ships, to be exploited in the future also.
Flagship of the WarFleet: Mayor's Dragon
So ended a meeting in the Riga Town Hall..Quote
Originally posted by Higher Planning Council of Riga
After evaluated all relevant factors and judge impartially actual socio-economic conjuncture... and considering the potential of all 40 cities of ca.5000 pop. each, Higher Planning Council of Riga reached to below decisions:
* Actual self and combined potential of all cities was found insufficient to immediately undertake a coordinated and exhaustive Construction Program across the Hanse. While constantly taking rigoruos care to people's ever-growing health, sheltering and nourishment needs, a widespread development of construction materials sector must be prioritized.
* To haste in a probable exhaustive program of construction before globally reaching 10 000 pop. in every city (a total of 400 000 inhabitants), will be an ill-judged action and certainly risks of a disappointing failure and bankruptcy.
* To begin Turkish Style building without compromise, level-3 walls of every city must at least be wireframed. Actual and near-future Brick yield of the global production will be biased on the construction of level-3 walls.
* More or less 1000 Brick Yards and related Timber, Iron Goods and Hemp support must be present for an uninterrupted Hanse-wide material supply. Financial Circles must be willing to provide constant money flow to construction sites. In the context of money economization, radical measures must be taken. Actual monetary system and economic situation is judged highly volatile. A production increase on luxury goods and favour their use among the richer class, is what's actually most needed.
* All logistics activities of the GrandFleet were qualified flawless. Any bottleneck about insufficiencies of Transport Capacity must be avoided.
The Council Members
At least, it would be a more severe-toned meeting.. I simply must follow those decisions.
While leaving the town's square under a warming sun of July, I was still in these concurring opinions.
Alderman Missions: The Pirate's NestQuote
Originally mentioned in the Ship's Log
to ...: C-in-C @ Strategic Command Center, Town Hall - Riga
from: Neidhard Polock, Kapitan zur See, aboard Mayor's Dragon
It is already a known fact that big pirate fleets are occasionally reported in the vicinities of the City of Edinburgh. Although said City's innocent inhabitants seem not very disturbed by this coexistence, local fishers related some nasty events of incursions, organized by members of this den of crime.
While posing an eventual threat to our supply lines and risking to disrupt local and regional free-trade, our mighty battle-group did not delayed to intervene and finish-off all pirate settlement and allocation.
Sporadic and completely demoralized pirate remnants were chased and completely eradicated before any attemps of reorganisation.
I also humbly present some attached files about this situation, to high attentions of his Excellency.
Of course, this is an event of Hanse-wide importance. I am content in receiving "Good-Job" messages from my worthy Commanders. Very soon a Decoration of Merit will be presented to the Kapitan...Let's browse through the documents:
Hmm.. Herr Polock did use any Cogs; certainly those classes are primarily reserved to hunt for single pirates, scattered all over the known world. And also... our fleet was formed with sub-standard units only... If this is sufficient in doing the job, why not?.. Then our brand-new standard vessels were better be used in less dangerous waters... Any loss from our side... against... only two pirate ships?... In addition, one of those bears a strange name as 'cog 290'. Was this not from our standard ship-naming system?
"- I am MoS von Baulöwensburg... Connect me Polock!"
to be continued.......
Once the first order of attack to Pirate Base reached us by 10.Dec.1300 and while our Fleet was busy to carry out necessary arrangements at 11.Dec.1300... to our surprise, 5 pirate units reported leaving the base and directly targeting our sentinels. They were all the same class, Type crayer-30s. Not intimidated by this daring move of the enemy, our Patrols intervened rapidly and captured them one by one. When I personally visited engagement area the day after, I saw this time 5 hulks of type -60 approaching towards to our defense perimeter. Our mariner fought heroically to finally suppress all, too. Still in the same area, we came across to 5 cog-47s very next day, the clash resulted by another capture story for our squadron. This cycle continued in similar manner, now surprise effect advantage disappeared for enemy, we captured all of them in a row as sitting ducks.
Cited below the totality of messages our intelligence brigade passed us since the first day of the Operation, at opens of Edinburg, by 1-day of regular intervals:
- 2 Watchtowers and 16 Ships protect the port.
- 2 Watchtowers and 14 Ships protect the port.
- 2 Watchtowers and 12 Ships protect the port.
- 2 Watchtowers and 10 Ships protect the port.
- 2 Watchtowers and 8 Ships protect the port.
- 2 Watchtowers and 6 Ships protect the port.
- 2 Watchtowers and 4 Ships protect the port.
- 2 Watchtowers and 2 Ships protect the port. We continued to fight against opposing pirate forces formed as groups of 4 to 5 ships, until there were 2 vessels at the Base. Then, all along the next week, any enemy activity observed at high sea, while we continued to wait battle-ready; and there existed always 2 ships at the base... Finally we forced the Base, sunk (underlined later by MoS) these 2 ships and flatten all within sight.
After this Victory recognized by Aldermanship and celebrations were held everywhere in Hanse, to our mariner's disappointment, any Pirate's Nest Mission were offered for months, between other missions... Until one day, one of our captain-less cog 290's were captured (already reduced down to '27' health by previous battles) by a notorious pirate called Adalbert Dunnowhat.. During an Avenge-my-Brother Mission, our unlucky cog was taken by a very powerful crayer-30; armed to the teeth and x/9/9 captained . Immediately after capture, the groupe turned to a 2-ship convoy, firstly with crayer + Adalbert D. as orlogship, then seconds after ... our cog with its honorable name and a certain Eberhardt Nielson, as new orlog... Our witnessing small battle-groupe in the area tracked stealthily down this enemy squadron until it successfully took refuge in Edinburgh... Maybe seconds later, but surely the next day, at 19.Jun.1301, a new Pirate's Nest Mission were available, at Alderman's Headquarters.
End of the Reasoned Report."
Awaiting your orders.
Neidhard Polock _2/5/4
Maybe because being the first Pirate's Nest Mission of the Game, after sinking all pirate ships (so any ship could flee), the Nest had no opportunity / supplies to recover. In this following operation, despite sinking these remaining 2 ships, another similar mission now immediately granted, after official approval was given.
"Hello to all, have a good time.
Below I wish to post an essay, compact but very rich in details. If permitted, I did not want to give just a link, because I wished this important text be part of this thread. Extremely interesting reading...and very clearly structured. Albeit not very brief, but justifies all the time invested. Especially for those who maybe wish to still enrich themselves about this region and its history of particular interest, between players of this beautiful Game. Will also be a nice exercice to render fit our mind while waiting the release of the new Patrizier. Then, perhaps the Game may be appreciated better...Let's enter into the gate that opens in socio-political and economic background of our playground." _ MoS
Zenith and Decline:
The Hanseatic League and the Teutonic Order in the Late 14th and Early 15th Centuries
Non-princely powers: Merchants & Knights
The Middle Ages are fixed in the popular consciousness as an epoch of kings and kingdoms. But for much of the medieval period, Northern Europe was dominated by two great non-princely powers. One was the Hanseatic League, a confederation of merchant towns more properly called the Hansa Teutonoricum, or German Hansa; the other was the military order of crusading knights known as the Deutsche Orden or Teutonic Order. At first glance, these two northern powers — a community of merchants and a brotherhood of crusader knights — might seem to have little or nothing in common. In fact, however, the two sprang from the same soil, if not from the same roots; they not only occupied overlapping geographic territories, but were deeply interconnected in a myriad of other ways as well. This paper will provide a brief overview of the Hansa and the Order and examine the connections between them at a pivotal period for both powers — the late 14th and early 15th Centuries.
The German Hansa
The community of merchant towns known as the German Hansa controlled trade in and through the Baltic Sea for much of the Middle Ages; to a lesser extent, it dominated North Sea trade as well. Hanseatic trade routes stretched from Novgorod in the east to London in the west. In general, Hanseatic merchants transported raw materials from the eastern Baltic to Western Europe, returning with finished articles and luxury items from the west to sell in the Baltic region. Goods traded by Hanseatic merchants included finished cloth from England and the Low Countries; furs and wax from Novgorod and Livonia; salted herrings from Skania, at the southern tip of Sweden; salt from Bourgneuf (used to preserve the Skania herrings); timber and grain from Poland and Prussia; beer, flax and linen from Germany; wines from Spain, France, and the Rhineland; amber from Prussia; and copper and iron from Sweden.
(The word "hansa" itself simply means "association" or "community," so "Hanseatic League" is to some extent a meaningless phrase.)
In general, the Hansa's objectives (not necessarily in this order) were as follows:
* To obtain, expand and defend protections and special trade privileges for Hanseatic merchants (preferably without granting reciprocal privileges to its trading partners);
* To protect Hansa trade routes by suppressing piracy and brigandage;
* To suppress its competitors (merchants from England, the Low Countries, etc.).
Although it was willing to use military force to achieve these objectives, the Hansa generally preferred to gain its ends by the use of more pacific tactics - diplomacy, boycotts and trade embargoes.
A brief history of the Hansa
Although it was to reach its zenith as a confederation of towns, the German Hansa began as an association of individual traders; most scholars follow Philippe Dollinger's lead in referring to this early phase of Hanseatic history as "the Hansa of merchants." During the 13th Century, however, the loose associations of individual German merchants evolved into "the Hansa of Towns," and it was in this incarnation that the German Hansa became "a front-rank political power in Northern Europe." The size and membership of "the Hansa of Towns" varied as cities joined (willingly or under pressure), defected or were expelled. At its zenith, the Hansa included nearly 200 towns and boasted four foreign trading stations, or Kontore, which were located in the cities of London, Bruges, Bergen, and Novgorod. One constant in the history of the Hansa seems to have been the leadership role played by the North German town of Lübeck, which was preeminent among the Hanseatic cities almost from the beginning.
Although the precise origins of the Hansa are difficult to pinpoint, Dollinger and others list the foundation of Lübeck in 1159 as the beginning point in the association's history. By the middle of the 13th Century, the transition from "the Hansa of merchants" to "the Hansa of the Towns" was well on its way. In 1242, the cities of Lübeck and Hamburg concluded a formal treaty wherein they agreed to share the expense of keeping the roads between them free of brigands; a 1259 agreement among Lübeck, Rostock and Wismar provided for united resistance to pirates; and a further agreement among those same towns in 1264 committed them to providing mutual assistance in time of war. In 1356, the first general Hanseatic council, or Hansetag, was held in Lübeck.
The Hansa established itself decisively as a major political and military power in the Baltic region in the late 14th Century, when the alliance of merchant towns declared war on — and defeated — the kingdom of Denmark and its ally, Norway. The resulting Treaty of Stralsund, signed in 1370, confirmed Hanseatic trade privileges and protections in Denmark; in a second treaty, the Danes ceded four fortresses on the Sound (with two-thirds of their income) to the Hansa for 15 years and gave the Hansa veto power over the election of the next Danish king. Tellingly, the Hansa to chose exercise direct control over the Sound fortresses only for a year, after which they transferred their authority (for a fee) to Henning von Putbus, Captain of the Realm of Denmark. The Hansa was unique among political entities of the time in that it had no interest in acquiring or annexing land; instead, "it fought exclusively to further its trading interests."
The Teutonic Order
Like the better-known Knights of the Temple and Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, the Teutonic Knights were members of a military order born of the crusades. Unlike these older orders, however, the Teutonic Order maintained a distinct national identity which connected it with Germany and led it eventually to focus its efforts and its operations in the Baltic region. There the Order conducted crusades against Baltic pagans and founded a feudal state, eventually becoming sole ruler of Prussia and Livonia.
The Order was commanded by a Grand Master or Hochmeister and divided into three provinces (one in southern Germany, one in Prussia, and one in Livonia) each ruled by a provincial commander or Landmeister. Each province was further divided into commanderies, or Komtureis.
In general, the objectives of the Teutonic Knights (again, not necessarily in this order!) were:
* To Christianize the indigenous Baltic peoples;
* To subjugate those same peoples; and
* To expand the Order's territories.
In fact, while conversion of the non-Christian population was one of the Order's stated objectives, it was not — or at least did not remain — the primary one, as discussed below.
A brief history of the Teutonic Order
The Teutonic Order had its origins in a crusader hospital founded during the siege of Acre in 1190; in 1197 it was formally organized as the Order of Saint Mary of the Germans of Jerusalem, and it was officially recognized by the pope in 1199. Although the Teutonic Order, like the Hospitallers and the Knights Templar, began in the Holy Land and had the defeat of the Saracens as its initial aim, it was poorly positioned to become a major force in that part of the world; "all the important castles and lands had already been granted to the Hospitallers and Templars, and the Teutonic Order there remained small and poor in consequence ..."
Perhaps fortunately for the Order, the Saracens were not the only non-Christians with lands abutting Christendom. In 1224 a Polish Duke, Conrad of Masovia, asked the Teutonic Order for help in defending his lands against attacks by the pagan Pruzzi, or Prussians. The Order — after obtaining guarantees from Emperor Frederick II that it could retain and rule all the lands it conquered — agreed, and in 1230 began its decades-long campaign of conquest in the Baltic. The victorious Teutonic Knights founded Kulm in 1232, Marienwerder in 1233, Thorn in 1234, and Elbing in 1237; by 1239 the Knights "... had reached the coast, and had established a network of fortresses from which they could dominate the whole territory." In 1237, the Order absorbed a smaller military order, the Brethren of the Sword, which had won lands by crusading in Estonia and Livonia; those territories augmented the Order's holdings.
Further conquests led to the founding of Konigsburg in 1253. By 1308, the Order had won control of the coastal lands west of the Vistula (including Danzig), cutting Poland off from the sea and thereby guaranteeing that its trade with the west would be conducted through Prussian ports. With the conquest of Prussia complete (and the Holy Land irretrievably lost to the crusaders in any case), the Order moved its headquarters from Venice to the Prussian fortress of Marienburg in 1309 and turned its attentions to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the last pagan state in Northern Europe.
Like the Hansa, the Teutonic Order reached its zenith in the late 14th Century, when kings and noblemen from all over Europe joined the Order in its campaigns against the Lithuanians, and "... for generations, the highest praise that could be given to a Christian nobleman was that he had become a knight in Prussia."
The histories of the Hansa and the Teutonic Order were intertwined almost from their beginnings. As mentioned above, the Teutonic Order had its origins in a crusader hospital founded during the siege of Acre; the founders were German merchants from the towns of Lübeck and Bremen. In this sense, the Order and the Hansa sprang from the same roots; merchants from Lübeck and other North German towns provided the source element for both groups. The conquest of the Baltic territories was also to some extent a cooperative venture; the Hansa provided ships and support for the Teutonic Order's conquest of Prussia in the mid-13th Century; in turn, the Teutonic Knights provided protection for the merchants of the Hansa.
(The Gotland Company, a merchant organization considered by many scholars to be a forerunner of the Hansa, had had a similar relationship 40 years earlier with the Brethren of the Sword in that Order's crusade against Livonia.)
Nor were the links between the two powers limited to military matters. Several of the towns that were members of the Hansa (Danzig, Elbing, Thorn, Kulm, Konigsberg and Marienburg) were under the direct authority of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, who exercised tight control over them, limiting their freedom of action within the Hansa. Moreover, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order was a member of the Hansa in his own right — the only territorial prince to hold such a position.
A double-edged sword?
Its relationship with the Teutonic Order seems to have been a mixed blessing for the Hansa. On the one hand, the Hansa undoubtedly benefited by the association. Hanseatic domination of Baltic trade was made possible to a great extent by the Order's conquest of previously pagan lands along the Eastern Baltic; the conquering Knights established German settlers in their newly-seized territories, and this expansion led in turn to the expansion of German mercantile influence in the Baltic. The participation in the Hansa of the Prussian towns founded by the Order added to the strength of the confederation as a whole, since they controlled western trade with Poland from the early 14th Century onward. There is no doubt that the Order's military might was often extremely useful to the Hansa; in addition, its association with a crusading order afforded the Hansa a certain amount of reflected prestige.
On the other hand, despite their historical and continuing connections, the two groups had different — and sometimes conflicting — goals, as enumerated above. In fact, the Order's pursuit of its own objectives "... often involved the Hansa in enterprises that damaged its commercial interests and embroiled it in quarrels with foreign powers. Although the Order at first contributed to the prosperity of the Hansa, it was later one of the factors in its decline."
Diverging interests and mounting tensions
The tensions inherent in this uneasy relationship began to manifest themselves in the late 14th Century, when, just as the Hansa and the Order stood at the height of their powers, both began to come under pressure from outside entities. The Hansa entered a period of ever-intensifying trade conflicts with its partners and competitors, England and the Low Countries; the Teutonic Order faced the loss of its raison d'etre in 1380 when Lithuanian Grand Duke Jagiello married Polish Queen-Regnant Jadwiga, and agreed as part of the marriage settlement to Christianize his formerly pagan realm.
(The Order, undaunted by this loss of a rationale for further crusades, continued to exist and to make war on its neighbors. Lloyd notes that almost three decades after Lithuania's Christianization, "... the Order found it expedient to claim that it was still conducting a crusade against the heathen ...")
Amplified by these external pressures, existing tensions and conflicts of interest inevitably led to frictions between the two powers. As early as 1378, during a trade dispute with England, the Grand Master of the Order caused the other members of the Hansa great anxiety by threatening to arrest all the English merchants in his territories — a move that, as more moderate Hansa members pointed out, would simply have resulted in reprisals against merchants quartered in the Hansa's London trading station. Nor were the vexations all on the Hansa's side. The future Henry IV, who journeyed to the Baltic three times, so "annoyed the German knights by persistently discussing the rights of English merchants to trade in Prussia" that the Order subsequently discouraged English participation in its crusades!
These frictions continued into the 15th Century, which would prove to be a pivotal one for both the Hansa and the Order. In 1407, the Hansa, "apprehensive of the Grand Master's intentions in the Baltic and of his selfish policy," was instrumental in forcing the Teutonic Order to return the island of Gotland, captured in 1398, to Denmark, with which the Hansa was temporarily at peace. Further east, continuing incursions into the Russian hinterlands by the Order's Livonian branch led to tensions between the Hansa and the Grand Dukes of Moscow. Grand Duke Ivan the Great, who wanted to expand Russian influence into the Baltic, would subsequently conquer Novgorod later in the century and close the important Hanseatic trading station there.
The Hansa in the early 15th Century: A drift toward decline
For the Hansa, the 15th Century would see the beginning of a long, slow decline. This was due to a number of factors, both internal and external. One factor, already mentioned above, was increased competition from English and Dutch merchants, whose rulers in the 15th Century took a more protectionist stance than had their predecessors. As monarchial power was consolidated in northern Europe, and particularly in the Low Countries with the rise of Burgundy, the Hansa found itself at an increasing disadvantage; economic tactics, such as embargoes and threats to suspend trade, which "had once been effective in dealing with towns and minor principalities... were to prove of little use against large, consolidated states." Military action against these powers was even less feasible. As the century progressed, the English and Dutch merchants took larger and larger bites out of the Hansa's monopoly on Baltic trade. Conflict with the English, in particular, would lead in the latter part of the 15th Century to the Anglo-Hanseatic war.
Monarchs closer to home also proved to be a growing threat. Local German princes viewed the Hansa as "a serious obstacle to the consolidation of their local sovereignty"; during the 15th Century they brought increasing pressure to bear on the Hanseatic towns within their territories; in some cases, the princes succeeded in subjugating the towns and forcing them out of the Hansa.
Internal factors, in the form of conflicts both within and between towns, also helped to weaken the Hansa. Civic strife racked Lübeck and other Hanseatic towns during the early 15th Century. The increase in trade pressures from the English and Dutch led to a growing divergence of interests between the various groups of towns; this in turn resulted in the erosion of Hanseatic solidarity. Because an inability or unwillingness to present a united front rendered economic weapons such as boycotts and embargoes much less effective, this dissension between cities would prove a serious threat to the Hansa's power.
The Teutonic Order in the early 15th Century: Defeat and downfall
If the 15th Century marked the beginning of a slow decline for the Hansa, it would witness a much more dramatic — not to say disastrous — downturn in the fortunes of the Teutonic Order. Although Grand Duke Jagiello's marriage to Queen Jadwiga had united the two realms of Poland and Lithuania into a Christian state, the Teutonic Knights distrusted this former enemy; relations between the Order and Poland / Lithuania deteriorated after Jadwiga died in 1399, leaving Jagiello as sole ruler of the combined kingdom. A series of skirmishes with Jagiello and his allies led to war in 1410; Jagiello mobilized an army of about 10,000 and invaded Prussia in July of that year. When the Grand Master chose to attack Jagiello's troops at Tannenberg without waiting for support from the Livonian branch of the Order (the former Brethren of the Sword), he was killed and his forces were crushed. Although the Order itself survived, it never recovered its former military strength; this in turn affected its position within the Hansa.
Dissension and Dissolution
Perhaps inevitably, under the circumstances, the increasing pressures faced by both groups - and the widening disparity in their interests and objectives — led to deepening rifts between the Hansa and the Order as the century continued. These rifts culminated in the mid-15th Century in the Thirteen Years' War; in 1454, the Prussian towns, tired of the Grand Master's iron rule, rebelled and declared war on the Order, offering their allegiance to King Casimir IV of Poland in return for his military support. (Since both the Order and the rebel towns were members, the Hansa nominally remained neutral in the conflict.) In 1466, the Order was forced to conclude the Treaty of Thorn, in which sovereignty over most of the Prussian towns, including Elbing, Thorn, Danzig, and Marienberg, was transferred to Poland, and the Grand Master henceforward held East Prussia as a vassal of the Polish king. The rebellion of the towns had effectively brought about the ruin of the Teutonic state in Prussia. The centuries-old connection between the Hansa and the Teutonic Order had finally been severed.
Both the Teutonic Order and the Hansa survived, in some form, until the 17th Century. The last Grand Master of the much-reduced Prussian branch of the Order converted to Protestantism in 1525 and declared the Order's remaining East Prussian possessions to be a hereditary duchy, to be held henceforth by himself and his heirs. The Livonian branch of the Teutonic Order lasted until 1561, when its territories fell to Ivan the Terrible; the south German branch survived until the late 17th Century, when members of the Order fought against the Turks at Vienna in 1683 and Zenta in 1697. The Hansa retained its power and prosperity for a century or more before its final demise; it survived the Anglo-Hanseatic war in the late 15th Century and, with the Peace of Utrecht in 1474, regained its international status and strengthened its position vis a vis the English for the next hundred years. Despite this victory, however, the gradual decline continued. The Thirty Years' War effectively brought an end to the Hansa, and the last Hansetag was held in 1669.
© 2000 Jennifer Monroe Franson