It was much suggested that I show more than just one nation in a video, so this is what I've done this time around. There was a lot of interest in Russia and the Russian principalities, so I've decided to picture the whole region: Muscowy, Novgorod, Tver, Ryazan, Yaroslavl, Pskov, Poland, Lithuania, and the Golden Horde.
|Colour represents which country controlled the region the most.|
Intensity represents how often this country controlled the region.
This works like an electoral map, a given region is coloured the same as the nation that controlled it in the most games. The intensity of this colour represents in how many games the region was controlled.
The Eastern European Plain
From the Mongol invasion of Russia in 1223 up until the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380, Eastern Europe existed largely under the dominance of the Golden Horde. The Battle of Kulikovo in 1380 would change this. Under the leadership of the emerging Muscovites, they along with Tver, Yaroslavl, Pskov, and other principalities, managed to defeat a much larger Mongol army.
|The fragmented Eastern European Plain in 1399.|
A Ryazan-Lithuanian force, allied with the Golden Horde, arrived late to the battle, would return home upon hearing of the Mongol defeat. The Lithuanians would depart from their alliance with the Golden Horde entirely in 1386, their leader Jogaila converting to Catholicism and marrying Queen Jadwiga of Poland, forming a personal union between the two nations.
This would leave Eastern Europe in a shaky balance of power between the Muscovites, Polish-Lithuanians, Novgorodians, and Mongols.
However, in 1395 the Timurids would invade the Golden Horde, ravaging the nation. Their trade routes, which the Golden Horde depended on, would never recover. This leaves us at the year 1399, Europa Universalis III's start date, with a vacuum of power and Eastern Europe threatening to explode.
The expected explosion begins slowly in Europa Universalis III. The game typically begins with a modest expansion by the Golden Horde into the Caucasus, Balkans, and Central Asia. Judging from the quick recession of the Lithuanian eastern frontier, it is also not uncommon for the Golden Horde to expand into Lithuania. Historically, this does not happen; the Golden Horde would stagnate until around 1420, then begin to disintegrate.
By the mid-1400s, Poland begins to crumble. This is mostly the fault of Bohemia. Again, historically, Poland would retain its core territories up until its final partition in 1795.
Muscowy begins to breakout in the 1490's, asserting its control over its neighbouring principalities. This is reasonably in line with history: the Muscovites would annex Yaroslavl in 1463, Tver in 1485, and Ryazan in 1521.
Novgorod is never subdued in the majority of games however, something Muscowy would historically accomplish in 1478, following Ivan III's massacre of the city. This would frequently prevent Muscowy from forming Russia in the game.
Starting in the early 1500's, Muscowy typically begins their systematic conquest of the Golden Horde, which is completed by around 1575. It is difficult to gauge the historical accuracy of this, as the Golden Horde ceases to exist in 1502, however Russia had acquired the territories of the Golden Horde by approximately this time.
By the early 1700's, it is common for the Muscovites to have reached the Pacific Ocean, painting a fairly accurate picture of the Russian Empire at the time, minus Muscowy's tendency to conquer Mongolia.
With regional analysis now possible, there are many options for my next post. Please leave a comment and let me know what you would like to see!