You are right about the main goal being to avoid a dominant force emerging on the Continent, but wrong about some particulars, which I will go into some detail on.
I actually encouraged the deal where Prussia ceded the two Bavarian provinces West of the Rhine to France, and France ceded Wurttemburg because I didnt want Prussia and Austria to gang up on France and defeat her very badly this early in the game.
If you havent played scenarios other than 1805 its difficult to understand that France isnt the 800 lb Gorilla it is at the start of most of the other scenarios. Its borders are very contracted and its military (maneuver formations, I dont count militia) starts out with 3 small armies totaling around 100,000 men. They also start with a very small country compared to later scenarios. Savoy/Piedmont, Switzerland, West Rhine Bavaria, etc are not under French control at the start of the 1792 scenario.
Im certainly all about avoiding letting one power dominate, but the power thats mainly in my sights right now as the one to watch is Austria. Austria has taken a huge chunk of Poland and is closely allied with Prussia. These powers seem joined at the hip in this particular game and were ready to take France down.
The situation with Holland was a win win for me. I prop up France a little bit against Austria and got to destroy the Dutch Navy. Combined with my early acquisition of the Danish Navy the balance of Naval power is now heavily tilted in my favor and likely to remain that way for the entire scenario (remember this is a maximum time highest glory game). I think I could probably take on France, Spain and Russia at the same time and come out on top as long as I managed my fleets well and staggered the engagements a little. The other option was France getting Holland anyways (they were well ahead in the diplomacy game) AND full control of the 2 fleets of the Dutch Navy along with it, which I think was actually 5+ morale on all its ships, so pretty damn good. Bear in mind this is the pre revolutionary purges scenario as well, so France starts with larger and better quality fleets than in later scenarios. Its starting 1792 fleets combined with the Dutch Navy is starting to look pretty scary, and at that point France+Spain or France+Russia attacking Great Britain might result in a peace being signed... dictated at bayonet point in London.
The Holland agreement nullified that threat and provided France with a little extra economic muscle with which to stand up to Prussia/Austria.
For my situation, Great Britain is well on its way to economic dominance, and I have some awesome trading partners, in particular Turkey. Im going to continue to develop my provinces and let things on the Continent play out a little.
IF France starts to get really dangerous and aggressive, its super easy to make them the boogeyman (everyone hates the French), the real trick here is not letting them get too powerful, but letting them get powerful enough that Prussia and Austria dont beat them down early and become dominant themselves.
Anyways, glad somebody is reading, keep the comments coming.
< Message edited by Mus -- 7/16/2009 9:16:50 AM >
Mindset, Tactics, Skill, Equipment
Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas