Civilization V: The Swedish Saga, part 4 (1868 A.D. to 1951 A.D.)

T.J. Hafer

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My friends! Gather 'round the fire and prepare to hear an epic tale that spans the entirety of human history! I'm in the middle of chronicling my progress in Civ V's Gods & Kings expansion, with a new entry every Wednesday. Last week, the Industrial Era saw my Swedish Empire and its Grand Army march from sea to shining sea in the pursuit of bringing lasting peace to the world. Despite our best efforts, however, it seems that world war is just on the horizon. Read on, as the next 100 years will change the world more than any century that came before!

Need to get caught up? Here's Part 1 , Part 2 , and Part 3 .

Thoroughly modern

For the third time in a row, I've reached a new era before anyone else. There are still a few civs wallowing in the middle ages, and most haven't even advanced from Renaissance to Industrial. However, even with my superior technology, I only just barely qualify for "World Superpower" status. Greece, Rome, and Russia all have larger empires and armies than I do. Speaking of Greece and Russia, they continue to dominate the southern hemisphere with their tight-knit Axis. The Northern Allies, spearheaded by Rome and myself, are doing all we can to halt their advances. And we're succeeding, thanks to the quick mobilization of the Treaty of Vienna that united us all under mutual Defensive Pacts. Declaring war on one of us would mean declaring war on all of us...which neither Greece nor Russia has had the audacity to do.

However, the Treaty is in danger of fracturing from the inside. England has dropped out to dance on the half-dead remains of France, and Austria and Denmark (two of the original signatories) seem to be trying to split off into their own third faction, though it is sure to spell disaster for both nations. My first order of business is to pick up Navigation (which will take all of 1 turn with my amazing Science score), improving the economy of my coastal cities. Second order of business: prep for a world war.

1868 A.D.: The Swedish spy network established centuries ago is formally reorganized into the RSI (Royal Special Intelligence) agency. They set up counter-spy networks in Stockholm and Sigtuna.

If you've been following along, you'll know that I have been doing... less than amazing in the espionage department. Now I have a grand total of four spies to work with, which will hopefully help my chances. Unfortunately, you can't stick two incompetent spies in one place to make the equivalent of one competent spy. I could be more aggressive here, but when you have as wide a tech lead as I do, defensive spies are much more valuable.

1872 A.D.: Rome declares war on Spain. Although they initiated the conflict, Rome is able to justify its actions to the signatories of the Treaty of Vienna, largely helped by its seniority in the organization. Spain is dropped from the Treaty, joining England as a late-comer whose time among the Allies did not last.

Betrayal at Kaupang

1874 A.D.: The Academy of Birka founds the world's first archaeology program, excavating the remnants of its Westling ancestors.

Just to the south, a massive Greek army marches on Vienna and besieges the Unbreakable City. The Northern Allies debate whether or not to get involved, considering Austria's and Denmark's less than total commitment to the Treaty. Ultimately, defense forces are mobilized.

1876 A.D.: Northern forces push the Greek army back from Vienna. While Swedish forces aid on the Austrian front, Denmark launches a surprise attack on Kaupang.

Okay, so while I'm off helping Austria, their closest ally, the Danes decide to attack me out of nowhere. In the history of scumbag moves, that ranks pretty high up there. I am done with these clowns.

1878 A.D.: Danish forces attempting to cross the River of Storms and retake Kaupang are thrown back. Though they now possess smooth-bore firearms, the rifled weapons of the Swedes prove far superior.

Pressing the attack

1879 A.D.: The Swedes inflict massive losses as they outmaneuver and outgun the Danes at the Battle of Mt. Aarhus.

1880 A.D.: Danish forces try to slip between the Swedish lines by night, but are quickly caught in a pincer maneuver that results in their entire force being killed or captured.

Meanwhile a Greek operative warns Sweden that England is plotting against it. While this is not entirely unfathomable, Sweden elects not to give too much weight to intelligence being fed to them by the scourge of the Western world.

1881 A.D.: The Danish Western "army" has been reduced to little more than a guerrilla insurgency. Most uniformed regiments have pulled back to defend the capital at Copenhagen. The Swedish Grand Army splits into two Corps. One heads North for Ribe, while the other remains to continue the siege of Aarhus.

The United Norse Kingdom

1882 A.D.: Danish reinforcements led by a Great General arrive to defend Aarhus. Far to the East, England allies itself with Spain to aid in fighting off Roman invaders.

I'm torn on whether this is good or bad. England and Spain uniting against Rome means no one is putting pressure on Russia, one of the two most dangerous civs on the map. On the other hand, I won't lose sleep over some of Rome's largest-on-the-map military getting whittled away here and there.

1884 A.D.: The Danish government proposes peace. The current Swedish prime minister, elected from the Nordic Unification Party (an evolution of the United Stormlands Party), rejects this offer, giving a famous speech in which he proclaims that the Danish nobility have made their words worth nothing with their senseless betrayals and aggression. The Unification Accords are signed into law by the Swedish parliament, declaring the standing Danish government illegitimate and all of their lands the lawful domain of the new United Norse Kingdom. Revolts begin springing up in many Danish cities supporting the Accords, but the Danish King declares that he will fight to the death before surrendering unconditionally and signing away his country.

1885 A.D.: The Swedes master Biology.

Next stop is Refrigeration, so I can start building offshore platforms, and my troops can each have a cold beer when this war is over.

Meanwhile, the United Norse Kingdom's Southern Corps takes the heaviest losses of the war so far on the slopes of Mt. Aarhus, assaulting the city for which it is named.

The Treaty dissolves

1887 A.D.: UNK forces face the first major military defeat in the nation's history, and are forced to fall back from Aarhus. All that remains are a few mountain regiments and the famed 1st Artillery.

1888 A.D.: The 1st Artillery's position is bombarded by the defending forces of Aarhus and almost wiped out. Nearly all of the UNK's Southern Corps falls back across the River of Storms to regroup.

Rome signs a research agreement with Denmark. This action causes the majority Unification Party Norse parliament to declare them no longer recognized by the Treaty of Vienna. Rome claims that the UNK has no right to make such declarations. With Celtica backing the UNK and Austria refusing to decide one way or another, this is largely identified as the dissolution point for the 35-year Treaty.

It's disconcerting how quickly things can change. Mere decades ago, I managed to unite the entire world against the mutual threats of Greece and Russia. Now, it seems, Rome, Denmark, and Austria have broken off to oppose myself, the Celts, England, and Spain... while our true, original enemies are left to do as they please. I fear it's going to take some kind of massive Southern invasion to get everyone to wake up and get back with the program.

1888 A.D.: UNK engineers finish paving a road from Sigtuna to Kaupang, greatly speeding the movement of troops to the Danish front.

The prime minister of the UNK publicly denounces Denmark, hoping to discourage Rome from aiding them in the future.

Against all tyrants

1891 A.D.: A Great Scientist founds the Academy of Linköping in the Southwest Territories. It quickly becomes a saying that academic competition is Sweden's national "sport."

Thinkers at all of the major academies begin publishing papers on the nature of government and society. The Linköping Essays, perhaps the most famous among them, lead to the adoption of a popular vote democratic system that gives the people more control over parliamentary appointments.

I've adopted Sovereignty, which gives me gold for all of my Science buildings. And guess what? I have a lot of Science buildings. I've now exceeded the GDP of everyone except Greece and Rome, and probably passed Russia in terms of the hierarchy of superpowers.

Summer, 1893 A.D.: The UNK begins raising a second Grand Army to replace their losses at Aarhus, with the goal being the total annexation of Denmark. They turn all of their remaining front line troops toward Ribe, hoping that taking the smaller town will aid future attacks on Aarhus. Once Aarhus falls, the Swedish general advises Parliament, Denmark is as good as defeated.

A Customs House between Linköping and Turku brings sweeping economic growth to the Southwest Territories. A population boom hits as many impoverished citizens of Vienna seek fortune and religious freedom across the border.

Winter, 1893 A.D.: The UNK refuses another peace proposal by the Danes that would cede Ribe, but leave Aarhus and everything south of it under Danish royal rule. Rome speaks out against the UNK's insistence on continued war, declaring friendship with the Danish crown.

Furious with Rome, the UNK and their Celtic allies declare friendship with Rome's English and Spanish enemies.

Roman conquest

Summer, 1895 A.D.: The Second Grand Army of the UNK arrives at the River of Storms and obliterates the Danish forces holding it. They turn their sights on Ribe, where the remaining Northern Corps of the First Grand Army continues their long siege.

Across the sea, Rome captures the remaining French city of Orleans, putting an end to the French Empire. The same year, they capture the Spanish capital of Madrid. The leaders of the free world begin to worry that Rome is becoming a greater threat than Greece ever was.

I've been wary of Rome ever since I met them, but have been trying to keep things civil between us. They're like a very large rottweiler that could bite your arm off if it wanted to, but is smart enough to see that the two wolves stalking around (Greece and Russia) would jump on it the second it attacked. It seems, though, that they've come down with a case of rabies and may need to be put down before they threaten the survival of myself or my allies.

Winter, 1895 A.D.: Austria publicly denounces the Celts, therefore indirectly putting their faith in the Danes and the Romans. The Treaty of Vienna is formally repealed, although it has been no more than a formality for the better part of a decade.

1896 A.D.: Norse researchers master refrigeration, and the UNK begins building offshore oil platforms.

These offshore platforms will let me eventually build units that need oil, like tanks, and give me more gold and production. I already had work boats waiting to exploit these resources. I should soon become easily the richest nation on the board.

The Unification gains ground

1898 A.D.: The Danish town of Ribe is captured by the UNK, bringing them one step closer to total unification.

Later in the year, the Celts denounce England, jeopardizing the makeshift anti-Roman alliance they are a part of.

While historically accurate, I'm not entirely sure why this happened.

1899 A.D.: UNK forces advance on the poorly-defended town of Roskilde, on the East coast of Denmark. Meanwhile, Rome proposes a defensive pact with the UNK. They refuse outright.

1902 A.D.: Roskilde is captured, and the UNK army sweeps down the coast toward the port town of Viborg.

By focusing my might on their smaller, outlying cities instead of a hardpoint like Aarhus, I'm weakening Denmark little by little and losing very little doing it.

The Danes halt the advance

1903 A.D.: The Celts make a declaration of friendship with the Russians, still staunch allies of Greece. The UNK just doesn't really know what's going on anymore.

I'm starting to run out of bars on my "WUT"-o-meter. So there's some kind of dispute going on between Celtica and England, from what I can tell. And Russia hates everyone that's not Greece--England included. So... I guess... that's why? Maybe?

1905 A.D.: The Eiffel Tower is completed in Sigtuna. Everyone is just super psyched.

I get a gigantic happiness bonus from this wonder, which is something I really needed. Capturing all of these Danish cities is putting my happiness down the toilet, and we only just got indoor plumbing to make that metaphor relevant.

Danish forces from Aarhus and Copenhagen meet the UNK army outside of Viborg. They are spotted quickly enough that most of the UNK forces are able to fall back safely from the city.

The Danes have Norwegian Ski Infantry now, a unit of equivalent tech to my Caroleans. In terms of firepower, they are evenly matched. Since they heal every turn, the Caroleans are more resilient, but ski infantry have the mobility advantage in snow and hills. And Viborg is practically surrounded by hills. I elect to pull my front line back and let my artillery and gatling guns deal with them from a safe distance.

1907 A.D.: The Battle of Viborg rages on, with heavy casualties being inflicted on the UNK 1st Artillery. They are forced to abandon their exposed position on Viborg Bay and fall back to Roskilde to replace damaged guns. The UNK infantry continues to hold the line at the border, as reinforcements from Stockholm and Sigtuna rush down the road to their aid.

The Glasgow Conference

1908 A.D.: At the Glasgow Conference, the first international meeting of leaders on Celtic soil, the UNK convinces the Celts to agree to a joint denunciation of Rome.

1909 A.D.: Celtic-allied Russia denounces Denmark. The UNK parliament begins to wonder whether it may be in their best interests to support one of the Southern Axis powers.

Ah, how times change in Civ. Russia is marginally weaker than me, and we're both weaker individually than Greece and Rome. I could work with Russia against Rome, but I'd still be supporting an ally of Greece, my principal rival. For now, I'll just take whatever aid they offer me without giving anything back.

UNK forces finally break the Danish lines in the hills around Viborg, pushing most of their forces back toward Aarhus. Back in Sigtuna, a Greek spy is captured and killed by the RSI.

My intelligence network has gone from "Utterly Useless" to "Mostly Useless." It's a start.

Summer, 1910 A.D.: UNK forces are ambushed from the South outside of Viborg and take heavy losses. The general orders a second retreat to await the arrival of the full might of the UNK army.

I'm not taking any chances here. I plan to pile up my forces in one place and hit them like a ton of bricks, all at once. Viborg has proven much harder to crack than I'd ever imagined, and I still have Aarhus and Copenhagen to worry about.

The breaking of the Unbreakable City

Winter, 1910 A.D.: Vienna, the Heart of the West, called for millennia the Unbreakable City, falls to Greek forces. The ancient Austrian Empire is no more. With the massive loss of life inflicted in the Greek bombardment and sacking of Vienna, Sigtuna in the UNK becomes the largest and most influential city on the continent. Berlin, Greece is close behind.

The UNK makes immediate plans to defend Graz, now completely open to Greek attack. They also begin exploring the possible ways to strike against Greece when the time inevitably comes. The prime minister gives a famous speech, proclaiming Greece the greatest threat to peace and freedom in the known world. He laments the Austrian lives lost, swearing to take in any refugees who can make it across the border, and expresses his anger at the meaningless destruction brought upon a city known throughout the world for art, culture, and diplomacy.

Austria and I haven't always been the best of buds. My efforts to spread my religion of Awesomeness against the grain of their native Confucianism caused a rift between us that never really closed. But you know what? I'm mad now. Greece has gone too far, and without ever directly attacking me, they've made this personal. Once I seize the rest of Denmark, I'm drawing a bead on the heart of their empire, and waiting for the perfect moment to pull the trigger.

1912 A.D.: More weapons blueprints are stolen from Stockholm.

Well, having my spy network be slightly better than incompetent was fun while it lasted.

1913 A.D.: Advances in the field of explosives lead to Swedish cannons being replaced by the world's first howitzer artillery. The hardened 1st Artillery are the first to benefit from the retrofit.

Do you hear that? That's the sound of Denmark falling so hard, it resonated backwards through time.

The Battle of Calm Waters

1914 A.D.: The Battle of Viborg continues to be the bloodiest in the UNK's history, but the astounding wealth of the growing nation is allowing them to put two men on the front lines for every one that is lost. The general leading the assault gives the Viborg Address to his gathered troops, many of whom have seen hundreds of fellow soldiers shot dead since the conflict began. He assures them that the Danish crown's days are numbered, and soon all Norse people will be united peacefully under one flag. Inspired by his words, they charge across the border, supported by the shiny, new howitzers of the 1st Artillery, and shatter the Danish lines.

1915 A.D.: The Danish navy arrives off the coast of Ribe and bombards UNK formations from the sea. Having no answer to this sudden naval assault, the UNK immediately commandeers all of the shipyards at Roskilde to begin construction on another new surprise...

Oops, I forgot to bring boats. Luckily, my deep pockets will allow me to deal with this swiftly, bypassing the usual, pesky training time.

1917 A.D.: Denmark makes a declaration of friendship with England, putting the English at odds with their once-allies in Spain (who continue to support the Celts and the UNK).

Off the coast of Ribe, half of the wooden Danish fleet is sunk in a single day. The Danish admiral is flabbergasted, having seen no ships approaching from any direction. Below the waves, the first UNK submarine commander and his men let out a cheer.

This was one of the most gloriously gleeful moments of the campaign so far. The Danes though they had me against the ropes when they got the idea to attack me from the sea, where I couldn't shoot back, right as I was poised to capture their city. Then, torpedoes happened. It felt kind of like losing a game of rock-paper-scissors, and then drop kicking the guy you lost to across the street into a dumpster. Needless to say, any naval advantage the Danes (or anyone on the map, for that matter) may have had has evaporated.

Goin' off the rails

1918 A.D.: The remainder of the Danish navy is chased down and destroyed by UNK submersibles. With the besieging companies at Viborg holding strong, newly-arrived reinforcements are redirected to Aarhus.

1920 A.D.: A new UNK prime minister, as his first act in office, orchestrates a diplomatic pact between the UNK and both of the great Eastern powers: Rome and Russia, once bitter enemies.

With the Celts proving a notable exception, I've come to the conclusion that you just have to sail the way the diplomatic winds are blowing in Civ V. Denmark will soon be mine, which will mean I will share an enormous border with Greece. I saw a chance to unite Rome and Russia against them, and you can bet I took it. As of now, Russia is still friends with Greece (in addition to myself and Rome), so their loyalty isn't assured. I've also risked losing Spain as an ally. While not openly at war with Rome -- for the moment -- they are not exactly the best of friends.

The first major railroad in the UNK begins construction from Sigtuna to Stockholm, speeding commerce and creating thousands of new jobs.

Connecting cities with railroads gives both ends a nice production bonus, and it gives my workers (who were running out of tiles to improve) something to do. Where to set my tech path next, though? Plastics? Combustion engines? Oh, that's right. How about Nuclear Freaking Bombs? I'll pick up Replaceable Parts on the way, allowing the building of Great War Infantry and making my Caroleans obsolete. I'm going to focus all of my major cities on making as many Caroleans as possible in the nine turns before that happens, as any Caroleans that I upgrade to higher-tech infantry will retain their unique unit bonuses.

1921 A.D.: Rome and the UNK sign a research agreement. Something about cutting very tiny things in half. The majority of the world doesn't really understand the significance.

Greece capturing Vienna is really what re-asserted them as public enemy number one. I'm willing to say "No hard feelings" to Rome, so long as they can be useful.

Elsewhere, England and Denmark denounce the UNK's Celtic allies. It does them little good, as Aarhus is captured after a long and bloody siege. Viborg, amazingly, still holds out.

The New Allied Powers Administration

1922 A.D.: Russia renews its denunciation of Rome, putting an end to the brief peace between the two nations that the UNK was able to build. Another war on the Eastern continent seems inevitable.

1924 A.D.: A Great Engineer builds the UNK's first manufactory at Sigtuna, creating yet more jobs and greatly increasing the city's production output. It is immediately put to work making arms and ammunition for the troops stationed at Graz, as Greek troops begin to mass on the border there.

Well, we all knew this day would come. Greece has conquered everything between me and them. I'm no fool, and I know they're looking to claim my lands next. I won't give them an inch.

In light of these troop movements, the Norsemen call the Sigtuna Conference. After much debate and compromise, mutual defensive pacts are agreed upon between the UNK, Celts, Rome, and Russia. While tensions between the Romans and the Russians remain high, they recognize the Greek threat as greater and come together. Spain and England are notoriously absent.

This ad-hoc league is dubbed the New Allied Powers Administration (NAPA). The UNK, as the head of the Defense Council, denounces Greece to the world. Rome is the first to join in, but Russia publicly objects.

1925 A.D.: Viborg is captured at last, ending the bloodiest siege in Norse history. Fresh forces from the North move in on the Danish capital of Copenhagen.

You say you want a revolution...

1926 A.D.: Copenhagen is besieged with the aid of the UNK's fresh 2nd Artillery.

1927 A.D.: The Democratic Socialist Party comes into power in the UNK parliament, leading to a brief period of civil strife that ends with the adoption of a socialist form of government. The UNK is officially renamed the NDU (Norse Democratic Union). The rioting is worst in formerly-Danish Aarhus, where the citizens only recently released from the tyrannical rule of the Danish king are most eager for change. Yet, even in Stockholm and Sigtuna, greedy guild leaders who have been running rackets for over a century are dragged from their homes and killed. The honorary offices of the royal family are done away with as well. Sweeping and decisive action by the new parliament eventually restores order, though the nation is left forever changed.

At this point in the game, you have the choice to go into one of three mutually-exclusive policy trees: Freedom, Autocracy (Facism), and Order (Socialism). For an empire of my size and the strategy I'm going for, Order made the most sense. Freedom best fits smaller empires, and Autocracy is almost entirely military-focused. Order gives me huge production bonuses, keeps my people happier (offsetting the frowny faces from occupying most of Denmark), and perhaps most importantly, increases the strength of my units by 25% in friendly territory. Yeah, what up Greece?

1928 A.D.: Copenhagen is captured, and the Danish government is forced to flee West to Tunsberg.

Six of the twelve civs that started this game have lost their capitals. Being the last to hold mine would win me a domination victory, but again, that's not my goal.

Preparing for the war to end all wars

1930 A.D.: Agents of the NDU's newly-reorganized NSS (Norse Secret Service) in Berlin steal blueprints for military aircraft from the Greeks. The designs are immediately sent back to Stockholm to be improved upon and put into production.

The bad news is that Greece researched Flight before me. The good news is I just got it from them for free. Thanks, guys! Apparently becoming socialist has given my spies backbones.

1931 A.D.: Swedish arms manufacturers produce the SV-1, the NDU's first repeating infantry rifle. They rush to start refitting all front line troops with the new weapons, to counter the Greek troops who have been using repeating rifles for some time.

I can now spend my teetering stacks of gold to upgrade my Caroleans to Great War Infantry, retaining their bonuses for starting as Caroleans. Unfortunately, any future infantry I build will not get these bonuses.

A Great General arrives in Graz late in the year, atop a crate of shiny, new SV-1s, to help hold the city against a potential Greek assault from Vienna.

1932 A.D.: Despite inflicting heavy losses on the NDU, Danish forces at Tunsberg are overrun. What remains of the Danish government holes up in their only remaining city, Salzburg. An expeditionary unit is sent to take the city, but the majority of the NDU forces are redeployed to the newly-shared Greek border South of Tunsberg. The Norse Ministry of Defense begins drafting two comprehensive strategies: Operation Justicar, to hold the border at Graz, and the ambitious Operation Firestorm, a blitzkrieg expedition into Greece to relieve border pressure before the Greeks can mount a full invasion.

My current plan is this: I do not want, not could I sustain the unhappiness of occupying, large swathes of Greece. Graz is an incredibly defensible city, and I should have no trouble holding it. My new Danish holdings, however, are wide open. My aim is going to be to slowly attack and burn the smaller cities of Northern Greece, salting the earth and creating a sort of "demilitarized zone" between our two nations. I'll keep knocking over cities and setting them on fire until I'm sure that their production and science output is too low to compete with me any longer.

Introducing the SV-42 Westerland

1933 A.D.: The Danish government-in-exile signs the Treaty of Tunsberg, making peace with the NDU after 77 years of conflict. The premier of the NDU declares the Great Unification of the Norse people complete. The Principality of Salzburg, a traditionally Austrian holding, is allowed to remain in under hereditary Danish rule.

1937 A.D.: Russian spies make contact with the NSS, warning them of an English plot against the Norse Union. England asks for an open borders agreement shortly after. The Norse heed the Russian warning, and refuse.

1942 A.D.: Swedish arms manufacturers at Birka develop the world's first assault rifle, the SV-42 Westerland, named for its creator and the region it came from. Priority NDU infantry companies begin to receive retrofits of the new weapons.

This bodes well. I'm now replacing my Great War Infantry with "Infantry," which despite the shorter name, are much more powerful. I've passed Greece in infantry tech, which will make a huge difference when the war finally kicks into gear.

WORLD WAR

1943 A.D.: Russia finally joins the other NAPA nations in denouncing Greece, abandoning its once-ally.

1945 A.D.: Greece declares war on the Principality of Salzburg, last bastion of the Danish royal government.

1947 A.D.: Just when it seemed there would be peace in the East, Rome unexpectedly declares new war on Russia. This breach of the NAPA treaties leaves many calling for its expulsion, but Rome assures the world that its strike was preemptive and necessary. The NDU, as the standing head of the Defense Council, recognizes that its own pending actions would be seen as hypocritical if it did not support Rome's tactics. It votes to expel Russia instead. The Celts back this decision, and Russia is removed from NAPA protection.

Later in the year, Danish Salzburg falls to the Greeks, erasing all traces of the royal government. The NDU begins moving units into position for the initiation of Operation Firestorm.

Rain of fire

1948 A.D.: A great castle is built in Stockholm to house the premier and members of parliament. From its steps, the premier gives a speech outlining his 10 Year Plan to revolutionize the less-developed areas of the NDU.

Yet another Wonder, Neuschwanstein, will give me tons of gold, happiness, and culture. I've also picked up the Planned Economy policy, which gives me Science for every factory I've built. I was already outpacing the rest of the word, and this has caused my science output to SOAR, an increase of about 17% from what it was before.

January, 1949 A.D.: The Firestorm Invasion commences at dawn on New Year's Day. NDU artillery hit Elis and Mytilene simultaneously, while infantry armed with the superior SV-42 rifles open fire on Greek troops. The Celts and Russians refuse to join the unilateral invasion.

In response, Greek special forces launch surgical strikes targeting NDU artillery. The venerable 1st Artillery is wiped out, and the 2nd Artillery is forced to fall back to Tunsberg.

This is a crushing early loss, as pounding Greece's weak border cities with artillery was the "Firestorm" part of "Operation Firestorm." Now I'm just left with "Operation New Name Pending," but the invasion is far from over.

July, 1949 A.D.: NDU submarines sink the Greek fleet outside the port town of Mytilene. Infantry units advance on the city, while Greek forces swing around the Northern flank of the Swedish armies from Salzburg. They establish a line of heavy machine gun nests between Elis and Sazlburg.

Back at home, a Great Scientist in Uppsala makes significant advances toward splitting the atom.

I expended a Great Scientist for an immediate science boost, since I already have four or five academies and we're coming up on the "late game." It wasn't quite enough to finish my research on Atomic Theory, but it did reduce the remaining time to one turn.

I am become Death

Spring, 1950 A.D.: Greek bombers deployed from Mytilene destroy the remnants NDU 2nd Artillery, further crippling the invasion force. Knowing that they won't be able to achieve air superiority on this front yet, the NDU generals make Mytilene airfield the priority target of the invasion.

In the West, NDU forces easily repel an attack on Graz from Vienna.

Summer, 1950 A.D.: Greece bizarrely deploys outdated cavalry units deep into NDU territory. The Norsemen aren't worried, considering many of their civilians carry handguns that would make short work of these “soldiers.”

Meanwhile, the heroic Norse Third Infantry holds off an overwhelming counterattack by land and air at Mytilene long enough for reinforcements to arrive.

Fall, 1950 A.D.: The first Norse military fighter planes are launched from Tunsberg to intercept Greek bombers, ending Greece's air superiority on the Eastern front.

1951 A.D.: Norse scientists at Uppsala split the atom. Work immediately begins on the Stockholm Project to develop nuclear weapons. The Norse Union enters the Atomic Age.

The war with Greece I've been anticipating for hundreds of turns has finally come, and I'm counting on the might of the atom bomb being enough to break their backs and end a legacy of aggression and conquest that has held the world by the throat for thousands of years. They have proved more resilient than any previous enemy I've faced so far, shoving my original strategy right back into my eye socket and forcing me to improvise. We'll see how they improvise when their cities are flattened and riddled with gamma radiation.

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