Crusader Kings 2: indirect denial

If I plan to attack, I make a habit to check on the enemy liege, chiefly to see whether he's already in an existing war or not. Naturally I would prefer to not fight the entire armies of the enemy.

During such check, I discovered that HRE had declared war on Byzantine. This was huge because they were in the top 3 largest empires, in terms of size and armies (my empire, Alba, was there hehe). This itself presented a good opportunity for me to attack HRE for a claim on a county (for a vassal).

However, this became urgent when, on closer look, the war was to press a claim on the entire empire for a Byzantine princess who was married to the HRE heir. If they succeed, they would be marriage tie between the 2 empires (it would be the second time it happened during this campaign) and upon death of both rulers, the two empires could be united under a single ruler (only hope was that there would be at least 2 male children since Byzantine was on Gavelkind but then again this law could be changed to Primogeniture to be the same as HRE, after 10 years of rule).

Unfortunately, my then ruler was "incapable" and thus the empire was under regency. As such, war couldn't be declared. Even if I could, there were 3 defensive pacts (Christian, Muslim, Pagan) against Alba, of which HRE was in the Christian defensive pact, and they would help each other since my threat level was very high (at least 80%, probably over 90%). On a side note, I discovered recently that before starting a game, defensive pact feature could be switched off. I will consider doing that for the next campaign.

One way out was for my ruler to miraculously recover and so ends the regency and for HRE to temporarily leave the defensive pact, for whatever reasons, as it sometimes does happen for any AI for a very short while. The other was for my ruler to die (he was already 72 years old; mortality is close to 100% for age 60 and above) and the defensive pacts would dissolve, leaving a short window period for the next ruler to declare war before those pacts are formed again.

Death came and I quickly declared war on HRE (and also France) to press a claim on a county for a vassal. However, I noticed that HRE gained more warscore vs Byzantine. I realised that my war was not be enough to divert most of HRE armies to me (and thus away from Byzantine) because, hey, sacrificing a county was probably worth getting an empire for your grandchild, right? In any case, he did send a stack of army to defend but was quite easily crushed by me.

So how could I stop HRE winning over Byzantine? By sending 3 stacks of armies over to where the bulk of their armies were in Byzantine. Now, the fight there was a little dicey but not difficult though since he probably spent quite a bit beating Byzantine's armies (who themselves were fighting a revolt). After beating off their main armies, I took away from HRE those Byzantine holdings they had occupied and thereby reduced significantly HRE warscore over Byzantine.

Eventually, that war was called off (not sure in white peace or not). Phew!

I then embroiled myself in another 3 wars, helping my vassals who were faltering in their wars. In the end, I won all 5 of them. Yay! :)
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