5. LNW starts
Danish-Saxonian alliance is formed as in OTL and initial moves are the same as in OTL.
1. In February 1700 August without declaration of war ordered the Saxon troops to besiege Riga and the troops from Courland are joining.
They took parts of the external defenses, Kobronskansts
but without a siege artillery just kept positions outside Riga and, after receiving news about coming Swedish reinforcements, retreated in May leaving the garrisons in both fortifications.
2. Denmark entered the war in March and in August was forced to sign peace with Charles.
By the early 1700 Peter had an army which (on paper) looks as following: 2600 - Guards  , 41,560 cavalry  , 75,000 infantry , 14,000 garrisons and, in theory, up to 100,000 irregulars (Ukrainian Cossacks, Cossacks of Don, Kalmuks, Tatars, etc.). Total number of the available pieces of the field artillery was enormous: more than 400 3- and 3.5-pounders made in Sweden, not counting the Russian production and those bought in Germany. Even with a big part of the domestic production so far going to the Azov flotilla, there was neither need nor a possibility to deploy all of them simultaneously  so his active field artillery had 60 3-pounders 18 6-pounders, 12 8-pounders, 3 12-pounders, 4 1-pud и 3 1/2-pud howitzers. For much more he simply did not well-trained crews. Plus, each regiment had its own 2 3 pounders. The field artillery administratively
was forming an Artillery Regiment but creation of the standard battery units did not happen, yet. 3.5 pound guns had been found inefficient and either used in the fortifications or melted to provide material for the new ones fitting Bruce’s system.
On paper the army looked impressive but most of the regiments were on the early stages of training and this applies both to the infantry and cavalry.
With the cavalry situation was especially difficult because most of it had been cadres from the old regiments and irregular noble militia used to the …er… “barbaric” tactics. At the sight of an enemy (unless they were scared enough to just flee) they’d broke the ranks and gallop in a disorderly fashion, sword in hand, shouting at the top of their lungs making any control impossible because officers’ commands simply would not be heard . Both in the case of success and a failure it was close to impossible to rally them. The first task, as Peter saw it, was to break the bad habit and, being himself, he approached the issue in a typically draconic fashion . Shouting during attack had been forbidden under fear of the execution
of the commanders and decimation of the guilty units. Attack sword in hand was explicitly forbidden: the dragoons had to use their firearms standing or advancing in a slow trot and use swords exclusively for sekf-defense. Firing, except for the close encounters, had to be done only in the salvos.
Approach to the infantry was similar. It had to rely exclusively upon the “orderly” firepower. “Orderly” meant firing salvos by the platoons or tge whole line as fast as possible and without aiming. Some of the Peter’s commanders who had experience of the European wars had been pointing to the inefficiency of this practice but Peter was unmovable: unless his
experience shows otherwise, Russian troops must follow the common European practices and that’s it. This opinion had been formalized by the first military regulations written, on Peter’s order by Weide (who actually was a very competent officer: his regulations provided a comprehensive structure for the Russian army and had been based upon analysis of the existing European practices observed during his travel abroad): the main task is training of the army because only a trained army can be victorious. Army’s strength is in its organization and training must consist in learning to act in formations and firing in orderly fashion.
The soldiers had the bayonets, mostly plug but some regiments, starting from the Guards, already had the muskets with the socket bayonets and their number kept growing. But they were not taught a bayonet fight, it had to be used exclusively as a weapon for a passive self defense. Soldiers had to be taught:
1. To recognize a right foot from the left.
2. To learn musket exercises with a stress upon the fast loading (each step on command) and unaimed firing.
3. To learn marching in formation and automatically perform the formation changing commands.
4. They also had to be taught that staying under the enemy’s fire is much less dangerous than disobeying their commanders.
5. Almost forgot, last but not least, they had to learn how to put on and wear a costume which was absolutely alien to them, how to march in the shoes
(which none of them had been wearing before) without turning their feet into the bloody mess. Well, they also had to grow the shoulder-length hair and keep them presentable.
In the process of teaching the new soldiers all these exciting things it was discovered that getting a conscripted peasant all the way from his village to the regiment is not as simple as it looked on paper:
1. On a first stage of the process these peasants under the armed guard
had been marched to the assembly points in the local administrative centers where, due to the absence of the special accommodations, they had been put in chains and held in the local prisons.
2. While immediately after the conscription they were supposed to start receiving the soldiers’ rations, the assigned money had been routinely stolen by the officers in charge and the same goes for the quality time spent in prison waiting for the next step by which time a considerable percentage of the recruits had been dying from starvation and anti-sanitary conditions or, if they were lucky enough, managing to escape never to be seen by the authorities afterwards (unless caught at highway robbery, theft or some other crime).
3. When officer from a regiment finally arrived and made a final pick (rejecting those in a bad shape) the process continued: they had been transported (in chains or not) under a string guard with the same food issues and, if the waiting continued for a long time, dressed unsuitably for a season. Only in the regiment they were getting a descent food, bathing and clothes.
As a result, optimistically, at least 30% of the recruited peasants had not been making it to the army (by some estimates only 1 in 3 made it) and the rest had been either dying or “disappearing”. So the owners had been suffering losses while the state was not getting soldiers. Attempts to remedy the problem had been typical for the time (from severe flogging and all the way to execution of the officials caught on misbehaving) but, as was much later told to Peter by his Procurator General, “if you want to execute all criminals, you’ll fund yourself without the subjects”. So there were some improvements but the system remained wasteful.
Following the prevailing standard of the time, the tactics was linear so the initiative of the subordinate commanders has to be limited not to disrupt integrity of a line. Why did Peter bothered to create the grenadier units is one of the historic mysteries. Of course, they looked kind of cute with their high hats but how one was supposed to throw grenades (see picture below) while in a formation (and without a risk to hurt his fellow soldiers) is a question to which I have no answer. Well, without the little mysteries like that history would be no fun.
It is often considered to be a boring issue but when you have an army and the fleet, you have to feed their members during the peace and war. Skipping the part related to the peace time , at a war time the army was expected to use combination of the magazines and supply trains carrying few weeks worth of supplies. One one hand, this was expected to lessen reliance upon the magazine system with a resulted greater freedom of the long-distance marches  but OTOH was forcing army to have a baggage train with the tens of thousands wagons. It was expected than in (an unlikely) case when the army would have to operate in the densely populated “civilized” areas size of such a train cut be cut due to the possibility to obtain (by purchase or confiscations) provision in the area of operations and, if needed, to create movable field magazines (like the Western armies were doing). In general, system of the purchases was considered preferential because, besides giving the Commissariat officers an opportunity to enrich themselves 
, it did not unnecessary alienate the local population thus simplifying a process. 
System of living entirely off the land, as was demonstrated by the previous wars, allowed a greater maneuvering opportunities but also could cause severe problems when the area of operations was exhausted.
With all these resources and problems known, Peter had to decide upon his course of actions generally defined by the Russian-Swedish treaty of a mutual help. To interfere on his own initiative? To wait until being asked? How many forces to commit and where? Their composition, who will be in charge, etc. As the first step, he let Charles know that he is ready to fulfill his obligations and, without too much of a fanfare, started creating magazine in Pskov and marching some of his best prepared troops in this direction…,
Garrisons in Kolsky Ostrog and Archangelsk had been strengthened by the streltsy regiments and artillery in the case of a possible Danish naval attack with the order to strengthen the existing fortifications and to build additional earthwork forts at the mouths of the Kola and Northern Dvina rivers.
 Formally, Preobrazensky and Semenivsky regiments are not, yet, called this way but they are already elite troops by their composition (even a big part of the rank soldiers are nobles), equipment (the best available of everything) and training and performance during the Azov campaigns.
 So far, exclusively dragoons. The cuirassiers are only in the plans due to the unavailability of the horses (only few of those bough abroad already arrived).
 Of course, Peter is thinking before doing but some processes are really hard to stop after they started (and this applies not just to “scratching the itchy places and eating a tasty food”
) and stopping the manufactures which just started picking up the steam may have worse consequences than having reserve of the artillery barrels.
 Ironically or not, exactly this style of a cavalry attack survived in the Russian cavalry through WWI and RCW while the orderly charges by the knee-to-knee formations had been long gone.
 Making him to think does not imply that he become Mother Theresa.
 It started with a demagoguery position that “population must feed its defenders” (meaning direct supply of the natural products) to a more rational system of the purchases at a fixed price and creation of the magazines at the places of troops’ dislocation.
 Keep in mind that Peter was preparing his army primarily for the future war with the Ottomans/Crimea, which means operations in the areas where creation of the magazines was difficult or almost impossible (like in a middle of an open steppe).
 As was commented in OTL by Suvorov (who served in the commissariat on the early stages of his career) “if someone served in the intendancy for two years, this person can be executed without a trial”.
 A special case was the intentional
devastation of the area as was done in OTL in Livonia by Sheremetev’s army. The purpose was both to scare the locals and to deprive the Swedes from a supply sources if they are going to launch a counter offensive: the Russian troops always coukd retreat to their own territory.