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Thread: We fight for Christ! A Knights of Saint John AAR.

  1. #1
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    We fight for Christ! A Knights of Saint John AAR.

    I write this history lest the true story be lost, like countless truths before it. History bends and warps until truth is lost and this I hope to avoid. If possible, I will stay with my own observations and thoughts but I will offer that of others if I was not present.

    As to who am I? That would be quite a long story in itself but I am known as Matthias de Molay, a name that should be known to the astute among you. For was it not Jacques de Molay who burned at the stake so many years ago when the greedy French king Philip the Fair seized Knight Templar lands and executed many members of that former Order? I remember that day all too well and those brothers died protecting a secret, my secret. I remember earlier times than even this. I remember when the Arabs swept out of Arabia in 632, or the fall of Rome in 410 when the Visigoths and their King Alaric sacked the city. I even remember Caesar Augustus and even Herod, yes, I lived even in those times and it was there, in Judea, that my most heinous crime was committed. Folly, such folly yet how was I to know but I had my orders but following orders is no defense in the eyes of the Lord. I ramble on and babble like an old fool. Enough of my woes!

    January 1492

    The Grand Commander of the Order and I meet on the first of the year and the following exchange occurred.

    "Marshal, what are the strengths of our forces?"

    "Some 9,000 foot and 1,000 horse plus we have our fleet of galleys, ample enough to carry the entire army and then some."

    "I see. Treasurer, how stands our finances?"

    "We are very poor, Commander. Ever since our preceptories in Europe have stopped sending us men and monies we are in a desperate situation."

    "I see. So, gentlemen, what do we do?"

    A host of ideas were presented. The Treasurer wished internal development and the building of trade. The Hospitaller wished an increase in non-military functions, care for pilgrims and such. The Drapier, or quartermaster, said we should horde our wealth and lend it to other nations. The Turcopolier called for increased raids on sea and land to get the wealth we would need.

    "And what do you think, Marshal?"

    "Development is a good idea but the Island of Rhodes is beyond poor. If you have nothing and double it, you still have nothing, no? I also agree that care of pilgrims is something we should be concerned about yet this will not feed us for the most part. As for banking, the Templars tried that and look where that got them. I do not wish to burn. Increasing raids against the infidel on land and sea would gain us plunder but in the end saps our strength and will make us a target for retribution and as you know, we cannot take the Turks."

    "Well said but you have not answered my question." the Commander said testily.

    "I push for a bold move to propel us to power. A move that is true to the Crusades that saw this Order formed. I suggest this. That the Treasurer seek to procure us a loan against our revenue for the next five years and we use this for three things; to expand our trading abilities, to extend our infrastructure and finally for a bold strike against the Muslims."

    "And against whom would you strike against, Marshal? said the Turcopolier and all eyes were riveted upon me.

    "To one of the graineries of ancient Rome. A strike on the weak Hafsid Empire. Weak, yet far wealthier than we for the grain of Tunisia will feed us and the armies and the ivory of Tripolitania will be a highly desired export as we have no use for it as we are but simple warrior-monks."

    The room erupted in dissent yet above all, the sound of the Commander could be heard.

    "I have planned for such a strike, de Molay, and if you hurry you can catch the galley in the harbor that waits for you. The army needs it's commander. Good luck, brother, and remember we fight for Christ!"

    A bold gamble that would see us succeed and become strong or fail and see us fade from the Earth.

    Edit: A date, nothing major.
    Last edited by Braedonnal; 08-02-2004 at 10:16.
    "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die." -- Eddard Stark

  2. #2
    Alien Space Bat Judas Maccabeus's Avatar
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    Bold indeed. I can't wait to see how this pans out.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks Judas, I will do my best to please. I'm trying a bit more narrative style of writing this time and I will try not to write this in the report style of the Prussian AAR if I can help it. If I slip, feel free to mock me so I get back on task!

    Oh, I should mention the settings and rules for the Knights.

    Version EU 1.10 with enhanced AI v.6
    IGC 2.3
    IGC Options: Byzantium and Astrakhan CoT
    Difficulty: Normal
    AI Aggressiveness: Furious

    The Knights Hospitallier (Saint John) will not offensively DoW any Catholic or Counter Reformed Catholic nation though aiding allies is all good. If DoWed upon by Catholics or CRC, I have no problem with taking territory in peace talks (and this land would represent Knight holdings that were held throughout Europe, the aforementioned preceptories) though I will not outright annex them if I can help it though one province minors I might, we will see. Diploannexing is all good and I plan on at least one of these.

    Protestants and Reformed Protestants are fair game for DoW until the Edict of Tolerance and they will be force converted at every opportunity.

    As to Orthodox nations, I think I will allow myself to DoW them also. Catholic-Orthodox relations were never all that good especially after the Fourth Crusade and the Knight's base on Rhodes was seized from them so I see no reason to restrain myself against them. My main opponents, however, will be Muslim nations and pagans and the bulk of my aggressive attacks will be aimed at them.

    Sound good?
    "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die." -- Eddard Stark

  4. #4
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    As it was, I did not leave Rhodes until January 23rd having been busily preparing for supplies needed for the battles ahead and not too mention the marriage between one of the Turcopolier's sisters and a brother of the Doge of Venice. Venice, I have never been sure what to think about them. In some ways, they are like us, warring against the infidel on the seas but unlike us they fight exclusively for money and not for faith. No matter.

    The trip to the Malta Channel was long and uneventful and our fleet arrived there on April 16th. The army was aching for a fight but I waited and said, "I seek a sign."

    I received this sign the night of April 30th as the sky itself was alight with streaking lights that seemed to bombard these far away, exotic lands.

    The landings began the next day and continued for some time and Tripolitania was not besieged until June 8th and I ordered the Admiral to return with reinforcements and supplies that were gathering in Rhodes.

    The desert sun was an awful enemy but my force was small enough to live off the land even in these conditions. I found myself wondering where the Hafsid army was, perhaps they sailed to strike at Rhodes or even one of our allies. We would pray that God would see our lands and allies safe and I concentrated on the task at hand.

    July 4th was shaping up like every other day. Hot and dry with a bit of wind. It looked as though a duststorm was coming but then I saw the horses and men. At last, a battle. The men were aching for one and I promised them one. As the army formed up the Turcopolier rode up to me and noticed my lance.

    "Why do you use such a relic? That spear is better suited on a wall or to be used as firewood than on a field of battle."

    It was the wrong thing to say and I found myself back there, hundreds of years ago. I thrust my spear and the blood flows but the man no longer moves...

    "Marshal, Marshal! Are you well?"

    A bad time for daydreams. "I am fine, I was just thinking that's all. Is the army ready?"

    "Yes, the army is deployed. Your orders?"

    "I will take the cavalry. The Turcopolier will lead the pike and crossbowmen."

    I scanned the opposing army. This couldn't be their main force and it appeared to be raw recruits. The Turcopolier led the infantry with much gusto and soon the Muslim center began to break due to the accurate volleys of the Genoesse mercenaries.

    We began the charge slowly. "Crouch lances!" and as one the forces lances were lowered for the charge. "Godspeed, brothers, and let not one of the infidel escape!"

    The doubt the weathering fire of crossbows had instilled rapidly turned into panic and then a rout. These raw recruits had no chance and not one survived the charge.

    It was over and when I returned to our siege camp my squire took my arms and armor, all except the spear.
    "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die." -- Eddard Stark

  5. #5
    Vice Admiral Braedonnal's Avatar
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    The summer carried on with no real changes and we continued our vigilant siege as we waited for news or the reinforcements.

    Summer turned to fall and real progress had been made with the siege but rather than risk assaulting and the losses that entailed, I ordered the men to wait and starve the enemy out but we didn't wait long.

    The citadel surrendered October 8th and we marched into the city in a digified manner not like the Crusaders of long ago. These infidel were quite amazed and I believed they expected the worst as well they should have as I thought back on the previous Crusades. Oh, the things that we did all in the name of God. I remembered too well the slaughter of Jerusalem but more importantly I remembered the plague and stench afterwards and I refused to have that happen again and besides we needed the people here as we could not repopulate this land. Some of the mercenaries did disobey and harassed the population and these were dealt with harshly and one man was even put to death. I took this seriously and there was no executioner but myself as I was unwilling to order someone to do it.

    We learned that the Hafsid Emirs had sailed to Genoa and with no opposition I ordered the march to Tunisia and thankfully this land is a bit more mild and green. We set in for another lengthy siege on November 11th and it continues through the New Year.

    At last, reinforcements and news from Rhodes! 6,000 men are added to our army and we are told of the wars in Europe and beyond. Byzantium was warring with little Ragusa and Turkey was at war with the Mameluk and this second war concerned me a great deal. I put the army to good use and Tunisia falls on February 11th. Our terms are simple, full annexation and the transfer of any armies and navies to our military. Our navy was doubled in size and our nation tripled. The Hafsid army was wiped out to a man landing in Genoa we learned out later. A pity that, but I have to call this a resounding success!

    The Turcopolier asked, "But what now?"

    To that, I had no answer.
    "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die." -- Eddard Stark

  6. #6
    Colonel zacharym87's Avatar

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    Good move against the Hafsids, they seem to be real push-overs. The character is interesting, I wonder what secret lies buried in Judea? BTW, who exactly are your allies, looks like Genoa is one, any others?
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  7. #7
    Vice Admiral Braedonnal's Avatar
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    They were pushovers because they sailed after Genoa and, well, they spent all their money on tax collectors much like the Hanse did in my Prussian AAR.

    Sometimes I wonder about the AI. I besiege a province and they take off to Genoa without a care. This made things way too easy.

    A war I just finished was just as bad but I won't go into details until I write it up for the AAR but so far this has been much easier than I expected.

    My allies are Modena, Genoa, Milan and Tuscany currently. Genoa really tore up things on the naval side against the Hafsids which was handy. I was hoping to eventually ditch this alliance and hook up with Spain but Spain really got pounded on so I am not sure I want to get involved with them. France is already getting to be evil and powerful already and I might hook up with them later on but I think Venice would be good soonish or maybe Austria for an anti-Turk coalition.
    "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die." -- Eddard Stark

  8. #8
    Vice Admiral Braedonnal's Avatar
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    What to do indeed, I wonder. Well, it is not like I will learn the answers here in Tunisia so the Turcopolier and I left to meet with the other officers of the Order in Rhodes after seeing that the new lands were pacified and the army in good hands.

    We were received most humbly by our equals. All the key players were here.

    "I see some new construction has been done while I was away."

    "Indeed. We have built some government buildings and over there is a mint, a place we print money if you did not know." the Treasurer replied.

    "Ah, and how are our financial sitation now with the addition of Tripolitania and Tunisia?" Grand Commander d'Aubusson asked.

    "Well, we are minting coin currently but I am happy to say our yearly tax census is some 32,000 florins as compared to the 2,000 we received before the conquest. We have also expanded our trade interests in Thrace and Venice, not to mention the Genoesse share that the former Hafsid Empire had. I believe we will be able to repay the loan in time and have some credit in the coffers."

    "Have you discussed our next course of action?" I asked, hoping they had at least given it some thought.

    "Yes, yes we have. The news of this war between the Ottomans and the Mameluks is quite distressing. Should all Mameluk provinces fall to the Turks we will be hard-pressed to hold our conquests. Yet, we do not wish to tangle with the Ottomans at this time. Perhaps a strike to take Algiers? This region is rich in grain and wine and the mountains have iron."

    "My lords! My lords! I have urgent news!"

    I looked at the newcomer, a young squire, much like my own. "We are not lords, you know. We are your officers and fellow swordbrothers." and to this youth bowed his head to conceal his blushing face. "Well, what is your news? I know it must be important indeed if you disturb our conclave."

    "It is, Marshal. The most holy Kingdom of Castille-Aragon has declared war upon the infidel Turks and their Catholic brothers in Poland-Lithuania fight by their side!" the youth hurriedly said.

    "Ah! It is well you came to us. This changes all our plans. Go now, young one, my fellow officers and I have much to discuss."

    "Of course, Marshal."

    "Blessed be the Lord, my Brothers! The Turks will be in trouble for some time with Spain I believe. So, we are agreed in this?" d'Aubusson asked.

    "To war the Turks with the Spanish by our sides? asked the Drapier.

    "Oh no, if Spain is worthy and righteous, God will see her victorious, my brother. We will war with the Mameluk while the Spanish keep the Turks busy." I answered.

    "You know, de Molay, you truly are a cunning man. I thought Turk as well but that Mameluk business is brilliant. Make it so and bring glory to God and worry not, you will not need to wait for a sign this time for a diplomat is ready for the letter we will draft for the Mameluks."

    "Very good, sir. Farewell, Grand Commander and my fellow officers. 'Til we meet again." and with that the Turcopolier and I were off to join the army in Tripolitania on this 1st of June, the year of our Lord 1494.
    Last edited by Braedonnal; 09-02-2004 at 17:17.
    "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die." -- Eddard Stark

  9. #9
    Vice Admiral Braedonnal's Avatar
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    Once more I find myself baked by the desert sun. I see nothing worthwhile in these lands and yet they must be reduced and I fervently hope it is sooner than later so we can force a peace on the infidel before armies are crawling all over us. Alas, it is not to be and this siege drags on until finally the garrison surrenders on the 9th of December.

    The Turcopolier and I have planned our advance and we carry it out as we had five months to run over it in our heads. The sun batters down upon our columns and during this march the last of our horses perish and even our scouts go on foot. This campaign is taking its toll. We arrive in Alexandria on the 16th of February and we are met by the first opposition we have encountered. These 8,000 green feudal levies are met by our superior weapons, tactics, numbers and morale. Pikes and crossbows are more than enough to slaughter these men and the ensuing melee sees their entire force killed for only minimal losses and begin the reduction of this wealthy and ancient city and former home of one of the five Catholic Patriarchates.

    Alexandria would not fall until the 20th of July and we marched the army to the Cataract which was besieged on the 22nd of August and fell a month later.

    "Where are the vaunted Mameluk armies, Marshal?"

    "I am not certain, brother, but I imagine they must have been dealt a deadly blow from Ottoman armies in the north. I know the men are itching for a real test in battle but let us remain vigilant and steadfast in our duties."

    "Will we make peace with the Mameluks as we control the west bank of the Nile or do we force a crossing and carry on?"

    "Let's carry on and see what surprises lie on the east bank. I am curious and wish to see what borders the Turks will achieve here."

    "Very well, brother. Shall we have reinforcements sent?"

    "Nay, let them guard Tunisia 'til we have need of them." I replied. He might be right as we are down to 13,000 men but pulling forces from Tunisia might trigger war and that was something I wished to avoid. It was to be a mistake.

    The Turcopolier orders the building of rafts to cross the Nile and on the 10th of November, our forces siege Egypt. 12,000 more levied troops are thrown away against our seasoned troops and a mere 3,000 survive.

    8,000 Mameluk troops are spotted in the Sinai and these are not green troops but battlehardened veterans. I put the infantry out front with shields and pike and behind them I split the crossbowmen into two groups, the best shots are allowed to fire and the second group reloads. This doesn't give any real advantage in fire but it appears that our crossbowmen are firing twice as fast and the effect on enemy morale in enormous. This battle is a week long affair but in the end not a single infidel survives, truly a great day for our Lord!

    Egpyt falls on the 11th of April, the year of our Lord 1496 and I determine to march to the Nile Delta. We meet a force here on the 27th of May and we are defeated and are forced back to Alexandria. I immediately call for reinforcements but they not be here in time as the enemy pursues us across the Nile!

    As the battle is about to be joined, I mention to the Turcopolier that "Perhaps you should command the logistics of these wars and I stick to tactics and strategy."

    "Aye, those 6,000 men might have carried the last battle and would be welcome here now!"

    "Marshal! Turcopolier! I bear ill-tidings. The Turks wars no longer with the Mameluk, having received Aleppo and Judea for peace."

    "Keep silent about it! Do you wish to spook the men? I swear, sometimes I think you must be a Mohammadian agent!"

    I do not think we would have carried the day but for the Nile. Our crossbows killed so many men in the crossings and the pikes and halberdiers waited to greet them on the shores. They broke but had nowhere to flee and were destroyed and their bodies floated down the Nile, a grim reminder of what happens to those that go against God's will!

    The 24th of October sees us battling recruits again and these 5,000 Mameluks never had a chance, another example of the Order's righteousness in the eyes of God! We settle in for a siege for the Delta and await reinforcements. The siege carries on and we receive more terrible news, Spain is forced to turn over Sicily and Messina to Turkish administration. It is a black day for Christianity.

    The 1st of April sees the Nile Delta capitulate but before we can continue our march we are set on by 7,000 Mameluks. These sorry looking bunch of men barely put up a fight and we continue on to Nile which is completely undefended. After this, we march to the Sinai and from there to Samaria and besiege Jerusalem. I cannot even bare to look upon it and I am forced to take ill and the Turcopolier leads the army but take no notice and I am back there again.

    ...Such a storm I have never seen and black clouds blot out the sun. What a miserable day to be in the Roman army. It is bad enough to be on garrison duty in a hostile, pagan city such as this but to have to stand watch over the dying like this...it's too much!...and then the memory changes and it's the spear again, driving it in, "Damned criminals! Aha, you are finally dead and about time, six hours is a long time to die!" and then I hear her voice, "Why have you killed my son? Why?" and these words strike me like a blow but it is not nearly as bad as when I hear him say, "Why have you killed my son?" and I turn to look and see...

    They say that my screams did not stop until the city fell. I doubt that, I mean can a man scream for three months straight? I awoke just as I was to be transported into the Holy City and wearily I told my brothers to stop.

    "You are back, Marshal! We thought the fever would kill you for sure. You must be made of stern stuff to fight it so long, it's unheard of! It is yet another miracle."

    "No, you fool. I cannot die, do you not understand?" and said without thought. These men didn't know, only the officers did.

    "Verily, you might be right. Unharmed in all battles but always in the thick of it and living three months with a fever. I'd say you are touched by God, sir."

    I was together enough now to not blurt anything out.

    "Yes, I must be indeed. Such things can happen if your faith is strong, brothers."

    "Praised be the Lord, Marshal. He works in mysterious ways."

    "Amen." and I paused for a moment. "I will remain outside the city, brothers. I do not wish to see the works of the Infidel. I will complete my pilgrimage another time. Besides, I have much to do but send word to the Turcopolier of my recovery. We will need to plan the conquests of Lebanon and Syria."

    "It will be done, Marshal."

    "Oh yes, you have all done well and struck a mighty blow for Christiandom and dealt a great wound to the infidel." and these brothers were all grins at that.

    We did not tarry long here as the fleet had been sent to pick up the army. A most daring assault was planned as the Mameluks had a small army on the coast. God was indeed with the Order as these 5,000 men were smited with the crusader's zeal. There were no survivors at all and Lebanon fell to us as the land was not fortified. This left Syria which we besieged on the 23rd of January, year of our Lord 1498 and the end was a bit anticlimatic as the garrison surrendered on the 24th of July and we annexed their empire on the 25th.

    It was a great victory and yet I could take no joy in it and the pain I felt was overwhelming but in the end I knew it was simply part of my doom or fate or weird. I had not yet paid for my crimes in full...
    "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die." -- Eddard Stark

  10. #10
    Non sufficit orbis Lord E's Avatar
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    So you decided to go with the knights, cool. Good start here


    Edit: Post nr. 800 hurray
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  11. #11
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    Too good, Lord E. It's been a cakewalk so far but I do have one small problem. My manpower hasn't changed a bit so if I fight the Turks or Persia, I will have trouble with a long war. I miss Magdeburg and Brandenburg and all that manpower!

    Grats on 800! I am but a pup to your posting mastery.
    "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die." -- Eddard Stark

  12. #12
    King Harvest Cow Pie's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Braedonnal
    As to Orthodox nations, I think I will allow myself to DoW them also. Catholic-Orthodox relations were never all that good especially after the Fourth Crusade and the Knight's base on Rhodes was seized from them so I see no reason to restrain myself against them. My main opponents, however, will be Muslim nations and pagans and the bulk of my aggressive attacks will be aimed at them.
    Except for the Council of Florence when the Byzantine's converted to Catholic faith. But in game they are Orthodox, but they are still the barrier against the Turkish Menace.

  13. #13
    Vice Admiral Braedonnal's Avatar
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    Technicially you are correct, Cow Pie, but the people of the Orthodox faith never accepted Papal authority as the damage to relations had already been done.

    "So deseperate did the situation seem in 1439 that, at the Council of Florence, the Byzantine emperor and the patriarch of Constantinople capitulated to virtually all the papacy's terms for a reunion of the Eastern and Western churches, hoping in return for Western aid. But in 1444 the Turks wiped out an army of European crusaders in Bulgaria, while Constantinople's populace repudiated union with the hated "Franks," trusting that their "God-defended" city would miraculiously survive. from The West Transformed: A History of Western Civilization Volume I.

    Quite honestly, had the crusaders succeeded it is likely the Emperor himself would have gone against the Council anyways and after years of fighting "Franks" in Greece and Asia Minor, the people would have nothing of it.

    This hatred is exactly why I decided I would allow fighting with the nations of Orthodox faith. I hope this explains why I came to that decision.
    "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die." -- Eddard Stark

  14. #14
    Non sufficit orbis Lord E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Braedonnal
    Too good, Lord E. It's been a cakewalk so far but I do have one small problem. My manpower hasn't changed a bit so if I fight the Turks or Persia, I will have trouble with a long war. I miss Magdeburg and Brandenburg and all that manpower!

    Grats on 800! I am but a pup to your posting mastery.
    Hehehe well the posts will come, you just see.

    Well it must be really shitty with that low manpower, but remember you don't have to start with fighting them, you can take out some small Italian state or something first, and that way you will get more money and men
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  15. #15
    The Little Corporal Morpheus506's Avatar
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    nice start, but I still think the TO would've been a bigger challenge. There are no Hafsids or Mamelukes up north there...

    Lord E, congrats on #800! *absent-mindedly polishes Field Marshal insignia*
    WW Results: Won: 3 | Survived but lost: 1 | Lynched: 9 | Killed by Hunter: 1 | Eaten: 10
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    Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. -- Albert Einstein

  16. #16
    Vice Admiral Braedonnal's Avatar
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    I look forward to a bit of a rest as these years have been very taxing. The army desperately needs to rest and rebuild strength. I leave the Turcopolier in command in Syria as I sail back to Rhodes and make my thoughts known to the others.

    The trip is uneventful and I arrive in Rhodes and meet with my brothers.

    "You have succeeded beyond our hopes. Your mission was truly must have been blessed by God," the Grand Commander preached.

    "The Mohammadians were shattered, sir. They had no forces to spare to fight both the Turk and our own forces. I think this was less a miracle and more a matter of good timing."

    At this, the Hospitallier spoke up. "You still doubt, do you not? How can one touched such as you still not really believe? Do you think you see the ages pass through anything other than the powers of the Lord? Even if you are right and it was this timing, how did that opportunity come to be?"

    The silence hung over the room like a noose waiting to hang the first person to break it.

    "Brother, I..."

    "I am not finished, Marshal! The Order harbors you and others have in the past and many have died to keep you safe and yet rather than believe that you might be important in His grand plan you stand here a coward."

    "A coward?!"

    He moved forward and I found myself at loss. I have never seen someone so full of righteous anger and I found myself giving ground.

    "Aye, verily. You are quite possibly the most cowardly man I have ever encountered. Oh sure, you can stand up to enemies without a care but you can't even stand up for what you know is true. Most men have only their faith and these are the men are truly blessed. These are the men that would go to the lions and have no doubts. What of you, brother? Would you die for Him?"

    My back hit a wall and I wished myself anywhere but here.

    "I fight for Him."

    "NO! NO! NO! Thrice NO! You fight only because of your guilt. Don't you dare disillusion yourself. You fight only for you. You fight as though that alone can make up for the past."

    His tone became much softer and that contrast alone was shocking.

    "You knew back then, did you not?"

    "Knew what?"

    "Who you mocked. Who you thrusted your spear into."

    "Yes." I said in as flat of a tone as I could.

    "You believed then, yes?"

    "Yes." I knew where this was leading but I was powerless to avoid it.

    "So, why did you not refuse to do it?"

    "Because...I...was afraid...afraid to die." I must have sounded like a beaten man.

    "You fight as you do to make up for that, right?"

    "I seek death, yes."

    "Selfish."

    It seemed to me that this was no normal man at all maybe an imp come to torment me but if it was a man he must have been a prophet. He leaned in close and whispered so the others could not overhear.

    "No need to look for Death for Death will find you when he is ready. I tell you this, you will not die the way you hoped for and obviously not by your own hand for it is easy for me to see that that did not work."

    "But, but how?" but he just gave me a knowing look.

    It took a polite cough to bring me back. I barely remembered what was decided. We would consolidate our gains and develop our lands and I would use this time to meditate and pray. I had many things to seek guidance about now and those twelve long years of reflection would change me immeasuribly.
    "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die." -- Eddard Stark

  17. #17
    Vice Admiral Braedonnal's Avatar
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    True, Morpheus, but there is winter and those that master using General Winter can do well even among the schismatics and papists in the North.

    I'll play T.O. after this AAR. I decided that I will only play this until the Islamic and Pagan nations are conquered as this will fit with the story I am planning and I am just not enjoying the Knights all that much but I am loving writing this AAR.
    "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die." -- Eddard Stark

  18. #18
    Major CitizenPaul's Avatar

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    Interesting character, easy conquest!
    What's your tech that you win battles so easily?
    Callum was intrigued by two men working on a country road. One man would dig a hole two or three feet deep and then move on. The other man came along 25 feet behind and filled in the hole. "Hold it, hold it," Callum said to the men. "Can you tell me what's going on here?"
    "Well, we work for the county," one of the men said.
    "But one of you is digging a hole and the other fills it up. You're not accomplishing anything. Aren't you wasting the county's money?"
    "You don't understand, mister," one of the men said, leaning on his shovel and wiping his brow. "Normally there's three of us: me, Hugh and Willie. I dig the hole, Hugh sticks in the tree and Willie here puts the dirt back. Now just because Hugh's sick, that don't mean that Willie and me can't work."

  19. #19
    The Little Corporal Morpheus506's Avatar
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    the power of God, no doubt
    WW Results: Won: 3 | Survived but lost: 1 | Lynched: 9 | Killed by Hunter: 1 | Eaten: 10
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  20. #20
    Vice Admiral Braedonnal's Avatar
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    I've been mostly rushing land tech. The Knights start at land 1 but I had advanced to land 3 by 1494 and land 4 at the end of this Mameluk business and would be land 5 for the upcoming Turkish war.

    The main reason I have been winning so many battles is fighting fresh recruits. The Hafsid army I never even fought, they sailed from Tunisia to land in Genoa and were butchered upon landing. When I fought the Mameluks, I think their main armies had already been ruined by the Ottomans. I had taken up to the Nile before encountering any Mameluk opposition and they came at me with freshly recruited troops with God-awful morale and in piecemeal fashion. 5,000 here 3,000 there and never attempted to build a real large army to kick me out with. I was reminded of the book Red Storm Rising when the naval task force is engaging the 'Backfires' and Toland is like, "They're coming in dumb, sir." I mean, my 15k to 20k army with leader are going to beat up these small formations and often I would obliterate them, no survivors.

    With Mameluk territory in my hands I have a good amount of wealth but manpower is a problem so I have to build up before wars and have reserve armies to reinforce my sieging armies and just so you know all Knight armies are siege armies as their infantry have siege 1 which is very handy this early in the game.

    I looked at some old AAR's on the Knights to see if others had an easy time and people encountered similar problems with the AI being dumb and things going too easily.
    "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die." -- Eddard Stark

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