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

  1. #21
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    I wasn't really needed until we received the news on the 12th of October, year of our Lord 1510. Persia had decided to war with the fearful Ottoman Turks and it was this event that stirred us into action.

    "So, back into the breach yet again, Marshal? It was the Turcopolier, well, the new one anyways. The officers all come and go, except me that is.

    "Yes. We have been idle far too long. It is about time we once again did God's will."

    I sounded more sure of myself than I actually was. I wondered what God really would want.

    No matter, I had my orders. The armies would march after the census taxes but I would head to Lebanon while Phillipe de L'Isle Adam would lead our forces in Tunisia against the Algierians. A brilliant commander, I learned much of the more modern siege techniques from him and he would be facing the far more difficult task than I for he was outnumbered nearly 3 to 1 and as for Turkish opposition, we knew of none but certainly that wouldn't be true.

    This would also test this new alliance we had joined. We counted Spain, Poland, and Moldavia as our allies.

    I will say this, I liked Lebanon far more than Rhodes. The people here were mainly Christians though I would not exactly call them Catholic as there were many Monophysites but they certainly were more friendly then the oft-times overtaxed Rhodesians. The same was true in areas for Egypt, where Coptic branches of the Christian church survived. All-in-all, our religious clout was high and with the reinstitution of the Patriarchates of Alexandria and Jerusalem the Knights had a great say on matters in Roma especially with the Pope seeming more interested in secular matters than spiritual. With a bit of luck and faith, we might see the Patriarchate of Antioch (Aleppo province) among our holdings.

    I had an aide this war for Jacques Gatineau arrived in January as we began our march to Judea and we besieged this on the 16th. Unfortunately, I abandoned this when a mighty Turkish army besieged Syria. This, I felt would be the decisive battle of this war.

    Our mounted turcopolier scouts, not to be confused with The Turcopolier, reported that the enemy numbered equal to our own forces 30,000 to 30,000 but that they seemed to be unaware of us.

    "Well, I could split the army and try to break them with a charge or I can wait for the infantry and deploy a proper battle formation but risk them becoming aware of us."

    Jacques replied, "You have ever been a bold man. Why change this now? I can deploy the infantry and our arquebusiers when they arrive."

    "Okay, do this." A plan was forming. "Deploy our gunners in a line and have the pike mainly on the flanks. I want them in squares naturally and they will guard against outflanking. I want the halberdiers and those Swiss mercenaries, the ones with those great swords..."

    "The Landsknecht?" Jacques offered.

    "Ah yes, that is it. They shall take the center. Hopefully, the Turks will avoid the pikes on the flanks and attack the center. The marksman should be able to pour fire into enemy formations and when the Turks near them the halberdiers shall cover them and those Landsknecht will attack. Then, signal the pike to attack their flank and what is left of us cavalry will attack the rear. Sound good?"

    "A line of marksman, they will be swept away if the halberds fail."

    "True, but in a line they all can fire. They are not firing with bows. They can't all fire in a square, no?"

    "True enough, it will be done, Marshal"

    The charge went brilliantly and the effect on enemy morale was considerable but the enemy rallied quicker than I had hoped and we could not scatter them. I ordered the Knights further forward and deep into the Turkish camp. To add to the mayhem, we burned what we could and then I ordered the withdrawl.

    The Turks were no fools but they were rather light on cavalry. Their Janissaries formed up and marched ahead to the infantry's formation. Murderous reports tore into the infidels ranks before their own superior marksmen began to reply and our marksmen began to waver. The Turks smelled victory and charged what seemed to be a disintegrating center but instead charged headlong into halberd spikes. Then those fierce Swiss entered the fray, inflicting further pain on the enemy. The well-drilled pike began to march to attack the flanks and I gave the order to charge, "Ready lances! Remember brothers, God is with us!"

    The crash intense and forced these hapless infidel forward into the men ahead of them. As the mass moved forward and men were thrown into men, they increasingly found less room to fight in. Eventually, the charge could no longer be sustained and the lances had been discarded for swords, maces, flails and picks. Surrounded and pressed in on all sides and with no room to fight the Turks broke and very few could escape the net the enveloped them but then I heard shots fired. The fool ordered them to fire into the melee! It turns out that he ordered them to cover the flanks to fire upon the enemy stragglers which was well as the horses were too exhausted to permit a real pursuit.

    Yet, it was a great victory against a foes that were supposed to be superior to us in all ways. I will not bore you with insignificant battles against newly recruited forces or of sieges but below is a brief chronology of events.

    Aleppo besieged and falls May 15th.
    We shatter a sieging force of Turks in Syria (15,700/7,800/30) against (23,000/0/0) and send the remants of this infantry mass to Judea.
    This shaken enemy force is followed to Judea and is attacked, breaks and with no place to flee is destroyed.
    Phillipe de L'Isle Adam attacks in Algiers.
    Judea falls November 14th and relive Syria yet again.
    I march our forces to Adana and Polish army are ravaging European Turkish holdings.
    Poland takes Dobrudja and leave us alone to fight the Turks.
    March 7th, L'Isle Adam takes Kabylia and marches to Al-Djazair where he is trounced by a 55,000 man force and forced to Kabylia and then to Tunisia.
    Adana falls on November 11th and gives our losses in men terms for peace are giving to the Turks and peace is given and we gain Judea and Kabylia on November 12th.

    I looked forward to a little rest after this trying campaign but news of the Grand Commander's death reaches me and I am forced to sail back to Rhodes.

    Last edited by Braedonnal; 11-02-2004 at 11:04.
    "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. #22
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    I decided to toss in a screenie. It's a bit ahead timelinewise but I wouldn't war again until this shot was taken. Notice Persian expansion due primarily to the war crippling the Turks.
    "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

  3. #23
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    Nice screenie, and a good update Now it is time to move agaisnt the Turks
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  4. #24
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    The Turks were low on my priorities at this time. I had beaten them once so I decide to go against the other Islamic powerhouse which had boxed me in in the East.
    "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. #25
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    Nearly twenty years would pass and I mostly spent this in quiet reflection when my other duties allowed me time to myself. It was odd that it took the Hospitallers words to make me truly look at the way things were and had been. It was really quite liberating and I felt good about myself. 'The truth will set you free, indeed.'

    The other officers of the Order noticed my renewed piety.

    "Careful, brother, lest you become more monk than warrior." the Grand Commander once said to me.

    "True but it takes a special person indeed to convert by the Word rather than the Sword," and to this he had no counter.

    "Regardless, the Persians are at war now with the Mughal Empire and it is long past due that we bought war to them."

    "What are our objectives, Commander?"

    "We wish the return of Antioch. Beyond that, it is unimportant though taking fish for further attacks against them is advised."

    "Of course, I suggest Iraq then. It is a well populated province and highly defended with strong walls from antiquity."

    "Agreed, make it so, Marshal," and I was off to war once again.

    I was again reunited with the army in Lebanon and from there we march north to recover the ancient city of Antioch. These lands fell quickly as local Christians aided us as scouts and spies. Most memorable was the storming of the gatehouse in Antioch and these local Christians opened the city to us. The Persians had invested Syria and when Aleppo fell we brushed aside the opposition there. We had a 2:1 advantage in men so I will not bore you with the crushing defeat that we acting as the instruments of God inflicted upon them.

    I decided to march west to Jordan in case the Persians decided to build troops behind our supply lines. It would not do to starve deep inside Persia.

    The Turcopolier was none too happy with the march west.

    "Iraq is that way! as he pointed to the east.

    "Yes, but taking Jordan opens a route to the Hadjez. If we take Mekkah one day perhaps we can establish a patriarchate there," I smiled.

    "You really have changed. I wonder if you haven't lost your edge."

    "Time will tell, brother."

    Jordan proved to be no challenge at all. Maybe I was being cautious but at least no enemies would appear behind us. Iraq would be the next province to feel the might of the Order.

    There were no Persian armies in sight. Perhaps they were fighting fiercely against the Mughals, we knew not. Iraq would be conquered and Basrah besieged before the Persian's offered peace for Aleppo and Iraq on the 30th of October, year of our Lord 1533. Perhaps we should have pushed further but as usual manpower issues reared its ugly head.
    "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. #26
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    I did not spend these ten years as I normally would have in reflection. I took a more active role and spent my time as a missionary in Egypt. I was reminded of Saint Augustine are Saint Patrick and took great joy in my work. I found this perhaps even more fulfilling than even my success as a warrior but a warrior I was and would continue to be and I was called upon again to lead the armies against the infidel.

    "Brother!" the new Turcopolier shouted. "You look as though you spent too much time amongst the Mohammadians. Your look is more suited to a follower of Islam."

    "I look no different than than someone that lives in the desert. I think easy living has dulled your mind and I pray it hasn't dulled your blade."

    The Turcopolier's look would have wilted grass had their been any here and were we not swodbrethern I think a duel would have followed.

    He rode up close and whispered, "I know you and I know your crimes and should slay you here."

    "Better men then you have tried, Brother. So, do you plan to fight me or the enemy before us?"

    This remark seemed to bring him back.

    "The infidel first, you later."

    I'd have to watch this one. I would not allow him to hinder our mission.

    "Well, it seems we have advantage in numbers on all counts. I think a more simple plan should work fine in this situation. I want several groups of skirmishers for this battle, mainly on the flanks. We will advance the infantry in line, marksmen and pike and our cavalry will remain in reserve until the enemy breaks and flees. Oversimple perhaps but oftentimes the simpliest plan is best."

    They proved no challenge at all though the battle continued on and off for days and honestly I could have led an army of young girls to defeat this rabble. The metal bullets proved highly effective here and proved to have much greater killing power especially against massed formations.

    There were no other massive engagements of armies for the duration of this war and in relative quick succession Basrah, Awhaz, Isfahan, Jordan and Kirkuk all are subdued. The Persian did manage to take the unfortified province of the Sinai with less than 1,000 men, truly a great achievement that the annals of history should remember.

    Persia was defeated and decisively so and they offer Jordan, Basrah and Awhaz for peace on the 10th of October the year of our Lord 1544.

    "I do not like you, Marshal, and likely never will but you did well here."

    This was high praise from one such as the Turcopolier and with that worry behind me I went to continue my work among the Mohammadians.
    "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

  7. #27
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    My time in Egypt did not last nearly long enough. With the arrival of Jean de La Valette in the year of our Lord 1550, much training and preparations were begun. It was none too soon as Turkey declared war upon our new allies, the Byzantines and we assisted them in this war.

    This war was unlike our others. There was no cataclysmic clash of armies and it was rather quiet in Asia as our allies, Venice, Georgia and Moldavia fought the main Ottoman armies.

    Our armies swept through Asia Minor and we reduced Adana and Angora swiftly, as we marched to Sivas, a somewhat larger force was found lead by Ozdemir. He wasn't much of a general and was slain in this somewhat minor battle. Sivas was captured and I marched the army to Konya and we swept away the recruits there and when Konya fell, the Turks had had enough and a treaty was signed ceding us the provinces of Adana, Konya and Sivas in exchange for peace on the 18th of September, the year of our Lord 1552.

    We succeeded beyond all our hopes and inflicted a terrible defeat upon the bastion of Islam. It seemed nothing could stop the conquest of Islam.

    I returned to Rhodes to help plan our future expansion.

    "Greetings, brothers. How are you?"

    "We are well, Marshal. What direction do you think we should persue?"

    "Well, Grand Commander, We have the Turks on the run. Perhaps we should build up our new holdings and war with them again when we are able."

    "It is a good plan but the Treasurer and I have come up with a better one. We will war with the Persians again in a few years and strike to gain their most economically valuable provinces."

    "I see. So why Persia besides money? They are the weaker foe by far."

    The Treasurer spoke up. "Yes, the Turks proved to be quite difficult to defeat." The other officers laughed.

    I knew that I would get nowhere with this bunch of fools. Rich we might become but theTurks had came back after their defeat by Tamarlaine and I imagined that they would be back and stronger than ever.

    "Rest assured, Commander, the army will be ready."

    "I expect and expected no less, Marshal. You are dismissed."

    Well, I thought. That went rather lovely.
    "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. #28
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    Thankfully, Jean de la Valette was voted Grand Commander after the death of the madman. Unfortunately, Jean de la Valette decided we could war with the Persians and the Turks and he to wished to war with the Persians first and that's why I found myself battling 19,000 Persians in Hamad on the 9th of August, year of our Lord, 1558.

    The percentage of gunners had steadily increased and we came to depend increasingly on this arm of the infantry. The Persians had not grasped this fact and relied on more ancient technology and as could be expected, they were ruined on this field of battle. They never did again have a sizable enough army to threaten us this campaign and over the long years eventually all of Persia would fall to us but not until the 5th of March, year of our Lord, 1564 would peace return to the Persians and the Knights giving us jurisdiction of Tabriz, Hamad and Persis.

    The war was not over however. Unbeknownst to me, we were at war with the Turks yet again. It seemed that the Treasurer had embargoed the Turks and they used this as a pretext to war. I immediately marched the army to Angora to give us a great bargaining chip against the Turks. The Turkish armies were nowhere to be seen though later I learned that they were aggressively fighting in Europe especially on Venetian islands.

    Thankfully, Thrace was holding and we had free reign to do as we pleased in Asia Minor. Anatolia and Smyrna would fall easily.

    At this point, I had to return to Rhodes.

    "Brothers, I cannot remain long. What is so important that I needed to be called here?"

    "You needed to know of the Council of Trent."

    Man arguing with man over points of faith when we were fighting the infidel seemed more than a little unimportant.

    "Well, what did the Council decide?"

    "We are now what is called Counter-Reformed Catholic and we are tasked with returning Protestants to the Catholic faith. We wish you to make terms with the Turks and to sail to Europe to fight these misguided Luther followers."

    In just a moment I had decided my course of action.

    "Of course, brothers, I will begin this straight away."

    "Good. Good. We are agreed then. Good luck, Marshal, and God be with you."

    I personally held a meeting with the brothers in the field, all the Knights under arms.

    "I have bad news, brothers. The Grand Commander and other officers have decided that we must give up our hard won gains back to the Turks and instead fight Christians, no matter how misguided, in Europe."

    "NO!" The Knights shouted as one.

    "I am afraid so. I was outnumbered though I was against this. I would rather fight the our ancient Islamic foes as we have always done."

    "YES!"

    "So, my brothers, what shall we do? I do not wish to disobey the Order yet I do wish to fight these Allah worshippers."

    A lone man spoke up bravely. "Marshal, we are tasked with fighting the infidel, we almost always have. We are the bulwark that allows Europe to fight themselves like fools and worry about points of faith rather than worrying about giving their lives in the service of the Lord. If the Grand Commander and other officers are to blind to see this then they should not be officers."

    "Well said, Brother! I agree as does the Turcopolier. Know this all of you. You all know what the Order's penalty for disobidence is. We risk our lives in this but better that our bodies die and our souls remain pure than to continue living with a blackened soul!"

    The shouts were deafening. The Knights had decided their own path.
    "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. #29
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    very nice......

    You should try getting byzantium & georgia in you alliance, they could be quite useful.
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  10. #30
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    The war was not over however. Unbeknownst to me, we were at war with the Turks yet again. It seemed that the Treasurer had embargoed the Turks and they used this as a pretext to war.
    You also have numerous Turkish core provinces from your annexation of the Mamluks. Great work against the Muslims, you might should go converting heretics in Europe, I had a lot of fun doing that in my France game .
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  11. #31
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    Been reading almost everything, except for the latest posts. A nice story!

    I will continue to follow the development
    ..........

  12. #32
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    Morph, at this point I am allied with Byzantium, Serbia, Venice and Georgia I believe.

    Zach, you are very correct but I needed to make this someone's fault. The war with the Turks actually came in response to a Byzantine call for allies but news travels slowly in these times and the truth isn't always the story told. The Marshal would be quite peeved if he knew he was lied to but then again maybe the messager was lied to...

    It's very cool to see you here Yoghurt. Hopefully, I will not fail to entertain.

    I did some digging to learn about my manpower woes. There isn't much I can do about it as I have an island capital which gives a large negative to the manpower received from unconnected provinces. At this time I am still at a pool of 20,000 max and 10,000 a year and it is definitely difficult to deal with but it forces me to prepare for my wars well. My land tech is at 10 (matchlock) at this point in case people were wondering.
    Last edited by Braedonnal; 13-02-2004 at 05:00.
    "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

  13. #33
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    The Bosphorus lay behind us now and I knew every man must be thinking what I was, What would become of us? This thinking would drive a man crazy and I ordered a swift march to the south. Better the men doing than thinking, I felt. The Turkish lands lie to the south and soon we found ourselves in Hellas and besieging ancient Greek cities.

    It was so odd to be amongst the marble columns and for many of these men this was the first time they had seen Europe as most of the Order was made up of Christians from thoughout our holdings. It awestruck me that I might be marching where Persians had marched nearly 2,000 years before or Alexander might have done the same. Even I felt it this as ancient as I was and I could only imagine this effect on the bulk of the army. It was all so romantic until the deadly sounds of the cannons roar would snap me from this daydream or the cries of my wounded and dying brothers.

    We had broken the Turks it seemed and they had no presense on mainland Europe. All that was left was to reduce the fortresses and pray our allies were doing as well as us. Hellas, Albania and Ragusa would fall to us and the Georgians had success in Kerch and Kaffa. The Greek Emperor's forces were in the northern Balkans but the Venetians were having difficulties. News of rebellions in Asia however would lead me to seek peace with the Turks and Anatolia and Smyrna became Knight governed lands on the 14th of July, year of our Lord 1570. The Turks Polish allies we give white peace to and I marched the army back to Asia were I knew I would have to pay for my disobedience. It was not to be and many of the officers had died in the fighting against rebels and we had a new Grand Commander.

    Glad that we put down the rebels, we heard nothing of the insubordination and all mention of it were striked from Knightly records. It was as if it had never happened but the men knew the truth. We all had lived and those that betrayed the Order's ideals had died and that was proof enough of our righteousness and innocence.

    "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. #34
    Vice Admiral Braedonnal's Avatar
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    Jean de la Cassiere, our newest Grand Commander would put the Order on a much accelerated program of expansion.

    "Marshal, I have a plan, a plan you might be able to help me with perhaps?"

    "I will, but first I must know what it is!"

    "We cannot war again so soon, Commander. We need to consolidate our gains and rebuild our forces." the Treasurer said a bit to excitedly and it seemed to me all our Treasurers were overly concerned with development and money.

    "I wish you to strike at the heart of Islam, brother. We will see Mekkah fall and the demoralization of the infidel!"

    "Well, Commander, I am not sure if demoralization of the enemy will result but with the object of their pilgrimmage under Knightly control it will force them to deal with us most carefully."

    "A good point, brother." said the Hospitallier and I knew not if he meant the effect on Muslim morale or the Black Stone being under our control. That was something that struck me as odd about Islam. They were incredibly against icons and portaits of their prophet yet five times a day they prayed in the direction of a lousy rock in the middle of a town in a desert but I suppose even Catholicism had it's quirks. God knows those Protestants loved to remind us of them at all times.

    "So, you will sweep the Arabian peninsula then?"

    "Yes, but we will need a fleet to finish the conquest of Oman."

    "Ah yes, well, perhaps you will capture a sizable fleet from the Hadjez and Aden."

    "Perhaps, Grand Commander, perhaps. The army is ready enough now for such a campaign."

    "Good Luck, Marshal, and may God bless our arms."

    Again, I found myself in the harsh deserts of the world. Here, in Arabia, water was far more valuable than spices or chinaware and even gold. We have been besieging the infidel for some time and a relief force was marching here.

    "That's it? Those 10,000 will have no chance against our 20,000 unless they have some sort of surprise we do not know about."

    "True enough, Marshal. This force does not worry me but this climate does. Will we be reinforced? This land is murderous to our men. A greater enemy than this rubble."

    The Turcopolier was right. The enemy was already breaking against our fortified siege camp. We had brought the wood we built this from with us and we carried the extra burden proudly and without complaint as Christ had done with the Cross. The shade and extra defense was proving invaluable.

    "Send the cavalry and report to me of our victory." I did not even lead our men to combat, not out of fear or anything of that sort but more because this was no real battle.

    Their defeat and conquest would be complete. Within a year the Hedjaz was no more and neither was Aden. The war went much worse on the western and southern lands. Nubia was threatening Egypt and the Delta and Algiers had taken Kabylia.

    It took several months of delaying tactics in Eqypt to allow my forces to arrive. Unlike the Mameluks of old, we trained our armies safely away from our opponents and some 14,000 men were added to my core of 10,000 men and yes, the sun and lack of water killed half my force. We marched after these Nubians and found them rediculiously easy to defeat in battle. Perhaps it was our superior weapons and tactics, or maybe it was the Holy Lance as my spear was rumored to be. I found it humorous that for once, the rumormongers were right. With the Nubian armies cut down like wheat at the harvest the eventual subjugation and subsequent annexation was unavoidable and took less than a years time.

    Forces had been levied in Tunisia and Tripolitania and soon I found my army in Kabylia as this province had been retaken during our march here. The Algierian army was not the 60,000 man monster it once was having been bled in their sieges and assaults and 35,000 Knights swept away the 20,000 Algierian troops and this became a simple siege operation at that point and when Aures fell on the 26th of December, year of our Lord, 1579 and annexed their lands to our own.

    Islam had been dealt a crippling blow and I was certain their leaders were wondering what to do about Mekkah being part of Christian holdings but Oman was not yet conquered and would have to be soon to allow us free reign elsewhere.
    Last edited by Braedonnal; 13-02-2004 at 11:35.
    "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

  15. #35
    a.k.a. Sole Defender

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    Bismillah!

    Seems like the infidels are pushed back more and more eh!

    Your game and AAR almost get me in the mood for some knightly playing myself soon. Its just my other un-finished games I got which stops me
    ..........

  16. #36
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    I was rather busy over the next five years. I did my best to concentrate on my missionary works and even had some successes in Arabia of all places but increasingly more of my time was taken up with the army. Our losses had been rather high in the last war due mostly to attrition. In battle, the green troops usually die but disease picks no favorites. My job was to drill these troops to their former quality and it was no easy task.

    "When will they be ready, Marshal?" It was yet another Grand Commander. They are so passing unlike me.

    "I deem them ready now, sir. They are mostly untested however and only a few have seen combat but as far as I know the army of Oman has never seen combat."

    "What difficulties do you expect?"

    "Well, mainly Zanzibar. We managed to capture the fleets of the Hedjaz, Aden and Nubia so we do have a fleet in the Red Sea but it isn't as large as I would hope for. Oman has a large naval force and they are certainly have better practice then we do. We have let the Order's naval branch wither over the years as Venice and Genoa has taken over most of the fight against piracy."

    "I see. So you are saying we should wait?"

    "No sir, but it might be a problem to take Zanzibar. We will not know until we try. Worst case is that can't take it and take all their Arabian lands but Mascate."

    "I see, Marshal. Well then, I have the declaration written. Carry on."

    "Of course."

    The war against Oman was a complete rout. All mainland holdings fell within a year but the taking of Zanzibar would be far harder than expected. Their navy was vast and their army on the island would be difficult to take.

    "Sir, we will never take that island not while that navy exists." I was just thinking that myself but I did not tell the Turcopolier that.

    "Hard to say, perhaps they will try to land forces to take back their capital and we can swiftly land and force our way onto this island."

    It happened exactly as I said. These Oman, hmm, Omanians, is that right? Anyway, they landed in Al Kharam and we swiftly sailed to Zanzibar and forced our way onto the island. I have never fought such a difficult fight but the Order had done amphibious assaults for many years one of the greatest taking place under fire in Smyrna in the year of our Lord, 1344 and we had landing ships that allowed a fully armored knight to ride out the back.



    The landing at Smyrna in 1344 AD was the basis for the operation at Zanzibar nearly 250 years later.


    One thing I did not count on was cannon. Both the fortress defenders and our own ship cannons traded murderous fire with one another but this had the added benefit of obscuring the landing site, a lesson I was not to forget.

    Once ashore, we worked to reduce the Omanian forces meeting us on the beaches and we had a few close calls but by nightfall our forces were all ashore though we had a few mishaps, namely a large amount of powder becoming wet. I ordered defensive works to encircle the city and watched as the Omanian navy forced our fleet to flee. This would not save Oman as they had no way to build new troops and their nation was annexed soon after. We became the premier naval power on the world with the addition of the great Oman navy.

    Peace did not last. The Austrian Emperor and his allies declared war on Venice. I never wished to see this day for we were warring with our Catholic brothers and against the Holy See! The Persian Empire also decided to war with us and I was relieved. I would sail and march to army to remove the Persian menace forever.

    Persis fell before I could bring our army to bear. Flush with our success, the army smashed the Persians at Persis. The victory was total and we were happily received in Persis. A long seven years it would take to reduce all Persian strongholds but at no time would our armies really be threatened by them after that first battle. Muslims were revolting is several provinces at this point and Turkey declared war on Venice. I marched rapidly to Angora to force peace upon them. This final event occured the 29th of March, year of our Lord, 1595 as we took the Turkish treasury and finally annexed Persia.

    It was a long period of war but we had emerged stronger than ever.

    Last edited by Braedonnal; 13-02-2004 at 11:34.
    "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. #37
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    High praise indeed if my humble AAR can inspire the mighty Sultan Yoghurt to play the Knights of Saint John!

    I'd like a death star from your AAR, those stormtroopers are nothing! Well, maybe I need stormtroopers, they must build cheaply and maybe even the Knight's manpower might be increased with them.

    Look at this empire and only 15,000 men a year at this point! How can I smite my enemies if I don't have bodies!

    Note the very nice fortress on Rhodes. Fortification events are my friend! It's rather funny to see enemy navies sailing around Rhodes wishing they could land there.
    "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. #38
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    Mighty Bearded Sultan Yoghurt if i may...

    the deathstart.. no i need it for my own AAR to use it at the end

    Nice conquests btw... Zansibar do have something magical over it
    ..........

  19. #39
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    Aahh, the blurry hurts my eyes! That and Spanish Norway. And Polish (English?) Naples. You need to fix that a bit, easiest way I can think of is just to turn it all gray and be done with it.
    WW Results: Won: 3 | Survived but lost: 1 | Lynched: 9 | Killed by Hunter: 1 | Eaten: 10
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  20. #40
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    "Fifteen years of peace is a long time, no?" It was the Hospitallier.

    "I suppose so and yet it is not enough time to truly do our mission."

    "Ah, well, others would disagree with that."

    "They do. There will be war soon. Whether it is a war of our choosing or not, I cannot tell but it has been too quiet for too long."

    "You've changed a bit, Marshal. I have read much about you. I never expected that such a foolhardy person would shift to a more pious, caring person."

    "Hmm...I guess I just finally understand the work we do or maybe I just see things in a different light, I know not."

    "I think you have finally found God, Marshal. I think before you only knew to fear Him and you had more reason to fear Him than most men. I'd guess only Judas and Pilate had more reason to fear. So, how much of what is said in the Book is true? Did it all happen as is said there?"

    I thought back to the past and to the events of that night and the next day, Good Friday they call it. Funny that, I never thought it good.

    I sat down in the sand. "It is mostly accurate at least the parts I was involved in."

    "And just what were you involved in?" The Hospitallier asked in a voice as quiet as the wind.

    "The whipping and the crown certainly. Yet, all there feared Him so it fell to me. I feared too, make no mistake, but I feared disobeying the governor and my officers more and the punishment I would receive if I refused. It seems I choose the wrong punishment, no? I will say this. If I didn't do it another soldier probably would have. It doesn't excuse my part in it all but I feel that is so."

    "Go on. I will continue to hear your confession, Marshal. Nearly one thousand six hundred years is enough I think to bear the burden."

    "It is not nearly long enough, brother." I knew I was crying but it mattered not. "We did not normally nail those to be crucified to the cross. Rope worked just fine but the crowd there would have none of this easy or merciful. So, nails it was to be and my luck held as we threw lots for who would have to do it and that I lost. We did not lot his clothes like the Book says. The officer took that. The sky grew dark, as dark as midnight and us soldiers grew fearful but most of the people there were still cruel with their words and oblivious to the goings on around them. As if crucifixation was not a long enough way to die yet it was not enough for His enemies. I could not understand what He had done to deserve all this."

    "Go on, it is almost over."

    "We all heard a loud crash in the distance though we knew not what happened at the time."

    "The temple?"

    "Yes", I replied. He called for drink and the others were loathe to give it. 'Let him have drink', I said. He had suffered much, I felt him deserved at least that. Sour wine it was indeed, I did not have anything better and I give this skin to a man who soaked a sponge with it and placed it on a stick so he could taste it. He seemed to look at me and I could have sworn he was going to grin but then he spoke out and seemed to die."

    "Is that all?" the Hospitallier asked, sounding somewhat unsure of himself.

    "No, not quite. Later, the Jewish priests asked to break their bodies so they would die swifter as the next day was the Sabbath and Passover no less. So we went out to break their legs but we halted at Him. He appeared dead but to be sure my sergeant ordered me to thrust my spear into Him to make sure. That was all."

    "So, if you could relive those days, what would you do different?"

    "Honestly, I do not know. It is rather unfair to dwell on such things. You do the best you can with what you are given at the time. My situation now it completely different than then. Naturally, I would do differently."

    "I see." The Hospitallier turned to walk away.

    "Thank you," I whispered as he faded away.
    "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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