Hi! Thanks a lot for the showcase award
I know a modem connection can be quite a problem, since the main part of the AAR is contained in .jpg graphics. Still, that's what the AAR is about... but yet, that's the reason I also decided to divide the chapters in different themed parts, so the others could be read more easily by slow connections.
For those of you who have not given a look, I will make a little resume. Each chapter is divided in 3 parts. The first one is "Vita Comes" (Life of the Count... yeah, now they are kings, but they always have a heart for their original county). This is where I narrate with a style that tries to pass for a middle ages chronicle (and always started with a latin bible quote) and centering in the life of the main character of my dinasty. This, of course, produces horribly long chapters... or very short ones, depending on how quiet has been his reign. There is one exception to this, since I found the Second Crusade (AI driven but loosely conducted by me, occasionally logging as France and directing the armies, without moving forward a single day).
In theory this was the way all the AAR was going to be, but I found many interesting stories going around and unrelated to my own part of the map. That and combined with the fact it makes up for a not so graphic intensive AAR, made me write up two more parts for every chapter.
Thus, the second part is "Chronica Belli" (which not so surprinsingly means Chronicle of the Wars). Here I depict the most interesting military action during the life of the character depicted in the first part. When it is possible, that would be a military action depicted in the first part. If not, the one I find most interesting. All four crusades are depicted in this way, even when I have only intervened directly into one (the third) .
The third part is "Charta Europae" (Maps of Europe), in which I select a part of the map and I explain how has it reached its pressent state. Sometimes I highlight a zone that is interesting for the main plot, other times, just zones that have taken my fancy.
As you will notice, the maps of the third and specially the second part go a lot better as chapters progress, since I slowly master the graphic tools I have at my reach.
If anything, I would say that this has given me a extensive practice with editting the CK save file. Each certain time (usually each 20 years or so), I edit the savegame quite extensively, making sure the maps go back to some real sense from the usual patchwork feel. I review the map and then I readjust provinces, shifting rulers or vassaldoms to a more logical and sensible structure, using in part the rules Mad King James proposed not so long ago.
In 1200, specially, I have done an extensive modification, not only reviewing nearly all the map (but the mess in the East... that is, past Poland or Outremer... there I just don't care, anyway the mongols will come through there), and in 1200 I decided to wipe out also all county claims (when I noticed there were just too damn many claims flying around, so much some of the characters, specially the monarchs, having a line of claims so thick you could barely distinguish it. Still, the duchy and kingdom claims were left there. In all this took me around 6 hours of editting ().
So, the third part of the next chapter will be quite extensive, since I will try to show up the way christian europe and outremer is at the turn of the century.
Right now I have not played further from 1200, so I will let the story catch up (only one king in between right now) before continuing with it.