Hello all, I am finally free for an entire summer of the demands of graduate school, so I've decided to try my hand at a new AAR. As the title probably made abundantly clear, the nation for this AAR is the Ottoman Empire, played in AGCEEP 1.37. A quick word on my general strategy--I'm a history student so I attempt to play my games in a way that is not completely ahistorical, both to keep the game interesting and to give it the game a sense of authenticity. That said, on with the first update:
It was a cold Sunday on the fourth day of Thw al-Hijjah 821(1 January, 1419 by the calendar of the Christian infidels). Deep in the secluded halls of his palace at Bursa, Mehemd I, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, was contemplating his life accomplishments. Seventeen years ago he had been one of three unfortunate Ottoman princes assigned but a tiny part of Osmanís once great empire after the disaster of the Battle of Ankara in 1402 (when the Ottoman forces were obliterated by the armies of the dread Timur-i-leng). Over nine years of careful planning and daring stratagems had brought what was left of the Ottoman state under Mehmedís sole control. That was now seven years ago, Mehemed was sole sovereign once more but the Anatolian and Balkan principalities formerly owned by the Ottoman now enjoyed independence and the elusive prize of Constantinople continued to elude him. Despite the independence of many of these lesser states, Mehemd possessed a string of vassals whom he frankly trusted no further than he could throw themóit had been their betrayal of Ottoman interests in times past that had led to their original annexation. Mehmed believed such was destined to be their fate again.
A few scant months later and Mehemd was on the move again, promulgating new edicts to further centralize control of his realm while working desperately to improve his nationís infrastructure. Mehemd watched and waited for an opportunity among his neighbors, only to receive a shocking surprise in the Christian year of 1420. That year, the Byzantine ďEmperorĒ finally flipped his lid, renounced his vassalage to Mehemd and declared war upon the Ottoman state. Mehemd could only stare blankly at the declaration of war for some time, but quickly regained significant enough composure to order his main army, under the able generalship of Hamza Bey, toward the pathetic remnants of the once mighty Roman Empire. Hamzaís forces outnumbered the Byzantines by more than two to one and the Greeks had no leader of such consummate skill as Hamza Bey, who easily routed the Greek army and began a siege of the city of Constantinople. This would have been an easy war except for the quarrel which broke out between Mehmedís Bosnian vassals and the nearby kingdom of Hungary. As war was declared between the two nations, Mehemd would not flinch from supporting his allies (dishonor is for Christian swine, Mehemd is said to have exclaimed) and a new and dangerous front was opened. General Hamza was eager to test his armyís mettle against the powerful Hungarians, but the Sultan ordered that the capture of Constantinople come first. Hamza stayed in front of the Theodosian walls and his daring sappers and powerful artillery slowly brought the Turks ever closer to the great city. In the Christian year of 1421, the last bastion of the Roman Empire fell to the Ottoman Turks. Mehemed, though now quite ill, made his way into the great church of Haigia Sofia, rechristened it the Aya Sofia mosque, and died shortly after taking prayers in the Islamís newest monument.
As the new Sultan Murad II took the throne he knew there was no time to lose in the prosecution of the war. Murad split the army in half, taking a contingent with himself down to the Morea, an ally of the ex-Byzantine state while Hamza detached 1,000 of his finest siege engineers and headed for Kosovo, where the experienced Turks led the Albanian army in that province to a successful capture of Ras fortress. Hamzaís engagement with Hungary would have to wait, as the Sultanís Wallachian vassals had succeeded in capturing the Serbian capital only to lose control of their own to rebellious nobility. Hamza met up with the remainder of his forces and proceeded to liberate the Wallachian capital. Meanwhile, the Morea was effectively occupied by Murad, the Morean despot was allowed to resume his throne in exchange for the contents of his treasury and an agreement of vassalage with the Ottomans. This now left only the Knights of St. John, whose attempted landing in Albania had been crushed by Muradís army but whose island capital was judged too inaccessible for the Turks, whose newly acquired navy was judged not yet prepared for amphibious landings, and so the Knights escaped with a white peace. Hamzaís forces never got their shot at Hungary, as rebellions erupted among the Greek populace of Macedonia and Anatolia, causing an unfortunate delay in the Balkan wars. Once the rebels had been scattered, Ottoman attentions once again turned to Hungary, but too late, as the Hungarians and Bosnians had patched up their differences and signed a peace treaty. The Ottomans received only a piddling single ducat from the Hungarian reparations but this disappointment was somewhat made up for by the Bosnian diplomats securing of Kosovo for the Ottomans.
In truth, Murad was happy to have peace at last from a truly foolish war launched by the Christian powers, apparently their bizarre religion inhibited their mathematical facilities, as of the anti-Ottoman coalition, only Hungary had been prepared to offer a true fight to the Turks. In the proceeding years, much needed to be done, the city of Constantinople was renamed Istanbul and much effort was undertaken to restore the once great city to its former glory. The Turks quickly mastered the art of naval warfare, and forcibly diverted the trade from Genoese Kerch to the markets of Istanbul. Although Murad could not understand the religion of his Balkan subjects, he restored the office of the Patriarchate though appointing a Christian Murad knew had learned proper mathematics from Islamic teachers. Murad spent the next few years implementing new reforms to the Ottoman state, further centralizing political power and establishing government appointed tax collectors in each of the provinces. Murad was a cautious and diplomatic Sultan, who used his cunning to persuade the rulers of the Ghazi states of Germiyan and Aydin to bequeath their realms to the Ottoman state upon the death of the present amirs. In the year of 829 (1426) Aydin was acquired this way with Germiyan following in 832 (1429). Spare cash was used to rebuild the armed forces, establish Turkish merchants in Istanbulís markets, and to butter up the Amir of the Candar, who was informed in a series of introductory letters about his magnanimous statesmanship and personal charms. This letter-writing campaign helped pave the way for an alliance and a royal marriage with Candar. Murad hoped he could gain this Anatolian state without violence. Meanwhile the watchful and prepared Murad kept an eye on regional politics, perhaps a new opening for the expansion of Ottoman power would arise.