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Thread: A Year's Education - Russia Megacampaign, pt. I

  1. #381
    Blasted Conniving Roman General_BT's Avatar
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    Well done! Amazing to see such an excellent AAR come to an end... I'm definitely going to follow this into EU3. MAKE SURE IT GOES TO EU3! THE ADDICTION MUST BE FED.
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  2. #382
    Mǎlum incarnatum Emperor_krk's Avatar
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    I will be reading through this... Slowly... But surely . But the next part I will follow closely from the beginning, that's certain! Congratulations on finishing a grand AAR like this. You've been making us all happy pandas .
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  3. #383
    On Probation thrashing mad's Avatar

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    So ways of Greeks and Russians parted finally? Cool theme correlation with that narrative bit. This alternative Europe looks awesome, can`t wait for EU3 part to start and see which way things would go. Are you converting to MMG mod or vanilla? Also, if you have any questions regarding conversion, I can help.

  4. #384
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    So it ends, and admittedly a lot quicker than I had expected. An excellent AAR and well deserved winner of its many plaudits. I eagerly look forward to the next stage in the saga (which will no doubt see Europe struggle to recover from the Mongols). What conversion tool will you be using... or is the rapid success of the Osmans an excuse to limit the required modding?
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  5. #385
    Wizzaard Estonianzulu's Avatar
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    One of the greatest tellings of history finally comes to a close. Bravo RGB.
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  6. #386
    Alien Space Bat PrawnStar's Avatar
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    Bravo!

    Congratulations on a great story and what looks like a non-trivial amount of modding to set into EU3!

    I'm looking forward to the next installment.

  7. #387
    Tzar of all the Soviets RGB's Avatar
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    Glad to see all the replies so promptly!

    canonized: well, it really was a tragedy, but it was long in coming. The Barbarian Empire just managed to stave it off for a while, that's all.

    Alfred Packer: Thank you! It's not completely gone of course; as I said, there will be non-story updates that may be just as much fun.

    General_BT: And now I can boast I finished an AAR. Well, part one of an AAR. Ahem.

    Emperor_krk: easier to catch up if there's an end in sight, no? Thank you!

    thrashing mad: yeah, they did part ways. MMG conversion, and yes I may have questions for you.

    ComradeOm: I did warn it would be the last update. Still, I've my left-field interpretive-dance history updates to do here, so don't go away!

    Estonianzulu: Thank you! Much appreciated.

    PrawnStar: Non-trivial amount, yeah, you can say that again

    ------

    Two announcements:

    1. I've a new title graphic for A Year's Education on the front page. THIS ONE. Ooohs and aaahs appreciated.

    2. I've started part 2, although the actual narrative part will have to wait until the conversion is complete.

    You can read all about it HERE: From Rus to Russia

    Cheers,

    RGB.
    Last edited by RGB; 07-02-2008 at 02:33.
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  8. #388
    General JimboIX's Avatar

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    I like the gentle plays on history with a bit of conformity you achieved. All too often in CK we brush off the horde, nice to see you giving them some effect. Looking forward to the next part.
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  9. #389
    Second Lieutenant It's Amazing's Avatar

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    So a much stronger Eastern Empire (in the 11th & 12th Centuries) falls to the Mongols and actually ends up making them stronger? That's depressing; here I was admiring Andrew for keeping the hordes from the gate. Oh, well…that's how the CK crumbles!

    Great work, and I look forward to the rest of the mega-campaign.

  10. #390
    Tzar of all the Soviets RGB's Avatar
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    JimboIX: you're back! w00t!!!

    It's Amazing: well, the next part is up and running.

    The biggest effect a stronger Eastern Empire had on the Mongols was make Christianity more attractive to them. If anything, it was the uber-resilient Seljuks that were the problem rather than a weak Empire.

    But yeah, that's how CK rolls.

    An update will be up in a couple of days at most.
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    Duke of Bonbon, and also Chevalier Grand Croix of the Ordre Militaire du Saint Christophe.

  11. #391
    What's this about an update?

    Anywho, splendid stuff. And if Paradox will finally let me post a comment without timing out... i'll go catch up on your next AAR. A tough task measuring up to this one, but i have faith in the humble authAAR's ability to achieve the nigh-impossible.

  12. #392
    Colonel Nazaroth's Avatar
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    This was graet, took awhile to get through it, but it was an amazing read.

    I'll be moving on to read the second part soon. There will be comments. lol

  13. #393
    Tzar of all the Soviets RGB's Avatar
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    Readings on the Barbarian Empire


    Guns, Germs and Grain





    Perhaps the most defining event in the European 14th century was the Mongol invasions that devastated Catholic Europe’s eastern regions and reached as far as Verona and Saxony. One aspect of this invasion that remains controversial is the role that the post-Byzantine states of Eastern Europe had in enabling one of the greatest catastrophes to befall Europe in the middle ages. Although some scholars will argue that the alliance with the Mongols was forced and the assistance rendered negligible (usually backed up by miniscule numbers of Russian troops involved in the expeditions), a differing opinion is that when other factors are considered, the role of Kiev and other states involved is simply indispensable to the success achieved by the Mongols.
    A crucial consideration is the greatly changed nature of Mongol campaigns. Whereas the first Mongol invasions were devastating because of the inability of their opponents to deal with Mongol tactics (and, in the case of the Byzantines, being unable to wage campaigns after the bloody civil wars of the early 13th century), no massed horse archer tactic was a surprise to the Eastern Europeans in the 1340s. The Hungarians and the Poles prepared well, with chains of castles dotting the frontiers, and tough border populations such as the szekely being prepared to counteract Mongol raiding. Western partial plate armour was also on its way to overtaking Turco-Byzantine lamellars in efficiency, making western heavy cavalry much less vulnerable to their opponents’ primary weapon, the bow. The Mongols were well aware of the preparations, and this could well explain the nearly 50 years of peace on the Mongol-Hungarian border.
    In the 1340s, the Batukhanids achieved a temporary dominance over the other branches of the Mongol Royal house. The uluses of Orda and Shayban were in close alliance, and the Chaghatids were subdued during the war with the Batukhanids, with the assent of the weakening Great Khans in China. Asep Timur Khan had at his disposal huge numbers, almost on par with what Batu himself had when he attacked the Volga Kimiaks. The power could have been projected in several directions, but the West is where he struck. One of the reasons was that the Eastern European crusaders in Anatolia had repeatedly trod on the toes of the Khans with conflicting interests; the other was that expansion West was possible, unlike expansion East where the Yuan dynasty was still supreme. The final and arguably most important reason is that expansion west was supportable by the network of alliances and dependencies the Khans established with Orthodox eastern states.

    As is pointed out by many historians, the number of men from Russia and Lithuania involved in the campaign was minimal – a small Tmutarakan contingent, and a few hundred men in personal retinues of Oka-area princes. The contribution was mostly in logistics and support, as well as artillery. Chinese craftsmen, on loan from the Yuan Emperors, were brought over to Sarai and started what was arguably the first organized cannon yard in Europe. However, just a few years later, the craftsmen and the entire works were moved to a location just outside of Kiev, where production of powder, cannons and rockets grew from a modest, tightly-controlled wartime industry to a permanent foundry as Asep Timur’s successors launched campaign after campaign into Europe starting from the Rus capital. As the targets of raids and conquest moved deeper into Europe, so did the production of powder and rockets. Kiev’s woks increasingly specialized in cannon-casting. It is uncertain at which point Russian craftsmen were included in gun-making, but pay records from the time indicate several thousand craftsmen and menial labourers were involved in the works in the summer of 1339 alone.
    Guns cast in Kiev were of several formats, but most of the ones produced were meant to knock down the numerous fortifications the Polish and Hungarians erected in anticipation of Mongol attack. The old-fashioned tall walls were unable to withstand concentrated cannon fire and Mongol advance was very quick despite heavy defenses constructed by their opponents. The Mongols destroyed part of the works as they lost ground in Europe, but dynastic uncertainty and civil conflict prevented them from completing the job, leaving the re-emerging Russian Tsardom with the means to carry on production; by the time Vsevolod IV and Yakub Boniak Khan clashed over Crimea in the late 14th century, both armies possessed a sophisticated and significant artillery component.
    Grain was another consideration; the Mongol forces were heavy on cavalry, and used to feeding both themselves and their mounts off the land. However, the only large grassland in Europe – Hungary’s Alfold – could not have sufficed to keep the numbers involved fed. In addition, the Sarai and Caucasus Mongols increasingly used Russian horses for their heavy cavalry; the chargers were certainly unable to subsist on thin grass and had to be grain-fed. Since grain was the core product of the Russian economy of the period, food and fodder were collected by the Tsars of Kiev as war tax. The excess requirements was bought from friendly Lithuania and the Novgorodian republic, then shipped up the Danube or transported overland to supply the Mongols. To appreciate the value of this contribution, one has to remember that with Europe’s population rapidly oustripping its production base, grain prices were higher than they had been for centuries. Some sources estimate that up to 40% of Tsar Sviatopolk’s potential revenue was invested into supporting his Mongol allies.
    The final nail in the resistance of Catholic Europe was the plague that spread with Mongol conquest. As already mentioned, overpopulation in Central and Southern Europe, as well as Eastern France, was producing chronic food shortages and generally weakened immune systems. New genetic evidence from researchers in the university of Dijon also shows that Western Europeans in general have lower incidence of a gene that provides some measure of resistance to the Plague. Refugees from the conquered areas fled to neighbouring countries, bringing plague with them, which cut through urban populations and thus the merchant and noble classes that provided most of the quality troops. Although plague affected the Mongols too, they seemed to have been better fed and had higher survival rates. Their 1342 campaign was arguably halted because of plague within the army, but they came back in the 1350s and invaded Saxony. The German population, largely urban or otherwise concentrated, was severely affected in the intervening years, and the region was powerless to resist the Mongols. It is unknown as to why Kiev, a transit point, remained relatively unaffected by the plague until after eight years of yearly campaign launched from it, but arguably the cooperation with the Mongols also finally set the conditions in Russia up for a serious epidemic.
    As a lot of grain was diverted to feed the campaign, there was starvation in several areas of Russia’s notoriously high-risk agricultural zone. The major works and army supply business attracted Russians from outlying principalities, as well as foreign experts and merchants – Chinese, Syrian and Greek – from areas where the Plague was already on the rampage. High population density and induced food shortages did their job. In 1342 the first outbreak occurred, and although it was not nearly as serious as the three that followed in the next decades, it carried away Tsar Sviatopolk himself, as well as a large proportion of the court. It had the unexpected result of making his widow Premislava (of the Polish-Lithuanian Rawicz line) the unopposed regent; her faction was friendly to Poland, and Russian chronicles of the period insist that she intervened with the Khans on the behalf of Poland. As a result, the Mongols accorded Polish princes special vassal status, much like several Russian principalities before them, and warfare was directed towards the West and the South instead. This spared Poland from the wars, if not from the plagues, and allowed it to re-emerge as the dominant state in Central Europe after the Mongols were gone.
    More serious outbreaks of plague in Kiev are, arguably, what finally defeated the Mongols as well. Grain supply was disrupted, and Kiev’s fluctuating population could not support large Mongol armies when used as a staging ground. This in turn led to several raids that were only minor in achievement, because of inadequate supply. The military prestige of the Khans decreased together with their conquests; in the end, their dominance over the Eastern hordes eroded to the point where Chaghatai, Orda and Shaybanid clans no longer felt it necessary to participate. Kochin Yakub Khan launched the very last campaign in 1357, raiding Verona’s countryside. The disintegration of Mongol power in Catholic Europe was as rapid as their conquest had been. Without spoils from raiding, the economy sharply declined, and the various tribes subject to the Khan could no longer be kept loyal with bribes. The army was reduced in numbers, by plague, casualties and tribal rebellions. Within a decade, the Mongols were involved in civil war and four Khans came and went in a space of four years. The Mongol army was the only means of control over the new populations; unlike in the Volga region, Central Europe was not regarded as a place that was worth serious investment into administration. After the Mongols left, surviving dynasties moved into the power vacuum (such as the Mazovian Piasts) or arose from the princes that were Mongol clients (as in Bohemia, Moravia and Hungary).
    The Mongol invasions and the plagues that accompanied them are estimated to have cost the areas affected up to 40-50% of their population, most of it from German-heavy urban centers. In Kiev and other Mongol-allied territories, the effects were also serious; Kiev’s population dropped from an estimated seventy thousand to about half the number, and would not regain it until more than a century later, despite heavy immigration from other Russian principalities. Nonetheless, Russian cooperation with the Mongols eliminated serious threats from the West, allowing the resurgent Tsars to focus on the weakening Khans in Sarai.
    Last edited by RGB; 11-09-2008 at 03:40.
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  14. #394
    I don't play games. Fijj's Avatar
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    Don't do a knockoff of the book/movie "Guns, germs, and steel."

    You think I wouldn't notice?


    Anyways, it seems like the hordes will (obviously) be your worst enemy.

  15. #395
    On Probation thrashing mad's Avatar

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    Well, such havoc wrecked by Mongols in Germany would have serious impact on future centuries. I wonder what kind of powers we`ll have in XVIIIth-XIXth centuries (except for Russia of course ). Also, good to hear that Poland chosen more realpolitik attitude towards the invaders (even if it`s not our style ).
    Great, detailed and plausible, update once again.

  16. #396
    Romanorum Imperator Augustus asd21593's Avatar
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    Great update!

    A bit unexpected, but great nonetheless...



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  17. #397
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    An unexpected surprise. I've missed these updates... hurry up with the conversion!
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  18. #398
    Blasted Conniving Roman General_BT's Avatar
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    I've been busily looking for updates in the EU3 forum, and missed this one at first! You've put a great deal of thought into the ramifications of your alternate history... and I'm fascinated by what this means for Germany especially. This is almost a practice in wondering what would've happened in OTL if Ogadai Khan hadn't died when he did...
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  19. #399
    Field Marshal phargle's Avatar
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    Don't forget! You can vote in the CHALICE!, and this AAR is one of several competing. Check it out, and do your duty to that booty. fo' real!

  20. #400
    Tzar of all the Soviets RGB's Avatar
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    Thanks phargle!

    ----

    Hi everyone! It appears I'm in the running for the Chalice...please vote for me if you feel this one deserves to win (despite the illustrious competition).

    Cheers,

    RGB.
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    Duke of Bonbon, and also Chevalier Grand Croix of the Ordre Militaire du Saint Christophe.

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