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Thread: Rome AARisen - a Byzantine AAR

  1. #3321
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    Quote Originally Posted by asd21593 View Post
    Just a little off topic question, would Crusader Kings: DV work on Vista?
    Yes, just install it under /users or some other folder, not the default one.
    And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it." Amen.

  2. #3322
    So the next chapter is titled, In The Palaces of Edessa i wonder what thats going to be about
    I am the King of Rome, and above grammar.

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  3. #3323
    Imperator General Ksim3000's Avatar

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    So the next chapter is titled, In The Palaces of Edessa i wonder what thats going to be about
    Well duh, its going to be about in the Palaces of Edessa. Just kidding.

    Actually, I too have been wondering about that title. But knowing BT, it'll be something fun.

    Speaking of the BT man, its been a week without an update. We, the people, demandz MOAR!

  4. #3324
    I meant more or less, that its going to be about the edessan Komnenids getting in on the action
    prepare for the civil war of the century
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  5. #3325
    Imperator General Ksim3000's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Servius Magnus View Post
    I meant more or less, that its going to be about the edessan Komnenids getting in on the action
    prepare for the civil war of the century
    Yeah, I can actually see the Edessan Komnenids becoming a large threat to the ruling Dynasty. Dunno if they'd side with Bardas but its possible...

    Also, all these different "Houses" is beginning to remind me of Dune. I guess this house is more like "House Harkonnen" mind.

    Speaking of "Houses", if Christophoros' and Zeno's "House" is classed as "Edessa", I wonder what the present dynasty's "House" is classed as? House Manuel? After all, Manuel IS the "founder" of the present line I guess.

  6. #3326
    Blasted Conniving Roman General_BT's Avatar
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    Ksim3000 – The present ruling family would probably be just “House Imperial” or the “Imperial Family.” Technically if you were going to name it after a progenitor, it’d have to be “House Thomas,” as Basil’s descendants hold two imperial thrones (Hispania and Romanion), and Manuel’s descendants are all over the place (Romanion, Hispania, southern Italy—Bardas, Egypt—Theodoros, Samos—Theophylaktos, Kappadokia—don’t remember his name off the top of my head, and if I remember right, Spoleto and Kairuoan as well….

    Servius Magnus - So you have ESP-N too? I'll give you a hint--it's not about Thomas wanting to build palaces in Edessa... yet.

    von Sachsen - This man is correct.

    asd21593 - And yes, it works fine under Vista, my own rig is a Vista (against my will... it was the only OS available on a new machine. )

    FlyingDutchie - They're like the Habsburgs, except more inclined to fratricide, madness, sleeping with anything that moves... in fact, they're like a made for TV soap opera version of the Habsburgs.

    AlexanderPrimus - All sorts of things stick out once I look back at information like that.

    Carach - Yup! The idea for such a canal has been very very old--but that's not what Silvagentios' crew was working on when he had his little run in with Tommy...

    Enewald - That's a little beyond expensive. :-p Nah, this was a much shorter canal to keep what happened IRL to Antioch from happening in this alternate history. The Orontes silted up, and Antioch became closed to shipping. Coupled with war devastation, it spelled the doom of the city as a major capital center...

    Kirsch27 - Yes, there literally was a "ship of state" for Thomas II I guess!


    Okay, I've been a really bad writer... I've only got a few lines of the next update done. However, I'm hoping to work on it more with my few days off starting today, so if all goes well there'll be a new update by Thursday of this week.

    In the meantime, to celebrate nearing 250,000 views (which is a ridiculously large amount!), I thought I’d reveal some of the sections I had planned originally for the story that didn’t make it, due to time, authorial laziness, or changes in the story.

    The first section was a part of the original way that Thomas II was going to usurp the crown from his mother. Initially, the plan was to have Mehtar himself get into secret contact with Thomas, and cajol the Prince into launching a palace coup with the backing of the army. However, this idea was dropped, simply because there’d be no reason for Thomas to trust Mehtar enough to listen to anything he said—which is where Albrecht and Sinan telling him came from. Though I do like Mehtar’s ending snappiness—five hundred thousand soldiers is indeed a very compelling argument.

    “You need to be crowned immediately,” Mehtar whispered.




    “But I’m…”

    “You aren’t underage if you have five hundred thousand guardsmen and thematakoi saying you aren’t underage!” Mehtar cut off the young emperor. “You aren’t underage if the Church feels you are a relief from an oppressive empress, and the dynatoi are sure you will be laxer than their previous task master!”


    The second section came directly from all the reader speculation at Albrecht’s introduction and long friendship with Thomas that Albrecht was another Mehtar—in that way. I don’t quite remember why this section got axed—I think it was more I couldn’t find a scene to fit it into. More seriously, it also would’ve expressed some of the doubts and misgivings Mehtar had about having such a young protégé, before their rapport as Master Spy and, well, Master Administrator had developed.

    “Are you…” Mehtar raised an eyebrow.

    “No! No, no,” Albrecht raised his hands quickly. “Thomas is my friend, Kyrios Lainez! Nothing more!”

    Part of the Spaniard’s soul wanted to laugh when he saw the appalled look on von Franken’s face. He could tell – there wasn’t the same thing he shared with Thomas’ father.


    “Watch my lead, and learn, Albrecht,” Mehtar sighed. “For Thomas to survive, he is going to need someone sharper than Manuel Arachnos, and more trustworthy than Basil Megaloprepis. You,” Mehtar poked the young man in the chest, “will be that man.”

    Mehtar hadn’t prayed to any form of the divine in years, not since fate had taken his Thomas away from him. As he watched the young son of the von Frankens disappear from view, he found himself bowing his head and muttering a few words, hoping his choice of man was right…

    This next part was from the original lead up to Neapolis. More than a word could be said about that little battle—considering I changed the end result of the battle halfway through writing it! In my actual game, those 140,000 Mongol soldiers that were in the screenie marched along the Volga for a few months, then disappeared to cause mayhem up north, never to be seen again. Like the incident at Rayy, that was a downer, so in the AAR I pretended it didn’t happen. My original idea was that like Rayy, the Romans emerged victorious, though after a three day long slugfest where Thomas was wounded in his moment of triumph (using his heavy cavalry to lure the tumen into a charge at the skoutatoi and archer line).

    Yet as I started writing the battle, I realized several things—one, that ending was lame. Romanion was due for a nasty nasty defeat. In game I had a slew of rebellions in the 1220s, and it was an easy jump to lump the slow “death by liege lord” decisions the surviving non-Komnenoi made into one massive upheaval spawned by a Manzikert-like betrayal. Secondly, I also realized the Mongols losing didn’t do Genghis justice—the man was a world-class conqueror, he deserved to thrash the Roman army. Finally, a Roman victory at Neapolis would’ve built up Thomas II too much for someone who was supposed to be, fundamentally, a very flawed character. If he’d beaten Genghis, what he did afterwards would not have mattered… he was still the Conqueror of the Mongol Khan. That wouldn’t have done for someone that was supposed to go bonkers…

    This first section was from a deleted scene where Thomas and Helene are talking the night before the battle, and where Thomas shares with her (and you all), exactly how scared he is. In retrospect, it’s a scene I wish I’d kept in, both because it would’ve made Thomas all the more human, and would’ve given Helene some badly needed story-time…

    “I’m afraid,” Thomas muttered to the only person in whose presence he dared utter those words. Even then, the Emperor winced. He was the grandson of the Megaloprepis, the bravest of the brave, great-great grandson of the Megas! For him to admit being afraid…

    …Thomas knew how his father would’ve reacted. He would’ve smacked the Emperor across the face and told him to stop sniveling, get on his feet, and kill his enemies. Acheron’s mocking voice seemed to carry those exact words across space and time, as if channeling Thomas I for his imperial son.

    “I’m afraid too,” Helene whispered back calmly.


    This second ‘lost part of Neapolis’ was from the narrative description of Thomas’ great charge which was dropped due to the length—the battle was already three updates long, including this part would’ve extended it to a fourth. This particular scene was the moment when Georgios Donauri “won his spurs” as a commander par excellence. With the terrified, defeated cataphracts galloping back to his lines, Donauri manages to rally his men into holding off the Mongol counterattack, saving the army and Thomas’ life.

    “Something’s wrong…”




    “Open the lines!” Donauri screamed as the panicking cataphracts thundered closer. “Open the lines!”

    For several horrific seconds, the Roman spearline hung still, slow, sluggish, as the shock held the men in place. Finally, like a giant awakening from a torturous slumber, the mailed line shuddered to life—kentarchoi began to bellow, men began to move, as the Aftokratoroi tagma broke from line into columns. Seconds later, the cream of the Imperial cavalry galloped back through the gap.


    “Where’s the Emperor?” Donauri screamed. The Imperial charger, nor its rider, were anywhere in sight.



    “He’s wounded!”



    The smoke parted, revealing thousands of riders and men.

    Skoutatoi!” Donauri cried, sword aloft. This time, training erupted into movement, as the massive line of men closed into an impenetrable wall of spearpoints. Officers bellowed for the men to kneel, and with an enormous shake of mail and wood, thousands of men knelt in the bloody ground of Neapolis.

    As the alien horsemen reined up, Donauri smiled—slowly, viciously.

    Basilikoi! Loose!”


    And this final missing part was from the original version of Kaukadenos’ betrayal, where the snake himself doesn’t visit Albrecht, only his minions do. I dropped this idea, preferring to reveal to everyone exactly how smarmy Andreas was. I think, in the end, it was a much better section because of it—especially from the howls of protest and screaming and stomping that resulted.

    By order Prince Andreas Kaukadenos, you, Albrecht von Franken, are hereby placed under house arrest!”



    “What is this?” Albrecht shouted, “Where is the Emperor? Where is the rest of the army?!” The Megoskyriomachos started to rise, but before he could even come to his full height, the guardsman had a sword at his throat.

    “Please, milord,” the man smiled mechanically, “remain seated.”


    “Where are you going? Where is the army going?!”

    “To Konstantinopolis, of course,” the kentarchos smiled.
    Now, time for me to get back to work on the next update! Ciao!
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  7. #3327
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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  8. #3328
    Imperator General Ksim3000's Avatar

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    Well BT, that certainly did tie me over a little bit until the next update. Its certainly interesting how many "takes" you did. It would be hilarious if you ever did a "behind the scenes" update sometime for a laugh. Maybe interview Thomas I's thoughts on his role during the Battle of Kirkuk, etc...

    Anyway, update soon!

  9. #3329
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ksim3000 View Post
    Well BT, that certainly did tie me over a little bit until the next update. Its certainly interesting how many "takes" you did. It would be hilarious if you ever did a "behind the scenes" update sometime for a laugh. Maybe interview Thomas I's thoughts on his role during the Battle of Kirkuk, etc...

    Anyway, update soon!
    That's a great idea actually! I'd love it.


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  10. #3330
    Imperator General Ksim3000's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qorten View Post
    That's a great idea actually! I'd love it.
    Hehe, thanks. Sounds like a good idea after all.

  11. #3331
    Blasted Conniving Roman General_BT's Avatar
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    Hey everyone!

    Work on the update is going swimmingly--I expect it should be done sometime tomorrow more than likely!

    In the meantime, I thought I'd also add the stats for Gabriel and Thomas, since it appears I have yet to post either:





    EDIT - I've also been thinking of doing another "What if Emperors were Gamers?" update, though I'm debating what kind of gamers Basil and the two Thomas' would have been. We already have:

    Demetrios - likely a jock by day, gamer by night. Arrogant, confident.
    Nikolaios - Stereotypical overweight, smelling not so great, sense of intellectual superiority
    Manuel - For some reason I saw him as an emo/punk rock gamer
    Basil - ?
    Thomas I - ?
    Thomas II - ?

    Ksim3000 & Qorten - I LOVE the idea! Maybe something like a "behind the scenes" interview with the "cast" like on a DVD...

    Interviewer - So, tell me, Clive, how did you prepare for playing a part like Thomas II?

    Connie Nielsen - He acted crazier than normal!

    *Laughter*


    Enewald - With the number of times I've had to go back and crossreference things, I've likely read it several times over... and I've still found some... inconsistencies.
    Last edited by General_BT; 03-12-2009 at 19:37.
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  12. #3332
    Basil-Making sure everyone follows the rules and that no one cheats, maybe the DM.

    Thomas I- Takes everything too seriously and throws his controller alot
    Thomas II- Does everything for a laugh. For example, uses only fists in shooters.
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  13. #3333
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    Thomas II would be the obsesssive gamer who plays so much because every time he lays down that controller, the voices in his head come back to haunt him... Misunderstood by his friends, pitied by his siblings, and loved only by the quiet goth girl he met at a LAN party.

  14. #3334
    Nerd Vesimir's Avatar
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    Basil - The guy everyone likes. He plays for fun only. A casual gamer that has no problem with loosing to his friends.

    Thomas I - Can't play for sh** but thinks the world of himself. If he loses it's something alike to FPS_Doug after being killed.

    Can't think anything of Thomas II though.
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  15. #3335
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    Thomas II - Role playing fanatic?
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  16. #3336
    Imperator General Ksim3000's Avatar

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbcctWbC8Q0

    The above for Thomas I is what I have in mind.

    As for Thomas II, well....I would make him most likely a Japanese Hikkikomori type. You know, dosen't do anything but play games and roleplays all night long. Dosen't go out doors, never leaves the house or apartment and sleeps all day. Very obsessive also. Married an anime character or something online.

  17. #3337
    God, I love this AAR. It is so masterfully written. It's intrigue is beyond realistic. I must say, General_BT, this is a believable AAR. And that is definitely a good thing!
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  18. #3338
    Imperator General Ksim3000's Avatar

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    I also forgot to add that Basil could be an excellent strategist gamer that usually wins games of StarCraft, for example. A strategic nerd I'm thinking.

  19. #3339
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ksim3000 View Post
    I also forgot to add that Basil could be an excellent strategist gamer that usually wins games of StarCraft, for example. A strategic nerd I'm thinking.
    That seems slightly off to me. Basil's great innovations were all tactical. He was undoubtedly the best tactician that House Komnenos has produced: remember his campaigns against the Persians in the Levant with an ad hoc kampfgruppe of Italian Thematakoi, Latin mercenaries and bits and pieces of a few tagma when he consistently defeated much larger (and much better equipped) Persian armies through sheer strength of generalship? Or his Spanish campaigns, where he did pretty much the same thing?

    But for all his brilliance as a general, he never amounted to much as a strategist. He couldn't or wouldn't face the rot at the core of Romanion, preferring to remain on extended campaigns outside the capitol. The result was a disputed succession, the secession of his Spanish conquests under Alexios, and the reigns of two mad Thomases and the civil wars they created. He didn't keep his eye on the big picture, and Romanion suffered for it.

    I'm not sure where this would leave him. Maybe he'd be a brilliant starcraft player...who doesn't notice that he is going broke until the power company shuts off his electricity.
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  20. #3340
    Lt. General von Sachsen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fulcrumvale View Post
    That seems slightly off to me. Basil's great innovations were all tactical. He was undoubtedly the best tactician that House Komnenos has produced: remember his campaigns against the Persians in the Levant with an ad hoc kampfgruppe of Italian Thematakoi, Latin mercenaries and bits and pieces of a few tagma when he consistently defeated much larger (and much better equipped) Persian armies through sheer strength of generalship? Or his Spanish campaigns, where he did pretty much the same thing?

    But for all his brilliance as a general, he never amounted to much as a strategist. He couldn't or wouldn't face the rot at the core of Romanion, preferring to remain on extended campaigns outside the capitol. The result was a disputed succession, the secession of his Spanish conquests under Alexios, and the reigns of two mad Thomases and the civil wars they created. He didn't keep his eye on the big picture, and Romanion suffered for it.

    I'm not sure where this would leave him. Maybe he'd be a brilliant starcraft player...who doesn't notice that he is going broke until the power company shuts off his electricity.
    Maybe he wasn't quite a brilliant admistrator, but he did make deliberate use of smaller, faster, more professional armies which left Romanion overflowing with cash for quite awhile.
    And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it." Amen.

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