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Thread: Rome AARisen - a Byzantine AAR

  1. #5781
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    Even more ominous is the quote at the beginning. I leave my empire to the strongest... that led to a generation of warfare and several successor states. How many pieces is Romanion about to fracture into?

  2. #5782
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    Bwhahaha! Here's hoping Nikephoras reigns for longer than even Hagios Demetrios!

    Also, glad to see Andronikos gain the epithet "The Restorer" though shouldn't that fall technically to his uncle?

    Let's see life in the Kingdom of the Peacock Throne.

  3. #5783
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    In the end, I would say Andronikos' life and death were a bit tragic. He's seems to be a lot like Nicholas, and had the good fortune of having a Manuel-figure (or if you want, a Thrakesios) at his side to let him do what needed to be done. Still not as good as Manuel, given how his love of Cecilia guided his priorities and how he weilded power for his own sake rather than that of the state, but he's up there.

    But the tragedy is somewhat blunted in that it seems his last wishes are going to be fufilled anyway.

  4. #5784
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    Andronikos certainly brought his last hell, the one he endured before death, at least, on himself. You can't keep it all too close to your own self, because flesh fails. He should know it as much as anyone could.

    What's Egypt up to hmmm?

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  5. #5785
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    And thus a grand life ends.

    I honestly found the thoughts of the paralyzed Andronikos rather emotionally horrifying, but perhaps I'm oversensitive. Not to say it wasn't well written, mind you. :P

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  6. #5786
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  7. #5787
    A sad end for Andronikos. He was probably the best emperor overall, IMO. Basil, I think, is militarily mighty, but a fool in succession and in intrigue. Andronikos has a succession crisis, but had, during his reign, absolute might, over Mongol, Dane, Persian, German/Hungarian, and Frank. And now, the eagle falls again from the sky, a carcass for the lion, the crocodile and the hordes to feast on.

    Seeing as Rome is about to suffer a string of harrowing crises leading to the division of the Empire, I root for the Persians! All hail Eskander el-Fatih, Shahanshah of E-ran!

  8. #5788
    So the mightiest emperor yet passes away. Let's hope he get's a worthy succesor.

  9. #5789
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hannibal X View Post
    A sad end for Andronikos. He was probably the best emperor overall, IMO. Basil, I think, is militarily mighty, but a fool in succession and in intrigue. Andronikos has a succession crisis, but had, during his reign, absolute might, over Mongol, Dane, Persian, German/Hungarian, and Frank. And now, the eagle falls again from the sky, a carcass for the lion, the crocodile and the hordes to feast on.

    Seeing as Rome is about to suffer a string of harrowing crises leading to the division of the Empire, I root for the Persians! All hail Eskander el-Fatih, Shahanshah of E-ran!
    Andie was not close to being the best emperor overall. Too much hubris and faulty governance. And his succession is a mess for the same reasons Basil's was, basically.
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  10. #5790
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikolai View Post
    Andie was not close to being the best emperor overall. Too much hubris and faulty governance. And his succession is a mess for the same reasons Basil's was, basically.
    Eh. I'd say Andie's succession was even worse than Basil's.

    In Basil's, though Thomas was a known hot-head, he wasn't obviously going to bring about civil war by ascending to the Purple. Additionally, Basil left behind a strong advisor in the form of Sophie who though unable to retain the reins of power like Albrecht, was able to negotiate a temporary settlement between the Davidic and Thomasine lines.

    In Andie's case, he's purposefully placed a man on the throne widely known to not be "of sound body" without leaving any level-headed players behind to contain the damage. Granted he lost his Sophie-equivalent to disease...but it was a long illness, giving him ample time to cultivate another to hold the tiller of state.

  11. #5791
    Andronikos was good, but definitely not the best; he simply thought too much of himself, and he lied about his true, devious nature to the people for such a long time, he started believing his own lies in the end. Too much success proved to be his undoing, ironically. The fact that he didn't know what failure feels like led him to believe everything he touches turns to gold, and that there is no crazy military plan or daring scheme which wouldn't succeed, when coordinated by him. This is probably why he delayed announcing his succession plan; he was getting a lot better before his ultimate illness, which made him think he had a lot more time.

    "From the top of the hill, all roads lead down." - an old Balkan saying, but you'll probably be able to attribute this to one of the future Emperors

  12. #5792
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    How terribly exciting! And I'm soooo happy he died. I despised the late emperor.

    Here's hoping Alexandros of Persia manages to unite the Middle East under his rule as Manuel betrays Nikephoros in some spectacular way. Go Homo Komnenos!
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  13. #5793
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    Manuel will most definitely betray Nikephoros.

    And a sad ending for one of the mightiest emperors.
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  14. #5794
    somehow the oikoi remembers me of the praetorian guard (perhaps due to their role as bodyguards turned into a political instrument - although a discrete one), and I've got a hunch they're going to be an important party in setting the future political background. and with Manuel (hopefully Manuel ll) still controlling them - hmmmm... don't know how much purple will Leo be able to wear

  15. #5795
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    viosin13 - Well, the Oikoi and the Praetorians fall into the same mold--a bodyguard unit that expanded beyond simple bodyguard duties. As long as the commander is loyal to the emperor and the state, the system works fine. But that much power in the hands of one is invariably tempting, especially if that person thinks they could be emperor too...

    Leo is kind of stuck. If the worst case scenario develops, he’ll be stuck in Sicily between Alexios and Demetrios, with only part of the western fleets and the Sicilian troops to back him. Barring a quick victory over Demetrios or something, his days could easily be numbered after a defeat or two…

    asd21593 – Manuel’s got plenty of routes. He could conceivably end up the Albrecht route once the dust has settled—a mover and shaker who gave up his own ambition to wear the crown in order to be the power behind the crown. Or yes, he could outright betray Nikephoros—even with the Persians bearing down, that’d be a daunting task, considering Nikephoros will have the two strongest armies in the East of the Empire backing him. Alternatively, if Manuel wanted he could simply play a waiting game… Nikephoros won’t live forever, and Manuel is technically Kaisar right now…

    Vesimir – Homo Komnenos! Alexandros has a well disciplined army, a secure eastern flank (with Transoxania and the friendly Turks), as well as some unknown ally within the Empire itself. He’s got all the tools to do something amazing. He just has to beat a leper and his armies…

    vadermath – That is a nice saying… I doubt any of my emperors will co-opt it though. They’re more than likely too busy trying to find another hill to think that way! Like I said before, Andronikos was almost my take on what’d happen to an obviously gifted person who never really tastes defeat all his life… he gets so self-confident he doesn’t recognize a defeat (Makrinokomnenos’ rise, the poor choices of succession) even when it’s taste fills his mouth… Andronikos did think everything he touched and did would turn to gold. Alas, he was no Midas.

    Bagricula – The biggest difference so far is that with Basil’s succession, the civil war took over ten years to finally explode, burned brightly for a decade, before a truce was established. It was mostly an internal affair—apart from Drogo’s attempted invasion of the West, there was no outside interference. It took Albrecht and Nikephoros ‘Seyf-u-Allah’s’ alliance in 1250, a half century later, to truly reconstitute the Empire.

    This civil war looks to break out before poor Andronikos is even cold, and a powerful Persia is looking to get involved. That doesn’t bode well…

    And yes, technically his uncle Nikephoros should be the Restorer… he was the one that with Albrecht reunited the empire in 1250. He was also the one that began reforming the state from top to bottom, a process Andronikos merely continued. There’s another what if for everyone… what if Nikephoros had lived another 10 or 20 years and passed a secure succession to an adult Andronikos? Andronikos was naturally gifted and no slouch at being emperor, but I wonder if he would’ve up as not just a better emperor but a better man if he’d had that kind of stability as a child?

    Nikolai – Historians would probably say Andronikos was the best, mostly because historians tend to not have the full details on a person’s flaws and look at territory ruled, etc. You and I know Andronikos wasn’t all the records he’s left behind likely claim he was, though! I don’t know if Andronikos was the greatest either… he had his strong points (Yes, it made him prideful, but he was unstoppable most of his reign), and his weak ones (hubris, anyone?). Basil was a better general, Manuel or Nikolaios were better statesmen. All around though? I’m not sure… he did build Romanion’s dominions to their greatest extent…

    Carlstadt Boy – ‘Mightiest’ there I’d agree with you. At his death he held more sway, if not outright rule, over more land than any Roman emperor, ever. It might be a while before we know who his successor is… let alone if that person is worthy…

    Hannibal X – If we’re going by sheer dominion, then it’s hard to deny Andronikos. I cannot think of anyone in the premodern era who could control affairs in Spain as equally as they could in Samarkand. If we’re going by light and culture, it’s the same—except for Thomas III and his vast building programs, we haven’t had a culture-focused Komnenid like Andronikos. Sadly the eagle has indeed fallen, but it looks like the eaglets will be the first to feast…

    Jalex – The plan way back when was to start about 1300, and I’ve been tinkering with the main map for a while now. There’s plenty more to go here (if I follow the rough outline I have sketched out for the rest of the story), so EU3 is reasonably going to be coming up right when CK2 gets released next year…

    Saithis – Well, I think lying there, slowly dying after a stroke, would be a pretty horrible way to die! I can’t imagine being able to hear the world around you, and be able to think, to know, and not be able to respond at all! It was black irony, in a way, that the man who could command people with the flick of his finger dies powerless and able to hear snippets of how the world he built is falling apart.

    RGB – With the loss of Angelos, I’m not sure Andronikos would have trusted anyone else. Coupled with his own sense of self-confidence (as well as his rather cursory medical knowledge which he thinks, seeing he’s wonderful at everything else, is accurate and trustworthy), it shouldn’t be a surprise that he’d keep something as important as the succession to himself, wanting to reveal it at a time of his own choosing. The flesh is indeed weak, and fails.

    Egypt? They’ve been very quiet for decades… perhaps they’re about to roar?

    TC Pilot – Well, his final wish that Nikephoros succeed him is definitely being fulfilled—Andronikos made sure that would happen by crowning his son during his lifetime. Andie’s life was really tragic—it started off very lonely (being emperor from a young age), he lost the person he loved most in the world and other than Angelos, never was close to anyone else. Thinking about the character, I wonder if he’d ever had more people he felt close to and trusted in his life if he would’ve turned out far differently. Instead of shallow veneer of culture and warmth above a sea of pride and avarice you might have had some depth. The empire could have been immeasurably different.

    The_Archduke – Well if you’re counting direct claimants:

    Alexandros II (Persian Thomasine claim)
    Alexios I (Spain - claim by being Andronikos’ son)
    Demetrios II (southern Italy – claim by being Andronikos’ son)
    Nikephoros V (Megas Komnenos – claim by being Andronikos’ son and co-emperor)

    Now if we start getting into hypotheticals (Andronikos’ other sons getting involved, more distant but powerful Komnenoi branches getting involved), things get downright frightening:

    Manuel Komnenos (claim by being Andronikos’ son and Gabriel’s grandson)
    Leo Komnenos (Sicily, claim by being Andronikos’ son)
    Theodoros Komnenos (Prince of Leptis Magna, claim by being Andronikos’ son)
    Andronikos Komnenos (child, claim by being Andronikos’ son)
    Heraklios Komnenos (child, claim by being Andronikos’ son)
    Antioch (Antiochean Komnenid claim)
    Edessa (claim of descent from Christophoros Komnenos)
    Egypt (claim of descent from Manuel Komnenos)
    Gottfried von Franken (no claim of descent, simply rich)
    The Angeloi (Ikonion, descent from Andronikos, descent from ancestry to Manuel Komnenos)
    Thrakesids (Seville and Toledo, maternal descent from Manuel)


    These are leaving out numerous other potential branches or claimants (these are the ones I could come up with in a minute of quick thought). If the house of cards slides the wrong way, things could get very ugly very fast!

    cezar87 – Dramatic purposes, or poisoning? Okay, I’ll admit, it was mostly dramatic purposes. Gotta love it, just as much as often done but completely unrealistic death speeches.

    ATTACK77 – Welcome to the thread! Now you’ve got to wait a little like everyone else. I’m curious what people who’ve just caught up think of earlier parts. Who was your favorite character? What things went well, do you think? What things didn’t?

    FlyingDutchie – If you’d like another city update I can put one on the docket for the future. I know sometime before the end of things I would likely do that, at the very least in some sort of ‘final summation’ capacity.

    Andronikos’ light and glitter hid a great deal of rot underneath the timbers of state. You’ve got nobles with standing, trained armies under their command and the resources to back them. You’ve got the same nobles almost all by now having some kind of family relation back to Demetrios I Megas. Sure, there might be gold aplenty and culture and pomp, but is that any use when destruction is knocking?

    Zzzzz… – Other than the tsunami in 1238, Egypt hasn’t suffered any calamities, war, or disaster of any kind during the second half of the 12th and the entirety of the 13th centuries. It’s grown fat and wealthy, and through the 13th century the Eudoxian Komnenoi have turned it slowly into their own personal fiefdom.



    Isaac Wolfe – Well, an at minimum four-sided civil war should be enough to break any World Ruler’s sense of boredom!

    Qorten – Realistically, considering how his other brothers are acting, Nikephoros shouldn’t trust Manuel or Leo. Yes, they were friends in youth, but youthful friendship doesn’t necessarily mean political allegiance. Nikephoros is a classic case of an otherwise nice guy in a situation where a nice guy won’t get the job done…

    …or will he?

    Enewald – Considering half the nobility in Europe are related to the Komnenoi, there’s already been great kinslaying by default.

    wolfcity – More than likely there’s going to be a chapter or two of such. There’s some editors out there that can do that I believe…

    Morrel8 – Your crystal ball is correct.

    Alan de Lane – Well, leprosy in and of itself usually isn’t fatal. It’s more that leprosy opens the body up to secondary infections through sores, untreated cuts, etc. if I remember correctly (I might be wrong). The CK portion of this ended in 1399… I got a crash I couldn’t go around. Fortunately, EU3 starts up in the same year, so things ended happily on that front.


    As promised I’ve been working on reign summaries and so far, two of them are done. This week/early next week I'll post Andronikos', as well as Thomas III's. I admit, I'm not sure what to do with Thomas III's... perhaps instead of territory won or lost, I might mark cathedrals and basilicas built.

    First, we’ve got Andronikos’ uncle, Nikephoros IV ‘Seyf-u-Allah:’



    Pros: From a young age showed considerable ability, and held off the Franks from taking the still shaky Western Empire. Through opportunism and ruthlessness, simultaneously got rid of troublesome elements in his realm and forced Albrecht von Franken to approach him to help stabilize the rest of the Roman world. With von Franken ousted Gabriel from the United Empire, supplanting the Thomasine branch of the Komnenoi with the Davidine branch. Initiating long-lasting reforms of both the imperial army and bureaucracy.

    Cons: Despite immense promise, his reign was altogether too short. Failed to predict the coming rebellion of Segeo Komnenos, and also failed to produce an heir of his own. A disastrous horseback accident ended his effective rule in 1258 at only age 36, later to die 3 years later.

    Bottom line: One of the greatest what ifs among the Komnenoi. Nikephoros showed considerable charm and ability—despite being initially viewed as ‘the Saracen’ he became moderately popular even in Konstantinopolis itself. Though overshadowed by his nephew, there’s little doubt that if he’d bee given the time, he probably could have been one of the greatest Komnenid emperors.






    Secondly, I’ve finished Gabriel’s as well:



    Pros: Devastating general, in the mold of his father. Charismatic, and in terms of religious policies, wisely tolerant. Showed considerable skill in managing eastern affairs in both Arabia and Persia early on. Adroitly turned a temporary alliance of Christian and Muslim into a new state in Persia. Formed a stable, working power relationship with his sons later that efficiently managed an overstressed Persia.

    Cons: Legendary lecher, who’s trousers destroyed his single greatest chance of retaining power in Konstantinopolis. Filled with pride over his own accomplishments which often made him make poor decisions. Inclined to solve problems on the battlefield that might have been solved elsewhere. Under house arrest as much as he was on the throne. Doggedly focused on regaining ‘his’ throne in Konstantinopolis once it was stripped, often to the detriment of his Persian realm. Ultimately outfoxed twice by Andronikos Komnenos, and forced to abdicate.

    Bottom Line: Gabriel Komennos is a favorite amongst romantics—a truly gifted man outmaneuvered by others, as well as undone by his own pride. From his two reigns, he showed he fully lived up to the nickname ‘the Desert Lion,’ for on the battlefield there was no equal. However, in statecraft he was undone, first by Albrecht von Franken, then Andronikos I. Gabriel is another of the great what ifs—if he’d ignored Frederica and moved in 1247, he likely would have ousted von Franken and began a war against Nikephoros IV. If he hadn’t been wounded at Nikaea, there was every possibility he could have defeated Andronikos and seized Konstantinopolis proper. At every turn, fate seemed to conspire against him, however. He managed to turn a betrayal by his sons into a working relationship, a shaky Persian coalition into a bona fide state, and his former Turkish enemies into allies. Gabriel was at once undoubtedly brilliant and undoubtedly flawed. Sadly, exile was the end of this lion—a man who deserved more pomp and circumstance in his end than fate was willing to give.





    Finally, as an added bonus, I've also finished the new regnal banner too:

    Last edited by General_BT; 17-03-2011 at 18:30.
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  16. #5796
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    1. All he has to do is defeat a leper...what could go wrong? That, actually sounds ominous. Lots of things can go wrong. Like a sandworm suddenly swallowing the Padeshah.
    2. That Komnenid family tree still needs pruning.
    3. The Great Civil War even greater than the last few (Manuel's ascencion, Thomas vs. David, Bardas' rebellion, ousting of Gabriel?) - must be rather great, then. Towers of skulls and all?
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  17. #5797
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    Quote Originally Posted by General_BT View Post
    ... The CK portion of this ended in 1399… I got a crash I couldn’t go around. Fortunately, EU3 starts up in the same year, so things ended happily on that front.
    Thank you! You once said (many, many posts ago) that you'd use vanilla-EU3. But with what expansion: NA, IN, HT^3, DW?

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  18. #5798
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    HTTT is pretty damned good. Addictive like crack. Also at current it's a hell of a lot more balanced than DW.

  19. #5799
    Blasted Conniving Roman General_BT's Avatar
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    HTTT is the one I'd be using... I'm not touching DW until some of the balancing gets resolved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by General_BT View Post
    [wolfcity – More than likely there’s going to be a chapter or two of such. There’s some editors out there that can do that I believe
    Do you know any of these editors . Because I need to do some editing so my AAR isn't a simple story of "Wow you conquered the entire world in 50 years congrats" Not that I did that or anythng like that. Anyways it will be alot better with editing.
    Colonel Quantrill in the Presidents (and Proud Founder of Adolf Hitler was an Idiot club )

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