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Thread: From the Sands of Egypt: An IN LeAARning Experience

  1. #41
    While the regency council finished Qansawh's war the Mamluk empire was aflame, with rebllions springing up every where. The Mamluk armies returning from Timurid lands were put to quick use, and after some years most of the rebellions had been put down, with the pretender Malik himself cornered after several battles in Alleppo, where he surrendered.

    Despite the appearance of a rebel government in Damascus claiming the creation of the nation of Syria, things appeared to be settling down until the self-styled Barqua II managed a quick coup, executing the members of the regency council and provoking a new round of Civil Wars.

    A second Civil War proved too much for the already fragile nation. First Hedjaz reappeared in Arabia, taking the settlements of Mecca, Mocha, and Asir. Meanwhile rebels took control of the northern provinces of the country, and due to manpower shortages Barqua was unable to prevent the defection of Mus, Adana, and Beirut. Then Yemen revolted, while Najd would manage to take Asir. Word began to spread that the Mamluk nation was tearing itself asunder. Pirates spread to mamluk coastal provinces while defections continued.

    Eventually the rebellions cooled down, but few provinces were recovered. The nation's economy was ruined by the loss of territory and rebellions. Barqua knew he needed money to rebuild, and despite the advice of his military commanders, decided that an attack on weak Swahili would work as well for him as for the first Qansawh. Swahili was esily overrun, even by the weakened Mamluk army, but just as he was about to get a peace deal Barqua II died on campaign, having apparently acquired some disease unique to the tropics. He was replaced by the capable Ahmad III, who found himself facing another Civil War, although a rather easier one than his predecessor had to deal with.

    Ahmad quickly made an advantageous peace with Swahili, using the money thus acquired to build up infrastructure in what remained of the empire.

    He knew this was a temporary measure at best, though. It was decided that the gold mines of once ally Mutapa would be required to fuel a Mamluk military capable of dealing with any rebellion. While most of the troops returned home to take care of the pretender Malik that had arisen there, Ahmad stayed to personally command a pleasantly short war against Mutapa, that ended in their annexation.

    With the wealth from the Mamluk-Swahili war and the new Matapan mines, Ahmad set about rebuilding the country. The newly acquired territories in Africa were converted and forts were built to keep them from falling quickly to rebels, and Ethiopia, an island among Mamluk Africa, was finally annexed.

  2. #42
    Ahmad then set about retaking Mamluk territory in Arabia. Was was declared on Yemen. To both his delight and concern, a number of nations joined them, including Hedjaz and Najd. Much of the territory lost in the past Civil War was recaptured, while enemy alliance leader Tunisia, whose lands were of no value to Ahmad, was bought off with Tripolitania.

    A several year period of consolidation followed. Al Haasa, vassalized many years ago, was annexed into the country diplomatically. Despite their small size, they proved difficult to integrate into the country, causing some decentralization.

    In 1497 Ahmad went on that favorite activity of Mamluk Maliks, extorting Swahili for money. It went as smoothly as any of the previous wars against the African country had. One thing had changed, however. This time the Mamluks were after territory more than gold, and Swahili would be forced to give up several provinces, including gold producing ones.

    Satisfied that he had restored the Mamluks' reputation as a nation to be feared as well as enriching it, Ahmad settled for the next few years in his Palace at Cairo. Perhaps alone among the nation's Maliks so far he was quite interested in news from the barbaric lands to the northwest. He was quite delighted to hear that Austria, which had beat its rival Bohemia for control of the area south of Poland, and begun to encroach on Asia in Anatolia, was unable to control it's own peasants.

    There was also a curious heresy begining in the land of the Franks, ostensibly a response to Catholic excesses.

    The most welcome news, however, came from the east and not the west. Thanks to the gold provinces acquired during Ahmad III's rule, the Mamluks now approached the eastern Empire of Ming in wealth, the first country to do so.

    Despite his hope to spend the rest of his years building infrastructure, there would be no time for peace during Ahmad's reign. The nation of Algiers would call on the Mamluks to defend them from the Tunisian alliance. Despite nominal Tunisian leadership of the opposing alliance, and the supposed cause of the war in their aggression against Algiers, all knew that this was really a contest between the Mamluks and weakened but still powerful Ottomans over which Muslim power would dominate the region.

    While Mamluk troops focused on Anatolia, a diplomatic offensive was sent to the antions attacking Algiers. Algiers was very nearly overrun, until in response to threats the nation of Fez offered a white peace, allowing Aligers to focus on their eastern front.

    The war against the Ottomans went much easier than the last. They quickly found themselves attacked by the Byzantines, Athens and their European ally Castille. Faced with a two front war against powerful nations, they stood little chance. The Mamluks quickly occupied their eastern settlements and demanded Erserum and Sivas. The Ottomans were quick to accept, having found themselves in the unenviable situation of having been attacked by Austria as well in the final days of their war with the Mamluks.

  3. #43
    Their most powerful ally out of the war, Tunisia quickly came to their senses. For their trouble they were forced to cede several provinces to Algiers.

    Ahmad II decided it was not God's will that he should live at peace. Having accomplished so much through war, he decided it was time to take Mecca back. War was declared on Hedjaz. Things did not go quite as planned, however. Austria had warned the Mamluks not to go to war, but Ahmad paid little attention, reasoning that they would not go to war for such a small nation, and one obviously within the Mamluk sphere of influence. Moreover, the Austrians were distracted in a war with France at the time. He would prove to be wrong. Rumor had it that the Austrian emperor was so confident in the power of his nation that he felt comfortable taking on two major nations on opposite ends of his Empire. It would be arrogance except for the fact that he was right.

    Hedjaz would fall quickly enough.

    The northern fornt was another matter. Mus was the first to fall, but everyone knew the Austrians would advance much further. All attempts to stop them came to nought, and their armies proved not only more numerous but better trained than the Mamluk forces.

    Even the heartlands of North Africa were vulnerable to Austrian attack.

    Ahmad was prepared to give up some of his northern provinces in exchange for controlling the holy city of Mecca, but in the end it wouldn't come to that. Tunisia, the enemy alliance leader yet again, had enough of the war and offered a white peace. This caused the Austrians to be forced to ceasefire*.

    *I had all but forgotten that I had scrolled down on that war screen to Austria, and that Tunisia was the alliance leader. Turned out lucky for me.

    The rest of Ahmad's reign would see few conflicts. News came of a counter-reformation in England, although it was yet to be seen what would come of it. With the adoption of new national idea of searching for previously unknown lands, and hired explorers to travel further inland into Africa.

    The most distressing news was that Austria had managed to convince the pope to call a crusade on us. The Pope's influence on Europeans must have been in decline, however, for none answered the call to crusade. Even the Austrians did not declare war. Perhaps they were hoping others would weaken the Mamluks for them first.

    Swahili was defeated yet again in war and forced to pay large sums of ducats in tribute, as had become tradition for the Mamluks.

    Ahmad poured funds into exploration, and it was during his reign that the Mamluks first sent ships to the coast of India, gaining military access from the tiny island nation of Maldive.

    Finally, in 1519, despite his many wars, Ahmad III died peacefully in his sleep. He would be succeeded by Salih II, the greatest administrator ever to rule the Mamluks. Although the new Malik would face the largest succession crisis war of any of the Maliks, he was also left with a nation and army more prepared for one than any other Malik, thanks to Ahmad III.

    OOC: Whew, that was a long set of updates. Now all can see the results of my bumbling that war witht he Timurids from earlier.

    Luckily Ahmad was more than capable of reversing the losses.

    I got lucky when I was in that war with Austria. I have no idea how Tunisia ended up the war leader over Austria.

    And Austria's expansion into Anatolia...

    One more update to go until I'm caught up. It should be up within the day.

    Oh, and here are my responses to the last couple comments. THey'd gotten buried at the end of the last page.

    "Enewald Especially when there was someone with enough support to raise armies to take the throne.

    The Mamluks don't want any foreigners other than them ruling the country.

    Caligo In the early game I had money troubles that kept me from trying to compete in COTs I didn't own, but that's not a problem by this part of the game. I've played ahead a bit, but once I've caught up in the next one or two updates I'll start scouting around for COTs.

    Tribal succession crises are definately a pain. Since there isn't an ingame way to change from a tribal to another type of government I'm using the prerequisites Steckie suggested.

    I'll be doing a couple of updates today, in hopes of catching up to where I've played to."

  4. #44
    Salih the second immedaitely set about dealing with the pretender Malik Al-Hasan Zangi. It was no easy task as this was one of the largest civil wars to hit the Mamluks, butit was also a time of incredible economic and military strength for them. No Malik may have faced quite as many rebellions, but neither had any had access to such resources.

    First Mamluk Matapa was cleared of its smaller rebel armies in the northern end of the region, then moved south to clear out the rest of the rebels.

    It would take longer to clear out the pretender's armies in the territories around Syria and Arabia, but it was eventually managed and the last of the rebel armies were cornered in Ethiopia. The rebels would be defeated with no provinces defecting.

    Salih would put his expert administrative skills to great use. Colonies slowly extended into inland Africa and south along the east coast of the continent. Tax incomes rose to their highest levels. When a plague hit Barwe he had the region quarantined, preventing the disease's spread.

    The Mamluk government during this period would become renowned throught the region for it's good policies.


    Salih would be much troubled by Austrian expansionism. Even the rich and powerful nation of Astrakhan proved unable to stand before Austrian might.

    He decided that the main weakness nations like that of the Mamluks and Astrakhan had to ones like the Austrian Empire was their form of government. Many times Salih had observed other tribal governments to his east falling apart. The Persians were in constant rebellion. He had read in the history books of the collapse of the Timurid Empire. Although strong Maliks had kept the Mamluk Empire together, the constant succession crises as different tribes put forth their candidates, and the incrreased revolt risk and lower tazes under most rulers put them at a significant disadvantage compared to other states.

    So Salih slowly put his plans in place. The great prosperity of the country under his reign had made him immensely popular among the peasants and soldiers, especially those of the many minority nationalities brought into the Mamluk Empire over the last century or so. Slowly he filled important positions with men from outlying regions such as Arabia, Mutapa, and Syria, in the name of further integrating these groups into the Empire. The opportunities he granted them made them completely loyal to him. Men from his tribe also came to take important positions, although he was careful not to favor them too much to avoid outing his plan.

    Then on August 1, 1532, it happened. Army commanders from other tribes were killed, as were the leaders of those tribes, on the suspicion of treachery. Their lands would be divided among the peasants to keep them on Selih's side.

    Selih then announced that the nation would be run as a monarchy, the tribes replaced by an aristocracy made up of the military elite.

    The effect was almost immediate. As Selih set up a centralized bureacracy to run the country. Now future monarchs would not need his ability to maximize tax income, Mamluk control over large amounts of territory became more acceptable to neighboring nations, and revolt risks even slowly went down as tribal infighting decreased.

    Salih continued to work to make the nation stronger, annexing vassal Iraq diplomatically in 1534. There were some problems integrating the new territories, but it was considered worth it to bring Beirut back into the nation.

    In 1538 Salih proved he was not adverse to certain old Mamluk traditions, declaring war on Swahili. This also gave him a chance to annex their ally Najd, cementing Mamluk control over the Arabian peninsula.

    Swahili would be forced to give up much of their remaining territory, with their capital being cut off from the rest of their territory.

    The rest of Salih's reign would be spent working on converting the new provinces to integrate them into the empire, and occasionally shaking his head at odd occurrences, such as Aligers inheriting the throne of formerly Christian Athens.

    On May 31st, 1544, Selih died peacefully in his sleep. He would later be remembered as the father of the modern Mamluk nation. His successor al-Musta'in, would be the first leader of the country not to face a civil war upon his ascending the throne.

  5. #45
    Manners Makyth Man Demi Moderator Lord Strange's Avatar
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  6. #46
    Although a great general from the war against Swahili, al-Musta'in would spend the beginning years of his reign peacefully.

    Except, of course, for the mandatory war against Swahili, which allowed the annexation of their ally Yemen and all but eliminated Swahili from the maps.

    Al-Musta'in spent most of his early wars working on reforms, although mostly of a different kind than Selih's. Al-Musta'in was far more concerned with military reforms, fearing the gap between Mamluk tactics and those of the Austrians. The penultimate would be the switch to Shamshir infantry and Qizilbash cavalry, as well tas the introduction of better and better cannons. ALmsot all government investments would go towards bringing the Mamluk military up to par with the Austrian one.

    Al-Musta'in did introduce one non-military reform, on the advice of Salih's ministers. As the Mamluk nation had grown larger, even Selih's bureaucracy had difficulty administrating the empire. It was decided that The Mamluk Empire would adopt the kind of centralized Imperial Administration of other great empires and al-Musta'in would become a Sultan. This caused some unrest at first, but it was believed to be more beneficial in the long run.

    As the now Sultan al-Musta'in ended the 14th year of his reign he was faced with new challenges. Spanish settlements had been discovered in southern Africa blocking Mamluk expansion. On their own they were little threat, but Austria had warned the Mamluks not to go to war, an insult the Sultan suffered only because he did not believe his nation's military was ready to fight the Austrians.

    He would have to decide whether to continue waiting, allowing the military to develop to equal the Austrian forces. This had the disadvantage of allowing Spain and other European nations to continue to colonize Africa. On the other hand, if he tried to take on the Austrians now, as surely would be neccessary if he declared war on the Spaniards, then his nation would be decimated.

    OOC: All caught up now!

    After a bit of playing with the save game I decided to just use the console to enter in that event that converts a tribal nation to a feudal monarchy (but never fires in the actual game). I felt a bit odd about the lack of a loss of stability, so I went for a despitic monarchy right away (for a 1 stab loss) then an Imperial Administration as soon as I was able (for a 3 stab hit). 1532 happened to be the year I managed to get my centralization slider far enough left to fit the last of Steckie's suggested prerequisites for a govt. change.

    I'm in a tricky situation now. Austria is not only huge but also almost always HRE. At the moment they have about 80,000 mp to my paltry 40,000 or so. I can't go to war with Castille while Austria is warning me, as they'd take the Mamluks apart. I have to either DOW Austria or a small nation to bing them into a war with me and beat them first, but I'm not sure I can even take them out one on one.

    On the plus side, my land tech is creeping up (one incapable ruler effect for tribal nations that was lost wasn't in that screenie earlier, only because Selih's admin was high enough to get out of it a short time. It subtracted -33% from taxes. Tech's are increasing much higher without that and the 50% cost penalty for Tribal Nations). I hope to catch up to the Europeans eventually. I can also westernize but it will take a lot of time to get the sliders right (and the more I conquer the longer it takes in IN).

    I'm not quite sure what to do....

    Anyway, a couple more screenies.

    The Massive Austrian-Hungarian-Bohemian-Balkan-etc. Empire.

    The core of the Mamluk Empire.

    Spanish Africa, nearly bordering Mamluk Africa.

    A last oddity. France is almost entirely reformed, but have stubbornly remained catholic, ruining their economy for wrong religion bonuses. This has been going on a while and I'm starting to feel bad for them. I'm wondering, should I start up the save as them and convert them quickly? It seems unfortunate the AI would cripple them like that.

  7. #47
    Lord Strange Thanks. It's been really fun (when I wasn't considering yelling at the computer for the umpteenth succession war. ), but I'm very glad to have a proper government now.

  8. #48
    Crazy Cat Person. Meow! Moderator Qorten's Avatar
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    I thin you should, concerning France. Also some very good updates, good gameplay. I'm sure someday you'll be able to take out Austria.

    When I use this color I am speaking as a Moderator.

  9. #49
    Second Lieutenant GooseyPasture's Avatar
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    I think the best way forward would be to continue colonizing for now to prevent more expansion into Africa by the Western nations. During this time try to bring your tech levels closer to Austria. Then, as soon as Austria gets embroiled into a large war use this oppurtunity to fight them as hopefully you difference in strength wont be too large and Austria will have more than one frontier to fight.
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  10. #50
    Alien Space Bat PrawnStar's Avatar
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    Continued good work, the change of government makes sense, those succession problems look a bit overdone don't they?

    Are you in a position to try colonising the Indian ocean islands?

    Apparently I need to buy some more gravel.

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  11. #51
    Part Time Warp aldriq's Avatar
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    Egypt seems really good fun to play with, in the crossroads between three continents it offers plenty of opportunities for diplomacy and expansion. Now that the tribal pains are over it should all be a bit more pleasant.

    Definitely help the French convert, only a strong France can counterbalance that Austrian monster in Europe.

    What is the current state of your navy, are you planning to have a strong presence in the Mediterranean or focus just on the Indian Ocean?
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  12. #52
    You either fired off that government reform from the console, changed MTTH in the events or was extremely lucky. a 1/100000 chance(100000 MTTH is the base wrote in that event) per month slowly getting bigger and bigger, maybe to odds 1/20000 in your time. Which one of them is right :P admit it :P

  13. #53
    Alien Space Bat PrawnStar's Avatar
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    @ kfijatass - He said he fired the Gov't conversion - after hitting conditions posted by a reader in an earlier post.

    It makes sense, Mamluk government had a functioning bureaucracy and military unlike say a genuine horde out in the Central Asian steppes.

    Apparently I need to buy some more gravel.

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  14. #54
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    Nice work here, those rebellions looked like they were a pain and as PrawnStar said, 'a bit overdone.' There should definitely be an in-game way for tribal governments to become something else. Iím still debating the Ďexpansionsí and I like your AAR so far so Iíll be watching.
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  15. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by PrawnStar
    @ kfijatass - He said he fired the Gov't conversion - after hitting conditions posted by a reader in an earlier post.

    It makes sense, Mamluk government had a functioning bureaucracy and military unlike say a genuine horde out in the Central Asian steppes.
    Aw, Didn't notice Sowwy I won't fire that one out in my AAR :P Kinda makes the game more challenging.

    Oh and , what the hell happened to Great Britain and their income xD?
    Last edited by kfijatass; 17-08-2008 at 15:28.

  16. #56
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    Is it too soon to start asking for an update?
    Please, please, please dont end up like the majority of AAR's, abondoned in a box on the doorstep of oblivion.
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  17. #57
    If the Spanish provinces in Africa are still colonies, you could try using "Incite Natives" to get rid of them? I see that you have Spies available.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zimfan
    A last oddity. France is almost entirely reformed, but have stubbornly remained catholic, ruining their economy for wrong religion bonuses. This has been going on a while and I'm starting to feel bad for them. I'm wondering, should I start up the save as them and convert them quickly? It seems unfortunate the AI would cripple them like that.
    I don't think you can without modding. France gets a special decision (Edict of Nantes) that gives it +2 to tolerance heretics, -2 to tolerance catholics, and blocks the possibility of converting. The only way to reverse the decision is, IIRC, for France to become almost entirely Catholic again. IMO the decision needs work.

    I'm working on a mod for Byzantium and the tribal countries (mostly), and I'm curious how you (after playing them in vanilla) feel about all the tribalism penalties, overall. Good? bad? would you play it a second time?

    I've scaled the penalties down, so they phase in at various levels of leader skill and empire size instead of being all-or-nothing, and I've also tweaked the succession revolts, so that they sometimes don't happen, and sometimes happen to other forms of monarchial government. Does that sound like a good call? Something of the sort is necessary if a Byzantine player is going to have any AI opposition on the eastern front, in any case.

    It was quite interesting to see how the succession revolts worked out for a human player

  19. #59
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    I dunno about the succession rebels - I do kinda like them. It seems to break down some the empire that did break down historically speaking and it seems to model the way they broke down quite nicely.

    It is porobably best to avoid contact with the Austrians until they are engaged with someone else or their War exhaustion is high. If you can spot a moment then I would go in all guns ablazing.

    Great work zim hope you can keep up!!!
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  20. #60
    Sorry for my absence everyone. I've been without an internet connection for the past week or so. I've played ahead a bit and should have the next update up within the day.

    Qorten I tried but it turns out the Edict of Nantes decision prevents conversion. Meanwhile France is left to stir in constant rebellions and a census income of something like 50 ducats or so.

    GooseyPasture I try to do that, although I fera somewhat limited success.

    More updates will be forthcoming now that I'm back online again.

    PrawnStar Thanks. I could beat the Europeans to colonize in the east, but I think I'll have to go for African colonies first to have a chance of taking control of all of Africa before the end date.

    aldriq I'm definately looking forward to the post tribal period. Too bad about the Edict of Nantes thing, but I guess France is out of luck. My Navy is decent in size but small in tech, and strongest in the Mediterranean, since I don't really have rivals elsewhere.

    kfijatass What Prawnstar said. Great Britain has been fairly stable income wise, although it shows 0 income for much of the game because it's only been formed fairly recently.

    lstonetx I've tried it a couple of times, without too much succes so far unfortunately. Hopefully my luck changes.

    BritNavFan Yeah, France has the Edict of Nantes decision. I guess they're just stuck.

    The tribal succession crisis made things quite interesting, and I actually enjoyed having my plans ruined by them a couple times. On the other hand, the incapable ruler penalties seemed too heavy handed, especially considering how high a stat was required to avoid them.

    I'll be taking a break from tribal governments after this game.

    The fixes you've worked on sound great to me, and I would likely not have fired the event to change the Mamluk government if tribal governments were set up that way.

    Smowz Yeah, the succession crisis was probably the least unpleasant of the tribal penalties, and the most interesting.

    Thanks for the tip, I'll keep it in mind while looking for an opportunity against the Monster that is Austria.

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