Coastal road to Alexandria, desert road to oblivion
With the Ottomans having Egypt as target of their mission I have no choice but to attack The Mamluks before they do. Luckily the core I had in Hawran lets me Dow in October 1461 at only 1 stability loss. All of the Mamluks' allies and guarantors join, Golden Horde and Khiva desert me. That's me and Khorasan against Mamluks, Oman, Najd, Swahili and Tunisia, nothing to worry about since neither of them bothered to turn up in the last war. In fact it offers me the chance to settle old scores with Najd for free. The Golden Horde renews our alliance shortly afterwards.
The war is pretty unremarkable. I take unfortified Najd in a separate peace in February 1462 and destroy the last 6K Mamluk force in Cairo in March. After that it's just a case of careful deployment of small siege armies across Egypt and patience.
While I wait for the sieges I get an unfortunate call to arms from the Golden Horde in early 1463. They've DoWed Qara Qoyunlu, which would have been fine had I not built up my relations with them in preparation for my war with Persia. Too late to insult/cancel RM and MA, so I have to dishonour the alliance, losing an ally, prestige and a great opportunity to take Haasa outside their OE guarantee It is annoying that with so many Christians on the west and Ming already on the east the GH decided to attack QQ just now.
The only positive side to this is that now I have nothing to lose by attacking Crete (still only guaranteed by Georgia) The island nation is DoWed and swiftly annexed in June 1464. The final sieges in deep southern Egypt are won and peace with the Mamluks obtained: their four northernmost provinces. The corridor to Alexandria is now open! And WE was carefully controlled this time, stands at only 1.60
Libya secures the route to expand west. No other Egyptian province is of particular interest to me now, with the exception of Cairo perhaps, for which I'd need to obtain the rest of Egypt.
After this expansion/annexation spree BB has shot up over 10, a few years of peace and trade are in order. High BB and lack of powerful allies predictably bring the OE knocking with an insult soon enough. Luckily a renewed royal marriage with GH makes the willing to accept a new alliance, directing the wolves' attention elsewhere.
In 1467 all my Iraqi provinces become cores, and Iraqi culture is accepted. With two cores in the gulf now I could start building an Indian Ocean fleet if I wanted to, but there is no immediate need at the moment.
I also notice with surprise that Fars is a CoT. These pesky Persians didn't have enough with Hormuz it seems! Oh well, it's not as wealthy as Alexandria but my mercantilistic policy gives me easy access... and money. For the first time I can stop relying on minting to maintain a decent army, although the already too high 11% inflation will hurt for many years.
In the meantime my former enemies are on full downward spiral. Persia has lost her eastern possessions to a Khorasan and secessionist Durrani...
... and the Mamluks are beaten up by Tripoli for money (I missed a good chance there to warn Tripoli, plus I had forgotten to cancel the MA they still had through my lands), and later by rebels. Funj eventually secedes in 1469.
What I wasn't expecting is Funj turbo-annexing the Mamluks 14 months later
I thought non-pagan turbo-annexation wasn't allowed any more. In any case, it's the most ignominious end for the Mamluks I've seen, and it highlights how devastating recruitment time proportionally increased by WE can be.
This has also two positive implications: Cairo is now easier to obtain as non-capital province, and the OE utterly failed in their mission (they quickly switch to a harmless 'Accumulate money')
Time to think about the next target...
Syria in 1470
Allied with Korashan, Golden Horde. CB on OE.
Monarch: Sultan al-Mu'azzam II (7a/4m/6d)
Army: 26 (12/14/0)
Navy: 14 (0/0/6/8)
Mamluks: 1250-1470 R.I.P.
Funj: No allies. Guaranteed by Swahili.
Tripoli: Allied with Yemen, Najd, Algiers and Qara Qoyunlu. CB on Tunisia. Guaranteeing Tunisia.
OE: Allied with Bosnia, Serbia, Golden Horde, Nogai. CB on Hungary. Guaranteeing Yemen, Haasa, Oman, Hedjaz and Iraq. At war with Lithuania*, Hungary and Bavaria.
Najd: Allied with Iraq, Tripoli. CB on Syria, Oman. Guaranteeing Iraq. Guaranteed by Algiers, Oman, Yemen and Fez.
Iraq: Allied with Najd. CB on the OE, Syria. Guaranteed by OE, Yemen, Hedjaz, Oman, Najd, Algiers, Fez. Warned by Syria.
Haasa: Allied with Persia, Oman and Qara Qoyunlu. CB on Syria. Guaranteed by OE, Oman, Algiers, Fez, Persia and Tunisia. Guaranteeing Iraq, Tunisia. Warned by Syria.
Hedjaz: Allied with Oman. CB on OE and Yemen. Guaranteed by OE, Algiers, Fez. Guaranteeing Iraq.
Khorashan: Allied with Syria, Kazakh, Durrani and Kashmir. CB on Persia and Delhi.
Qara Qoyunlu: Allied with Tripoli, Haasa and Khiva. CB on OE, Georgia, GH, Persia and TE. Guaranteed by Persia and GH. Warned by Syria.
Persia: Allied with Haasa. CB on OE, Syria, Khorasan, Qara Qoyunlu and Khiva. Guaranteeing Haasa and Qara Qoyunlu. Guaranteed by Durrani. Warned by Syria.