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Thread: The Shortest Road to Damascus

  1. #161
    Part Time Warp aldriq's Avatar
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    Blood on the road to Mecca
    1500-15


    As you will remember the Ottomans warned me in the last turn, which leaves me in a waiting position until I can DoW confidently or I get called by allies or guarantees. I'm hoping the Austrians will attack the OE eventually, and that would give me a very good chance.

    Government Tech 9 is reached in 1501, I take National Bank as second NI. Now I can reduce inflation at 0.1% per year.



    I realise I can recruit Men At Arms in Apulia, so I start building up an Italian guard to help in the eventual war with the Ottomans. I also build a carrack to give a bit of strenght to my paltry Med fleet.

    In 1503 I get a 'Dramatic currency devaluation' event. The choice is more inflation or less inflation, prestige and stability. I choose the latter, which puts me at 'only' 10.1% inflation.



    Later that year Austria adopts the Counter-reformation... not a moment too soon judging by the speed of protestant expansion. Note how even Apulia went protestant



    Between 1500 and 1506 the Ottomans get involved in short wars against unthreatening countries like Golden Horde (they have a hidden province somewhere in Siberia), Hungary, Georgia. Only a war along with Astrakhan agaist Tver/Muscovy is significant. The northern powers come out badly from it, especially Muscovy, who loses half of the territory to newly-released Ryazan.



    Meanwhile in the east Rajputana keeps growing at the expense of Khorasan and Durrani (I didn't get invited to this war, Khorasan got involved through a guarantee on Durrani I think).



    In 1507 I receive another 'Dramatic currency devaluation' event. I choose the double stab hit again to lower my inflation to 6.8%. I imagine the National Bank must be triggering these. Not that I complain, the inflation reduction is worth the stability sacrifice in the long run. On the other hand, a look at the 'inflation top chart' shows the 3.2b AI is quite relaxed about quantitative easing



    In October 1507 I receive a call to arms from Astrakhan against Novgorod-Riga-Ukraine. I join on their side, and so does the OE. This war seems to take the OE's war exhaustion as far as it can get, 12.50, and sees Novgorod lose three provinces a year later.



    In 1508 I push the slider towards innovative. I think I just need one more to be able to westernise.

    Just a few months after having signed peace with Novgorod, Astrakhan DoWs Tver, so here we go again. The OE once again participates and sends troops north, but the WE doesn't go beyond 12.5%.



    Ottoman exhaustion is not going to get any better for me, so I start preparing for an eventual DoW after this war. To spice things up I fund a few patriots in Tabouk with some spare money...



    The war ends in 1510, with Tver losing one province. Four of my Persian provinces become cores and Persian culture is accepted, which should help the economy. A new king ascends and is immediatelly enrolled as general. After more than 10 years with not real wars my army tradition is rather poor, any king will make a better general than anything I can recruit at the moment.



    After building a few more regiments I am finally ready to call the Ottoman warning in early 1511. Pskov, the northern OPM, is the chosen target, stab-hit free and more likely to draw Astrakan on my side.



    It works: Astrakhan and Khorasan join me, Muscovy, Novgorod and the Ottoman Empire rush to defend Pskov.



    I immediately focus on besieging the Ottoman Arabian provinces while defending the northern border. I'm hoping Astrakhan will keep the Ottomans busy and that my lack of WE will give me an edge against their superior army and tech.

    For a while I manage to hold the relative small Turkish armies crossing the border...



    Quite a few of them actually...



    Although the Ottoman forces eventually push through in big numbers.



    I even lose my entire Italian guard in a nasty overrun I have to start recruting replacements in Egypt.

    My Mediterranean fleet manages to sink the 4-galley blockading flotillas the OE has placed around my coast, one at a time. It's not strong enough to fight against the main 21-galley Ottoman support fleet though.

    Progress is also slow in the north. In April 1512 I sign peace with Muscovy ceding Moskva to Astrakhan, hoping this will release Astrakhani resources for the southern front. Shortly afterwards Austria calls on a crusade against the OE, but no-one dares DoWing



    Things get ugly as Ottomans armies storm through Iraq and western Persia. Astrakhan leaves the war for good signing peace with Novgorod for Alania and 25 ducats. Well, that's one gold province no longer in Ottoman hands, but a longer commitment of Astrakhan in the war would have been far more useful. They also renew their alliance with the OE a few months later, which is worrying.



    It's not until the Turkish armies start losing some steam after attrition and assaults in 1513 that I can begin to repel them. I consolidate all my cavalry to attack enemy stacks and all my infantry to recover lost provinces.



    Which seems to work against infantry or small cavalry armies...



    But even my king and all my cavalry are not good enough against a solid Ottoman cavalry army led by 6-shock Osman Even with defensive bonus any encounters with him end up in butchery...



    Luckily Osman goes north to deal with a huge Georgian revolt, which gives me the chance to get back all my provinces and finish the last siege in Ottoman Arabia in 1515. At 16 WE (and the Ottomans' clearly capped at 12.5) I decide to cash my gains as things are only likely to get worse with more and more rebels.



    I sign a 36% WS peace with Novgorod, which is quite happy to end the war parting with someone else's provinces Sadly I can't get Medina in the deal to completely eliminate Ottoman presence in Arabia.



    After 90 years at last I complete my first mission!



    The Syrian homelands are now united, and I'm free to DoW again! Now I'll need to make sure I'm ready for the Ottomans in 5 years' time, because they'll certainly come back for their cores.



    Other than the painful victory over the Ottomans, the biggest achievements this turn have been 3 successful conversions and halving my inflation, thanks to the National Bank and the two currency revaluation events.




    _________________

    Syria in 1515

    Provinces: 43
    At peace.
    Allied with Astrakhan and Korashan.
    Stability: +3
    BB: 1.04
    Monarch: Padishah al-Ashraf II (4a/8m/8d)
    Army: 43 (22/21/0)
    Navy: 18 (1/0/9/8)
    WE: 15.02

    Neighbours

    Mamluks: Allied with Hedjaz, Najd and Adal. CB on Syria. Guaranteeing Yemen and Iraq. Warned by OE, Syria.

    Funj: Allied with Yemen and Swahili. Leads PU with Swahili. CB on Hedjaz. Guaranteed by Sokoto.

    Algiers: Allied with OE, Durrani. CB on Castille and Fez. Guaranteed by OE. Guranteeing Yemen, Najd, Hedjaz, Fez and Oman.

    Tripoli: Allied with Najd, Castille. CB on Syria. Guaranteed by Sokoto and Songhai.

    OE: Allied with Bosnia, Serbia, Sibir, Algiers, Astrakhan. CB on Austria, Syria. Guaranteeing Yemen, Oman, Hedjaz, Syria and Iraq. Warning Georgia, Hungary, Novgorod, Yemen, Hedjaz, The Mamluks.

    Najd: Allied with Yemen, Tripoli, Khorasan and the Mamluks. CB on Syria, Oman. Guaranteeing Iraq. Guaranteed by Oman, Algiers and Fez. Warned by Syria.

    Iraq: No allies. CB on the OE, Syria. Guaranteed by OE, Yemen, Oman, Najd, Fez and the Mamluks.

    Hedjaz: Allied with Oman, Adal and the Mamluks. CB on OE and Yemen. Guaranteed by OE, Algiers and Fez. Warned by OE, Syria.

    Khorashan: Allied with Syria, Najd and Durrani. Guaranteeing Shaybanid, Chagatai, Kashmir, Durrani. Warning Shaybanid.

    Qara Qoyunlu: Annexed by Astrakhan.

    Durrani: Allied with Khiva, Khorasan, Algiers and TE. CB on Syria and Rajputana. Guaranteed by Khorasan.

    Khiva: Allied with Kazakh, Durrani and Kashmir. CB on Syria, Shaybanid, Khorasan and Deva Bengal. Guaranteed by Astrakhan. Warned by TE and Syria.
    On-hold: Mamma Mia! The AAR
    Completed: Europe is our dancefloor | The Shortest Road to Damascus | No Iron, One Lion, Maybe Zion
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  2. #162
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Get rid of the inflation asap.

  3. #163
    General gabor's Avatar
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    congrats, it can't have been easy but you pulled it through!
    i like the new borders much more
    OE is always a tough enemy, keeping astrakhan on your side seems a must

  4. #164
    Part Time Warp aldriq's Avatar
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    Enewald - Bringing inflation from 13 down to 6 in 15 years wasn't impressive enough?

    gabor - Astrakhan allied the OE again, so keeping them on my side is definitely a priority.
    On-hold: Mamma Mia! The AAR
    Completed: Europe is our dancefloor | The Shortest Road to Damascus | No Iron, One Lion, Maybe Zion
    Tintero

    The July AARlander is out now, no excuse not to read it: Thread | PDF | iBooks

  5. #165
    That ought to be the hardest war with the Ottomans out of the way now. Although I would be quite worried about the alliance with Astrakhan. If that combined steamroller heads your way then things look dire.

  6. #166

  7. #167
    Some nasty losses against Osman. Next time try to get his army deeper into Syria. Usually the Ai thinks he is needed elsewhere and the army becomes a attritionhaunted baby seal .

    Well done.
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  8. #168
    A Smooth Operator Brandenburg III's Avatar
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    You look like you can expand nearly anywhere you want. Maybe we'll see some Syrian colonization in a couple of decades?
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  9. #169
    Sturm und Drang volksmarschall's Avatar
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    The Ottomans really came into battle towards the end of the war now didn't they?

    But, by looks of it, a final Syria and Ottoman showdown for the dominance of the Koran and Muhammed seems so interesting! After you win, you can swing into Central Europe!
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  10. #170
    Plus ultra! Capibara's Avatar
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    Finally took my time to read your AAR, aldriq. I must say I have really enjoyed it. I really like the writing style combined with the screenies. You've done an excellent job bringing all of the middle east and more under Syrian rule. Keep it this way!
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  11. #171
    Part Time Warp aldriq's Avatar
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    Duke of Wellington - I hope so. The situation with Astrakhan is delicate, I'll try to keep them on my side for as long as I can.

    Sweboy - You didn't comment on the previous update, what are you complaining about?

    Kami - I tried but they just focused on besieging border provinces, they didn't chase me inland beyond one province. Sneaky OE

    Brandenburg III - Maybe. My naval range just about allows me to colonise the province in the horn of Africa, now that I have a few cogs in my Indian Ocean fleet I might consider it...

    volksmarschall - Welcome! Yes, they just seemed to have infinite manpower, if it wasn't for the WE it would have been impossible to beat them. Central Europe? Have you seen the size of Poland?!

    Capibara - Thanks and welcome! Still plenty to do, Spain is the final target
    On-hold: Mamma Mia! The AAR
    Completed: Europe is our dancefloor | The Shortest Road to Damascus | No Iron, One Lion, Maybe Zion
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  12. #172
    Part Time Warp aldriq's Avatar
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    Strange companions on the road to India
    1515-29


    Just as I end the war with the OE, a rather unpleasant event pops up giving me little choice but to take even more revolt risk; the other option, becoming more narrowminded, would have pushed back westernisation another 12 years.



    To compensate for the extra rebels at least I get my first great minister event in 1516. Already at maximum stability I choose the prestige option.



    In 1518 I presss a boundary dispute in Iraq's only province. A CB on them may come useful, although I'm not going to be attacking any fellow Muslims for the time being, I don't want to give Astrakhan any excuse to break the alliance. Later on I notice that Astrakhan must have pressed a boundary dispute against me in Gilan... why does the AI insist on pressing boundary disputes even with allies and good relations?! It's also annoying that the event fired there, given that Astrakhan doesn't even have a core yet on their own side of the border.

    Slider change in 1520: another push to innovative -2. Only one more and I'll be able to westernise

    Land technology 10 is reached in 1522. WE from the Ottoman war finally drops to zero in September 1524. Rebels should be a lot quieter now. Not for Astrakhan, though, as another tribal succession crisis erupts that same year. This time the pretender rebels were dealt with pretty quickly. Notice in the map how Poland keeps growing, Lithuania finally becomes an OPM a few months later.



    Even with WE at 0 I'm still unwilling to DoW Muslim nations in case the Astrakhanis desert me, making me an easy target for an OE wanting revenge. However, I don't have to sit idly for long, as in 1525 one of my warnings is triggered when Durrani DoWs Rajputana (just not the one I was expecting)



    I had both warned and guaranteed Durrani, but with Rajputana growing bigger and bigger I thought the Indian power much more likely to DoW first. I wait a few days to see who is involved before joining. I end up as leader of a very strange alliance with Rajputana and Japan against Durrani, Algiers, Khiva, Timurid Empire and my now ex-ally Khorasan...



    Too many easy, stab-free targets to miss this opportunity I quickly take an unfortified province and some money from Khiva to consolidate my border with Astrakhan around the Caspian, and leave the way open to access Samarkand in the future. I sign a white peace with Khorasan as well that same month.



    In the western front I defeat the Algerian forces and manage to set a couple of sieges. My navy saves the day by quickly ferrying troops back and forth from Egypt to recover from the high attrition levels in these provinces (moving through Tripoli's lands is just too slow and inefficient).



    Such is the poor state state of Rajputana (also at war with a southern neighbour), that they sign peace in April 1526 giving Indus back to Durrani... Even better! Now I can get Indus as well



    Slowly provinces in Durrani and Algiers fall, but Durrani is leader so I have to wait to sign peace with Algiers first: Tunis and Gabes.



    And finally peace with Durrani for 3 provinces (yes, that was Japan helping out in Sistan). I have now access to India



    Also in 1527 I get an interesting event that allows me to go innovative...



    ... unfortunately there is one condition for westernisation still not met: my current king is only admin 4 Now the waiting is on a new padishah.



    After the war Khorasan doesn't want me as an ally any more I ally Tripoli instead; given they are allied to Castille it's going to be safer to diplo-annex them, rather than risk an early confrontation with the Spaniards.

    Rajputana collapses in 1528, lots of colourful new states appear: Baluchistan, Malwa, Kashmir, Punjab... It seems Rajputana won't be forming the Mughal empire just yet.



    In the meantime my conversion efforts continue. All my Arabian provinces and half of Persia are now Sunni.



    November 1528 brings production technology 9, and with it workshops!



    The first batch of workshops is completed in late 1529 and it shows: Syria jumps to 6th position in the economic league, past England and Poland. Inflation is down to 4.4% and dropping at 0.16% per year. I'll need a solid economy to confront the still rich Ottomans again.




    _________________

    Syria in 1529

    Provinces: 49
    At peace.
    Allied with Astrakhan and Tripoli. CB on Iraq.
    Stability: +3
    BB: 3.35
    Monarch: Padishah al-Ashraf II (4a/8m/8d)
    Army: 52 (26/26/0)
    Navy: 30 (2/0/16/12)
    WE: 0

    Neighbours

    Mamluks: Allied with Algiers. PU with Algiers. CB on Syria. Warned by Syria.

    Funj: Allied with Yemen. CB on Hedjaz. Guaranteed by Swahili and Sokoto. Guranteeing Tripoli and Mali.

    Algiers: Allied with OE, Durrani, Mamluks and Sokoto. Leads PU with Mamluks. CB on Syria, Castille. Guaranteed by Fez. Guranteeing Oman, Hedjaz and Iraq.

    Tripoli: Allied with Najd, Castille and Syria. CB on Syria. Guaranteed by Syria, Kanem Bornu, Adal, Funj, Swahili, Sokoto and Songhai.

    OE: Allied with Bosnia, Serbia, Ryazan, Algiers, Astrakhan. CB on Austria, Syria. Guaranteeing Yemen, Oman, Hedjaz, Najd and Iraq.

    Najd: Allied with Yemen, Tripoli, Khorasan. CB on Syria, Oman. Guaranteeing Iraq. Guaranteed by OE, Oman and Fez. Warned by Syria.

    Iraq: Allied with Hedjaz. CB on the OE, Syria. Guaranteed by OE, Yemen, Oman, Najd, Fez and Algiers. Warned by Syria.

    Hedjaz: Allied with Astrakhan, Adal and Iraq. Leads PU with Adal. CB on OE, Syria, Adal and Yemen. Guaranteed by OE, Oman, Algiers and Fez. Warned by Syria.

    Yemen: Allied with Najd, Funj and Baluchistan. CB on Hedjaz and Syria. Guaranteeing Iraq. Guaranteed by OE, Oman and Fez.

    Astrakhan: Allied with OE, Hedjaz, Syria. CB on OE, Poland, Austria, Ryazan, Sibir, Tver and Syria. Guaranteeing Ryazan, Sibir, Kazakh, Khiva, TE, Shaybanid and Chagatai. Warned by Poland.

    Khorashan: Allied with TE, Najd and Durrani. Guaranteeing Chagatai, Baluchistan.

    Durrani: Allied with Khiva, Khorasan, Algiers and TE. CB on Syria and Rajputana.

    Khiva: Allied with Sibir, Durrani and Kazakh. CB on Syria, Shaybanid, Khorasan and TE. Guaranteeing Chagatai. Guaranteed by Astrakhan, Shaybanid and TE.
    On-hold: Mamma Mia! The AAR
    Completed: Europe is our dancefloor | The Shortest Road to Damascus | No Iron, One Lion, Maybe Zion
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    The July AARlander is out now, no excuse not to read it: Thread | PDF | iBooks

  13. #173
    Looking quite strong now with those relatively easy gains and the healthy economy. Also quite a big collapse by Rajputana. Do you think you'll get in there and clean up some of the breakaway states?

  14. #174
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Your income is quite nice!

  15. #175
    Lt. General humancalculator's Avatar
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    You should take india to prevent a mughal empire from forming.
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  16. #176
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  17. #177
    Plus ultra! Capibara's Avatar
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    Agree with the Duke and humancalculator here, now that the path to India is open, you should take care of some of the states that broke away from Rajputana. Good job getting provs from Tunis, one step closer to Spain
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  18. #178
    Quote Originally Posted by aldriq View Post

    Rajputana collapses in 1528, lots of colourful new states appear: Baluchistan, Malwa, Kashmir, Punjab... It seems Rajputana won't be forming the Mughal empire just yet.
    I didn't know you nicked my Mughal mod mod for your game

  19. #179
    Transnational Progressive AKjeldsen's Avatar
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    Quite impressive expansion so far, and good work on getting the inflation down and the economy in order again.

    Let's just hope the current padishah will enjoy a glorious but not too long reign, because by the looks of it, getting Westerrnization soon would probably be advisable.
    "When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
    -C. S. Lewis: On Three Ways of Writing for Children

  20. #180
    Just discovered this. More, please! Great work!

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