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Thread: Reconquista! - the exploits of the House Barcelona

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    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Reconquista! - the exploits of the House Barcelona

    Reconquista

    the exploits of the House Barcelona




    This will be my first CK AAR, having experience with HoI2 AARs before. I am quite new to CK though, so don't expect any miracles. My main objective will be to try and liberate as much of Spain from both the Moors and the diverse Jimenid kingdoms.
    I am not an expert on Medieval History, so feel free to point out mistakes from my side.

    Enjoy.
    Last edited by FlyingDutchie; 16-02-2010 at 16:30.
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

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    Last edited by FlyingDutchie; 09-04-2010 at 19:20.
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

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    Book I: Ramon Berenguer de Barcelona

    Chapter I: the dream


    It was a dream like Ramon Berenguer never had before in all his 43 years in this world. He had seen a large basilica, standing in a vilage, a magnificent sight. However a fierce storm blew down the church, and the church was left to crumble by the peoples of the village. After a time a man came in his dream, and the man started to rebuild the basilica: larger and more magnificent than it was before. Most striking of all, the man was dressed from head to toe in red and yellow, the colours of the House of Barcelona. This was the kind of dream that actually meant something. It was a sign from above. The Basilica represented Spain: once united under Christianity, later shattered by the Mohamedan invaders from the south and left to crumble by the Jimenez-family that ruled most of Christian Spain. Ramon Berenguer was sure about one think, the Lord had a special place for the House of Barcelona in his Divine Plan. He was sure of that.


    Ramon Berenguer de Barcelona. A man well in his fourties and absolutely possessed with the idea of driving the Moors of the peninsula.[/CENTER]

    ##############

    “One more time Bernat, you need to toughen up if you wish to assist in my dads wild plans.”

    Pedro Berenguer, oldest son of the Duke, was sparring with his friend Bernat de Besalu. Something he usually did when he was fed up with his family. That being said, Pedro spend most of his time sparring. First of all, his father had abandoned his mother when he was seven to marry that French harpy of an Almodis. Afterwards his father had devoted most of his time with the twins Ramon Berenguer and Berenguer Ramon she gave him, claiming that it was a sign from above. Feh, for his father everything was a sign from above. All that free time meant that Pedro had plenty of time to spend on the ways of war. Even at the age of 21 he was the Alférez of the Duchy, as even his old man couldn’t deny his skills in the arts of war.

    “One more time and I’m going to collapse even before facing the Moors Pedro.”

    Bernat smiled while he said that. Bernat de Besalu was just 19, but stronger than most boys of his age. Sparring from a young age with Pedro did just that for him. Pedro wasn’t particulary strong, but he never left a hole in his guard, and yet he always managed to find one is his opponents guard. To compensate for his skill, Bernat had trained long and hard, yet even his impressive strenght was no match for Pedro’s skills.

    “Still busy trying to hit Pedro, Bernat? You really should find a less violent way to spend your time. You are not the one who has to treat all those cuts and bruises.”

    “Still looking out for me sis? There are better ways for you to spend your time too. You seem to be the only one able to bring a smile on glum Pedro here. Pedro still isn’t married and you are an adult too at 17. Why don’t you two… Auch…”

    Pedro had hit him on the shoulder with the broad side of the sword.

    “You talk too much Bernat.”

    Bernat smiled, that was just like Pedro. The whole court knew that Pedro had a soft spot for Estefania. He guessed the Duke would announce their wedding any day now. Pedro and Estefania had been the courts favourite gossip until recently. Now it was the Duke’s dream of a war with the Moors. Bernat sighed, at least Pedro would get married before going to war. He just hoped glum Pedro would get along with kind and gentle Estefania.
    Bernat decided to call it a day, Pedro had left to sulk anyway and Estefania was just waiting to lecture him on joking with the holy institute of marriage. Perhaps he would go to the stables to take a ride in the countryside.
    Last edited by FlyingDutchie; 18-02-2010 at 00:07.
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

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    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy4ever View Post
    Never played as Barcelona myself but they look pretty tricky. Dirt poor land, no King title (unlike the other Spaniards) and with the frightening Moors to the South.

    Good Luck!
    Thanks, but the situation is not as glum as it looks. Several small Taifasheikhdoms lie to the south and the larger Emirates have a tendency to tear eachother to pieces before looking North.
    Also, Barcelona isn't that rich, but has a sizeable army.

    If only the titles king of Catalunya or Valencia existed...
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

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    Book I: Ramon Berenguer de Barcelona

    Chapter II: Albarracin


    February was not the ideal month for campaigning in the Albarracin mountains. Yet Duke Ramon Berenguer had insisted starting the campaign against the Moors as soon as possible. To the southern border of the Duchy lay several smaller Moorish states, known as the Taifa. The small sheikhdom of Albarracin was their target.


    Pedro Berenguer de Barcelona, the oldest son of Duke Ramon Berenguer. A normally stern and taciturn young man.


    “Nice addition to the Duchy, don’t you think Bernat? Nice and cozy place to raise a family.”

    “Don’t you dare raise a family with my sister here.”

    “I won’t, we wouldn’t have a moments rest with you worying about us.”

    Bernat smiled, it wasn’t that often that Pedro made a joke. His sisters influence perhaps? As expected Pedro and Estefania where married a few months ago. He remembered the wedding well. His friend Pedro didn’t blink when a wild boar charged at him during a hunt, but turned in a near nervous wreck on the day of the wedding. He also remembered Ermengol, count of Urgell, behaving like the spoiled ten year old brat he was. He had demanded to be placed at the side of the Duke. A position of honour reserved for Ponç and Gausfred d’Empuries, the counts of Empuries and Rosello. Both elderly men where more than six time his seniour, but the brat still insisted his honour had been violated. Bernat sighed, that brat was sure to cause trouble in the future.


    Bernat de Besalu. Bernat might be a minor noble, but his friendship with the Duke's eldes son might change his family's future.


    But now was not the time to be worrying about future problems. The sheikh of Albarracin was waiting for them in the next valley. It would be impolite to keep their host waiting. Bernat saw his friend smile. For the first time he would have the opportunity to show his worth to his father.
    Whatever the plan his friend had prepared, Bernat hoped the battle would be over soon. He hated the cold of the mountains. He pitied the man who would become the castellan of the cold hell that was Albarracin.

    It took the hardy men of Barcelona just a few hours to march to the place where the Sheikh was waiting for them. His force was smaller than Pedro’s was, being outnumbered two to three. In cavalry the advantage was almost five to one! The Ducal Army possessed both the light knights in Moorish style and the heavy knights in European style. The infantry held their own against the lighter Moorish infantry, while Pedro readied a devastating charge. By the evening the field was theirs. The road to Albarracin was open.
    Last edited by FlyingDutchie; 16-02-2010 at 16:36.
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

    Some old (and sadly abandoned) works:
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingDutchie View Post


    Bernat de Besalu. Bernat might be a minor noble, but his friendship with the Duke's eldes son might change his family's future.
    It's Basil III from Rome AARisen!

  8. #8
    The 45 Tommy4ever's Avatar
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    In my experience Seville (or an African state) almost always unfies Muslim SPain by 1100. They usually become near unbeatable. For some reason although I usually see the Spanish Christians wiped out Barcelona always survives (sometimes migrating into France).

    Anyway the policy of attacking the sheiks seems the best course of action. Mabye you should take the Aragonese throne whilst they are still an OPM.

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    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hannibal X View Post
    It's Basil III from Rome AARisen!
    If only Bernat was half that man . Have to admit that I took the idea of adding pics from General_BT. I guess that means that some more doubles can appear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy4ever View Post
    In my experience Seville (or an African state) almost always unfies Muslim SPain by 1100. They usually become near unbeatable. For some reason although I usually see the Spanish Christians wiped out Barcelona always survives (sometimes migrating into France).

    Anyway the policy of attacking the sheiks seems the best course of action. Mabye you should take the Aragonese throne whilst they are still an OPM.
    At the moment the Emirs are more interested in eachothers blood than mine. I am currently in 1100 ingame, and they are still tearing eachother apart, even if the infidels at their northern border grow in strenght.
    IMO a human player stands a good chance if he uses all the resources he possesses wisely.
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    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    I never had any trouble to expand with Barcelona in my games. I usually took the title of King from the poor bugger Aragonese fellow -that's sucks indeed- and kept on expanding. Perhaps the trick is never to allow the Muslims to unify and to kept them on the run.
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    I'm currently playing my first game as Barcelona, so I shall follow this AAR. Good luck!
    The Iron Horde: A Kirghiz Narrative AAR My Inkwell.

    "There is nowhere else. You will only tread a circle, Titus Groan. There's not a road, not a track, but it will lead you home. For everything comes to Gormenghast."

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    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    I never had any trouble to expand with Barcelona in my games. I usually took the title of King from the poor bugger Aragonese fellow -that's sucks indeed- and kept on expanding. Perhaps the trick is never to allow the Muslims to unify and to kept them on the run.
    Agree with you there, although sometimes you need to be a bit lucky with the Muslims. I've played till 1111 and I've seen the Moors in Spain and Africa kill eachother, unite under the Muratabids, kill eachother in a civil war, then unite under the Emir of Seville only to fight eachother again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tufto View Post
    I'm currently playing my first game as Barcelona, so I shall follow this AAR. Good luck!
    Thanks and welcome aboard.

    A question to the readers: what kind of updates do you prefer? A few small ones a week or a big update every week?
    Last edited by FlyingDutchie; 18-02-2010 at 00:10.
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingDutchie View Post
    Agree with you there, although sometimes you need to be a bit lucky with the Muslims. I've played till 1111 and I've seen the Moors in Spain and Africa kill eachother, unite under the Muratabids, kill eachother in a civil war, then unite under the Emir of Seville only to fight eachother again.
    And, in case they got too stable, some friendly stabbing also helps to keep them confused...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy4ever View Post
    I'd prefer smaller updates and more often. Also why do you keep changing the pics, it makes me feel like I'm becoming demented and forgetting everything.
    I thought it was only me. Glad to be not the only schizo here...
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    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy4ever View Post
    I'd prefer smaller updates and more often. Also why do you keep changing the pics, it makes me feel like I'm becoming demented and forgetting everything.
    Didn't mean to cause schizophrenia . Just uploaded the wrong pic for Ramon Berenguer, the pic I had first was meant for Alfonso Jimenez, king of Léon.

    I will have an update tomorrow.
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    Book I: Ramon Berenguer de Barcelona

    Chapter III: Family matters


    1068 Anno Domini - Albarracin

    “Send the following message to my father: Albarracin is ours and fairly won.”

    Pedro Berenguer send off the messenger to his father after giving his the message. He never was one to mince words. Estefania constantly berated him for being too blunt with people, a ruler should be able to inspire people with world. Pedro rather showed by example though, an Alférez should be able to inspire his men to fight and die for him, not exchange pleasanties with pampered nobles. Besides, even if he was the Dukes oldest son, it was no secret that his father favoured his children, the twins Ramon Berenguer and Berenguer Ramon, with that French witch Almodis.


    Estefania de Besalu, Pedro Berenguer's wife and older sister of Bernat de Besalu.

    But now was not the time to worry about his troubled family. He should prepare the defenses of Albarracin for a possible attack of opportunity. The Emir of Zaragoza had threatened to intervene, seeing as the occupation of Albarracin would surround him by Christian states from three sides. The Emir had even rallied his kinsmen in Calatayud and Tarragona to his side. Things could get even worse if the Emir of Toledo decided to intervene.
    The other threat to the Duchy of Barcelona where the scions of the Jimenez-dynasty. If the Jimenids weren’t busy tearing eachother apart that was. After his death three years ago, king Ferdinand of Léon and Castille divided his kingdom between his children. Alfonso, the eldest became King of Léon, Sancho became King of Castille. Both had fought eachother for the full inheritance since then. The third brother, Duke Garcia of Galicia, tried to stay out of the fighting. Alfonso was by far the most powerful of the Jimenids, but the skilfull Castillian commander Rodrigo Diaz de Vilar, better known as El Cid, evened the odds. To make the familyfeuding complete, the Kings of Navarre and Aragon where Jimenids too. Pedro only hoped that those people would stay out of his way. He rather fought the Moors that fellow Christians.


    Map showing Northern Iberia in 1066.

    The city of Albarracin, a very liberal term for the small fortified village, was of great strategic value. From there all of the holdings of the Emir of Zaragoza could be quickly reached. The northernmost Moorish stronghold on the peninsula would surely be the next step on the way of furfilling the old Duke’s dream.
    Last edited by FlyingDutchie; 20-02-2010 at 00:45.
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  18. #18
    Earl of Groan Tufto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingDutchie View Post
    If only the titles king of Catalunya or Valencia existed...
    Actually, you can proclaim yourself Duke of Valencia, if you own the right provinces.

    Excellent AAR so far. Watch out for Ermengol, though. He caused a civil war in my current game.
    The Iron Horde: A Kirghiz Narrative AAR My Inkwell.

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    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy4ever View Post
    Were the Jimenids the rulers of the Kingdom of Austurias(sp?) ?

    Anyway Zaragoza shouldn't be hard to trash and it'll give you some walthy land to put in your demesne.
    The Jimenids actually started out as Kings of Navarre, and went on to unite Aragon and Léon under their banner. King Sancho then divided Navarre, Aragon and Léon under his sons. One of his sons, Ferdinand of Léon conquered Galicia, yet then divided Léon between his sons Alfonso, Sancho and Garcia.
    Zaragoza is indeed my next target. More on that in the next updates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tufto View Post
    Actually, you can proclaim yourself Duke of Valencia, if you own the right provinces.

    Excellent AAR so far. Watch out for Ermengol, though. He caused a civil war in my current game.
    I know that the title Duke of Valencia is available, yet a Royal title is what I'm after. That will require war with one of the Jimenids.
    I l know Ermengol is trouble. He too will feature in the next updates.
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

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    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Book I: Ramon Berenguer de Barcelona

    Chapter IV: The Moorish fury


    November 14, 1068 – Lleira

    Sometimes things just didn’t quite work out as you expected. Pedro Berenguer just found that out the hard way this campaign. Earlier that year he had taken Albarracin from one of the petty sheikhs bordering the Duchy of Barcelona. The campaign had cemented his reputation as knowledged tactician, expanded the Duchy to the Ebro-river. This had emboldened his father to start campaigns agains the Emir of Zaragoza later that year, after the men-at-arms where finished with the harvest. At first the campaign went very well. His father had won a victory near the city of Zaragoza and was laying siege to the city at this very moment. His father had just made one fatal miscalculation: that the mighty Emir of Toledo would stay out of the conflict. Emir Yahya al-Ma’mun Dhu’l-Nun had intervened and two columns of his host had crossed the Ebro already. One column was besieging Albarracin at the moment, while the other one, led by the Sheikh of Valencia, was marching towards Barcelona. Barcelona, the city where Estefania, pregant with their first child, was waiting for them. Pedro Berenguer wouldn’t allow the Sheikh to reach the city. He would stop him here at Lleira.

    Pedro entered the tent where the nobles whose troops he would lead where waiting for him. The best troops of the Duchy where at Zaragoza, serving his father. Pedro would have to make do with the men from Lleira themselves. The venerable Count Ponç d’Empuries brought the men of Empuries with him, while Ermengol de Barcelone-Urgell and the men from Urgell where present too. Between them there where 2000 men gathered. Problem would be to let all of them serve under his command. Count Ponç was an old man, almost 69 years of age. His age made him unsuited to serve at the battlefield, yet still he demanded to command the right flank, as the most senior noble present. The other problem was that brat Ermengol. He was just twelve years old, but already had the nasty habit of questioning his every descision. Pedro sighed, he had the feeling that the battle would be won or lost in this tent instead of the field of battle.

    “Count Empuries, Count Urgell, I thank you both for arriving here at a moments notice.”

    “Not like we have a choice, someone has to act while your father is away to furfill his wild ambitions.I swear this war will lead us all to ruin.”

    The old count Ponç was quick to lose his temper, he knew that. Pedro bit his lip and let the old fool rage on. Estefania had told him often that sometimes this was better than simply shouting back.

    “Has he even considered our position? A small Duchy taking on Al-Andalus! Might I remind you that Pride is one of the Seven Deadly Sins! It are our Counties that will pay in this world, but surely your father will pay in the next!”

    “It doesn’t have to be this way old fool.” It looked like young Ermengol tired of the old counts rage too.

    “Shut your foul mouth you whelp, your presence here already insults me. Do not make me take further steps.”


    Ermengol de Barcelona-Urgell, Count of Urgell. Already one of the more influential nobles despite being a 12 year old boy.

    “If you would simply use those old ears to listen for a while you might hear a plan to save your county. Both Urgell and Empuries lay in easily defendable terrain. We simply pull back, and let the Moors try to campaign in the Pyrinees this winter. Before they make any inroads, the Duke can bring his men to mop up the frozen army.”

    “But that would require us to give up Lleira and even Barcelona to the Moors boy! The Dukes pride got us into this war, but we are still obliged to defend the people entrusted to us by the Lord Almighty.”

    “You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs. All the knights and able man from Lleira and Barcelona are under arms at the moment. And let us not forget that peasants are born to suffer anyway.
    Besides we can afford to wait while the Emir of Toledo cannot. My sources tell me that both the Emirs of Badajoz and Seville are quite upset. Toledo’s campaigns threaten to upset the balance of power in Al-Andalus.”


    Pedro was surprised by Ermengols quick mind but also shocked by the absolute ruthlesness. He knew one thing for sure, as the heir to the Duchy it was his divine duty to defend the people of Barcelona.

    “Enough. Count Ponç, my father is fighting to regain rightfully Christian lands, I will not allow you to slander his name or bravery. Ermengol, we will not let the people suffer by abandoning them. As a noble of the realm you too are responsible for their wellbeing. We will stand against them here, at Lleira. The Moors may have the advantage in numbers, but they are severely lacking in cavalry. We on the other hand have plenty of knights. If we time our charge right, we can crush the Moors between infantry and cavalry, just as we did at Albarracin.”

    “Bah, a fool like his father”. Old man Ponç grumbled, but Pedro knew he would support him. The man was too stubborn to give up Barcalonese lands to the Moors. He was more surprised by Ermengols reaction. The young boy didn’t show any reaction to his retort, he just stared right through Pedro with those cold emotionless eyes of him.
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

    Some old (and sadly abandoned) works:
    The plot against Britain - a Kaiserreich mystery,Reconquista! - the exploits of the House Barcelona ,A Short History of the German Empire
    Assorted trophies: - Fan of the week (4-4-2010) - WritAAR of the week (18-10-2009) - Character writer of the week, (25-10-2009), - Character writer of the week (23-5-2010) - Joined first place AARland choice Favorite Comedy AAR 2009 (Q4) - Character writer of the week (11-4-2010) - Lord Strange Cookie of British Awesomenesss

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