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Thread: The Pharaohs Return: An Alexandrian AAR

  1. #101
    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    Byzantium is toast.
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  2. #102
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    Good luck my Alexandrian Friend

  3. #103
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Vexing that you only managed to gain Trebizond from the original war but now that you have been pitted against Byzantium once more hopefully you can show them how strong you have grown from once being their lesser partners. Annexing Syria was useful as well of course.
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  4. #104
    Quick update. I've had a very busy week, so while I've been able to play EU3 its mostly my personal games that don't require a couple solid hours documenting what happens. Update should be tomorrow.

  5. #105
    Your Friesland, my home province, AAR teached me how to play this addicting game and again this is a great AAR. Keep on going, will follow! Good luck with the Bizzies

  6. #106
    You have another reader here. Loving this one!

  7. #107
    Enewald: And I expect to be back there many times before this AAR is over. I hope the inhabitants have insurance.
    Boris ze Spider: They aren’t the only ones in the war who can provide troops.
    morningSIDEr: Well, Trebizond was my only real goal for that war so I don’t mind the outcome. This time its all for Portugal so don’t worry if we don’t get many tangible gains again.
    Cross: Thanks! I’m glad I’ve helped others learn how to play the game.

    And thanks for all the other replies as well!

    The Pharaohs Return: An Alexandrian AAR
    Chapter Thirteen: Highs and Lows



    As soon as word came General Argyros crossed the border into Byzantine Anatolia on a raiding mission and to try and divert any incoming Byzantine forces while the rest of the armies were assembling.



    That could take longer than expected however, as Ethiopia joined the war on their own. Mostly likely they just wanted to take advantage, but nine thousand troops remained on their border watching out just in case of an incident like this.



    Meanwhile, the war against Syria’s allies had dragged on with the distant Empire of Mali taking command of the war. The Army of Alexandria was trapped in Tripolitania after dealing with a minor invasion. With Tripoli reappearing and allying with the Malians after gaining independence from Castille there was an odd set of correspondence as a reply to military access requests and declaration of war arrived almost simultaneously. They were annexed again for their trouble.



    The result was that almost every army was either engaged in battle or moving towards one across almost every corner of the Empire.



    Surprisingly, Ethiopia gave up almost immediately. They still lacked proper fortifications along the Red Sea coast, which allowed Alexandrian armies to run rampant across their lands.



    General Argryos and his Byzantine counterpart passed right by each other on their way to the war. However, the Byzantine general made a mistake that had doomed many others attacking Alexandria. Overextending, he advanced into Syria in a blitzkrieg 400 years before its time. It might have worked, but reinforcements were already approaching and Argyros was turning around to link up with them.



    The combined Alexandrian armies obliterated the invaders and their foolhardy general.



    The rest of the main Byzantine army was in Iberia trying desperately to hold onto its holdings against Portugal and their powerful Aragonese allies. Another large Aragonese force had also landed in Greece for a short-lived raid. In light of this, Ptolemy took command once again and gleefully marched forward. This time he wouldn’t be forced to retreat.



    Meanwhile the country’s nobility continued to consolidate their power despite resistance from the middle classes.



    The advance through Anatolia continued, although the Byzantines were able to assemble another large army to begin retaking their territory. Ptolemy ordered a repeat of the manoeuvre that crushed the previous one.



    The Emperor insisted on micromanaging despite General Argyros’ complaints and so the battle was filled with bloody mistakes. Superior numbers were all that allowed the victory.



    With their Iberian army crushed by Aragon and their hastily assembled set of Anatolian defenders suffering a similar fate the Byzantines gave up. They lost all of the territory previously taken from Portugal and also were forced to give reparations for lost tax income and independence to some minor nations.

    This was conclusive. Alexandria was now undoubtedly the most powerful of the three Empires. With riches flowing into the capital city, political influence now spreading deeper into Muslim lands and onto Constantinople’s doorstep, and a military that had yet to be truly defeated there it seemed like anything was possible.



    Ptolemy ordered money to be poured into construction of workshops and trade depots across the Empire as well as promoting the Komnenos line with great monuments and promoting legends. The man who unified Alexandria and Jerusalem, Kallinikos, was given some of the highest honours. He also dabbled in espionage, sending out spies simply because the Empire’s treasury had more money than he could reasonably hand out to local magistrates.



    Naturally, that had to eventually backfire.

    (This is literally the first time in all of EU3 the AI has retaliated to my spying. Very impressive if this is something new with DW.)



    Alexandrian spies had been meddling in Castille with the intention of assisting their friends. Portugal apparently recognised the sentiment and sided with Alexandria, even when their ally Aragon was not nearly so impressed. That might have not been so wise, as massive Catalan armies were soon marching into their lands.



    That was not all that was unwise. The Army of Alexandria marched into Aragonese Africa without caution and was in the middle of assaulting the city of Constantine when they were obliterated by an overwhelming force coming in from the sea. Shortly afterwards, another army landed in Tripoli and began marching unimpeded along the coast conquering everything in its path.



    Portugal got off lightly, merely being forced to pay in money and political concessions.



    And amazingly, so did Alexandria. Even as Ptolemy lined up the remaining forces to defend the capital from the advancing Aragonese, they offered up a simple deal that the Emperor gladly accepted. It was clear now that the purpose of the war was exactly what had been stated, instead of that being a pretext for other concessions. Aragon had, with this victory and its assistance against Byzantium, asserted itself as the dominant force in the Mediterranean. It certainly took the wind from Ptolemy’s sails.



    It did not dissuade him entirely however, as there were other seas bordering the Empire. The Indian Ocean for example. In the Persian Gulf a large construction project was going on to assemble a fleet capable of sailing out into the unknown. No one had yet to step up to the plate and command it, but that would be coming soon.

    The year is now 1523.
    To be continued…
    Last edited by Sybot; 10-05-2011 at 00:03.

  8. #108
    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    Well the Aragonese were a bummer... But let us sail with the tide to lands unknown!
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  9. #109

  10. #110
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Where do you get wood to build ships there?

  11. #111
    Commissar BootOnFace's Avatar
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    It's always interesting to see the player lose a war in an AAR. I always do everything in my power to win, even if I have to scorch all my provinces, hire 10K mercenaries, and take 4 loans. It's usually a terrible idea.
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  12. #112
    Field Marshal Malurous's Avatar
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    Between the treatment from the Iberians and you, looks like Byzantium is really going down.
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  13. #113
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    A minor defeat for yourself against Aragon but at least Byzantium is being left far more bruised. None too terrible regardless, as now the ocean and distant lands beckon for Alexandria.
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  14. #114
    mayorqw: Well, only partially unknown. Maybe I shouldn’t have posted the full maps.
    Boris ze Spider: Not directly, but they lost a bunch of territory which can only weaken them in the long run.
    Enewald: No idea, but if Oman can assemble a large fleet then I’m sure there’s enough around.
    BootOnFace: I probably could’ve won if I’d done as you said and scorched a lot, but it turned out they were willing to settle for a cheap peace and also it helps the narrative if I’m not invincible.
    Malurous, morningSIDEr: Indeed, I think there’s only one way for them to go from here.

    Thanks for all the responses!

    The Pharaohs Return: An Alexandrian AAR
    Chapter Fourteen: Go East, Young Alexandrian!



    With its two closest allies now definitely hostile, Alexandria needed to look further afield for further support. Surprisingly, it came to them. Lithuania was struggling under the weight of the tribal territory it had seized but nonetheless remained strong and a good way to strike at Byzantium’s northern territory.




    Not soon afterwards, Ptolemy II passed away peacefully in his sleep. Ironically and for all his failings he would be remembered as the Emperor who asserted Alexandria as the strongest Orthodox empire. He was succeeded by his soon, Theodoros II. A much more skilled man than his father, Theodoros was really born at the wrong time. Reaching the peak of dominance, and the humbling at the hands of Aragon, had turned many Ptolemaic eyes inwards where his military skills would be of little use.



    He was left dealing with dull matters of court, but he did not let that affect his judgement. The peasants were continuing to request benefits so he finally acquiesced and granted their requests.



    Conflict erupted with Croatia as they attacked Bulgaria, which had been brought into the Alexandrian sphere to protect it from Byzantine aggression. Croatia was a middling power at best and had only a small fleet that was easily brushed aside as Alexandrian forces seized their isolated holdings in Iberia and the Black Sea.



    A single concession can lead to a landslide, and so when Theodoros was inundated with even more requests for rights to be given to the serfs he rapidly reversed his position and ordered them suppressed immediately.



    The war with Croatia ended with them ceding Cadiz, which was then sold off to Aragon for a reasonable pile of gold. Every single ducat was needed to fund the construction of ships and the port facilities to support them, as well as more esoteric purposes.



    One of those purposes was the glorification of churches throughout the Empire. With such a devout populous it would instil great pride and cultural values into people across the land.



    Theodoros passed reforms placing him as supreme head of the military, as pointless as such acts were in times of relative peace and prosperity.



    He also made his case for continuing the subjugation of the Muslims of the Arabian Peninsula, but a truce was still in effect due to a brief war started by Portugal in North Africa. That would have to wait for another time, as the project was nearing completion and a war with Oman would seriously disrupt efforts.



    The money being poured into assembling an expedition had lured in many men eager to seek out riches in the east. One of these, Hektor Boumbalis, had been granted permission to lead a small fleet and find the route to India. He was also tasked with finding out the situation in Persia as the Timurids had been forced beyond the sights of Alexandrian scouts, although this was secondary.



    He went much further than that, and returned with tales of the great Indian kingdoms of Rajputana, Gondwana and Kandesh, as well as much more alarming news of a massive and wealthy Muslim empire further east based in Brunei. He was sent out on a second expedition to locate and settle a safe harbour to act as a base for trading and eventually military missions in the Indian Ocean.



    That would have to be put on hold however, as Byzantium made its move against Bulgaria. It was finally time for Theodoros to prove he really was up to the challenge.

    The year is now 1532.
    To be continued…
    Last edited by Sybot; 10-05-2011 at 00:08.

  15. #115

  16. #116
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    Hopefully this time you can get some concessions in Anatolia. I think you should focus on bringing Anatolia under your control and then either conquering Greece or helping Bulgaria do so, depending on which would benefit you more. Then, use that power and wealth you gain by doing that and taking India to get your revenge on Aragon. Hopefully, you can get Aragon to hand over their North African holdings. Who know's, maybe you can even start taking chunks of Iberia for yourself. In other words, domination of the Mediterranean is not out of the question if you play your cards right, as India will give you untold wealth once conquered.
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  17. #117
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    The Indian ocean was full of trade at those times, why would you need Quest for the Old Routes to see the places?
    Sucks.

  18. #118
    Did you manage to explore that far in a single voyage??? :S
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  19. #119
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Quite good developments. Certainly good that Croatia was so obliging in helping to pay for your exploration! I really do think that the Byzantines were lucky in the last war to escape with so little punishment as they did. Hopefully you get the chance to now cut them down to size and make them finally realises they are very much your inferior.
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  20. #120
    Boris ze Spider: Not very. Russia in general is a complete mess.
    History Buff: I’d love to take huge chunks of Anatolia, but its hard to build up the warscore as their ships usually block the way to Constantinople and the rest of Greece (and if I do get across every Greek army makes a beeline for me). So I have to take it slowly.
    Enewald: I guess my explorers were just too pig-headed to ask for directions.
    -MoRiDin-: Because I got a core on Al Hasa by mission it gives a large area of attrition free sea I can explore before having to turn back.
    morningSIDEr: They don’t quite receive a cutting-down-to-size this time, but for certain point of view they suffer something much worse.

    Thanks for all the replies!

    The Pharaohs Return: An Alexandrian AAR
    Chapter Fifteen: Humiliation



    For once the Byzantine Empire was the one at a disadvantage. With Austria coming to Bulgaria’s aid as well they were suddenly outnumbered, although not all of those soldiers could reach the front.



    With such overwhelming force behind the war effort, Theodoros had no problem authorising the second expedition deeper into the Indian Ocean. There they discovered an uninhabited island that was named Diego Garcia by the half-Portuguese captain of the ship that first spotted it. As soon as this reached Hektor he ordered the official name changed to Pharos, after the lighthouse that once graced the capital’s shore. Soon an outpost was established with the intent of making this the hub of Alexandrian activity in the India Ocean.



    Bulgaria fell rapidly, but already Alexandrian forces led by Theodoros himself were marching into Anatolia.

    (Portugal diploannexed the Knights after freeing them earlier, that’s why they have Rhodes.)



    The advance was suddenly halted by a general counterattack by Byzantine forces returning from the conquest, but Theodoros’ skills allowed the Alexandrian armies to retreat after doing more damage to the enemy than they took.



    The Pyrrhic victory the Greeks won allowed time for Alexandrian forces to regroup and outflank the advancing armies, defeating and then wiping out the weaker of the two and opening up the rest of Anatolia for invasion.



    The humiliation of Byzantium began with Portugal forcing them to fully acknowledge Portuguese control of Rhodes. Having to admit that Greek territory was now in foreign hands was a real blow to the Empire’s pride.



    It continued with a brilliant but very risky manoeuvre set up by Theodoros. He ordered a small force to invade southern Greece by sea, drawing out the Byzantine fleet from the Bosporus and allowing him to sneak in and besiege Constantinople itself with his army. Having enemies at the walls of the city of the world’s desire was another major morale blow and the Byzantine Emperor sued for peace personally. This caused uproar as there was already an army on the way back from Anatolia to break the siege, although the Emperor hadn’t been aware of that at the time.



    It wasn’t a severe peace deal, as it only forced Byzantium to give up territory it had taken from Trebizond as well as give up its aims for lands within the Alexandrian sphere of influence. However it was yet another sign that Byzantium was rapidly losing control of its periphery. Next time, it would be their homelands on the line.



    With the waters of Europe clear and safe to travel again, Hektor was sent on his third expedition to chart a sea route from one side of the Empire to the other, all the way around Africa. Given the size of the continent marching overland was obviously much more efficient but it proved to the rest of Europe the invaluablility of Alexandrian trade routes.



    He did not stop there, as he met his Portuguese counterparts while resting in Lisbon and decided to follow them further west. He uncovered for Alexandria the first colonies in the Caribbean as well as the apparent English conquest of native tribes on an even larger continent to the west. Sadly he did not survive the journey back to Pharos to continue the Indian Ocean explorations.



    He was not the only man to pass away before his time. Emperor Theodoros died and passed on the throne to his son, Michael X. The title caused some confusion as there had been no monarchs named Michael before this. Maybe he thought the X was cool.



    Michael was not a man of great diplomatic or military ambition. The Empire was one of the wealthiest and most powerful in the world and had no need to engage in major battles outside the borders in his opinion. When drawn into a losing war by Portugal (and made war leader unwillingly…ugh. -20 WS of battles that I wasn’t even involved in) he simply used less than half of the excessive amount of money in the treasury to pay off the English and end the conflict. The Empire was safe and the affairs of the Western Europeans were their own.



    With peace and prosperity reigning, the court was filled with the usual dealings and machinations of political life. One of the more prominent non-noble politicians, Andreas Komnenos (no relation), was caught trying to increase his own power and exiled for his troubles. This further cemented the control of the aristocracy over the Empire’s political scene.



    Meanwhile, the politics of the other Orthodox Empire were in a far more dire state. The Emperor of Byzantium was dead under suspicious circumstances following his humiliating concessions to Alexandria and Portugal, and the court was in uproar about the line of succession. In stepped the Austrian King who was looking to regain the crown of the Holy Roman Empire. With his own claim on the throne he was able to manoeuvre himself into control of the Empire for use as ‘proof’ that he was the true heir of Rome in reuniting the East and West Empires. Whether that would work out or not was irrelevant to Alexandria, but the fact that after everything Byzantium was suffering the ultimate humiliation of being ruled by a foreign power definitely was.



    Aragon had been putting increasing pressure on Castille to give in and join their Kingdom. As they were isolated from any allies and they did not have ports to attempt to carve new territory in the New World they ultimately had no choice. The King of Castille swore complete fealty to the King of Aragon, becoming a mere Duke but saving his lands from inevitable invasion.

    (Alright, I admit that I set up this event just for this. I just don’t like it when an OPM or TPM manages to stop a national unification like that.)



    Soon afterwards, Aragon declared that all the lands of Spain would be a single crown ruled from Madrid. The Kingdom of Spain was now by far the strongest nation in all of Europe, surpassing Alexandria, Austria-Byzantium and Burgundy. Michael continued to pay little attention to these events, but would he be able to forever as the new masters of Western Europe continued to grow in strength?

    The year is now 1542.
    To be continued…
    Last edited by Sybot; 10-05-2011 at 00:13.

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