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Thread: Novum Romanum Imperium -- A Tuscany DW AAR

  1. #881
    Captain Sethanon's Avatar
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    Are you trying to ruin my morning Avindian?
    I somehow cannot see how a war against Toulouse can be considered Epic, even if Burgundy joines in !

  2. #882
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    I somehow missed this! Great update, Avindian. I love the detail of the named armies and the care taken with the pictures.
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  3. #883
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sethanon View Post
    Are you trying to ruin my morning Avindian?
    I somehow cannot see how a war against Toulouse can be considered Epic, even if Burgundy joines in !
    So sorry to ruin your morning, but I'd forgotten how interesting this war was. Burgundy has some unexpected friends, and, well, you'll see

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashantai View Post
    I somehow missed this! Great update, Avindian. I love the detail of the named armies and the care taken with the pictures.
    Thanks very much!
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  4. #884
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    War and a mad emperor
    what an excellent combination.
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  5. #885
    Modern Psycho-General CivandEUIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    all Empires gain from the occasional mad emperor ... and this one is pretty nutty
    It must be Rome. It MUST BE.
    (just think. Nero, Pietro, Berlusconi... (ok ok!))

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  6. #886
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blsteen View Post
    War and a mad emperor
    what an excellent combination.
    Like chocolate and peanut butter!

    Quote Originally Posted by CivandEUIII View Post
    It must be Rome. It MUST BE.
    (just think. Nero, Pietro, Berlusconi... (ok ok!))
    And Caligula, of course You may be on to something!
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  7. #887
    Modern Psycho-General CivandEUIII's Avatar
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    wait I get it...
    A cannon is going to become senator!

    Also hugely relieved this did not end with the report "The Three Mountains achievement broken. Steps to reproduce: ..." - Rufo
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  8. #888
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CivandEUIII View Post
    wait I get it...
    A cannon is going to become senator!
    That's so unbelievably brilliant I wish I'd thought of it.
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  9. #889
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Chapter 41: The benefits of madness


    Unknown date, somewhere beneath the city of Rome

    There were five cloaked figures, all from different backgrounds, all from different areas of the Empire. All sat in an old Roman catacomb, which while incredibly unpleasant, provided the necessary secrecy that the occasion warranted. Nobody knew all of the other participants; nobody spoke above a whisper, which made recognizing voices difficult, and nobody ever removed their hood. They called themselves the Society of Cincinnatus, after the legendary farmer-turned-dictator in the Old Roman Empire.

    The Society had one goal, and only one goal -- to preserve the Empire of Italy and to expand it to the proper boundaries a new Roman Empire deserved. There were only ever five members; upon the death of an old member, a new member would be found. Nobody knew how old it was, but all the original members had already died and been replaced. Whomever the more recent members were, they all agreed that something had to be done about the Emperor. The vote was unanimous.

    It always was.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    13 April 1666, Chambers of the Emperor, Rome

    Peter I was absolutely furious. He'd expected little opposition to his glorious conquest of Toulouse; in this he was sadly mistaken.



    In fact, many countries lined against the might of the Italian Empire. Combined, they couldn't hope to match the Empire on land or at sea; still, it was an inconvenience, and he hated inconveniences. Worse still, the Irish had betrayed the Empire!



    Why was all of this happening now? Why couldn't everybody see what he saw? Toulouse was a mere stepping stone, part of a path to greater glory. Or was it?

    Peter's brow furrowed. What if he was wrong? What if Toulouse was not the threat he thought it was? What then? Completely confused now, he did the one thing he always did when he couldn't make up his mind.

    He sent for Interior Minister Duke di Campofregoso.

    "Emperor, how may I be of service?"

    "My lord Duke, why exactly are we at war with Toulouse again?"

    The Duke replied, with an ingratiating smile, "My Emperor, the King of Toulouse has dishonored your wife. Surely sure insults cannot go unpunished?"

    Peter's gaze went distant for a minute. "My... wife... Dominique?"

    The Duke's smile got even brighter, if that was possible. "Of course, your Imperial Majesty. You have not gotten another wife since we last spoke, have you?"

    Peter laughed uncomfortably and shook his head. "No, no. Just... the one."

    "Right then. Is there anything else you require?"

    "I suppose not. You may go."

    The Duke bowed as deeply as he could. "Thank you, my liege."
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2 June 1666, Ulster, Ireland

    The war, thus far, had gone quite well. Field Marshal della Torre had won an impressive victory over the Burgundian army at Paris, defeating a large army with ease thanks to Lieutenant de Ruyter's new mortars.



    Some of the scholars at the Van Dijk College of War noted excitedly the decline of cavalry; however, whether it was truly the death of the mounted warrior or inferior weapons on the part of Burgundy may never be known. Regardless, the victory was won, driving back one of the Duchy's larger armies.

    As for Constantijn de Ruyter, he found himself not at sea, as he'd assumed, but at the shipyards of the Adriatic. He had devised a new manner of warship -- the War-galleon -- which promised to revolutionize naval warfare. Granted, the navy had won multiple victories already against enemy fleets, but de Ruyter was given considerable praise for his innovation. He was promoted two ranks -- highly unusual -- to have the rank of Aedile. He was given civilian rank because very few men in the Empire made a serious career of naval service, and despite attempts made many years back to have naval officers added to the Table of Ranks, most self-respecting Italians considered the navy a dead-end career.

    de Ruyter didn't mind. Although he loved the sea, what he most craved was respectability and a family of his own, something that even an Admiral's rank would never earn him, yet even the modest civilian rank of Aedile afforded him some possibilities. He already found himself invited to some of the larger parties, which was absolutely essential in Imperial society to earn the proper graces one needed to find a suitable wife.

    Much farther north, however, another victorious military professional found himself in a much more uncomfortable situation. Sforza Maria di Farnese was actually related to the branch of the House of Farnese that had ruled Provence for sometime than to the Emperor, but his name alone was enough to get him a commission in the Imperial legions as a lieutenant. He fought against France in the recent war, and served with enough distinction to be promoted three times. Now a Lieutenant Commander of the Legio XIV 'Aegyptus', Sforza Maria had captured the leader of the Irish army.



    Lieutenant Commander di Farnese knew and respected the O'Connor family, but the elderly patron of the family, Alexander O'Connor, had admitted some kinship to Criohmhithann O'Connor III, the King of Ireland. Sforza Maria was no fool; he knew that this knowledge might well see the end of the O'Connor families ascension in politics. He didn't know them personally, but the Emperor's increasingly unstable mental state had everybody concerned. His Commander was nearly of retirement age himself, and offered no suitable advice.

    For the time being, Sforza Maria decided to not let the King's proper name surface. If the Irish surrendered before the Emperor knew what had happened, there was an excellent chance the Emperor's wouldn't pay attention to who had signed the peace treaty, as long as one was signed.

    His ethical quandary solved, at least for now, Sforza turned to the more practical concern of sieging Ulster.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4 October 1666, Office of the Foreign Minister, Rome

    Lan Zhu -- recently named Deputy Foreign Minister and given the prestigious rank of Baron -- still found himself doing the things Foreign Minister di Ferrari didn't want to do. Yes, his salary was higher, and some of the Empire's more eligible bachelorettes seemed much more interested in him, but he was still mostly working with paperwork. He didn't even have the rank that befitted his office -- most other government ministries had Counts as their deputies, not Barons.

    I wonder how these barbarians ever find time to do anything worthwhile, with their odd fixation on paper, which is properly a Chinese invention anyway, Baron Lan mused. Still, he got to see military reports, one of his favorite activities, and he still had interesting assignments from time to time.

    Toulouse's army had been beaten, but not broken, at the Battle of Rouergue. However, as a result, Portugal, who spoke for the entire enemy alliance, and Burgundy had both sent offers of white peace.



    Both, of course, were declined. Another peace treaty was sent, this time by Italy, to Ireland. Their King accepted, stunned his kingdom was being left independent.



    However, his most fascinating assignment of late was in the archives. The Emperor had announced a very tidy 100 ducat reward for any individual who could find legitimate claims on territory outside the Empire. An ancient Roman document, discovered by one of his co-workers, had established Somogy as an ancestral land of the Roman Empire.



    It had been a long time since one of these documents had been found. Some questionable claims on Muscovy were discovered, especially at the end of Muscovy's Liberum Veto, but the Emperor had ordered those documents destroyed. Lan Zhu found this odd, since Muscovy was no longer an ally, but many things the Emperor had ordered recently seemed odd.

    Still, it inspired him to spend a bit of extra time in archives. 100 ducats would buy him a very nice villa to retire to someday.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    14 July 1667, the Marshal's office, Florence

    Jacopo Contadino had wanted nothing more than to be a soldier from the day he saw the funeral procession for General Galilei all those years ago. He'd served for 27 years and reached the very pinnacle of his profession with only one arm. Not too bad for a farmer's son. He had two healthy sons of his own, twins named Maurizio and Brutus, and his beautiful wife Cristina. Maurizio and Brutus had both set out to attend school, as a noble's right. Maurizio was studying languages at the University of Rome, while Brutus chose the Germanicus Academy. Both would be fine servants of the Empire someday.

    With all of that going so very right, Jacopo thought it was a bit selfish to complain about his new job. After all, as Marshal of the Empire, he was the third most powerful man in the entire Empire. He still got to meet soldiers and had daily conferences with Generals and Colonels. But it wasn't the same. It was far more pressure than his last job, and he was forbidden to go into the field since he was so valuable.

    At least he got to reward good performance, and that's exactly what he'd done. With the Empire's curious refusal to hire a new general, his Chief of the General Staff, Vittorio di Medici, had won an important victory for the Empire and gained valuable territory, driving Portugal out of North Africa.





    Scotland's decision to join the war earned them the title of War Leader, and so the war continued despite the victory. Jacopo didn't mind; after all, the mission was to annex Toulouse.

    At the Battle of Barrois, Field Marshal della Torre weakened one of Burgundy's armies so badly it was easily routed just a few days later.





    Perhaps the most important job he had was advising the Emperor. Despite his... condition, the Emperor still trusted his former Commander, something very few other people in the Empire enjoyed. Even Chancellor Napoleone was growing unpopular with his brother, particularly since Peter I discovered his brother was actually perfectly capable of speaking and had been for some time. So when a loyal commander was needed to run the army in Britannia, Jacopo got to reward another close friend, even if the Emperor wasn't entirely confident.

    Jacopo Contadino had "rescued" General Antonio della Ubaldini, who got to leave his job as Governor-General of the colonies. Now, it was up to the General to earn his new job.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8 September 1667, Cumbria, Britannia

    Unfortunately for the General, by the time his reinforcements got to Britannia, he was too late. General di Medici had already repelled the Scottish assault, routing the entire enemy army. While Vittorio got the glory, Antonio got the garrison duty. Again.



    He knew it was unfair to be angry with General di Medici. To his credit, Vittorio had actually requested another assignment after the victory in Portugal, but the Emperor wouldn't hear of it. Marshal Contadino even sent an apologetic letter to the nervous della Ubaldini. But Antonio was so distraught -- another slight on his family's honor -- that he request a transfer to the Persian front, to face the new threats there.



    His request, of course, was denied, since the Emperor had no intentions of wasting good men in a pointless war. Of course, that begged the question of why Toulouse, but asking that little query would probably cost Antonio his life.

    And so he endured. What else could he do?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2 January 1668, Germanicus Academy, Florence

    Lieutenant Commander Sforza Maria di Farnese knew he was getting a promotion. He'd severely injured his leg in a scrap with some Irish rebels and was given the cushy job of Commandant of the Germanicus Academy. There had been some speculation that General della Ubaldini would take the job after the old Commandant retired, but Emperor had vetoed that on the grounds that a General could not be wasted in a teaching position.

    Sforza Maria shrugged. It was a good job and it came with a promotion, but an unexpected one; a spot had opened up in the Cabinet with the death of Duke di Campofregoso; now di Farnese was a Duke and Minister of the Interior, in addition to his duties in Florence.



    The Emperor had personally chosen his distant cousin to take the job; after meeting Peter, he wondered why everybody had been so harsh. He seemed to the new Duke like a brilliant leader and visionary. After all, it was Peter who'd chosen della Torre as the Field Marshal, and he'd won a number of superb victories.





    In his joy, he never bothered to ask what had happened to the last Minister of the Interior.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Later that month, somewhere under Rome

    It was unusual for the Society to meet more than twice a year, but the circumstances surrounding the Emperor had grown so alarming that action was taken. As the five robed figures gathered, the Elder of the Cincinnatans began the meeting.

    "Fellow Cincinnatans, I know many of you found the decision to... remove the late Minister of the Interior personally upsetting. However, once we discovered the truth, it had to be done."

    Another responded. "I initially doubted our actions, but the evidence was insurmountable. Campofregoso, a traitor? I know he was hired more for his underworld contacts than his piety, but he'd been loyal in the past. What changed?"

    A third sighed. "Power. The Emperor was helpless without the Empress. Somebody of the Damned German Empire found out what was going on and offered Campofregoso a princely sum to keep the Emperor addled with a combination of drugs and the Emperor's own unwillingness to accept his loss."

    The Elder coughed. "And is he better off now, do you think? He's catatonic! He's had to come to grips with the death of his wife far too abruptly. I agree that Campofregoso had to be stopped, but that information should have been kept quiet until the war was over."

    The third Cincinnatan considered that. "Perhaps you are right, Elder. However, the Emperor would not abdicate, not even temporarily. Putting our own man in as Emperor, at least for formal appearances, was a wise move, Number Four."

    The man addressed nodded appreciatively. "Thank you, Number Three."

    The Elder murmured agreement, then returned to the task at hand. "So what do we do now? With Campofregoso's influence gone, is the damage already done? Can we trust the Emperor to rule competently, or must we consider the final option for this crisis?"

    Number Five, who had been thus far quiet, was the first to reject that. "Elder, that is far too hasty. With the Emperor immobilized, it is we who rule the Empire. We know very little of Francesco, and Napoleone cannot inherit the throne. I recommend we continue as we have, monitor the Emperor, and then act accordingly."

    All the voices agreed on that. The Elder had one final question. "Do we have somebody close enough to the Emperor right now?"

    Number Five responded again. "I have hired a superb physician to look after the Emperor, somebody we can trust. He has been one of our finest agents."

    "Then we are agreed. No further action until our next meeting. To give him enough time, we shall meet one year hence."

    All five heads nodded as one, and the meeting was adjourned.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    7 December 1668, Rome

    Napoleone di Farnese, Chancellor of the Empire, couldn't remember the last time he'd seen his brother. He'd been acting very strangely since the Minister of the Interior had passed on, and doctors were looking after him night and day. But with a new job, Napoleone had to put family aside. Cousin Sforza had proven invaluable; while Napoleone was de facto Emperor, Sforza was de facto Chancellor, at least until Peter recovered from his illness.

    It didn't matter in any case; the war was over! Lan Zhu, handling negotiations with Burgundy and Scotland, had acquired some rich land and converted another country to the One True Faith.





    Scotland even paid a small indemnity, which was a very nice bonus.

    But that was, in all reality, the only good part of a bad war. The object -- Toulouse -- hadn't even been annexed. Without conclusive leadership from the Emperor, Lan Zhu and di Ferrari had essentially been left alone to handle the negotiations, and with the Foreign Minister conveniently ill at an opportune moment, Lan Zhu had done the very best he could.

    For the good of the Empire, Napoleone had agreed to Sforza's strange plan to hire a look-a-like to stand in for the Emperor while he convalesced. The Empire needed a leader, and with Francesco still quite young, it fell to Napoleone to provide that leadership. He had good people to help him in this time of crisis, and that made the job bearable.

    He grinned wryly; the only way to save his brother and the Empire was to prove his brother wrong.

    Napoleone not only could be a good Emperor, he had to be a good one.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Before anybody asks, Sforza is not one of the cloaked members of the Society; he is, however, a willing agent.

    I hope everybody enjoys this! I won't update again until next week, probably next weekend; I've got a lot on my plate (grading stuff and doing other end of the semester things) and I need to focus on that. Until then, I'll of course be around to answer comments and read some of the other excellent AARs we have on the forums!
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  10. #890
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    great update ... most of Europe embroiled in war and a secret society ... ending with an Emperor Napoleone - do hope your alliance with Muscovy holds

  11. #891
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    I love this update. The madness of the Emperor shines through in his actions, and the Imperial realm continues to expand!
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  12. #892
    Modern Psycho-General CivandEUIII's Avatar
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    so... no cannon senator?

    Also hugely relieved this did not end with the report "The Three Mountains achievement broken. Steps to reproduce: ..." - Rufo
    "I pity the fool who has to fill out 272 years of Indian history." - Cuthuthulu
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  13. #893
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    great update ... most of Europe embroiled in war and a secret society ... ending with an Emperor Napoleone - do hope your alliance with Muscovy holds
    Technically, Peter is still Emperor (for gameplay purposes), and the alliance is over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashantai View Post
    I love this update. The madness of the Emperor shines through in his actions, and the Imperial realm continues to expand!
    Glad you liked it! One nice thing about playing ahead for a narrative AAR is that I get a chance to take game events and make stories out of them, even long running arcs.

    Quote Originally Posted by CivandEUIII View Post
    so... no cannon senator?
    Not yet.
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  14. #894
    Captain Michaelangelo's Avatar
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    Secret plots... this is getting very intriguing.
    Why wasn't Toulouse annexed? Did France grab a province first?

  15. #895
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michaelangelo View Post
    Secret plots... this is getting very intriguing.
    Why wasn't Toulouse annexed? Did France grab a province first?
    Honestly? They had an incredible fort and I was losing loads of people assaulting it. I decided it wasn't worth it.

    Of course, like most of my mistakes, I blame it on Peter
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  16. #896
    Captain Sethanon's Avatar
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    With your military might you could have just besieged it and kicked Burgundy around at the same time.
    Fun nontheless! Let's hope the empire gets a normal emperor so we can get back to the normal day to day business!

  17. #897
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sethanon View Post
    With your military might you could have just besieged it and kicked Burgundy around at the same time.
    Fun nontheless! Let's hope the empire gets a normal emperor so we can get back to the normal day to day business!
    Yeah, you're probably right about Toulouse.
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  18. #898
    Captain Sethanon's Avatar
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    And my congratulations on your well-deserved award for this fantastic AAR!

  19. #899
    Modern Psycho-General CivandEUIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    Not yet.
    Oh
    But the name could be hard, all I can think of is... Tormenta. (artillery)

    Also hugely relieved this did not end with the report "The Three Mountains achievement broken. Steps to reproduce: ..." - Rufo
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  20. #900
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sethanon View Post
    And my congratulations on your well-deserved award for this fantastic AAR!
    Assuming you're referring to the ACAs, I thank you. If you aren't, I won an award?!

    Quote Originally Posted by CivandEUIII View Post
    Oh
    But the name could be hard, all I can think of is... Tormenta. (artillery)
    That could be a good one; maybe more appropriate for Descent into Madness though. In that case, I'd of course give you credit
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