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Thread: Serbia: A MEIOU AAR

  1. #1
    Captain doubtofbuddha's Avatar
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    Serbia: A MEIOU AAR

    I have played quite a few (short) test games with various countries since the new Divine Wind version of MEIOU came out. Some of them were more interesting than others, but the country that I found to be the most entertaining in my tests was Serbia.

    Serbia stands at a unique position in the 1356 start of MEIOU. It is clearly on its way towards collapse, with an incompetent ruler (Admin: 4, Diplo: 3, Mil 3), a number of recently separated rebel states, and the infamously awful modifier: Wrath of God. Unlike its neighbor, Byzantine, which also suffers from "Wrath of God", Serbia does have some potential to survive. It is not yet at the borders of the "Blessings of God" enhanced Ottoman Empire, and its major predatory opponent, Hungary, can be avoided with the right starting conditions.

    My first game as Serbia ended in quick destruction. My alliance attempts with Bohemia and Poland failed, Hungary declared war on me, and an hour later I was pretty soundly defeated. So I gave it a second shot. This time, Hungary went after Bosnia, I was able to forge an alliance with Poland, and not too long afterward I was able to meet the requirements to get rid of "Wrath of God". At that point I realized that Serbia might be a fun game for my first AAR, and so here we are.

    I intend this to be mostly a history book/gameplay AAR (as those are my favorites), but we will see where it goes.

    General Goals:
    1) Avoid horrible, horrible death.
    2) Attempt to achieve the goals of Stefan Uros IV Dusan in forming a Serbo-Greek Empire.
    3) Eventually reclaim the holy land.

    Methods:
    1) No reloads, cheats, etc.
    2) No getting more than half my infamy limit (whatever it is) at one time.
    3) No declaring war without a casus belli.

    There we are. Hopefully, you will enjoy reading this!

  2. #2
    Captain doubtofbuddha's Avatar
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    Nemanja Postek

    Stefan Uros IV Dusan "the Mighty" is seen by many as the greatest of the medieval Serbian princes. Ruling from 1331 to 1346 he fought a number of wars against the Hungarians (defensive) and the Roman Empire (offensive) while currying the favor of the Bulgarians of Tarnavo. He was great in both ambition and in deed, establishing a revised code of laws and calling himself the Emperor of the Serbs and the Romans. He clearly had his sights set on the formation of a great Serbo-Greek Empire ruling over Southeastern Europe, with the eventual goal of bringing a great crusade against the Turks. He was in fact, preparing for this crusade when he died, poisoned by nobles under him who found his power and authority to be too threatening to what little power they had of their own.

    Upon his death, his son Stefan Uros V Nekaji "the Weak" became ruler of Serbia. Unfortunately for the Serbian Empire, Stean Uros V was, as his name implied, incompetent, with a minor bit of administrative competence and little else. Several powerful nobles split away to form their own fiefs, most notably the Despotate of Epirus, the League of Lezhe, and Hum, and it was obvious to all those who neighbored it that Serbia's days were numbered.

    Things changes in 1356. In that year Stefan Uros V made one of the best decisions of his life, hiring noted commandant Nemanja Postek to help preserve what remained of his realm. Nemanja combined both a great vision for what Serbia needed to do to overcome its current difficulties and an even greater loyalty to the realm itself. Even though he saw Stean Uros V's flaws for what they were he still wanted Serbia to become strong once again.

    Over the next few years Nemanja convinced Stefan that the greatest current threat to Serbia was from the powerful, menacing Kingdom of Hungary. To fight off the threat that Hungary presented, he encouraged Stefan Uros V to make alliances with Hungary's neighbors. The need for this was made even more apparent after Hungary launched a war of conquest against the neighboring Duchy of Bosnia, seizing both some of the country's territory and its sovereignty. Treaties were thus forged, with alliances being made with both Moldavia and Poland, and, in a diplomatic coup, a mutual treaty of non-aggression was signed with Hungary. Simultaneously, he worked to rebuild the collapsed power of the Serbian army. Troops were levied from those nobles who remained loyal to Stefan Uros V, and further peasant levies were trained so that additional fighting men would be available as necessary. With the northern border secure, and the army restored, Nemanja and Stefan led the army in a great display of the continued might of Serbia: the reconquest of the Despotate of Epirus.

    War was declared in the Spring of 1361. The upstart Despotate had formed alliances with the Kingdom of Gerogia and Tarnavo, resulting in the entrance of those nation and the Empire of Trebizond into the war. Nemanja's initial strategy was to focus the entire might of the Serbian army on the reconquest of Epirus, allowing those countries that opposed Serbia free reign until of Epirus was in Serbia's hands.

    This was an audacious plan, but not nearly as foolhardy as could originally be supposed. Nemanja's drills had increased both the defensive capabilities of Serbia's fortresses and the morale of the army a great deal, giving it a definite edge over its opponents. This was proven over the next two years, as the Serbian army, led by Prinace Stefan Uros V, was able to bring the Despotate back into Serbian hands, while only a single province, Nisava, fell into enemy hands. The strength of the fortresses frustrated the King of Tarnavo so much that he offered an easy peace to Serbia in 1363. Georgia also accepted such a peace, but only after their army had been destroyed. Thus Serbia was left in July of 1363 with a great deal of their Greek territory restored, crushed between the armies of Serbia and Montenegro.



    This victory was enough to allow Nemanja to complete the final part of his plan: He recruited Dusan Drascovic, a military organizer, and Bogdan Hracovec, a skilled politician to the royal council. Together they were able to put into place the reforms that Serbia required to let the world know: "This nation is on the rise again."
    With his task complete, Nemanja Postek prepared to live the rest of his life in a monastary, but not before finding his replacement on the council: a great Gnostic Christian natural scientist: Bogdan Hracovec (no relation to the politician), who promised to bring the country's production methods to the modern age.




  3. #3
    Cool, I'll be following this. I was playing a Serbia game on MEIOU for HttT but then had a pretty nasty hard-drive crash and lost it. I'd gotten pretty far, Hungary was for the first century or two the main threat, but I eventually got them soundly defeated and was leading a PU with a pretty big Poland, and that's all I remember.

  4. #4
    Captain doubtofbuddha's Avatar
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    Cool. Yours is one of the AARs that inspired me to write this!

    I am glad you are following this, because you will get to see a familiar sight a couple chapters from now... It was a pretty surprising sight too, as this is the first time I've seen this particular occurrence in-game!

  5. #5
    I hate video games HabemusZlatan's Avatar
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    That's a nice one, I'll be following.
    Here be dragons

  6. #6
    Hungary is so scary even with their national traits (fair penalty to manpower and force limits) but their biggest weakness is their poor discipline and relatively low morale troops. They will just keep making more and more armies for you to kill which makes getting a decisive victory extremely difficult but it can be done. Your best bet would be to PU them eventually, I suppose. They have quite a lot of really solid provinces, but more importantly you can't really just try and cripple them because they will get swallowed up by Austria or maybe Poland and just give you new problems to worry about -.-

    I hope you reform Byzantium, it can be done as Serbia it just takes a little bit of time and patience

  7. #7
    Captain doubtofbuddha's Avatar
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    Looking at the history of Serbia before its downfall, I actually think its too bad you can't form The Serbo-Greek Empire. It seems about as reasonable as a lot of the other "speculative" nations available in MEIOU. At the very least, it seems more realistic than trying to reform Byzantium.

  8. #8
    Not the King of Prussia Legendary Bard's Avatar
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    Good lord, I love AARs with this mod. I really should give it a try. Looking forward to more of this.

    "And no, we don't endorse genocide." ~ Captain Gars

  9. #9
    Is your heir any good?

  10. #10
    Captain doubtofbuddha's Avatar
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    Yes my heir is pretty good (7 admin/7 diplo/3 military). Unfortunately his heir is a 4 admin/5 diplo/3 military. (I am playing ahead). I will be milking the 7 diplomacy as much as I can while he still lives.
    Last edited by doubtofbuddha; 17-05-2011 at 17:18.

  11. #11
    F-CEO of EUIV:MEIOU and Taxes gigau's Avatar
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    Nice ! subscribed
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  12. #12
    Captain doubtofbuddha's Avatar
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    Despite Serbia's rise in power, its ruler remained incompetent. Stefan Uros V's council of advisers continued to rule in his stead, letting him spend most of his time with the army, as he seemed to like meeting with the soldiers and the council saw that as a way of keeping him out of their way. This allowed them to focus more attention on the matter of getting the Serbian state on the right path.

    In January of 1367, it was decided that the time was right to press more of Serbia's claims. The principality's finances were in order, the alliance with Poland was strong, and the military of Serbia's target, Tarnovo, was but a pale shadow of that of Serbia itself.


    The council's justification for war was based on the brief rule of Stefan Uros V's great aunt, Anna Neda, over Tarnovo. With this basis, they pushed a claim for the province of Badin, though considering the fact that her rule lasted but a year, it was a rather weak one.

    The weakness of this claim caused Serbia's ally, Moldavia, to reject the call to declare war on Tarnovo, instead siding with Tarnovo itself. This did not effect Serbia's strategic position in the war, as Moldavia was in no position to help either Serbia or Tarnovo. It did, however, give Poland an opportunity to prove their honor, as they had no means to reach Tarnovo, but did have a convenient border with Moldavia.

    The war itself was brutish and short. The main force of the Serbian army, led by Stefan Uros himself, met the Tarnovan forces in Serdicia, where Stefan Uros was able to take advantage of both the terrain and superior numbers to force the Tarnovans into a route. From there it was simply a matter of chasing the remaining forces towards the capital, picking off groups of stragglers until no fighting force remained in the country. All that remained was to capture the border forts and claim both the territory that was rightfully Serbia's.





    Noticing the effective example of some of the richer states of Western Europe, the council of advisers, led by Bogdan Hracovec (the natural scientist) Serbia's serfs were given a level of freedom they that had not previously enjoyed. This is widely seen as the basis for the first steps towards the effective, efficient economy that Serbia has today, but at the time it was highly controversial, and caused a great deal of instability both due to the disgruntlement of nobles were used to having more control over those who worked the land and the serfs who were not quite sure of what to do with the freedom they had. In June of 1367, in the midst of the war with Tarnovo, certain peasant leaders came to a conclusion of what to do with their additional freedom: ask for more of it. This ended up being greatly debated by the council, as some feared that the additional rights demanded would weaken Serbia so much that they would not be able to stand up to their enemies. Peasants would refuse to fight in levies, would not stay on their ancestral lands to produce crops for the troops, and would feel more inclined to demand more and more until nothing was left. Bogdan Hracovec was able to effectively and diplomatically assuage these fears, and guided the council to ultimately accept the request, despite any loss in prestige it brought at home and abroad.

    The capital of Tarnovo fell in May of 1368, allowing the council to make its demands: In addition to the province of Badin, which Serbia had a (weak) claim to, they also insisted they be given sovereignty over Serdica, claiming it as a historically significant monument of where Serbia won what was by then being referred to as Anna Neda's War. Tarnovo had no choice but to accept this, but Serbia's neighbors largely did not, seeing it as an unpleasant reminder of Serbia's rising ambition.

    Not all of Serbia's neighbors found this ambition unpleasant. The very next month, Wallachia accepted an offer of military alliance, providing Serbia with an additional ally in the event of Hungarian hostilities. This alliance proved to be economic as well as military, as the trading of production techniques resulted in brand new breakthroughs in Serbia's olive oil and mining industries.

    Serbia had generally made itself a haven of Orthodox peoples living abroad. The late 1300s were a time of great persecution against the Orthodox, as the crusading orders and the Muslims of the Black Sea used force to make adherents of the Orthodox Church convert. In addition to the atrocities committed by these groups, general persecution occurred throughout Catholic Eastern Europe. Serbia generally welcomed the Orthodox refugees into its borders, but twice in the late 1360s were Orthodox refugees turned away. The first time, refugees fled from doctrinal disputes in Wallachia. The council, fearing the effects that letting the refugees into Serbia would have on their relationship, refused them entry. A few years later, Croatian refugees from Hungarian Bosnia similarly sought refuge in Srbija but the council, fearful of Hungary's reaction, refused to allow them to settle in the country.


    (Don't ask me why Wallachia was persecuting the Orthodox, I really do not know)

    In 1372, the Ottomans long war to conquer southern Greece was complete, with only Constantinople still standing against the Turks. Fearful of the vast and mighty Turkish armies, the council sent multiple wagon trains of tribute to the Turks along with the best Serbian diplomats until they agreed to a non-aggression pact with Serbia.


    (I don't find this ominous at all)




    The rest of the 1370s were largely a peaceful period for Serbia, focused on economic development and diplomatic stabilization. This peace was broken briefly twice: once when Wallachia pressed its claim on territory belonging to Dobrogea, and the other when Brandenburg attempted to conquer Hinterpommern. In each case, Serbia's participation was minimal. In the first instance, Serbia agreed to defeat Tarnovo in the event it attempted to interfere in the war, but refused to participate in any sieges. In the second instance, Serbia's participation was merely diplomatic; it had no means to get its armies into a position to threaten Brandenburg. Both wars ended up being successful for Serbia's allies. Wallachia seized territory from both Tarnovo and Dogbrogea, and forced Tarnovo into vassalage and Poland was able to force Brandenburg to give up its easternmost province.


    (I suspected it might end poorly for Brandenburg)



    In 1378, the council felt comfortable enough with the realm's stability to attempt to consolidate power away from the hands of the nobles into that of the office of the Prince. While the motive behind giving more power to someone as weak as Stefan Uros V is questionable, it is more understandable when seen from the perspective that the council of adviser's effectively was using the position of the Prince as an expression of their own power. Unfortunately for them, the nobility of Serbia saw through this power grab. While it was not enough to cause them to revolt, it did cause instability through the realm.

    In 1379 the politics of the Mediterranean were changed permanently as Naples won a war with Aragon and was able to claim enough of Sicily to claim the Kingship of the Two Sicilies. This sent shock waves through the region, as the Two Sicilies immediately declared war on the Pope, seeking to bring the southern portion of the Italian Penninsula under their rule.


    (This is... unusual.. Also it feels weird to have an Absolute Kingdom in the 1300s)

    On October 7, 1379 Stefan Uros V was bit by a snake while touring a new fort in Makedonia. He died within hours at the age of 42.


  13. #13
    Regency? I thought Djuradj would be Prince now?

  14. #14
    Captain doubtofbuddha's Avatar
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    Djuradj was born on 24 October 1369. I plan to play at least one ruler ahead in order to be able to build a better idea of where the narrative is going.

  15. #15
    The Two Sicilies. The Two Sicilies! An AI Two Sicilies! Already! With a pimpin' purple colour! Shiiiiiit gotta mod that purple in my AAR, 4.2 Two Sicilies is the same colour as Naples.

    And good job expanding, but, getting friendly with the Ottomans? You have no shame

  16. #16
    Captain doubtofbuddha's Avatar
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    Yes. An AI Two Sicilies this early. I was completely floored! Also a hint for the future: They are doing pretty well for themselves.

    And its not so much getting friendly as trying to convince them that other faces are better for stabbing than mine. Because, at the time this occured, the Ottomans had over 100,000 troops. How am I going to stop them with my measly 20,000 when they have over 100,000 troops?

  17. #17
    F-CEO of EUIV:MEIOU and Taxes gigau's Avatar
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    Wow, first time i see the Two Sicilies formed... guess we'll need to drop the governemnt event of the decision
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by gigau View Post
    Wow, first time i see the Two Sicilies formed... guess we'll need to drop the governemnt event of the decision
    Is there a way to make it so that the government-change will only take effect if the country's government is at a certain level?
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by doubtofbuddha View Post
    Yes. An AI Two Sicilies this early. I was completely floored! Also a hint for the future: They are doing pretty well for themselves.
    Neato. Now to hope they don't horribly, horribly implode.

    And its not so much getting friendly as trying to convince them that other faces are better for stabbing than mine. Because, at the time this occured, the Ottomans had over 100,000 troops. How am I going to stop them with my measly 20,000 when they have over 100,000 troops?
    N o s h a m e

    Quote Originally Posted by gigau View Post
    Wow, first time i see the Two Sicilies formed... guess we'll need to drop the governemnt event of the decision
    You best port that fabulous purple when you release a HttT final version or else I will hate you forever

    Quote Originally Posted by Nekromans View Post
    Is there a way to make it so that the government-change will only take effect if the country's government is at a certain level?
    You can make two decisions: a decision without the government change available only before a certain tech level and another decision with the government change available only from that tech level onwards.

  20. #20
    Captain doubtofbuddha's Avatar
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    Gigau, for the persecute Orthodox abroad event, why does the person performing the persecution get the diplomatic insult casus belli rather than the Orthodox country hit by the event?

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