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Thread: PiRAAtes! - The rise (or fall) of Tripoli

  1. #81
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    Part 13 - Titles (1527-1536)

    So the lowborn and not too talented Ali became the "legal heir" of Ahmad II and the uncontested and unquestionable ruler of the Corsairs - once again history proved that all you need to become a ruler is good pedigree and strong allies. Ali had both - and above all, he had ambition. Ambition that no other Malik of the Corsairs had before...

    Upon returning from the siege of Kaffa he immediately ordered the preparations for a full-scale war on Venice, the fading power of the Eastern Mediterranean. It was clear that with the Venetians out of the picture there would be no one in the basin of the Mediterranean (west of Madrid of course...) who could be compared to the strength of the Corsair fleet.

    And though he wasn't much of a strategist or a born ruler, Ali was a captain of the fleet in the first place - and he knew that the fleet is the one that tightens the grip of the Corsairs on the throats of the Infidels through Italy...





    ...so he just couldn't give in to the demands of the city elders who were petitioned him for a stronger and more regular standing army. Ali believed in the superiority of attack over defence and thus he didn't share the worries of the elders about the lack of defensive capabilities.

    Quick attack and the element of surprise leads to victory - that was the military doctrine of the Corsairs for centuries. And it was beyond question that it will help once again: gaining the upper hand in the inevitable war to finally crush the Venetians and all their minions and ultimately lock them up in their home city under the guard of the Pope and Aquileia. Both were more that eager to see the Doge defeated and powerless.





    The initial resources in the war were quite balanced: the Kingdom of Sicily and the Duchy of Tirol (along with henchmen like the islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Malta) engaged Tripoli and her allies against the Venetians. The size of navies would tip this balance towards the favour of the Corsairs but the concentration of the fleets was low on both sides and it wasn't easy to coordinate them successfully in this quite large conflict.

    Meanwhile the land forces of Tripoli were sieging the Venetian fortresses in Greece.





    Athens fell in months and with the help of Tripoli's blockading allies the other ones would fall soon too. The ships of the allies were patrolling the coasts while the main fleet of Tripoli was fighting any possible concentration of enemy ships.

    However the situation on Sicily wasn't so obvious...





    The Sicilians put up quite a fight and they managed to beat the other contingent of Tripoli aided by troops sent by the Pope - the Sicilians were led by their king Martino himself. He was a very good general compared to the ("land-wise") inexperienced officers of Tripoli or the coward mercenaries of the Pope.

    The Sicilians withstood multiple attacks and in a great battle near Messina Martino managed to even rout the entire invading troops of Tripoli before the forces of Naples could help the Corsairs out in their struggle against the better quality weapons and disadvantageous terrain.

    Yet, regardless of the situation in Sicily, the naval dominance of Venice over the Eastern half of the Mediterranean was clearly over...





    However with the fleeing and unorganized army in Sicily the strength of the land forces of the Corsairs became quite weak compared to other Muslim countries.





    So Ali ordered the very first of his long-term army reforms that would hopefully lead to Corsair forces struggle with Infidel armies on equal terms.

    Meanwhile allied Algerian forces captured the capital of the Island of Corsica and thus their duke was forced to capitulate - though he remained the direct ruler of his people, in foreign policies he became a subject to Ali's will.





    In the summer of 1530, not a year into the war, the situation finally turned into Ali's favour - in all possible way. First, the repeated attacks launched from Naples and the Sea both finally broke the Sicilian resistance in Messina, their fort fell and in a final battle just outside their capital the army of King Martino was annihilated.





    Second, back home a son was born to Ali so now he had hopes of passing his title directly to him. And it was only the beginning...

    The capital of the Sicilians fell in early 1531 and along with it the dreams of King Martino about a strong and independent Sicily - apart from severing ties to other Christian kings, he had to hand over the City of Messina to the Duke of Naples and renounce his claim on the lands of Calabria.





    Seeing the turning of the tides the Knights of St. John and the Lord of Sardinia fled the war - all that left was the Tirolian army and Venice itself. However with the full blockade on their capital, they former were effectively cut off in the foreign lands of Aquileia.

    With all their Greek holdings captured, their fleet defeated and no hope of recover the Venetians had to sign peace - first of all they paid a large sum of gold in tribute and accepted Corsair merchants into their city once again, then they withdrew their claims on foreign lands all across their borders and finally their granted independence to some of their Greek subjects in Janina - who eventually became allies of the Corsairs.





    So the war was over in a little more than two years - and it seemed that the figures in any future conflict between Tripoli and Castille were finally set to their places as there was little to no room for both of them to further increase their influence without violating the sphere of the other. It seemed that way...





    However the plans of attacking the Crusaders had to be delayed due to a grave illness that took over Ali - it is not known if it was caused by the war or else but even the best doctors coming from Constantinople and Alexandria couldn't find a cure for it.

    The illness slowly consumed Ali and he felt that he would not live long enough to see his son grow up - yet he wanted to ensure his succession so ha gathered his most trusted councilors (not one of them being a "former Councilor" too...) and he took their oath: upon his death they will tutor his only son properly and eventually raise him as a future Sultan of Tripoli!

    Ali persuaded his generals that only that way could the Corsairs ensure that they will have the resources and allies needed to be victorious over the Crusaders.

    Even though he felt his death slowly crawling up behind him Ali wanted to enforce all the reforms he could to help his people in the future. One of his most important decisions was the implementation of a new, central jurisdiction all over the Free Cities.





    It would help keeping the order in the turmoilous years that will no doubt come after his death...

    The other, even more serious decision he ordered was the introduction of cannons for the land forces.





    Cannons were fairly common in the armies of the Infidels now and though the Corsairs used them too on their ships as well as in sieges this was the first time they tried to make them useful on the battlefields - but even with this important step the technological superiority of the Crusaders seemed to be impossible to keep up with...

    But Ali didn't gave up - even his fading strength couldn't stop him in his work of modernizing the Corsairs as much as possible and train them for future wars against the Infidels. His reforms were quite widespread from the branches of the government system to the firearms of the navy.





    And when - after a long and grave illness - he finally died in the summer 1536...





    ...his generals honored his wish and did not betray him: they raised the young Ali (the Second) to the throne of Tripoli and proclaimed him Sultan of the Free Cities!
    You can call me Dan.

    If you want to see my Tripoli (not so) horribly fail... PiRAAtes! Ongoing again. Hopefully.

  2. #82
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  3. #83
    Field Marshal Malurous's Avatar
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    Oh, nicely done! Solid war effort, and the government reform should hopefully help in keeping up with the infidels.
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  4. #84
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiserMuffin View Post
    Ooooo!
    sure

    Quote Originally Posted by Malurous View Post
    Oh, nicely done! Solid war effort, and the government reform should hopefully help in keeping up with the infidels.
    a little war here and there never hurts - though I have this strange feeling that I will miss the -1 BB reduction of being tribal soon. it really helped me absorbing huge loads of infamy and competing in foreign CoTs while vassalizing everybody else on my way.
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  5. #85
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    Cannons are ineffective at the start, they will be only a burden in this stage. I think you should broke your alliance with the Greek minor you have liberated since they will most probably be DOWed by Ottomans. Other than that again a nice narrative which was fun to read.
    Last edited by il_loco; 19-03-2012 at 23:41.

  6. #86
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by il_loco View Post
    Cannons are ineffective at the start, they will be only a burden in this stage.
    however they do speed up sieges spectacularly as you will see I think they are a good choice for the hit-and-run tactics I have to use against countries with bigger/better armies than mine.

    I think you should broke your alliance with the Greek minor you have liberated since they will most probably be DOWed by Ottomans.
    hm.... to be honest I doubt the Ottomans would DoW a Catholic Epirus with Castille/England being DoTF (they share this position with each other since France converted to Protestant and they both have a navy with more than 70 ships) and if they do - well that would be bad for them. I have a fleet of 35 ships and with my allies the combined naval force of us is well above 100 while theirs is below 50 - I should have no problem blockading the Ottomans into hell even if I couldn't beat their army. but with my rising manpower that does not seem to be impossible as well.

    otherwise I'm glad you've enjoyed this so far I am also happy to see not only Malurous sharing his opinion with me...


    might as well here's a short update as literally nothing happened during the nine years regency of Ali II:
    Last edited by vasziljevics; 20-03-2012 at 09:37.
    You can call me Dan.

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  7. #87
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    Part 14 - Between (1536-1545)

    Ali was dead but his reforms lived on - raising the young Ali II to the throne was accepted easily through the Free Cities. Nobody wished the reign of the High Council to come back... The allies of the Corsairs swore an oath to the new Sultan as well - within weeks, he was raised to the throne of Morocco and named Chief of the Candari Turks without complications as well.

    The change in the rule was amazingly fluent due to the unquestionable loyalty of the regents to the memory of Ali - the Usurper as they called him, though this was more likely a homage to him than an insult - and the reformed administration that allowed quicker and more accurate bureaucracy than the loose alliance of the tribes and cities before.





    Now this was not the same Corsair Land it was a hundred years earlier - walls were raised around the small villages and poor towns, fleets were built to replace the ages-old ships that had been adapted to pirating goals, palaces were built for "governors" over the tents of the lesser chiefs of the past. For the first time in centuries when someone arrived at the shores of Tripoli from foreign lands, instead of barbarians they saw a country.

    To fulfill the late Ali's wishes, envoys were sent to all the Muslim countries of the Middle East informing them that from now on a Sultan leads the Corsair alliance. Of course this was not welcomed by the Mamluks who where struggling for the same recognition for centuries yet had not achieved it but the overall reception was quite warm.





    Most of the leaders of the Muslim world were pleased - at least they gained a new ally against the crusading Infidels and their minions. And the Mamluks didn't have a very good reputation at all so their eastern neighbours were more than happy to sea a stronger country in the back of their rival.

    However the new government system was... well, new so its implementation in the society wasn't too strong - proof was that some of the newly appointed governors (most of them were just crude chiefs of their house slaves before) didn't have the "finesse" required to manage the more... sensitive cases they met.





    However the regents didn't have enough able men to replace them all so they had to overlook their mistakes as firing them would have caused more harm than gain on the long run.

    And there was the all-time opposition - the part of the society which always fights against reforms without actually trying to understand them. Tradition was a strong call to anyone in the Free Cities and there were (and always will be!) people who thought that "abandoning the ways of our ancestors" is not a good idea at all.





    This time their anger was directed towards the military reforms of Ali I - however the regents were sure that these were necessary to fight the rapidly developing war machine of the Infidels.

    Many years passed with cases similar to these appearing from time to time but the achievements of Ali I were so great and numerous compared to this minor disputes that none of them could shake the position of his son. And finally the year had come when he had to take over the authority over all his father's possessions:





    It was the year 1545 - and there was a certain... confidence in the air throughout the Free Cities that many great and important things will follow...
    You can call me Dan.

    If you want to see my Tripoli (not so) horribly fail... PiRAAtes! Ongoing again. Hopefully.

  8. #88
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    Part 15 - Preparations (1545-1553)

    On 29th July 1545 Ali II ascended to the throne of Tripoli and (with the backing of the former regents) he immediately enacted a decision that would shape the future of many people - common and important alike - around the Mediterranean:




    (when I reached +3 stab. I immediately took the decision again giving me another +1 innovative and +1 base tax in Alexandria)


    For some it was a shame, a confession of inferiority. For others it was the most wise decision a ruler like Ali II could make in a position like his. What is sure: it was the most important act of reform that had been made in Tripoli ever.

    There was truth in what the protesters said: in some way Ali II and his councilors admitted that they were not able to defend all their interest throughout the Mediterranean Sea with the current... society. The war with Castille decades ago proved that enough - and though the Crusaders remained silent since then (as they were probably busy slaughtering and subjugating more innocent people across the Great Western Ocean) the rumuors about hundreds of thousands of Spanish crusaders with brand new weapons waiting for just an opportunity to attack were not comforting at all.

    And - despite the huge amount of wealth the merchants brought back home every year - the technological development of the Corsair ships and weapons lagged well behind nearly all the nations around them. Though only the royal coffers of Castille and Burgundy could had been compared to the treasury of Ali II the huge piles of gold leaked away in small canals such as luxury or corruption.

    This had to be stopped...

    Yet the first steppes were merely administrative ones - eg. the replacement of the formal title Ali II were using as the leader of the Candari Turks.





    The councilors hoped it would give more prestige and wider support for the Sultan if the old title of "Chief" is to be replaced with something more... noble.

    However they had to deal with the "opposition" at home too. Many famous and important person (including powerful merchants and captains) gathered together hoping that they could change the inevitable. They had a good position for bargain as Ali and his followers couldn't risk a possible civil war that would probably be won by the Sultan but it would as well weaken the whole country against foreign aggressors.





    So after some debate the two parties agreed upon a 'contract' that made concessions for both of them - this way Ali eluded the falling of his prestige in the eyes of the common folk without endangering the whole process he started. And he was sure that time would justify his actions anyway.

    Another important event followed up closely when - though it was unanticipated by nearly everyone - a son was born to the young Sultan, even he was only 17 and the mother 15 at the time.





    He was named Muhammad after the Great Prophet because many in the court saw this as a Sign that the judgement of Allah the Almighty upon the Infidels is near. Even he was merely a newborn, tales were sung about his future deeds as a great warrior and leader of all Muslims west of Baghdad.

    But Ali and his government had to deal with more common matters as well, the first and most important being the lack of ability (and numbers) required on the fields of administration.





    The Sultan simply couldn't do anything about dishonourable governors and the like because he had no replacement for them - the lack of education and the tradition of assigning positions to people just because they were born as sons of other important people effectively prevented the quick stabilization of the New Order.

    And to help things turn out even better, there were voices among the elder scholars too complaining about Ali leaving the path of Islam, of which he was sworn (and born) protector since the time of his "great-grandfather" Ahmad the Old.





    Yet Ali could not let conservationism gaining the upper hand it this struggle as it would surely lead to the falling of the Corsairs on the long run - or at least he and his councilors were convinced about that.

    The ongoing reforms even forced Ali to let some opportunities pass...





    While there were clear evidences that the Hafsids of Tunisia were the ones who were wrong about this matter the Sultan didn't want to be seen as a cruel oppressor in the eyes of his allies. There were enough problems just outside his palace to make him avoiding a possible conflict with one the oldest allies to the Corsairs - even if that meant some unrest among his closest advisers.

    But the struggle for a better governmental system was not won at all and there was enough proof for Ali to suit himself for a long and tiresome fight.





    He didn't give up on firing (or beheading) all his corrupt and incapable advisers and governors all across Tripoli if he had to - even if that would lead the country to border of collapse, because without good administration, good generals and good relations within the alliance of the Corsairs any further war against the Crusaders could be disastrous. And that was the only thing that led Ali II in all his decisions.

    At least the army reform went better than expected...





    With the help of her subjects and allies Tripoli was now able to field an army of more than 40 thousand men if needed - but some of the councilors felt that Ali had been too much dragged away by the Crusaders. He was young and ambitious and of course he was the very first Sultan of Tripoli. That destined him for something grand to accomplish. Yet his advisers feared that would do something bold that would ruin his (and their) plans on the long rung. So they suggested a more... cautious expansion, that would remain in the sphere of Tripoli and would not cause Infidels to interfere with. And the weak and dishonourable sheikdom of the Hafsids seemed to be as good as any place to start - for them at least.

    (this was the moment where I started to bang my head - not to heavy metal this time but - against my desk for letting the boundary dispute on Tunisia go... this game is truly toying with me)

    And there was the case of the merchants of course - a class very similar to peasants: it is simply impossible to reach a set of circumstances when they would be fully satisfied. This time the delegate of the merchants in Genoa appeared before the Sultan and of course he begged for some help:





    It seemed that the governors of the city of Genoa sensed an opportunity with Tripoli being busy with her internal affairs and denied access for all Corsair merchants to their market. They were gambling well this time as Ali didn't have the power nor the will to show them that merchants from Tripoli should have unlimited access to all trade area they desire - if only for this time...

    So he simply sent a polite letter to Genoa - along with a few small chest of gold - to change the mind of the Genoese. And that was enough. But he didn't forget how dare they were for even considering this whole plot to succeed...

    And there was the navy of course - the foundation of the power of Tripoli. Ali decided to give an even bigger focus to them so with the enormous amount of wealth he sat on he proclaimed a new plan about modernizing the fleet as well - partially founded by the government.





    Every captain willing to replace his (or her) old ships with new ones could have count on the national income of trade to help them. Ali hoped that this would encourage the individual captains to team up with each other and thus not only modernizing but standardizing the fleet a bit - because currently there were quite a few types of ships serving in the Corsair navy regardless of seeing their age, size, origin or any other feats.

    While the matter of the fleet was set to motion for a while Ali considered one last... test before turning to West again:





    He wanted to test the new, reorganized army and the guns it acquired - and he planned to count on the Mamluks to do so. They were busy enough fighting with remnants of the Great Riders of the East in the Caucasus and only a part of their army remained near Cairo to guard their rear. And Ali was on his way to prove the Mamluks that their calculations about the strength of their army were wrong.

    The new army of the Corsairs was positioned along the border and in June 1553 war was declared. The Sultan of Karaman, only ally to the Egyptians was coward enough not participate in the conflict on any side - and he paid the price for his cowardice soon enough as an even bigger Sultan, the one reigning in Constantinople came after him, nearly stripping him off of all his lands.

    At first the Mamluk army garrisoned in Cairo didn't know what hit them - and it turned out that it was most lucky for the forces of Tripoli.





    The newly enlisted, inexperienced Corsair soldiers, equipped with weapons they had never used before proved to be quite inefficient in the heat of the battle - they took large losses while cycling through a lot of tactical plans to break the spirit of the veteran Mamluk army. However, in the end, technology (and the sheer numbers) decided the battle in favour of the Corsairs - their forces had numbers of one and a half compared to the Egyptians who were finally cut off from Cairo itself and were pursued into the dunes of Asyut where they were finally encircled and destroyed.

    Meanwhile the Corsair fleet was sent out to blockade all traffic to the Egyptian ports and another part of the army occupied the Nile Delta - "on the fly" - and proceeded to take the other important fortresses along the Mediterranean shore.

    At the same time, big news came from Northern Europe - news that could influence the fate of the whole continent:





    The Kings of Denmark - through war and diplomacy - managed to unite all of Scandinavia under their rule. Since they were Heretics even amongst the Infidels the probability of the outbreak of a major conflict between them and England and Castille seemed high enough to catch the attention of Ali.

    Anyway, apart from the Battle of Cairo, the war against the Mamluks was kind of "gunning down the walls of their forts until they surrender" - and as the forces of Tripoli had many guns (and even more allies) in about a year all the important fortresses of the Mamluks had fallen.





    To stretch his influence to the Eastern Mediterranean too, in the peace deal Ali demanded freedom for the people of Syria as well as the lifting of the Egyptian claims on lands that were once theirs but were conquered by Tripoli long ago. And as a final act the Mamluks had to give back the lands of Tabouk to its rightful owner, the rulers of the Holy City of Mecca.

    And then, with the Mamluks broken and his reforms set to motion, Ali could turn towards the other side of the Mediterranean Sea...
    You can call me Dan.

    If you want to see my Tripoli (not so) horribly fail... PiRAAtes! Ongoing again. Hopefully.

  9. #89
    Field Marshal Malurous's Avatar
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    Ah, westernization. Congrats!

    Pretty neat to see an AI Scandinavia, and this early too.
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  10. #90
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malurous View Post
    Ah, westernization. Congrats!

    Pretty neat to see an AI Scandinavia, and this early too.
    thanks for that though I made the decision somewhat grudgingly - I hoped to keep up with the western tech.group in land/naval by adapting free trade but the 75% tech.modifier is just too harsh. believe or not I had the highest income in the world and had only 8 provinces yet I lagged behind the West so miserably... no surprise the AI always fails with the Muslim nations.

    about the Scandies: I play EU3 for a while now - well, since it came out first back in... when was it actually? [...] never mind, but this is the very first time for me to see Scandinavia formed. it truly made my day!
    You can call me Dan.

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  11. #91
    I usually just read AARs without posting, but as you've not got a lot of replies I thought I'd encourage you to keep this up!

  12. #92
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogrecrusher View Post
    I usually just read AARs without posting, but as you've not got a lot of replies I thought I'd encourage you to keep this up!
    that's the most amiable reply I've got - ever
    You can call me Dan.

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  13. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by vasziljevics View Post
    thanks for that though I made the decision somewhat grudgingly - I hoped to keep up with the western tech.group in land/naval by adapting free trade but the 75% tech.modifier is just too harsh. believe or not I had the highest income in the world and had only 8 provinces yet I lagged behind the West so miserably... no surprise the AI always fails with the Muslim nations.
    I think it's not only the 75% penalty but rather the neigbour bonus for the lands in the western tech group. Those Frankfurts, Ulms, Aachens, Mecklenburgs and Navarras set the pace.

  14. #94
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    Good to see some westernization! You should probably try and gain some provinces soon, seeing as you're at 1 infamy.
    Keep it up!
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  15. #95
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Kantelberg View Post
    I think it's not only the 75% penalty but rather the neigbour bonus for the lands in the western tech group. Those Frankfurts, Ulms, Aachens, Mecklenburgs and Navarras set the pace.
    well, that makes sense indeed. maybe I should go to the 5.2 subforum and tell Johan to rebalance the tech.groups - once again...

    Quote Originally Posted by homy_dog34 View Post
    Good to see some westernization! You should probably try and gain some provinces soon, seeing as you're at 1 infamy. Keep it up!
    I will! Though the road to more provinces leads through the spooky forests known as 'Castille' and 'England'...
    You can call me Dan.

    If you want to see my Tripoli (not so) horribly fail... PiRAAtes! Ongoing again. Hopefully.

  16. #96
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    Part 16 - Revenge of the Burjis (1553-1559)

    Ali II's great dream was revenge: revenge on the Crusaders for the shameful defeat the Corsairs had to suffer back in 1507. And for that he was willing to sacrifice anything. The narrow victory over the Mamluks in the battle of Cairo showed that the new army is probably not quite ready for the task at hand but Ali and his Councilors felt that every month, every year that passed with the Crusaders conquering more and more land across the Great Western Sea uninterrupted would make them even harder to defeat in the end.

    So immediate changes were made to the organization of the army and heavy drilling of the new recruits began under the guidance of the veterans to train a military force that would be able to stand against the Crusaders face to face on the field.





    Thus the raiding tactics and pillages of the past were no more - Tripoli needed more uniformized, better equipped and better led troops for the Sultan's ultimate goal: to drive the foreign invaders from the shores of North Africa as far as it is possible

    So after 2 years of yet deeper military reforms, Ali decided to finally take on the Castilians and whoever sides with them.





    Many of the important people were against the attack: they feared that the allies of the Crusaders - the Kingdoms of England and Lithuania - would prove too much for the Corsairs to take on but Ali had some intelligence on the Infidels which persuaded him to proceed with his plan:

    First, according to his agents, the Lithuanians didn't have any kind of fleet as they cities on the shores of the Black Sea were just recently conquered from the collapsing Golden Horde.

    Second, the English were busy fighting another crusade of their own across the Great Western Sea and by the time they could turn their war machine towards the Mediterranean the Spanish will hopefully be all but defeated...

    ...well at least this is what Ali's intelligence told to him.

    Regardless of the worries, war was finally declared on the second day of November in the yer 1555. The army was previously split into three groups: the first one was sent to the city of Oran to take on any Castilian army landing in North Africa and to help out the allied Moroccan and Algerian forces taking on the Spanish fortresses.

    The second was dispatched to Italy to team up with the troops sent by the Pope and occupy the Castilian holdings in the middle part of the peninsula.





    This army was initially the most successful: they managed to attack the city of Firenze by surprise and soon marched on towards the two remaining major Castilian garrison in the area: Pisa and Siena.

    The third and smallest army, the "reserve" remained in Tripoli in the case of any unsuspected ally to the Crusaders or other fragment of force showing up in those parts of the Mediterranean.

    The Sultan's plan was a really good one but there were a few points in it that would be considered more like gambling than actual planning. The first of these was the coordination of the allied fleet under the command of Tripoli which was suspected to be good yet it wasn't nearly as perfect as it should had been. Just two months into the war the main Corsair fleet engaged in battle with a larger Castilian patrol...





    ...but without the support of its allies, victory over the Infidels was impossible and the battle was ultimately lost. Though the casulties were not high this was a clear sign that Ali and his Councilors may had overestimated the strength of their fleet - or underestimated that of the Infidels'.

    Regardless of this, the advance of the allied forces in North Africa was quite smooth.





    The Moroccan and the Corsair army stormed the smaller forts while Algerian troops besieged the larger ones. Also there were minor battles fought between smaller Castilian fleets and Scottish raiding forces but it was nothing the allies couldn't handle.

    By next summer, nearly all of Spanish Africa fell under Corsair control - but then some unexpected things happened: first a large Crusader army, consisting of nearly 20 000 soldiers, got ashore near Tripoli and shortly after that - and much earlier than expected - an English fleet appeared in the Gulf of Almeria and attacked the Corsair ships which were on their way transporting the army of North Africa to the other side of the Mediterranean Sea...





    Though the army managed to fully unload before the English could engage the Corsair fleet and they began storming the Castilian fort on the shore, the transports didn't have time to retreat and so the bigger ships had to try saving them - yet they failed.

    Though the storming of the Spanish fort on the shore was a success and the main Corsair fleet managed to retreat to safe ports, at the same time the combined English and Spanish navy was free to hunt down the smaller fleets of the Corsairs' allies.

    That point it seemed that the allies had lost not only the initiative but half their ships along with it and without any miraculous turning of the tides the seas were lost for them for the rest of the war - however on the shores the Corsairs did much better than expected:





    Just four day after the disastrous sea battle against the English fleet, general Ali Emin, using the "reserve" and the second army brought back from Italy, was victorious over the quite tired and hungry Castilian army on the outskirts of Tripoli. The news of the defeat and victory arrived to Ali II at the same time, and while this meant that the war was far from over...

    ...one year into it the tides seem to slowly turn again.





    First a massive donation for the Royal Treasury arrived from the Councilors' and merchants' private coffers - though they were not sure if this war will have any advantage for them in the end, they simply couldn't let the young Sultan lose it and risking the whole country falling into anarchy - again.

    And apart from that, news about increasing unrest among the Crusaders' subjects arrived to Tripoli too. It seemed that even the hundreds of thousand of soldiers they could throw into the war were not enough for covering the entire empire of their own - they were simply too late in every front they were sent to.

    And they seemed to pay a very high price for this lack of logistics.





    By the next April, just one and a half year into the war, half of Castille was under Corsair control - due to the achievements of the "First Army" and the assistance of the allied Aquileian troops.

    The Castilian government was simply unable to manage all the aspects of war and things started to slowly get out of their control - however, the English were more than capable of carrying on and they managed to knock out Epirus and Syria, two of Tripoli's allies out from the war. And if this was not enough, a large expeditionary force of theirs was dispatched to Naples, besieging their capital.

    With the wreckage of his navy forced to stay in port and thus unable to send any meaning of help, Ali and his Councilors were more than worried about the situation - this was a serious threat to their war effort that had to be dealt with.





    However with the Castilian homeland ultimately falling under the control of Tripoli the English became more and more convinced that all the resources they had put into the war were nothing more than waste.

    So, in the end the English Crown agreed upon a separate peace term, demanding only a very minor amount of money for that - and after the English left the war, the defeat of the Spanish Crusaders finally became certain.

    However it took another year for the Castilian state to finally collapse...





    But when their second expeditionary army sent to North Africa was defeated by the combined forces of Tripoli, Morocco and Algiers they finally had to admit that they lost the war.

    With Lithuania leaving the war peacefully, negotiations over the terms of peace were started between the envoys of Castille and Tripoli - but the initial suggestions of the Corsairs were too harsh for the Crusaders so they refused to cooperate.

    It took another worrying event in the heart of their own land, though formerly belonging to the Muslims of Granada, to urge them to reconsider.





    It seemed that the people of Granada, though they were subjects to the Castilian crown for more than 150 years, weren't quite satisfied with their Crusader oppressors - and when they saw them finally fall, they didn't hesitate to join their former brothers of faith regardless the wishes of their King. It seemed that though they lost their true faith in the last decades, their identity was unharmed...

    And so the negotiations continued - even when now there wasn't much to "negotiate" actually: the defeat of the Castilians was utterly humiliating. And so were the terms of peace for them:





    The Crusaders had to give up all their North African and Italian holdings: Algiers and Morocco got back their former territories except for the city of Melilla which would become a Corsair naval base, and some forts in the Atlas which were doomed to revolt against their incompetent rulers anyway. In Italy, the Pope got the city of Siena while the larger part of Tuscany became direct Corsair holding to finally establish a closer connection with the allies in Italy.

    And as for the rest of Castille... it was thrown to the rebels to prey upon.
    You can call me Dan.

    If you want to see my Tripoli (not so) horribly fail... PiRAAtes! Ongoing again. Hopefully.

  17. #97
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    Yay, great success! Granada is certainly interesting, with that it's 100% certain that that won't be the last war against Castille.

    I'm assuming you mean that the Corsairs took Ceuta in the end? Melilla was Moroccan already...
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  18. #98
    Time to build a massive navy I would say! Seems to be your only weakness, and one that doesn't fit the story!

  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogrecrusher View Post
    Time to build a massive navy I would say! Seems to be your only weakness, and one that doesn't fit the story!
    Seconded! More importantly, it seems obvious that more big ships are needed as the galleys just won't do against the major Europeans. That Gift to the State, combined with Press Gangs, might help...
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  20. #100
    Impressive! Spare women and children ......

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