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Thread: The White Hand of Saruhan - 1402-1936

  1. #41
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Oh wow...those flags are truly impressive! Fantastic!, just fantastic!
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  2. #42
    Major il_loco's Avatar
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    No White Hand in the communist?

  3. #43
    1st Intermission - 1449-1470

    The twenty-five years following the conclusion of the Anatolian Civil War were, for the most part, uneventful. Saruhan primarily focused on improving their economic infrastructure, following a program of construction in most provinces. There were a few noteworthy events to cover, however, which will be touched on in this whirlwind tour.

    First off, our old friends the Byzantines decided to make yet another declaration of war (along with Serbian allies).



    Unfortunately, the terrain on the Saruhanli side of the Bosphorous made it unlikely that the Greeks and Serbians would be able to successfully cross while the presence of Byzantine naval patrols prevented any meaningful invasions by Turkish forces. As such, a standoff occurred for a number of years...



    ...at least until the last province of the Dulkadiri fell to the hordes of Qara Koyunlu.


    This attack from the east required that Saruhan shift significant forces away from the Bosphorous to defend against incursions by the Koyunlu. This did allow the Byzantines to land a small number of troops, but these forces were not sufficient to take territory and the latest Greek-Turkish war was short-lived. With the west secure again, an army drove into nomad territory.


    For the moment, Saruhan was happy to force the Koyunlu to release a vassal from their rule: Candar. This, of course, allowed the Saruhanoglu to exert their control over these lands without interference from the horde. Shortly after the conclusion of this brief war, rebels within Koyunlu-controlled lands made significant gains, making continued control of that territory unlikely.





    This weakness of the Qara Koyunlu, however, allowed a far greater threat to make its way south:


    The Golden Hordes managed to outmaneuver the fatigued Saruhan forces, who were caught out of position along the border. This, combined with some untimely revolts, forced the Saruhanli to accept their first true defeat in a war: agreeing to pay tribute to these raiders.



    One side effect of the Golden Horde invasion, however, was the reemergence of a warlord laying claim to be the true successor to the Ottoman Empire. Saruhan quickly moved to ensure this movement did not grow very far:


    This concluded a 25-year period of minor skirmishes and economic development. As 1470 drew to a close, the Horde was beginning to be driven back, both by Europeans and by the native inhabitants of the nearby territories. The Byzantine Empire also began to fragment, as portions of Greece chose to exercise control over their own lands. These could open up new avenues for Saruhan to grow, or at the least to allow them to remain secure within their borders.

    This dream of security, however, would be shattered in 1477...

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  4. #44
    Recruit Joy-'s Avatar
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    This AAR is really good. Just read through it and that is some nice gameplay.

  5. #45
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    A big test comes in the shape of the Mamluks. Good luck!
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  6. #46
    Second Lieutenant UnitRico's Avatar
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    AI Netherlands? Barely anything left for France? Huge Papal State? In 1477? Wow, that's amazing. That, and the beautiful Saruhani green...oh my, truly amazing!

  7. #47
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Really good stuff; I look forward to your oncoming victory against the Mamlukes!
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  8. #48
    Book 2: Finding a Place

    2.1: The First Turko-Egyptian War - 1477-1485

    The Saruhanli had secured their hold over Anatolia; every region populated by Turkish people was held under their flag except for Mus, occupied by the Castillians. As the true successor to the Ottoman Empire, Saruhan was preparing to rise from its birthplace and look to expand its power to encompass more than merely Turkey. Chief Hizik II felt that he only needed to reach out his hand, point, and his realm would grow.

    This expectation was shattered in May of 1477.




    The Egyptians struck quickly and unexpectedly. They were thought to be close allies of Saruhan; indeed, mutual military access treaties were in effect at the time of the invasion. As such, Saruhanli forces were poised near the Aegean Sea, protecting against the ever-present threat from Byzantine invasion. The sudden and enormous first strike by the Egyptians immediately overran token forces in the east, and the Mameluks laid siege to much of Anatolia.



    The forefront of the Egyptian army even drove all the way to Smyrna, briefly laying siege to the Saruhanli capital.



    This strike, however, left the Mameluk supply lines very spread out, and Saruhan resistance was able to form up and being picking off the small siege forces, lifting the threat that the entirety of the country would be overran.





    However, 20,000 Egyptian men still remained to hold the eastern portions of Anatolia. There was little hope at this time that Saruhan would be able to successfully retake these provinces before suffering more major defeats. It was bitter to accept, but the Mameluks had achieved total strategic surprise: Saruhan was simply not equipped to fight such a war at this time.

    Egypt was a major power; Saruhan was still a minor player, it would seem.

    Bowing his head at a negotiation session, Hizik II surrendered the eastern reaches of the Saruhanolgu lands.



    Shortly after the end of the war, the Greek peoples of the Epirus region declared their independence from Byzantium. In doing so, they also laid claim to the island of Rhodes, a Saruhan holding for a number of years. As this island was taken somewhat dubiously and had been a constant problem since, Hizik II grudgingly let the island go.



    Shortly after this occurrence, however, Hizik II's advisors met and agreed that with the threat of the Mameluks to the East, it was important to expand the nation's power to the west. As the Byzantines were fracturing, the time had come to take full control of the lucrative Bosphorous trade lane.



    To this end, diplomats visited Edirne to speak to Aquilean nobles, securing the right to land Saruhanli troops in Greece for the purpose of taking Thrace from the Byzantines.



    All seemed ready for a Turkish invasion of Greece, perhaps attempting to recreate the original boundaries of the old Ottoman Empire. Forces moved into place, and the chief prepared to accompany the troops across the strait to lead them into battle.

    He would never get the chance.

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  9. #49
    Field Marshal sprites's Avatar
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    If Rhodes was cored , it shouldn't be so bad , you'll just have to re-claim it!
    And the Mamelukes also moved swiftly to claim the succession of ottoman empire ...
    no more unfinished IN AAR's

  10. #50
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    I can't help but admire the sucker punch the AI just laid on you

    Still, it's a temporary setback, and I think you'll find that taking Thrace should more than make up for your lost provinces!
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  11. #51
    What does not kill makes one stronger... right? :P

  12. #52
    Major TonyJoe's Avatar
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    Ouch I say. Just ouch.

  13. #53
    Double Update Incoming!

    Thanks to some other things going on, gaming-wise (finishing the EU3-V2 flagpack, working on some miniatures, and a little fus ro dah) it's been a bit since making an update. To make up for that, I'm going to do a double update: two posts full of Saruhan goodness.

    Laying the Groundwork - 1485-1500

    With the death of the Malik, a new chieftan came forward: the former leader's brother, Ilyas. He was not known for any particular talents, except perhaps that of a stout constitution at dinner feasts. He had spent his life expecting merely to remain the chief's brother, with no aspirations beyond perhaps gaining some glory leading in an occasional battle. When his older brother's son died, however, leaving the succession to him he rapidly tried to learn the reins of rule. He would not be remembered for much, but historians would later fondly refer to him as "The Last Chieftain" and "Father of the First Sultan".



    Ilyas II took the throne with little fanfare; the lieutenants inherited from his brother (at least, the ones that did not desert him to attempt to carve a piece of Anatolia for themselves) quietly whispered amongst themselves that they were worried that Saruhan might not survive the turmoil of his brother's death. The clerics managing the education of his son, however, passed word back just as quietly that the boy showed amazing promise: should Ilyas II retain control of his nation, there would be great things in store.

    With this hope, the Saruhanli had a goal: prepare the future. The first order of business was to clear the rebellions:


    It took some time, and when it was complete, any chance at keeping the initiative with regards to the Byzantines had been lost. The country that had agreed to grant military access to Saruhan had lost Edirne to the Byzantines, once again leaving the obstacle of the Byzantine navy to contend with.



    Meanwhile, in Europe... cracks appeared in the monolithic structure of the Catholic Church. Word of a French priest and scholar nailing a dissertation to several church doors had stirred the flames of discord across Christendom.


    Closer to home, rebels on the border regions between Saruhan and the Mamluks raised the crescent banner of the Ottoman nation once again. They drove the Castilians out of Anatolia, and though the leader of these reborn Ottomans bore the Saruhanoglu name, they swiftly offered vassalage to the Mamluks (thus preventing a swift conquest of their territories by the Saruhanli forces).


    The direction of future conquest had become quite clear by this time. The advisors to Ilyas II look at their maps and spoke with traders, and decided that the best goal for the nation should be to go... west. Plans were discussed to establish control over the lucrative Bosphorus Straits, and though it may take a long, long time the chief nodded and agreed that the land on both sides should be theirs.


    Since no nation in Greece would willingly accept the presence of Saruhanli troops, it was determined that their spears would forcefully insist upon such access. The small nation of Epirus, who had revolted to take the island of Rhodes, would be the unfortunate target of this "diplomacy".




    With this swift and decisive action, the year 1500 turned (no doubt causing great consternation in Europe with the always-skittish-about-round-numbers Christians) to show the Saruhanoglu poised to unleash its forces across the Aegean into Greece. The Turkish people of Anatolia accepted that this would be so, and it was quietly passed from town to town that when the time came to take control of Greece, only their Byzantine rulers were to be punished, not their people. The Saruhan rulers aspired to create an Turko-Greek empire, perhaps to rival the old Byzantines themselves.




    *: sorry I didn't have a map with names; I forgot to take such a screencap during this part of the playthrough. The next update will have one.

    Remember, the next update will be coming shortly after this one!
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  14. #54
    Lt. General scholar's Avatar
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    This is pretty good! Just be sure to strike at the Mamelukes when they're vulnerable.

  15. #55
    This is part II of a double update; be sure to scroll up if you haven't read the previous chapter.

    The Crown of the Sultan - 1507-1527

    Malik Ilyas II stood before his troops as they mustered in the hills of Larissa. He raised his hand, and a hush fell over the assembled forces. He paused, then smiled softly.

    "The time has come," he shouted, "for us to lay our claim to these lands. The Greek rulers have attempted to conquer us too many times. Now we show them that we, not they, shall rule here. I know that I am no great mind, nor a great speaker. All I know is that I lead great men, and those that stand before us in the coming days will know that as you strike them down."

    As the soldiers raised their voices in a cheer, Ilyas placed his helmet on his head, drew his sword and pointed it to the north.

    "We ride!"




    The Byzantine leaders were utterly unprepared for the coming war. A massive Saruhanli army struck north, driving for Thrace while allied forces (both vassal Epirus and liberated Morea) moved to secure the southern reaches of Byzantine territory. While a token Greek army shipped across the Bosphorus, there was little that could be done. Hungarian armies attempted to aid the Byzantines, but did not organize sufficiently and were taken down one by one.

    Thrace was taken, and a demand laid forth: surrender Edirne. This was accepted, and the Byzantine Empire was cleaved in twain.

    Please kindly ignore the slight out-of-order conquest of Burgas and Bulgaria.

    Upon taking Edirne, territories held by the rapidly-fragmenting Golden Horde were laid open, and the opportunity was taken to conquer them. They may someday be gifted to the Bulgarians (who follow the ways of Allah) but that remains to be seen.


    As the war came to a close, the heir came of age. He was feted with great joy and anticipation, as the Chief's advisors all expected great things from him. Ilyas II saw that his son was bright, charismatic, and led his men with great skill. The people looked upon the younger Ilyas with great hope, and after a days-long discussion with him, Ilyas II realized that his son had great ideas on how to rule the land of the Saruhanoglu: as a Sultan rather than a mere chief, taking his rule as God's Will, putting an end to the destructive tribal feuds that had preceded his own rise to power.


    Upon realizing his son's plan for Saruhan, he gladly accompanied him to Smyrna where the palace started by his forefathers had finally been completed. He gifted his sword to his son, and laid a finely crafted crown upon his head. His last words as leader, shouted to an exultant people: "I leave you now in capable hands; all kneel and pay homage to the first Sultan of Saruhan, Ilyas III! God is great!" He was the final member of the throng to kneel before his son, Sultan Ilyas III of Saruhan.

    The sword handed down from father to son would become the traditional badge of office for the Saruhanli Sultans, becoming known simply as the Sword of Ilyas.

    In reality, I had to wait fifteen freaking years for Ilyas II to die to allow me to reform the government, but this narrative is much nicer, I think.

    Ilyas III's first act as Sultan was to declare that the war upon the Byzantines would begin again.



    Much like the previous war, this fight went swiftly: Thrace was overrun again, and the other two provinces were split between Saruhan and the Moreans. The Byzantines were (briefly) reduced to a single province, their flame nearly being extinguished from the world. Unfortunately... the revolt in Corfu would lead to that island becoming Byzantine territory. This would prove to be inconvenient in the future, as it would prevent simple Annexation of Thrace by Saruhanoglu forces until a proper navy was built.


    Their usefulness coming to an end, the minor nations in central Greece were summarily conquered, their lands coming under the yoke of Saruhan.


    As the Sultanate grew to encompass both Turkey and Greece, Ilyas III made three proclamations. The first was that the nation would follow the example set by western nations: education and cultural practices would be imported, partially to help assimilation of the Greeks, but also to ensure that the burgeoning empire did not fall behind technologically.

    Second, the Sultan established a system of nobility, partially to reward his lieutenants that helped him and his father in the wars against Greece, but also to further incorporate formerly powerful Greeks into the nation's power structure. In this way, he hoped to limit the resentment felt by the conquered, while proving to the Greek people that their needs would be looked after as well.

    Finally, he declared that a grand army would be raised from both Turkey and Greece, an army worthy of his Sultanate. The glory of this army, he wrote, would serve to equal that of the Mamluks, and enable them to take back what they had lost on Anatolia, and to free all Turkish lands from Egyptian rule.


    As the first quarter of the 16th century drew to a close, Saruhan once again looked to the future with hope. Their holdings in the West were secure, and they were poised to take control of all Greek lands. In the east, once the Grand Army was assembled, a fierce fight would no doubt occur. Sultan Ilyas III would look forward to such a war, perhaps securing his place in history not only as Saruhan's first Sultan but possibly its greatest.

    Last edited by Magc8Ball; 16-12-2011 at 08:51.
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  16. #56
    I see the Mamluks have been aggressively eating their way through the hordes. I sense that your first order of business will be to split their territory in two...

  17. #57
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Fantastic progress! I've never seen anyone play Saruhan except you, but you're doing it with such finesse! I can't wait to see what you have in store for them!
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  18. #58
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Great updates!

    As an aside, I always think of the Fruit of Loom commercial (here in the US) whenever I hear "we ride!" Here's the link if you're interested: http://youtu.be/39OpLtEsg0g
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  19. #59
    What a great update for the White Hand! A new Sultan, westernization and expansion into Greece. I can't wait to see what is next.

  20. #60
    Field Marshal sprites's Avatar
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    Great progress!
    And you have gained a core on the city of world's desire , becomming a true successor to the ottomans!
    no more unfinished IN AAR's

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