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Thread: The Three Certainties of Life - Death, Taxes & Byzantium

  1. #1
    Dremora Courtier Arakhor's Avatar
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    The Three Certainties of Life - Death, Taxes & Byzantium

    The Three Certainties of Life - Death, Taxes & Byzantium

    Country: Byzantium
    Starting Point: 1356
    Mod: Death & Taxes


    Lukew has asked me to put together this AAR to showcase the latest edition of Death & Taxes (version 4). There was a quick of show of hands to determine which realm I would get to play and fortunately Byzantium came in a close second to Brandenburg, so I decided to take the easier option, as I only started this on Weds 11th Jan, two days before the announcement!

    All settings are set to normal and as a change of pace for Byzantium, I intend to only expand to the limits of Justinian's empire, though those of you following my Burgundian AAR will know how well my plans tend to hold together after a few decades, let alone centuries! Please feel free to give advice, especially as I've never played in the Middle East before and I'm doing this with no forethought at all! Please bear with me if the placement or quality of the screenshots are (still) crap, as I've just upgraded to Paint.net and I still haven't a clue how most of it works.


    Contents

    The Palaiologos Dynasty

    Ioannes Εʹ, Menoitios [Ιωάννης ο Εξάνθημα/John the Rash] (b. 18.06.1332, r. 15.06.1341 - 22.03.1370)Thomas, or his Regents thereof (22.03.1370 - 18.07.1373)Thomas, Polemistis [Θωμάς ο Πολεμιστης/Thomas the Warrior] (b. 18.07.1358, c. 22.03.1370, r. 18.07.1373 - )
    Last edited by Arakhor; 19-02-2014 at 17:23.
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  2. #2
    Dremora Courtier Arakhor's Avatar
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    Prologue - 10th April, AD 1356




    We start off with a unique event. welcoming us to the game, which is all very nice, and gives us the option to enable auto-building or not. I'm a muggins for added choice, so naturally I enable them. For added fun, the Orthodox Church seems to want us to conquer southern Italy, rather than retake Anatolia from the Ottomans. There's no accounting for taste, eh?


    Europe on Sun, 10th Jan, 1356, the date that the Golden Bull was issued by Karel I, King of Bohemia, better known as Karl IV von Luxembourg, Holy Roman Emperor (the father of Vaclav IV in the Grand Campaign). Not much seems to have changed, except in our chosen stomping grounds.


    We start with our country overviews and our monarch is Iohannes VI, despite the fact that he's known to history as John V, having done away with both his co-rulers around this time (John VI and Matthew). Take it from me - there is a reason why we now have the phrase "Byzantine politics"!


    We're running a slight deficit, so we're now minting slightly so that we can actually afford to build something once a year. We also belong to the Oriental tech group, so we're likely to suck if we ever get into combat with the Western Europeans.


    We introduce church taxes (no doubt angering the Patriarch of Constantinople) and find out that we have no national ideas and won't get any until Tech level 6, which is later than I remember from previous editions of D&T.


    We have no generals or admirals, barely enough money to hire one and no tradition whatsoever to hire an effective leader anyway. Iohannes is promptly turned into a general, which will presumably shorten his life enough to avoid the hijinks that occurred in history.


    The cultural decisions have had a major overhaul for version 4. On the left we have many of the new auto-building decisions and on the right we have one of the altered cultural decisions.


    And here we have more altered decisions, with Commission Painting notably needing an artist. (If by some chance these aren't new to 4.0, that shows what I know, but they are at least new to me!)


    It seems that everyone starts with zero prestige in 4.0, so pretty much everyone lacks an heir with a decent claim!


    The latest version of the DAO map has more provinces than before (most of which are completely different borders to the vanilla map). Granada now has five provinces, presumably to extend its lifespan and not bring forward the conclusion to the Reconquista by another 40-odd years!


    Here we have the remaining provinces of the Empire of the Romans. We have a lot more than 1399, but we also have more adversaries - the Epirotes, Achaeans, Venetians and the Knights Hospitaller - and they're only the other Christian powers! Fortunately, the big green monster to our east is not quite as large as it would be in 40 years time, so we do have some breathing room at least.


    It seems that each of our six provinces comes with all six level 1 buildings, so 36 buildings at start of play isn't bad at all! (Thrace is now named Konstantinoupolis and exists on both sides of the Sea of Marmara, so no casual blocking of the straits to avoid invasion.)


    We start with six infantry, twelve small ships and five transports, which might explain our perilous financial situation. Of course, as noted above, we have no one other than our boss to lead the troops.


    Finally, we reach our esteemed leader, Iōannēs V Palaiologos, in God, Autokratōr and Basileus of the Romans (John V, Autocrat and Emperor). He was born in 1332 to Emperor Andronikos III and Anna of Savoy and succeeded to the Byzantine throne in 1341, aged just nine years old. I'll spare you the complexities and cut-throat politics of the various co-rulers, Imperial intrigues and so on, though in the mere fifteen years between his accession and the Golden Bull, there were multiple civil wars, his mother pawned the Byzantine crown jewels, the Black Plague devastated Constantinople and the Emperor was able to depose both of his co-rulers, using such time-honoured methods as exiling to monasteries or the ever-popular abacination (blinding with hot irons).

    Join us next time when we unpause the game for the first time!
    Last edited by Arakhor; 17-01-2012 at 23:09.
    Ius Hibernicum, in nomine juris. Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

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  3. #3
    MEIOU and Taxes lukew's Avatar
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  4. #4
    I cant waaaiiiiiitt I'm so excited. Been wrapping up my 3.4 game with my mates so we can get a 4.0 game started.

    Good intro to the AAR, thanks! Heard about it via email

  5. #5
    Captain bananafishtoday's Avatar
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    Oo, this looks fun. I'll be following along.

    And I wasn't aware D&T even had a 1356 start. Also liking the impassable strip in the Pyrenees.
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    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    This looks great! Can't wait to see more.
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    Commissar BootOnFace's Avatar
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    I'm playing a Byz game in D&T, and let me tell you what, it's pretty easy. Soooo many cores.
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  8. #8
    Sweet, Byzantium won. Will be following this.

  9. #9
    I like this :P

    But there's a little thing about the Secure Southern Italy mission; you only get conquest and cores on 4 of Napels 5 provinces, which means that you can't take it all in one war :P

  10. #10
    Dremora Courtier Arakhor's Avatar
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    Thank you to my well-wishers for your kind words. Strictly speaking, Blackfish, Brandenburg won, but as your friendly Autokrator and Basileus would tell you, those silly Germans are pretenders to the true Roman throne and we couldn't be seen supporting a pretender, now could we?
    Last edited by Arakhor; 12-01-2012 at 12:28.
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  11. #11
    I don't know why Byzantium can no longer be protected by sea. Didn't the city hold off several sieges because it controlled the waterways around it?

  12. #12
    Lt. General
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fronzel View Post
    I don't know why Byzantium can no longer be protected by sea. Didn't the city hold off several sieges because it controlled the waterways around it?
    To the best of my recollection, most repulsions were "sheer luck" and that with determination it would actually not be that difficult to get troops across the straits (with ferries), to enable a full-scale siege.

    Mod-wise, I'd reckon part of it is to block the player from utilizing the "gamey tactic" of strait-blocking there, whether intentional or not.

  13. #13
    MEIOU and Taxes lukew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fronzel View Post
    I don't know why Byzantium can no longer be protected by sea. Didn't the city hold off several sieges because it controlled the waterways around it?
    The waterways made the city more defensible, which I instead represented by giving it a level 3 fort.

    Quote Originally Posted by bananafishtoday View Post
    Oo, this looks fun. I'll be following along.

    And I wasn't aware D&T even had a 1356 start. Also liking the impassable strip in the Pyrenees.
    It doesn't, he is playing an early release of the 4.0 which will be released for everyone else on Friday.
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    Captain Sethanon's Avatar
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    Excellent, I myself united all of Rome in the 3.4 mod and even went beyond that. Its a lot of good fun!
    However Justinianus wanted to reconquer all of the Western Roman Empire so I wont blame you if you do so eventually!

    I will be following this.
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    Dremora Courtier Arakhor's Avatar
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    Well, Ioannes and I have had an action-packed first four years, with some rather surprising goings-on. We might even be able to get a couple of updates out of it!
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  17. #17
    Dremora Courtier Arakhor's Avatar
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    Chapter I - Battle, Battle, Battle...



    We start off by launching a triple assault on Achaea, Epirus and Venice even before I unpause the game. Normally, I wouldn't do this, but the alternative is a slow decline and a dog-pile if I try later. This is what is known as "risky business".


    We also decide to give our serfs some more freedom. We want them to die happy after all, especially if the last Roman strongholds are seized for our temerity in declaring war!


    Venice's vassals, Corfu and Naxos, promptly declare war in response, which is fine, because their islands are our cores too. Milan's alliance offer will come in extremely handy!


    Wallachia and Ethopia also ask for an alliance, but I turn down Ethiopia for fear of being dragged into a war with the Mamluks. I cannot possibly hope to defeat either them or the Ottomans for a long time yet!


    We manage to attract some Catholic wedding suits as well, which suits Ioannes perfectly, as his mother came from Savoy on the northern Mediterranean coast.


    Elsehwere, the Europeans are getting up to their own shenanigans and, closer to home, the Ottomans assault and annex Saruhan in a matter of months.


    Epirus seems to be doing really well for alliances as there is a mad scramble to declare war on us!


    Naturally enough, an upswing in Byzantine culture takes hold with the improved mood at Emperor Ioannis's court and Morea's capital now enjoys a Greek name once more.


    The triple war begins well with victories on land and sea. Ioannes even takes the field against his cousin Nikephoros Doukas to the attempt to bring the Despotate of Mystras back under direct imperial control.


    Our generals, chief among them Strategos Nestor Zarides, conspire to adjust our sliders a second time this year. We are reasonably defensive, but we may well need the offensive training!


    We disregard piteous pleas (and outrageous demands) for peace. We do not intend to lose these wars.


    We send off diplomats to the great realms of Europe with offers of marriage, with some success.


    The wars are going well against Epirus and Venice as we seize two key citadels on the Greek mainland. Venice will be a tough nut to crack.


    The Byzantine government won't function without administrative support, so we expand the bureaucracy and make places in the senate for representatives for newly conquered cities.


    A year into the wars, some of the "also-rans" start dropping off, with Modena and Ferrara both paying for the privilege.


    With the fall of Janina and Achaea in May 1357, both Achaea and Epirus cease to exist as independent states.


    Unfortunately, Wallachia bows out from the wars as well and in Europe, other wars seem to be coming to a close as well.


    We celebrate our successes with further marriage contracts with Catholic Europe, notably including members of Ioannes' mother's family in Savoy.

    Join us next time for the rest of the Venetian war and their many allies...




    Ioannes V Palaiologos
    Anno Domini 1357

    Autocrat and Emperor of the Romans
    Strategos-Autokrator of Konstantinoupolis
    Last edited by Arakhor; 17-01-2012 at 23:11.
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  18. #18
    Second Lieutenant allan79's Avatar
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    You can beat the ottomans from the very start of the game - two wars and they are completely overrun.

  19. #19
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    Yup, that's completely true, or simply wait for them getting into a war, scorch their land, run home, block the strait and let attrition do the trick before you send in your armies. I am playing a Byzantium/Roman Empire game myself right now and it is extremely funny Right now it's just plain annoying though.

    Anyways always fun to follow Byzantium games, you write well too Only thing is that I'd like a map to know growth/decline, I think I know your borders, but I'd like to be complety sure, makes it a little more fun to follow Anyways, keep up the good work!

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  20. #20
    Dremora Courtier Arakhor's Avatar
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    I will provide some maps in my next update and I tend to go wild with the ledger every time I get a change in ruler.
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