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Thread: The Struggle for Britain: A Gwynedd AAR

  1. #41
    Colonel Scott1964's Avatar
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    Ahh I see you do not have a Norway in England.
    Its basically....Beta-patches will be for computer-literate people.

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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanzhang (譚張) View Post
    King Arthur had slaughtered the Saxons, pacified the Picts, subdued the Scots, impaled the Irish and even routed the Romans.
    The conquest of England, by Dr. Seuss

    Certainly you are in a great position going forward, that conquest war always seems to leave whoever wins in a pretty rough shape man-power and money wise.
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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanzhang (譚張) View Post
    MorningSIDEr: In order to claim a title you also need 50% of the land that title has sovereignty over, plus a certain amount of Gold and Piety (for Kingdoms). Wales has 6 demesnes and Gwynedd starts with 3, so If I had 389 gold and 200 Piety I could have formed it at the start of the game. I don't so I couldn't. Right now Harold is actually winning the war against William, I've never seen this happen before.
    Ah, interesting. As you'll doubtless know yourself you required 66% of lands to create a title in the original CK (I think, a while since I played CK!), hence why I thought it was only with your recent conquests that you could become King of Wales.

    Well researched as ever with your writing, very engrossing stuff. Interesting that Harold has proven the victor this time, as you say. Rather good too in that both Norman and Saxon forces have given each other such a bloody nose that I suspect either could well prove susceptible to some Welsh aggression!
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  4. #44
    Argentina Delenda Est Tanzhang (譚張)'s Avatar
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    Loki: The problem with the game mechanics is that it won't be a three way fight if I intervene. If I gain Papal permission to invade England, I'll only be at war with Harold. But, once I inherit England, I'll inherit the war will William as well! From a gameplay point of view this would be a bad move as it would distract the Saxons from the Normans, allowing William to gather strength in the south of England in preparation for a conflict with me. I'm confident I could beat Harold (I think most of his men are in Normandy at the moment), not so confident I could beat William. An extra side effect from this strategy from a story point of view is that upon beating Harold, as a Duke Bleddyn would change his primary title to King of England. I don't want to do that.

    Serek: Welcome aboard! On the contrary, I plan on annexing them! I really want them to show up soon, my preference is definitely for Lancaster (tends to be the biggest revolter) as its closest to home. It might also give me a handy land border with the Scots... Like with everything else in life, Welsh names are easy to pronounce once you know how.

    Scott: Yes they made peace with Harold some time ago (not sure when, too busy invading southern Wales to notice). One of my great fears was that they'd take England, making the story a bit to ahistorical for my liking.

    Estonianzulu: Welcome to my latest AAR! As I said earlier, I suspect that Harold is the worst off of the two so I'm hoping he pulls off a victory (should lead to some Saxon revolters popping up too, and I'm all for that!)

    MorningSIDEr: Thank you. I do put in an effort in regards to research and historical accuracy so it's nice to see at least one reader notices it! I've always thought that Harold was actually on the cusp of victory at Hastings; If only he ordered his whole army to charge at the moment the Bretons routed he might have won. I had to write the battle as a stalemate to match the in-game situation, which actually looks as if it might be a close fight. Until Bleddyn decides to do something about it of course!
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  5. #45
    Did you have to make King Harald meet his end or did that just happen naturally?
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  6. #46
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    Good update. Here's hoping we get to see an England divided between the Saxons and Britons; with a few Frenchmen armed with random insults here and there for good measure.

  7. #47
    Let's hope that England will be divided, and if it does that, let's hope it stays like that.
    Nothing to say.

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  8. #48
    Argentina Delenda Est Tanzhang (譚張)'s Avatar
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    Segei Maranov: I don't know how he died, but the current king of Norway is Olaf I. Magnus II never became king, so he might be deceased too. In other Scandinavian news, Denmark has been overrun by Pommeranian Pagans! Just like Vicky II...

    Ares: The Britain long divided must unite.

    FinnishFish: I hope not! I mean, my main goal is to unite Britain. If England stays divided until the end of the game I would have failed.
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  9. #49
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    But killing every rival in battle is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate of the masses, not from some farcical sword-wielding ceremony!

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ares96 View Post
    But killing every rival in battle is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate of the masses, not from some farcical sword-wielding ceremony!
    Peasant A: "Who's that then?"
    Peasant B: "I dunno."
    Peasant B: "Must be a King."
    Peasant A: "Why?"
    Peasant A: "He hasn't got shit all over him."
    Last edited by Axe27; 22-02-2012 at 04:46.
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  11. #51
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    Really enjoying the format and style of this one. Subscribed!
    Last edited by Lafayette53; 22-02-2012 at 05:22.

  12. #52
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    I'm terribly sorry everyone, but due to exams and assignments I'm afraid I won't be able to write up an update for at least three days. Real life comes first, unfortunately.

    Ares: Our rivals might not all die in battle, there are... other means... of dispatching with opponents.

    Axe: Usually one can spot a king on the battlefields by his crown. Even if not covered in excrement, the fact that most people in Britain only bathed once a year leaves one to assume that even a king would surely smell like a peasant covered in excrement.

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  13. #53
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    Just caught this one from your inkwell; a lot of great CKII AARs now, and yours is no different. Keep up the good work!
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  14. #54
    I've always had a liking for my Singing Welsh Forefathers, go a re-unite Britons and truly rule Brittania


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  15. #55
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    Apologies for the delay, I have another exam in three days time so I fear it may be a few days before the next update gets a chance to be written up. After that one, I'm free for about seven weeks!

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    Dadrian: Welcome aboard! Hopefully we shall rule Britannia without breaking into Rule Britannia (or any other song for that matter, I fear Bleddyn's voice isn't his best attribute)
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  16. #56
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    Interlude: The House of Mathrafal

    Bleddyn was indeed blessed (or cursed, depending on your point of view) with a large family. He had seven children in total: three with his first wife Branwen, three with his second wife Haer, and one with his third and current wife Morien[1] – six of those were sons – in addition to a brother and sister and a rather annoying nephew named Meilys. All but Bleddyn's sister were unmarried, while his youngest son, Iorweth, was still in his mid-teens and had not yet come of age. The upside of this is that it gave the House of Mathrafal a large pool of healthy heirs, whom would no doubt propagate and create more heirs and kinsmen if they were anything like their father – of whose virility was legendary. Propagation requires marriage (or at least it did officially n the middle ages) and marriage between noble houses means alliances. If Bleddyn played his cards right, he could end up as the medieval, non-Danish equivalent of Christian IX: the Grandfather of Europe.

    The downside of this was that Bleddyn's family were constantly pestering him for titles and fiefs to govern, or for Bleddyn to find them a spouse, or for some position in the council. No wonder the poor man hated most of them. To make matters worse, Welsh law at the time dictated that, upon the death of any landowner, his lands and titles be divided equally amongst his living sons (or daughters in the event of there being no sons). As Bleddyn had six sons and Wales had only six demesnes[2], things could get very messy indeed should Bleddyn suffer a premature death[3].

    Bleddyn wasted no time in arranging marriages and betrothals between his family and the other noble houses of Europe. Most, if not all these matches were made for political reasons, rather then for such lofty ideals like love or compatibility. The first was the marriage between Bleddyn's eldest daughter Gwenillan and the widowed King of Scotland, Malcolm III. Malcolm was far from a great King, and had many bad habits: he was rageful, slothful and quite obese by medieval standards. Despite his selfishness as far as food was concerned, he was a kind man but altogether outclassed by his brilliant wife, who was one of the foremost female Catholic theologians of her generation.[4]

    Bleddyn's first objective must have been to secure alliances with the British powers, for he not only entered in an alliance with the Kingdom of Scotland, but with two of the three (A Briton marrying any Saxon, let alone a Godwinson, would have been unthinkable for Bleddyn) competing powers for England. His third son Madog married Harald Hardrada's eldest daughter, a most unexceptional lady named Ingegerd. She may not have been blessed intellectually or physically, but she wasn't cursed intellectually or physically either, which in the days before incest was illegal counted for much amongst the nobility. Bleddyn's youngest son Iorweth was betrothed to Adele, the six year old daughter and eldest child of William of Normandy. Adele would grow up to be a bully: cruel yet cowardly, and above all a most pathetic excuse for a Duke's daughter, in spite of her superior intellect.

    For Cadwagan, Bleddyn's eldest son and heir, the Duke chose one of the most eligible single women in Christendom, Princess Adelheid of the Holy Roman Empire. Next to the Pope, the Holy Roman Emperor was the most powerful man in Europe, and a most powerful ally in times of need. Furthermore, the prestige one would obtain from marrying an Emperor's daughter was immense, especially for a mere Dukedom like Gwynedd. Adelheid herself was a most pious lady and the embodiment of the Christian virtues of chastity. Useful for her father's prestige, not so useful for producing heirs. Fortunately for Cadwagan he already had one, a son named Llywelyn[5].

    Bleddyn's second son Hunyyd, was partnered with Princess Maior of the Kingdom of Navarra. Unlike the other marriages discussed so far, there was very little strategic advantage in an alliance with Navarra. The motive here would most likely be the prestige the Duchy of Gwynedd would gain from having marital ties to a Kingdom (as if the HRE wasn't enough for Bleddyn). Maior had many positive attributes: she was patient and a good listener, and a diligent student which served her well in her studies (though she didn't excel in any one particular area like her sister-in-law did at theology). Most unlike her contemporaries, she was fair and just in dealing with her subjects. All in all, she was a good match for Hunydd, a kind and humble, yet gregarious man with a fiery streak of religious fervour. Of all the matches Bleddyn made, Hunydd and Maior was probably the happiest.

    The next marriage was between Bleddyn's fourth son, Rhirid, and Princess Lanka of Hungary, daughter of the late King Béla, the fifth Christian King of Hungary and Papal favourite. Rather like Maior and Hunyyd, this was a match with little to no strategic value, but one which brought Gwynedd prestige and the spouses a lifetime of happiness. Lanka was a well-educated and principled young woman, humble, outgoing, chaste and honest. She acted as a kind of sheath to her husband, who was a born schemer. Patient and ambitious, he was also paranoid and unfortunately for Lanka, inherited some of his father's more... carnal personality traits. Nevertheless, theirs was a happy marriage which bore the first child out of all of Bleddyn's matches. As a gesture of thanks to their matchmaker (or a chance to score some cheap political points, something which the ambitious Rhirid wasn't above trying) the child was named Bleddyn.

    To keep ties with the Bretons open[6], Bleddyn punished his nephew's constant demands for land and a wife by marrying him to Phillipe de Rennes, a most dull and uninspiring Breton noblewoman whose only redeeming trait was her love of falconry.[7]

    The last of this generation of Mathrafals to be married was Maredudd, Bleddyn's fifth son. Maredudd was the Duke's Marshal: Proud, Cruel, Zealous and a skilled warrior and tactician, he was indeed a warrior's son. Such a son required a wife to match, and a match he got in Princess Emma of the House Capet, rulers of the Kingdom of France and one of Europe's most prestigious royal families. Emma was still young at the time of her betrothal, but already she began to show some promising (for a son) or disturbing (for a young girl) traits. Emma was a proud and disobedient girl, her father King Henri died when she was five and so a rebellious streak may have been expected from her. Emma went beyond rebellion, she grew up to be a cruel and wrathful young woman who bullied her servants and other “lessers”. Like most bullies, she was also a coward. Unlike most bullies, she would grow up to be a master of the art of war.

    With the issue of marriage settled once and for all, Bleddyn could once more turn his focus towards completing his quest. The Battle for England was about to end, but the Battle for Britain was only just beginning...



    Notes:

    [1] Children 4 & 5 have no mother listed in-game. If the dates given in-game are correct (which they aren't) Haer would have given birth at 13 and 14 respectively, perhaps why those children are listed without mothers (as girls can't have children until they come of age)

    [2] One of those belongs to Bleddyn's son-in-law, remember? Technically Powys should belong to Bleddyn's brother Rhiwallon but in-game it belongs to Bleddyn.

    [3] And indeed things did get very messy for the Welsh in our timeline thanks to Gavelkind succession. I'll be switching to Primogeniture as soon as possible. (in order to change succession law, you have to have a ruler which has ruled for at least ten years, or ten years from the start of the game, in this case 15/09/1066)

    [4] Gwenillan's learning stat is 18. Only four Christian women have a learning stat higher than that, and only one is a noble (The Countess of Pereyaslavyl, but she's Orthodox).

    [5] Llywelyn's mother is unknown/not mentioned in-game. He's about nine/ten years old at the start of the game.

    [6] In my test game, Britanny had an annoying tendency to annex Dyfed at every avaliable opportunity.

    [7] Her stats are abysmal (2/7/0/0/2) but I don't care because I hate Meilys.

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  17. #57
    Colonel Scott1964's Avatar
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    Wait until you get along to the mid 1150's to 1160 as everything gets very very weird.
    Its basically....Beta-patches will be for computer-literate people.

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  18. #58
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    whow, it must have taken a lot of work to dispose of that large a family. And it'll be interesting when their various heirs and offspring come back with varying claims on the throne
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  19. #59
    A most "engaging" interlude. Now, on to the main event!

  20. #60
    Wizzaard Estonianzulu's Avatar
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    Well that's one heck of a brood you get there. And just think, more could be on their way. I haven't seen the old standby event from CK of children wanting council seats, have you? I know some have ambitions to positions but so far my kids have been blessidly silent about it.
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