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Thread: The Chronicles of the Golden Cross Redux

  1. #81
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    Fantastic aar! Can't wait for the rest.

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  3. #83
    Crazy Cat Person. Meow! Moderator Qorten's Avatar
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    You're doing great so far. I hope the new war against Saladin goes reasonably well, like the previous one.


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  4. #84
    Field Marshal naggy's Avatar
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    The best way to increase relations with the pope is to get piety, virtues (+10 each, IIRC), and to crusade (+25). Hunting and throwing Summer Fairs is a reliable way to get access to a few virtues (diligent, kind) and piety.

    BTW, another way to reduce opinion with a single vassal is to fabricate claims on one of his holdings then revoke it. If you have a claim, you don't piss off your other vassals, but revoking the title drops relations 80 points, which may get him to rebel (letting you take another title).

  5. #85
    Honourable Saxon Thegn AlexanderPrimus's Avatar
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    Qorten: Thank you. I hope so as well. The crusaders can't go on fighting indefinitely, after all.

    naggy: Yes, good points all. I've done the fabricating/revoking bit before, although not on Reynald. As for your Papal suggestions, it seems that Sibylla as a Queen Regnant cannot arrange great hunts. I do summer fairs and indulgences rather regularly though. Crusading is all well and good when it's for a nearby province, but what would be the point of the KoJ going up to help the Teutonic Knights in the Baltic (where the Pope's been sending crusades in my game). Is the Pope's selection of crusading destinations purely random? Or just where the Christians and Pagans are fighting the most? There really need to be more events and kingdom decision options in this game.

  6. #86
    Field Marshal naggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexanderPrimus View Post
    naggy: Yes, good points all. I've done the fabricating/revoking bit before, although not on Reynald. As for your Papal suggestions, it seems that Sibylla as a Queen Regnant cannot arrange great hunts. I do summer fairs and indulgences rather regularly though. Crusading is all well and good when it's for a nearby province, but what would be the point of the KoJ going up to help the Teutonic Knights in the Baltic (where the Pope's been sending crusades in my game). Is the Pope's selection of crusading destinations purely random? Or just where the Christians and Pagans are fighting the most? There really need to be more events and kingdom decision options in this game.
    The point would be to be known as a Crusader and to get buddy buddy with the Pope. You just have to show up. 100% of the grade in Intro to Crusading is based on attendance!

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  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexanderPrimus View Post
    naggy: Richard starts out with the Crusader trait, but it's not possible for Sibylla to get it.
    Oooh...forgot about that little detail. Down with the patriarchy!

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  10. #90
    Father of the Nation Woody Man's Avatar
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    Images are from Kingdom of Heaven, it's a so so film, would have been a million times better if they kept to history!

    Nice to see you back AP! Nice to see this back too, glad you're enjoying CK2

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  11. #91
    Honourable Saxon Thegn AlexanderPrimus's Avatar
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    Woody Man: Welcome, my friend! Thanks for dropping by. Many of the screencaps are indeed from Kingdom of Heaven, which had very nice imagery but a mediocre plot line. As you say, it would have been better had the director kept to the real history. Congrats on your 4000 posts! (I doubt I'll ever get that far!)

  12. #92
    Heartbreaker canonized's Avatar
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    I'll always be amazed by your obsession with Eva Green's portrayal although she's quite delicious for it XD After having bought CK II myself I can certainly appreciate the particular differences herein with the old way of going about it . Definitely enjoy it so far
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  13. #93
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    Regarding the pope, I'm curious, is there any situation in which it's possible to go up against him and not be guaranteed to fail? Can you set up an antipope if you become powerful enough?
    Last edited by Eams; 25-02-2012 at 19:49.
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  14. #94
    Honourable Saxon Thegn AlexanderPrimus's Avatar
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    canonized: Well I wouldn't say obsession. It's just much easier to tell the story of the KoJ when the characters have already been cast for you. Glad you're enjoying the story, and yes I should think the differences between CK2 and its predecessor should appear rather marked.

    Eams: Yes, you can appoint your own anti-popes, if you're a king and have a bishop that likes you enough (and dislikes the Roman pope). Your anti-pope can even become the real pope if you play your cards right. However, if you just want to keep him as your own pet pope and not fight the one in Rome, things can get a bit dicey. The faithful don't like dealing with schisms, and it ruins the moral authority score of the church.

  15. #95
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    Any chance of prying disaffected Byzantine vassals away from the Emperor and into your court? Cyprus would be an excellent base.

  16. #96
    Honourable Saxon Thegn AlexanderPrimus's Avatar
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    The_Archduke: That's a good call. In real life, Guy de Lusignan took Cyprus and used it as a base to try to retake Jerusalem. Don't think I haven't considered it in this story. I'm just trying to think of a way to pull it off. It seems that the only way to arbitrarily gain a casus belli on fellow Christians is by using the Chancellor to fabricate claims. And then, once you've got the claim, you fight a war to depose the rightful holder and take his land. There doesn't seem to be a way to defeat and vassalize an enemy but still let them keep their lands like in CK1. I'd much rather pry away disaffected vassals of my neighbors than fight a lot of bloody wars and deplete the armies I need to man my defenses.

  17. #97
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    FOR TOMORROW WE DIE




    1184

    There were two very good reasons why I could not immediately accede to Reynald’s unreasonable request. First, we still had a truce with Saladin that lasted for several more months, and breaking it would besmirch the reputation of my monarchs. Second and more importantly, the realm levies and knightly orders had not yet fully recouped their losses from the last war. I wasn’t about to launch an attack on Saladin at half-strength.

    Fortunately, Richard produced a good Marshal event while training troops in Jaffa, giving a +50% bonus to levy replenishment. That event seems to occur more than any of the other courtiers’, probably because it has a higher chance of succeeding than most courtly missions do.

    I was frankly astonished at the number of troops I now had at my disposal, though I knew Saladin would have many, many more. The personal retinue from Sibylla and Richard’s holdings alone was now almost 10,000 men, with nearly twice that number from their vassal levies and around 15,000 from the holy orders.

    Around this time came the news that Sibylla’s only son from her first husband, Baldwin of Montferrat, had passed away. The child had always been sickly, so his death came as no surprise. We shall never know for certain whether Richard or some other interested person helped finish him off, or whether Sibylla euthanized the poor boy to end his suffering, or if he really did just die of purely natural causes. In this setting (and this particular game), one cannot wholly attribute any death to fate alone with absolute certainty. Still, the unfortunate lad’s death would prove to be for the good of the kingdom, as he was half-witted and inbred and he would only have proved to be a pawn for the vicious nobles of the Haute Cour.

    But there was little time for the king and queen to grieve (or not grieve, as the case may be), for war loomed on the horizon.

    As did ecstasy.

    While I was preparing to march my troops into the jaws of hell, Queen Sibylla at long last gave birth… to twins! First came a daughter, who was named Eleanor after Richard’s beloved mother. Then came the younger of the two, a son, called Godfrey in honor of the great lord who had first captured Jerusalem nearly a century prior.

    In actuality, the game offered me some nonsensical French name with absoluty no dynastic connection to either Richard or Sibylla. That simply wouldn’t do. I was not about to go through the game with an heir named Adhemar or Sant-Michel or Enguerrand. So the fact that Paradox added the ability to name your own children is very pleasing to me.

    As for choosing the name Godfrey, it seemed only natural. I knew that above all, I wanted a dynastic name, and Godfrey was the first King (of a sort) of Jerusalem. Moreover, King Richard’s grandfather and brother were both named Geoffrey, which is a French variant of the name Godfrey. It just fit. The traditional name of Baldwin was right out, as Sibylla had already another son by that name, whom she had just barely lost. Amalric also seemed inappropriate, as I got the impression that Sibylla did not look favorably upon her father after he divorced her mother. Fulk, the name of Sibylla and Richard’s shared ancestor, could have been a possibility, except who really wants a king named Fulk? Plus, I had a history with the name Godfrey, if you’ve ever read the first Chronicles of the Golden Cross.

    Both children were born with their father’s English culture, which seemed silly to me considering that in real life Richard spoke both French and Occitan but not a lick of English.

    But regardless, after a brief stint without one, the kingdom once again had an heir.

    ***


    1185

    I was finally ready to start the war, though as I looked at Saladin’s vast holdings I wondered if I really ought to risk it. I would have to be quick, sieging Madaba’s castles and fending off the Saracen retaliation for long enough for the warscore to get to a level where Saladin would peace out of the conflict.

    So Reynald’s men and the other troops from the eastern border were sent immediately to lay siege to Madaba. For once, Tiberias’ northern levies were available to recruit, so I sent them to rally at Tiberias before marching to aid Reynald. Meanwhile, the western and southern hosts were set to muster at Acre, along with the Templar and Hospitaller orders.



    As the vast throng of soldiery filled the courtyard, the Queen gazed down from the parapets apprehensively, her pride tinged with fear, notwithstanding the splendor of the moment. There was King Richard, his familiar tabard a mere spot of crimson amidst a sea of white Jerusalem livery, like a speck of blood on a wedding gown. She could not help but imagine that many more pristine white tunics might be dyed scarlet before this war was done. She worried if her impetuous cousin-husband would return from this fool’s errand. Defeat could mean the death, not just of her husband or her army, but of the entire Kingdom of Jerusalem. Of all Christian Outremer.

    While Reynald and Raymond besieged Madaba, Richard led the other half of the army to head off the reinforcements that were sure to come up from Egypt in an effort to prevent them from joining up with their Syrian counterparts. There do appear to be some advantages to being located at the ancient crossroads of the Near East after all.

    As Richard’s army headed down the coast to Arsuf, his men were suddenly set upon by a Saracen ambush. Saladin had anticipated my strategy and had instead laid a trap for the Christians! The small Saracen force moving to lift the siege at Madaba was just a feint. Now it was my forces that were separated and compelled to face superior numbers.

    The prudent thing to do would have been to lead an orderly withdrawal to the nearest stronghold while the rearguard did their best to hold off the ambuscade. However, this army was led by Richard the Lionhearted, and nobody ever mistook him for a cautious man.



    Instead, Richard reined his horse around and charged forward into the enemy ranks like a maniac, stabbing his lance with an overhand grip downward into the waiting Saracen bodies. The rest of the cavalry joined his glorious, reckless charge while the heavy infantry banded together to hold their ground with a shieldwall. This unexpected counterassault completely shattered the enemy center, which withdrew from the battle entirely. The enemy morale dropped through the floor as King Richard once again turned their flanks, roaring like a lion, his sword dripping with blood.

    The Saracen army retreated in an easterly direction, hoping to reinforce the garrison at Madaba and possibly break the siege before Richard could catch up to them. But their morale was too low from the recent bloodbath at the Battle of Arsuf, and Raymond’s army was able to fight them off. The surviving Muslims departed into the desert to await more of Saladin’s reinforcements.

    Meanwhile Richard's victorious army arrived at Madaba, their added numbers helping to expedite the siege's completion. In addition, Richard supplemented Reynald’s paltry siege weapons with his own heavy artillery. The royal retinue spent the entire night after their arrival rolling up a monstrous trebuchet which Richard had dubbed “God’s Own Catapult.” This beast brought down an entire section of Madaba’s curtain wall with its first shot. The defenders wouldn’t last long now. The next day, the crusaders burst through the breach and slaughtered the defenders of the city to a man.



    After the main fortress fell, the other smaller holdings in the province would be easy fare. Seeing Saracen reinforcements on the way, I decided to rush my victory by a direct assault on the last two holdings. It was a risk, since the army would certainly suffer higher casualties, but I needed to get one more victory before the enemy reinforcements arrived. But the enemy garrisons were small and their morale low, so they fell without too much trouble.

    I immediately went to the war screen and petitioned Saladin for an end to the conflict. My warscore was still shy of the 100% required to claim an absolute and immediate victory, but Saladin was disgusted with the senseless carnage. Noting that the war was over a ducal claim to a trifling border province, not a crusade for a major city, the Sultan actually gave in to my demands. “Let them have Madaba,” he seemed to be saying, “that little dunghill is not worth ten thousand lives.” So, heaping a hundred curses upon King Richard's name, Saladin gave me both the province of Madaba and another well-earned peace treaty.

    This was not some shameful stalemate, like Baldwin had garnered a few years past. This was a true, unquestioned victory, made all the sweeter by the acquisition of new lands. Yes, Madaba was now a charnel house and the local villages and fields were totally burned, but at least they now belonged to Christendom. Or did they? The local Muslim governors in the minor holdings remained in place -- again, this was a war over boundary claims, not religion. They had been sworn to Saladin as their liege lord, now they were simply sworn to obey Queen Sibylla instead. This could prove interesting in the future.

    I decided to count myself lucky. I had cheated fate by provoking a sleeping dragon, but had still escaped unsinged. No more reckless wars of territorial aggression against the Muslims, I vowed. Now Saladin surely despised my king and queen, and I could not risk provoking him further.

    After all, I’m sure Jerusalem’s citizens liked being alive for one more day. And I hear being killed can be quite painful.

    Only time would tell what fate lay in store for the kingdom.





    ***

  18. #98
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Perhaps it's time to build some peace and to send Richard to Europe to see if he attracks settlers for the KoJ.
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  19. #99
    Cyprus rebelled. The governor, now independent, held Richard I's sister hostage. Richard took the island. Sold it to the Templars and enfoeffed Guy de Lusignan . Technically the Kingdom of Jerusalem was a fief of the Byzantine Empire, but the state of the Empire is such that doing it would just add more enemies. Using your Chancellor to sow dissension amongst Saladin's chief vassals might just be a better usage of precious resources.

    Your victory has bought 5 years of peace -though I doubt you'll have that. Reynald could test the patience of a Saint. I expect he'll be busy putting his own men in charge and making himself thoroughly unpopular with the esisting barons or Beys and Mayors. At some point they'll appeal to Saladin to rescue them.

    The next time Raymond goes after Acha, he'll ask for Sibylla and Richard's help.

    Good quick victory. I suspect that is the way to go against Saladin.

  20. #100
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    impressive victory & it gives you at least 5 years to build up for the next round with Saladin?
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