Last week, I promised you a Sword of Islam AAR by one of the Paradox devs. So, instead of celebrating Midsummer's eve on this beautiful day, I'm going to stay inside and play Crusader Kings II!
Due to the nice location and reasonable size, I choose the Abbadid dynasty of Sevilla for this short AAR. The taifas of Spain are as much fun to play as the Christian kingdoms to the north. My ruler is Abbad I, a Tough Soldier and a Poet. My demesne is big; six counties. In fact, I don't have any vassals above Baron rank. However, I do have an adult son lounging about, making the dynasty Decadent. The first order of business is to give him enough land to stop the Decadence increase. I give Muhammad the sheikhdom of Silves, the act of which immediately deducts 0.5% Decadence. House Abbadid is no longer accruing any Decadence. The next order of business is to find two more wives to stop the loss of Prestige from having only one. There aren't any women of noble descent available, so I marry two courtiers, which is enough to stop the monthly Prestige loss. Next, I make my son my Cupbearer (the little ingrate is Ambitious and does not like me very much.) Finally, I place my councillors, collecting taxes, training troops and performing charity.
It's time to consider the political situation. The taifa of Cordoba is a juicy target, but unfortunately I do not have enough Piety to declare border conquest wars just now. What to do? Why, go on the Hajj of course! It's off to Mecca for me. Meanwhile, my forces will attempt to take Cadiz, which is, de jure, my vassal.
1067: I have many adventures on the Hajj, and return a better man. Well, I gained the trait Humble, but also became Possessed! Cádiz has still not fallen, which is bad, because I keep losing Piety from attacking a fellow Sunni Muslim. To the North, the Christian infidels are attacking the weak taifas in Zaragoza and Calatayud. If I were not so busy, I would join in their defense!
1068: My son's wife is plotting to kill me. I tell her to desist. I guess humility did not come naturally to me, because I lost that sweet trait, which gave me 1 Piety per month. Soon after, I gained the nickname "the Fat". Bummer, but at least the Sheikh of Cádiz finally gave up and accepted vassalage. In return, I made him my Court Musician. The Decadence of House Abbadid is now down to 24%. Yay!
1069: To the North, my neighbors, the Aftasids of Badajoz, are crushing the Kingdom of Galicia. Good for the glory of Islam, but slightly worrying for me. I build a Castle Village in Sevilla. More worrying news - the Almoravids of Morocco declare war on Granada, pressing their claim. I build another Castle Village in Gibraltar. Finally, I reach 50 Piety; time to annex Cordoba. Curses, they are helping to defend Zaragoza against Castille. A declaration of war would cost me an additional 100 Piety.
1070: William of Normandy finally conquers England. In the East, Alp Arslan is making progress against the Byzantine Empire - 21% warscore - but I doubt he will not a lot more than that. The Aftasids take Portucale. Their power is growing... I build another Castle Village in Aracena - can't have too many!
1071: An uneventful year, waiting for Cordoba to expose itself to my wrath. I became charitable in my old age (55). None of my wives are getting pregnant. Just as well; I have four grandsons.
1072: Princess Urraca is actually defeating King Alfonso of Leon. Foolish Christians, soon I will come for you all! I build yet another Castle Village. William the Conqueror dies. His son appears to be losing against Harald of Norway, who is still trying to take England.
1073: Harald Hardrade wins in the end, though something tells me England's troubles are not yet over. The Almoravids take out Granada. I am starting to feel a bit hemmed in. My first wife dies, so I marry another. Finally, the war on Zaragoza is over and the Christians lost badly. Time to pounce on Cordoba! Leading the army personally, aided by my son, the dynasty Decadence is slowly reduced.
1074: Alp Arslan gives up on the invasion of Armenia. Cursed Byzantines! The Barghawatids of Tangier bend the knee to the Almoravids. I cannot afford a war with the Moroccans yet... Well, at least Cordoba folds. I build a Castle Town in Seville. My new wife gives me a daughter, fulfilling my ambition. The Kingdom of Navarre goes for Zaragoza... I almost wish them luck, but I'm sure they will not fare any better than Castille did. Most of the taifas join in the defense. Good news: the Almoravids appear to be having trouble in the South, where Ghana is taking control over the Saharan trade routes.
1075: Even more bad news. The powerful Hammadid Emirate of Algiers swears fealty to the Almoravids. There is a new Fatimid Caliph, but his realm has descended into a really nasty Civil War (a Succession Crisis and a war to lower Crown Authority.)
1076: Biding my time and building up my forces. The Ya'lalids of Tlemcen also fold to the Almoravids. Weaklings!
1077: My son dies after a period of illness. I will educate my new heir, my grandson, myself. I have another daughter. Good, I don't need sons. The Almoravids declare war! They want the entire duchy of Sevilla. Things are beyond grim. I can't plot to kill the Sultan yet, and I cannot afford to hire assassins. I will have to resort to delaying guerrilla tactics. At least I can defeat his Granadan levies! Hmm, the army he is marching against me is not that impressive, but I bet there is more where they came from... A reckless battle in Gibraltar perhaps, but I won! As I pursue the remnants into Malaga, the Almoravids land another 2278 men there. Damn! Time to bravely run away.
1078: Seville is still under siege, and another Almoravid army has crossed the straits. I have another daughter though. Yay! I defeat the Almoravid reinforcements even as Seville falls to the invaders. I could hire mercs, but I can't pay them for very long. Two more holdings in Sevilla fall, but the besieging army is weakening...
1079: Another troop landing in Malaga. I am going to need some really sneaky tactics here. After some creative running around, my army is finally cornered in Granada. One throw of the dice then. The terrain is on my side, but I don't have the numbers or the better generals. By some miracle, I actually win! Allahu Akbar! A small force of Almoravid reinforcements run into my army as I pursue their main army. By some fluke, an enemy soldier manages to reach my position and bash me in the head, even as my loyal troops are mowing down his companions. Worse, I am still losing the war.
1080: I don't dare face the main enemy army again yet. Instead, I'll attempt to take back Sevilla. As the losing war drags on, my regent, Wali Muhammad of Loulé, arranges for one my titles to be given to him! The cheek! If only I wasn't a drooling vegetable. The Fatimid Caliph calls for a Jihad against Sicily. Shiite heretics. Pah.
1081: Sevilla is liberated, but the enemy army keeps growing in size. I need to do something; now! Time to hire some mercs. With the help of the Bedouin Company, the enemy army was defeated. I need to take my provinces back before my coffers run dry! Disaster, my numbers did not carry the day in Cadiz. I lost to a force less than half my size. Both of us raise reinforcements.
1082: The Fatimids take Sicily from the Norman scum. They may only be Shiites, but they sure pack a punch! I have liberated my lost provinces, but I am outnumbered once more. Unfortunately, time is running out for this mini AAR, so I will have to end it here.
That's all for now. The Sword of Islam should be out on Tuesday, and then you can see if you can do better as the Abbadids of Seville. Of course, if the Almoravids had not blobbed like they did, everything would have been different...