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Thread: Return of the Romans: A Byzantine Megacampaign (Part I)

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    Keeper of the Converters Idhrendur's Avatar
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    Return of the Romans: A Byzantine Megacampaign (Part I)

    Hello, I'm Idhrendur. I write save game converters. I think it'd be fun to use them myself. So I'm going to start a new Byzantine megacampaign.

    During the CK2 era, I will be attempting to roleplay the rulers. My overarching goal in this era is to restore the Roman Empire, but progress towards that goal is going to depend on the personalities of the various Emperors. Mending the great schism will also depend on the personalities of any emperors with opportunity to do so. There will be favoritism towards greek rulers. That one's mostly some long-term meta-gaming, though it seems reasonable enough to me that an emperor would deal better with subordinates who shared a primary language.

    Updates will be according to my own whims of timing, and I reserve the right to completely lose motivation at some point. Feel free to recommend improvements to my writing and/or gameplay. I'm not terribly great at either.
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  2. #2
    Keeper of the Converters Idhrendur's Avatar
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    This was Konstantinos X of the East Roman Empire.



    He was not what you might consider a skilled ruler. Clubfooted, arbitrary, gluttonous, and lustful, his only redeeming trait was his bravery. By 1066, he had succeeded in both crippling the military and losing southern Italy to Norman invaders. Then in late 1066, Arp Aslan of the Seljuks invaded. Things were at a crisis.



    Konstantinos set his ministers to work: researching improved military and economic techniques in the capital, converting heretics back to orthodoxy, defending against plots among the nobles, and attempting to stir up dissent within the Seljuk Empire. Recognizing his personal and positional weakness, he set himself a goal of simply saving money, while gathering a conspiracy to place the county of Kaliopolis under his direct control. He set to reform the taxation laws for cities so that he might pay for an army. And then he raised what levies he could and marched to war.


    He raised 16,000 men, barely more than the Seljuk army just over the border. The men mustered at Tzimisca, across the border from the city of Manzikert. While the armies gathered, some of the nobles began to speak of gaining independence from the emperor, though the idea was not popular. During this time, the Seljuks besieged and overran a few territories, then sought to attack the still-mustering Roman army. Slowed and weakened by their sieges and by the onset of winter, they arrived just a little too late.



    The Seljuk armies were roundly defeated.



    The Seljuk army was followed, not to be allowed to recover. But the Seljuks had gathered another force. On the third of July, Anno Domini 1067, Konstantinos X fell in battle against the combined Seljuk armies.

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  3. #3
    Watcher on the Walls Dovahkiing's Avatar
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    Welcome to the obsessive-compulsive world of megacampaigns!
    I shall follow.

  4. #4
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Jayavarman's Avatar
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    Nice. I am excited to see the outcome of this Seljuk invasion.

  5. #5
    Major Benandorf's Avatar
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    Sub'd! Let's just hope that your game goes more interestingly than mine; despite reconquering most of the historical Roman empire by 1150, the mongols never showed up to contest my power, so the game got stale.

  6. #6
    NK Foreign Minister Sakura_F's Avatar
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    Hon hon hon, subbed. I hope to see the Byzantine Empire standing at the forefront of the Industrial Age... OR ELSE.
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    Keeper of the Converters Idhrendur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dovahkiing View Post
    Welcome to the obsessive-compulsive world of megacampaigns!
    I shall follow.
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayavarman View Post
    Nice. I am excited to see the outcome of this Seljuk invasion.
    As was I. The end of the first post is the worst start I've ever had with that invasion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benandorf View Post
    Sub'd! Let's just hope that your game goes more interestingly than mine; despite reconquering most of the historical Roman empire by 1150, the mongols never showed up to contest my power, so the game got stale.
    I think roleplaying will help. That seems to limit my expansion. Also, the faction system might make things interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakura_F View Post
    Hon hon hon, subbed. I hope to see the Byzantine Empire standing at the forefront of the Industrial Age... OR ELSE.
    Agreed! But what of the nuclear age?
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  8. #8
    Keeper of the Converters Idhrendur's Avatar
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    This was Konstantios III.



    Konstantios was the third son of Konstantinos X, but the first born after his father's ascention. He was thus considered "born in the purple" (having been born within the Purple Chamber of the palace), and the court prefered him to his older brothers. Konstanios was but seven when he ascended.

    Mayor Kyrillos of Hieron (a town near Constantiople), Konstantinos X's spymaster, was set as regent. His first act was to send Konstantios back to his former guardian, Countess Anastasia of the county of Arta.



    Regent Kyrillos was also not a great model of a man. Greedy, glutonous, decietful, paranoid, maimed, and weak, his celibacy was no doubt easy to maintain. But for all that, he was quite skilled in the arts of intrigue.



    The loss of the former Emperor was enough to rally the army, and they again bested the Seljuk forces.



    Kyrillos sent the army to reclaim territories captured by the Seljuks.



    By the time this had been achieved, the Seljuk army had again crossed over the borders. The Roman army was sent to repel it again. If anything, this battle was more devastating to the Seljuks than any before. And yet they still were not willing to end the war.



    The army chased the fleeing forces, and after routing them again, began to besiege Seljuk lands.

    Conquering some of their holdings was enough to bring them to the negotiating table. But a greater victory might be had if they could be hurt more. More territory was siezed, but the Seljuks were doing the same. And this time, their armies were not easily dislodged.



    So the Romans accepted a white peace where they had once hoped for a greater victory.

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  9. #9
    this is pretty good. I hope to start a byzantine game one day
    Sorry, I don't have time to talk about our AI atm, but I was not aware of there being an AI in Empire Total War.- Johan

  10. #10
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Jayavarman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ve3609 View Post
    this is pretty good. I hope to start a byzantine game one day
    Same. I read the AAR's until I have time to start playing next year.

  11. #11
    Keeper of the Converters Idhrendur's Avatar
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    Regent Kyrillos had taken advantage of the peace to begin building projects in the city of Heiron, his personal holding. Projects funded by Konstantios' treasury.



    Konstantios was aware of the embezzling, but was not able to do anything about it.



    In the meanwhile, a faction had formed in the empire, seeking to diminish the power of the Emperor. Kyrilios was conviced this was a scheme to weaken his position, and so refused their demands, leading to a civil war.



    The rebel armies were too large to be faced directly, so fleets were used to rapidly strike at underdefended rebel holdings, while the main rebel army marched around trying to force a battle.



    Meanwile, Kyrillos used his talents to try and strike at the head of the rebellion. Unfortunately, this took much money and several attempts. And though the leader of the rebellion was killed, it continued in his young son's name.



    In the midst of the war, the Dukes of Antioch and Armenia demanded independence. Their demand was denied, sparking a second civil war.



    Anna, the eldest sister of Konstantios, was married off to the King of France. Sadly, the king was not willing to assist in the wars. While the armies focused on the first civil war, the dukes in the east slowly seized more and more territory for themselves. And when it looked like things could become no worse, the Fatimids mounted an invasion of Armenia.



    When the leaders of the first rebellion demanded Konstantios' surrender, he overrulled his steward and took the opportunity for peace, even though it greatly weakened his authority.

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  12. #12
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Jayavarman's Avatar
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    Some of your subjects have successfully won their demands. Congrats to them. Now let's hope the rest do not destroy you.

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    Do not fear. The Byzantine Empire will reclaim it's glory, wether by the blade... the musket... or the tank.
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  14. #14
    Watcher on the Walls Dovahkiing's Avatar
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    Or by the nuke.

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    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Jayavarman's Avatar
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    None of those will work. The only guarantee is God's will.

    Deus vult.

  16. #16
    Great start! I am afraid that the young emepror will be have his hands full with all these greedy men around him...

  17. #17
    Keeper of the Converters Idhrendur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayavarman View Post
    Some of your subjects have successfully won their demands. Congrats to them. Now let's hope the rest do not destroy you.
    Well, that was the more powerful of the rebellions. And I've got a few tricks up my sleeve.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakura_F View Post
    Do not fear. The Byzantine Empire will reclaim it's glory, wether by the blade... the musket... or the tank.
    That's the long-term kind of thinking I love.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dovahkiing View Post
    Or by the nuke.
    I'm pretty sure I want to get East vs West just for the nuking. I'm a terrible person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayavarman View Post
    None of those will work. The only guarantee is God's will.

    Deus vult.
    In favor of going more narrowminded, I see. There's some time to decide on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike the knight View Post
    Great start! I am afraid that the young emepror will be have his hands full with all these greedy men around him...
    Indeed, this is a rather intense playthrough.
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  18. #18
    Keeper of the Converters Idhrendur's Avatar
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    Konstantios had surrendered to a civil war, weakening his powers as emperor. But he still faced a rebellion from two eastern dukes who sought independence, and the Fatimids had declared an invasion of Armenia.

    Kyrillios, the regent for 12-year-old Konstantios, decided on a risky strategy. He sent the armies home, then waited while the various holding replenished their levies. In March, one aspect of his plan succeeded, as a Mameluk army attacked and defeated one of the rebel armies. And then in June, when the rebellion had all but succeeded, he reraised the armies.



    Several smaller warbands that had been wandering about the empire were promptly defeated. The levies were loaded onto ships and sent to Teluch.



    The armies easily reclaimed the province, but as they did so, scouts warned of an approaching Fatimid army. Pinned between two armies, the Roman forces again baorded their ships, then landed in Antioch, the center of the rebellion.



    While the heart of the rebellion was captured, the Fatimid forces combined to defeat another of the rebel forces. Their combined numbers were more than the land could support, and the armies weakened with time. The eastern rebellion was quickly convinced to a peace; the leader, Duke Isaakios of Armenia, being jailed.



    The armies were sent to the western edge of the Fatimid territory, where they might quickly sieze territory without fear of opposing armies. The armies of the former rebels were sent to reclaim territory conquered by the Fatimids, a risky job to do near the invading army.



    One of Konstantios' sisters had married the Kind of England. The King asked Konstantios for his support in a war against the Duke of Flanders. Kyrillios agreed, not planning to send any troops, but hoping he might shame the King into supporting the Roman defense. Unfortunately, the King of England was not so easily swayed. The army sent to recapture land was forced to flee to their ships, but the main army was succeeding in it's goal of capturing poorly-defended Fatimid holdings. By December of 1074, any such holdings along the cast had been captured. The armies were combined, and Kyrillios hired the Varangian Guard to bolster their ranks. The combined armies freed several captured counties, and then attacked a second Fatimid army in the mountains. Records are unclear as to what happened. The Roman army was clearly larger than the Fatimid one, there are no records of a commander of the Fatimid army, and the Roman army was led by several greatly skilled commanders. And yet the Roman army was completely defeated, three quarters of the men killed, injured, or scattered. It seemed an irrecoverable disaster.

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  19. #19
    uh...oh...
    Sorry, I don't have time to talk about our AI atm, but I was not aware of there being an AI in Empire Total War.- Johan

  20. #20
    Lt. General Scorpi's Avatar
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    Very interesting start - nothing like a little resistance to make a game interesting

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