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Thread: The Empire Strikes Back - a Byzantine Megacampaign (Part 1)

  1. #1
    Keeper of the Converters Idhrendur's Avatar
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    The Empire Strikes Back - a Byzantine Megacampaign (Part 1)

    Right, so that last AAR ended badly. That's the worst Byzantine game I've ever had, and my first was pretty bad. Let's try again shall we?

    I started this game when I had a week worth of posts from the last one saved up. Hopefully that'll give me room to get a successful game going before I start publishing again.

    Again, during the CK2 era, I will be roleplaying the rulers. The overarching goal is to restore the Empire (including pushing it to its largest historical borders), but specific progress will be bound by the ruler's personality. 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.

    Recommendations on my play style or my writing style are welcome.

    CK2 Installments
    Konstantinos X, the Ill-Ruler - 1059-1085
    1. A New Beginning
    2. Internal Affairs
    3. A Sicilian Adventure
    4. The Sea of Galilee
    5. War, Wars, and Half a War
    6. The Ill-Ruler

    Konstantios III, the Saint - 1085-1112
    7. A Heathen Assault
    8. The Χριστιανός ρυπαρός υιοθεσία
    9. Prince of Egypt
    10. The Saint

    Konstantinos XI, the Peaceful - 1112-1163
    11. The Peaceful
    11a. Interlude: Religious Map

    Konstantinos XII, the Childless - 1163-1177
    12. The Egyptian Rebellion
    13. Childless and Bereft
    14. The Childless

    Makarios I, the Cruel - 1177-1189
    15. The Great Rebellion
    16. Castrato
    17. Ah, Venice!
    18. Losses
    19. The Cruel

    Konstantinos XIII, the Glorious - 1189-1260
    20. The War Regency
    21. The Glory of Battle
    22. De Jure
    22a. Interlude: Political Map
    23. The Donation of Constantine
    23a. Interlude: Updated Political Map
    24. The Glorious

    Niketas I, the Duke - 1260-1264
    25. Imperial Italian Irredentism
    26. The Great Rebellion
    27. The Duke

    Konstantinos XIV, the Great - 1279-1328
    28. Regaining the Throne
    29. River and Islands
    29a. Interlude: More Maps
    30. East and West
    31. The Great
    31a. Bonus Religious Map

    Konstantinos XV, the Cruel - 1328-1363
    32. The Sicilian War
    33. Civil Wars
    34. The Cruel

    Konstantinos XVI, the Wise - 1363-1408
    35. όχι πιο πέρα
    36. Thallasa Mas
    37. Gallia
    37a. Interlude: Strategy Request
    38. The First Timurid War
    39. The Second Timurid War
    40. The Wise

    The Empire in 1408
    41. The Eve of Change


    EU3 Portion
    Last edited by Idhrendur; 14-09-2014 at 18:29.
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  2. #2
    If I were you Maybe I could continue previous game but certainly i syour choice and we support it .!

  3. #3
    Keeper of the Converters Idhrendur's Avatar
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    This was Konstantinos X of the Empire.*



    Clubfooted, arbitrary, gluttonous, lustful, and zealous, he was not what you would consider the best of Emperors. In fact, after rising to rule the empire, he had succeeded mostly in cripling the military and losing land. By the time the Seljuks invaded, things were bad.

    Even fools see sense sometimes. Konstantinos began saving money to begin rebuilding the army. He worked to convince the court to raise taxes on cities.



    And he raised the levies of the Empire. When most of the army had gather in Teluch, skilled commanders were set in charge, and the army moved to seize Seljuk lands. Christians, even heretic ones, would be freed of their heathen overlords for a time.

    This angered Sultan Arp Aslan I, who stopped besieging christian lands, and instead marched to stop the Empire's army.



    This did not work out well for him.



    As more christians were freed from the heathen yoke, the Seljuks brought in reinforcements. The Roman army was outnumbered so Konstantinos, who had learned to be honest (even to himself), hired some mercenaries to round out the Roman army.



    The combined Roman forces attacked the combined Seljuk forces.



    And bested them.



    Holding were recaptured, and the fleeing army was pursued. And after several months, it was completely destroyed.

    And soon thereafter, the Seljuks agreed to peace.





    *"Just the Empire. It's understandable. There's no need for elaborate names when there's only one game in town." - Avernum II
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  4. #4
    your beggining is nice you have surpassed the first obstacle

  5. #5
    NK Foreign Minister Sakura_F's Avatar
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    ...May things be less... fail than before.
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  6. #6
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    I didn't even know you had a previous AAR, but I'm delighted to see what happens here (particularly if it stimulates further work on your excellent converters ).
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  7. #7
    If you want a recommendation on your play style: Take Alexandria, Damietta, and Cairo from the Fatimids ASAP. Then keep pressing. Once you have them on the ropes break truces constantly. Keep making lord bishops. Set your church tax to max. Lord bishops cause fewer problems than other types of lords. I don't want you to end up like my Empress. She has like 25 g/m income since she almost no tax paying vassals, while I have 150 g/m since I spammed lord bishops. I know it's powergamey but you can make a mix and still profit.

    Grab Sicily (kingdom) before someone else gets it. Parts are still cultural greek.

    Also it may be a good idea to create the kingdoms and hand them out. Hold onto Greece and NEVER give it up. You should always be the king of at least one thing. Don't make Armenia or Anatolia until your bigger as those kingdoms are a bit big if they chose to back factions.

    Don't attack muslims unless you can muster up 10x the number of defenders in their holdings. Then assault those bastards. Speed is important since no matter who you attack half the muslim war will be elligible to join in.

    Attack Fatimid or Seljuk revolters. They can't join the war if they're at war with the target already.

    Note: just some suggestions, do what you want.

  8. #8
    This is awesome!

  9. #9
    Keeper of the Converters Idhrendur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike the knight View Post
    your beggining is nice you have surpassed the first obstacle
    Indeed, though I find that I usually can repel the invasion. Especially early on, sieges work really well, because you can hit so much of their border territory before their armies draw near. I'm glad my ruler's traits allowed me to do that this time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakura_F View Post
    ...May things be less... fail than before.
    So far, so good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    I didn't even know you had a previous AAR, but I'm delighted to see what happens here (particularly if it stimulates further work on your excellent converters ).
    The latest release is almost entirely due to the last AAR.

    Quote Originally Posted by XRW View Post
    If you want a recommendation on your play style: Take Alexandria, Damietta, and Cairo from the Fatimids ASAP. Then keep pressing. Once you have them on the ropes break truces constantly. Keep making lord bishops. Set your church tax to max. Lord bishops cause fewer problems than other types of lords. I don't want you to end up like my Empress. She has like 25 g/m income since she almost no tax paying vassals, while I have 150 g/m since I spammed lord bishops. I know it's powergamey but you can make a mix and still profit.

    Grab Sicily (kingdom) before someone else gets it. Parts are still cultural greek.

    Also it may be a good idea to create the kingdoms and hand them out. Hold onto Greece and NEVER give it up. You should always be the king of at least one thing. Don't make Armenia or Anatolia until your bigger as those kingdoms are a bit big if they chose to back factions.

    Don't attack muslims unless you can muster up 10x the number of defenders in their holdings. Then assault those bastards. Speed is important since no matter who you attack half the muslim war will be elligible to join in.

    Attack Fatimid or Seljuk revolters. They can't join the war if they're at war with the target already.

    Note: just some suggestions, do what you want.
    The main thing is that I'm limited by ruler's personality. But this seems good advice.

    I always forget I that truces are breakable. I'm always a bit leery of the Fatimids until they have a few civil wars (which I take advantage of). I can beat them, but they leave me weak.

    And the Archbishop thing is clever. I might look into doing that (depends on the personality of the relevant leader).

    And I'm in complete agreement about anti-muslim tactics. I looove taking advantage of the mobility the fleets give me to grab a bunch of holdings. Meanwhile, they're still marching into place.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrDgcr View Post
    This is awesome!
    Thank you!
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  10. #10
    Keeper of the Converters Idhrendur's Avatar
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    [Well, I went and mistakenly deleted almost all the screenshots for this update. My words will have to suffice. You have my deepest sympathies.]

    The Seljuk invasion defeated, Konstantinos began to march the armies home. While he did so, the dukes of the Empire presented an ultimatum, weakening his power.

    [picture of a demand to lower crown authority here]

    Recognizing that the Empire must remain united to stand against the heathens and the heretics (and that the dukes could raise more men than he), the Emperor acceded to their demand.

    [picture of my accepting here]

    But when other dukes demanded to be released from their bonds to the Empire, Konstantinos refused them. After all, a shattered Empire was a weakened Empire. And he could raise more men than they could.

    [picture of a independence demand here]

    But various malcontents flocked to the rebel banner. Recognizing the need for more men, Konstantinos established a retinue of cataphracts.

    [I think I had captured a shot of their army, and was showing the retinue recruitment]

    While men were recruited, he sent the army to attack rebels in the east. Many forces were smashed, many holdings captured. And eventually, Konstanios had more men under arms than did Count Petrislav, the rebel leader. Konstantios sent the army to meet them. To goad the rebels to attack, the army began recapturing territory from the rebels.

    [All of this was over in Bulgaria, there would have been a screenshot of it, but I failed]

    The plan to goad the rebels army to attack failed, but enough territory was recaptured that the rebels agreed to a 'white peace'. One that landed the rebel leader in the dungeon. This was a quite satisfactory outcome.



    [picture, yay!]
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  11. #11
    P.S. Your Roman Expansion CB works very much like a Holy War CB. It gives you all of the holdings personally after the war but not the duke title. So you can set up perfect little lord bishoprics and create the archbishopric at your leisure. Picture most of europe painted with Lord Archbishops.

    Venice is a one county duchy with 7 holdings, which typically has no allies... Mayhaps an idling Imperial army claim it for the Emperor's personal demesne. Think of the irony.

  12. #12
    Good triumph over rebels, what will you do next?

  13. #13
    Konstantinos X Doukas doesn't get any better with more use, does he? His greatest contribution to the empire would be dying. Emperor falls at the head of an army retaking Sicily. Sounds like a plan.

  14. #14
    Keeper of the Converters Idhrendur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XRW View Post
    P.S. Your Roman Expansion CB works very much like a Holy War CB. It gives you all of the holdings personally after the war but not the duke title. So you can set up perfect little lord bishoprics and create the archbishopric at your leisure. Picture most of europe painted with Lord Archbishops.
    I did not know that that CB worked out so nicely! I'll have to remember that when I get a ruler with traits that justify its use (proud and ambitious come to mind).

    Venice is a one county duchy with 7 holdings, which typically has no allies... Mayhaps an idling Imperial army claim it for the Emperor's personal demesne. Think of the irony.
    Soon the city shall be returned to its original…*checks wikipedia*…the original owners of the lagoon where it was founded!

    Quote Originally Posted by MrDgcr View Post
    Good triumph over rebels, what will you do next?
    I'm going to Disneyland! Actually, I probably should, need to get some use out of my pass…

    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Ragusa View Post
    Konstantinos X Doukas doesn't get any better with more use, does he? His greatest contribution to the empire would be dying. Emperor falls at the head of an army retaking Sicily. Sounds like a plan.
    Pre-1.07, his heir was no better. With 1.07, he's got a good heir, but he's underage. Best would be him dropping dead the day Konstanios turns 16. And speaking of that plan…
    Last edited by Idhrendur; 06-11-2012 at 05:16.
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  15. #15
    Keeper of the Converters Idhrendur's Avatar
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    Konstantinos had just defeated a rebellion in the Empire, itself launched just after a Seljuk invasion had been turned back.



    Konstantinos allowed the levies to return to their homes, and pondered what might come next. The Fatimids might decide to strike. Though the Seljuks were facing a nasty civil war, leaving their western territories ripe for the picking.



    However, the manpower of the Empire was depleted. Konstantinos decided to give it time to replenish before he took action. During this time his third son, Andronikos, came of age. He was swiftly married to Princess Emma, sister to the King of France.



    By the time the levies were restored (and a new unit of cataphracts raised), the Seljuk civil war had ended. Konstantinos considered where he might restore the light of true Christendom.



    Wars were declared and armies raised and sent overseas. In but a few months, the heathens had been driven out.



    The lands were apportioned out, with Andronikos being given overall control of the newly-formed Duchy of Sicily.



    In 1076, Prince Konstantios, Heir to the Empire, came of age.



    A suitable wife was found for him, and he was given control of the barony of Blachernae. This would give him the opportunity to practice ruling, but was close enough to Constantinople that he still moved in the centres of power.

    The next winter, after raising yet another unit of cataphracts, Konstantinos again looked for weakened heathens. And saw that the Fatimids were in a civil war. This was an opportunity that could not be missed.

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  16. #16
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  17. #17
    Wow, another awesome chapter. Hope you'll kick Fatimids' dirty a**

  18. #18
    Keeper of the Converters Idhrendur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrael_1492 View Post
    This follow I will! - Master Yoda

    (Love the title )
    Thanks! After that last one (that name was on accident), I couldn't resist.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrDgcr View Post
    Wow, another awesome chapter. Hope you'll kick Fatimids' dirty a**
    Any time I can, oh yes.
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  19. #19
    Keeper of the Converters Idhrendur's Avatar
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    Emperor Konstantinos X took advantage of a Fatamid civil war to regain parts of the Patriarchy of Jerusalem.



    He brought overwhelming force to bear against Fatamid rebels, and the occasional Fatimid force. But during the midst of the war, Prince Andronikos died of old battle-wounds, leaving his infant son in charge of Sicily.



    Despite his sorrow, Konstantinos persevered in the war, and before long, he had reclaimed much for the Empire.



    While soldiers traveled home and lords took hold of their newly-assigned holdings, Konstaninos enacted a long-planned plot to take the county of Kalioplolis for himself.



    There was a spot of fighting to finish the deed, but it was of small matter. He again tried raising the taxes on cities, that first civil war having ended the earlier push. He was an established enough leader that this was a matter of great ease.



    That goal accomplished, he held a grand tournament to celebrate his many victories. There was tragedy: three major injuries from the tournament and an unnecessary duel that left another knight nearly dead. But all agreed that the tournament was glorious!



    Some time later, fights between supporters of different chariot racing teams become riots. While Konstantios could have sent in the Varangian Guard, but this seemed unnecessarily cruel to him. He let the city militia put down the riots. They succeeded without too much loss of life.



    The years flew by. In November 1081, Konstantios noticed that the Emir in control of Jerusalem was in a civil war against the Fatimids. He promptly declared war.

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  20. #20
    Another successful war and it looks as though Jerusalem will be reclaimed. Judicious picking apart of the fatamids! A Doukas succeeding - pinch me! 1 year old Gregorios already hates his grandfather. Now, Konstantinos X has to survive to his maturity. I think, it's "Warning, Regency ahead!"

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