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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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CatKnight

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Prologue: The Book of Days

Parma, Kingdom of Italy
22 January, 1150


To those who bear witness to this document, I send you greetings.

I am Michael Karmanos, newly appointed historian for His Royal Highness, Corrado II. Like my father before me, I am bound by oath to speak of events great and small and show our progeny, by virtue of example, what makes some kings rise and others fall.

In these pages you will be a witness to our history. I have included every map I could find and will add reports from Europe and far off lands. The last hundred years have seen tumultuous events and, we can pray, a growing understanding of the relationship between vassal and liege, master and servant that will end the constant power shifts, squabbles and sheer barbarism of the last age. The very fact my position exists speaks to our desire, indeed our need to return to the virtues that made Rome great, while naturally discarding the vices.

It is my personal hope that by viewing our successes and failures, future rulers will gain the wisdom and temperance to avoid our past follies. One day I see the descendants of Charlemagne and defenders of the faith uniting all of Europe in a kingdom ready for Jesus' redemption and God's forgiveness. I do not expect this to happen overnight. Nor in the next century. Some day, however, I believe we will rise past the petty hates that have divided us for so long. We will slay the Muslim. We will rid ourselves of those who killed our Lord. We will unite and begin a new golden age. If my humble works are the least part of this coming, then I am content.

Now then. It is the year of our Lord, one thousand eleven hundred, fifty...

ita1150.txt


weu1150.txt


eeu1150.txt


asi1150.txt


ind1150.txt
 
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Introduction

Hi folks!

This is a Hands Off Mongol Empire Scenario, version 0.3.3b. For those wondering, Hands Off means "I" am way the hell off in Indonesia and plan to do nothing but defend myself.

Why Hands Off? Simply put, MES is attracting a lot of attention right now and I'm hoping several maps and descriptions will help people decide if it's for them or not. (Personally I love it!) MES has quite a few events to help simulate the sheer chaos of the Middle Ages, so it's not really your standard EU2 fare. Second, I thought it'd be useful both for developers and players to see how the AI deals with matters and how the world develops without human intervention.

The AAR will be told through a series of Italian historians. For variety each will have their own personality and outlook. Some will go into excruciating detail and some will tend to skim. Naturally their central focus is on Italy, followed by Europe. This is intentional in that most of the 'chaos' will be in Europe - but we will check in with the other areas every so often however, especially when something interesting happens.

Enjoy!
 

coz1

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Very interesting, Catknight. I shall follow this to see both the game mechanics, though I have already enjoyed four or five MES scenario AARs already and also to read your wonderful prose. Carry on. :D
 

Storey

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A good way to show off the scenario. :cool: Should be fun. ;)

Joe
 

Judge

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Great idea! Being a new convert to the MES I will follow this story with great interest :)
 

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This looks very interesting. It may convince me to play a game of EU2 again.
 

unmerged(8606)

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Excellent idea, CatKnight! Very promising, and above all very informative for us, developers of the sceanrio. We'll sure keep a sharp eye on the evolution of your game! :)
 

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1: The Devil Came to Italy (1150-1159)

25 May, 1159
Parma, Kingdom of Italy


My brother is dead.

Michael, who you've met in previous letters was slain by a Milanese artillerist two weeks ago. I am his sister, Elayne.

You may expect me to hold a great grudge against Milan, to look forward to their chastisement with longing. You may think I stand at the walls of our fair city day after day staring north, silently urging on the mighty German/Italian army at their gate. Were father alive, he would demand the head of the artillerist who slew my brother, he would want revenge.

I have trouble hating someone for wanting to be free, though. At least, that is what they say they are fighting for. Liberty, justice, freedom, traits a German cannot be expected to understand. I will leave it up to you, gentle reader, to decide if the Milanese cause is justified. My decision was made long ago, but like a trapped hare there is little I can do except hope for better days. At least our men are busy in Italia, and not in a ruinous war with half of Western Europe.

Perhaps I should start at the beginning.

Italy

The story of the year appears to be my new master, Federico Barbarossa, who assumed the throne in 1152. Words cannot describe this man. I have it on good authority he was anointed by God himself with the protection of Christendom. He is victor of a thousand battles (except Poland,) wrestles wolves with his bare hands (or would if he could catch one,) ruins castles before break-fast (true) and rebuilds them by dinner (we shall see.) He is the Archpaladin, the direct descendant of Charlemagne, the champion of Christ and the last, best hope for little bunnies and kittens. So say the authorities.

Which makes it interesting he can't hold his kingdom together, and now he can't hold Italy together either.

In September 1158 he issued the statues of Roncaglia ending the autonomy of Italy's cities. He demands we submit to his authority. Milan refused and rose up against the emperor. As I mentioned at the outset, Milan is besieged by Sir Reinald von Dassel with over thirty-three thousand men. Given the emperor's rages, I dread what will happen next. Rebels have already besieged Pisa, demanding a removal of the 'imperial puppet.' Will he destroy Italy to keep us?

Elsewhere:
* 1150: Romans promise vengeance against the Normans of Sicily. Not much comes of it and a treaty is signed in 1158.
* 1155: We extradite Arnold of Brescia, a heretic and dissident, to the Papacy. He's hung and burnt.
* 1156: Declare war (with Germany, Arelate, Austria, Denmark, Gelre and later Bohemia on Pommerania-Wolgast. Ongoing.
* 1156: The above alliance, less Gelre, declares war on Poland and Pommerania-Stettin. The latter is annexed by Denmark, the former takes Brandenburg from Germany.
* 1158 Burgundy declares war on Arelate. Soon it's Burgundy, Blois-Champagne, France, Toulouse, England and Wales fighting Arelate, Germany, Saxony, Austria, Bohemia and ourselves.

ita1159.txt


Western Europe:
Western Europe is in a state of flux. Having already succeeded to the throne of Anjou and then marrying the repudiated ex-wife of the French king, Henri II d'Anjou became King of England in 1154 and unified his realms. France was naturally concerned, but Henry did agree to French dominance over their lands and formed a long-term alliance.

In Germany, Friedrich Barbarossa dealt with the rampant instability of his realm by forging a 'Peace of Lands,' recognizing the authority of the various princes. Saxony, Austria and Bavaria have prospered by this so far. This decentralization at home seems to have been matched by a need to consolidate elsewhere, as Barbarossa has now been in four wars in nine years (three ongoing.) He issued the Roncaglia to Italy as well as married the heir to Arelate, recognized Bohemia's independence and thus vassalized them as well, and interfered with the Polish succession.

Elsewhere:
* 1150s: Sporadic fighting between the Irish chiefdoms.
* 1151: Almoravids destroyed by Almohads, they flee to Baleares.
* 1152: A Dutch coalition led by Flandres destroys Friesland.
* 1152: Along with being ruler of Germany and Italy, Friedrich is elected Holy Roman Emperor.
* 1153: Navarra realizes its in an untenable position and vassalizes itself to Leon.
* 1154: Castile government falls
* 1155: Bound by marriage, Aquitaine vassalizes itself to England. England joins the French alliance days later.
* 1156: France issues its first ordnances and starts limited actions against the Plantagenet threat.
* 1157: Seville becomes Almohad main trading center
* 1157: Danish civil war ends
* 1158: Rebellion in German Mainz.
* 1158: Castile-sponsored rebellion results in Toledo's defection from the Almohads.
* 1158: Murcia is destroyed in two wars, the first by a Christian coalition led by Aragon seizes Valencia in and thus avenges El-Cid. Almohads lead a Muslim coalition, and Baleares destroys them in 1158.
* 1159: Icelandic government falls

weu1159.txt


Eastern Europe

The Roman Empire's days may be waning, but she's proven she won't go down without a struggle. The Empire has been involved in numerous wars. After a failed action against the Rum Seljuks, Rome and her allies (usually Zeta, Serbia and Georgia) soundly defeated a Hungarian/Bohemian force in 1155, vassalized the Alanes to Georgia in 1157, annexed Bosnia in 1158, and are now at war with Dalmatia.

The north has seen several states fall. Kiev destroyed a Volhyna/Galich alliance, while Polotsk did the same to the Baltic Tribes and Lithuania despite them having Prussen and the Ests for allies. The Vlachs also fell to Bohemia.

Elsewhere:
* 1152-5 In a series of confidence (and financial) building measures, Jerusalem spares the Ayubbid garrison at the Bride of Syria, and the Ayubbids buy first an assassin (who they kill) then the sacred head of Mohammed's grandson.
* 1157: Major earthquake devastates Holy Land, involving Ayubbids, Tripoli, Antoich and Rome.
* 1158: After Cyprus is raided by Antioch and Armenia Minor, the Roman Empire promises revenge despite Jerusalem's attempts at restoring the peace.
*1150: Romans decide *not* to go with a land/taxes for military service deal that would have had long term damaging effects.

eeu1159.txt


Asia and Africa:
The largest news elsewhere is a great foe appears to have fallen. Reports are sketchy at best, but it seems after their ruler was kidnapped or murdered, the Seljuk Empire simply fell apart. Rebellion after rebellion broke out, forming nation after nation. Two other countries sworn to their Empire broke their oaths. It seems unlikely they will recover.

sel1159.txt


The largest news elsewhere is a great foe appears to have fallen. Reports are sketchy at best, but it seems after their ruler was kidnapped or murdered, the Seljuk Empire simply fell apart. Rebellion after rebellion broke out, and two countries sworn to their Empire broke their oaths. It seems unlikely they will recover.

Lastly the Ghurids and Ghaznavids in far off India were embroiled in a fierce war after the sacking of Ghazni. It lasted for a year and a half before the Ghaznavids surrendered in 1153, giving up a great deal of territory. Here's a map of the area.

Oh, there's also some rumors about some group called the Mongols harassing people in Cathay. That's not to be taken seriously though. Even if it's true, the Mongols would never make it here.

Elsewhere:
* 1150s: Songhai/Ghana alliance get in three wars with moderate success.
* 1158 Mongols annex Tatars, Lamutes
 
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CatKnight

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Coz1: Welcome! Well, I'm not sure how wonderful my prose will be. :) Pulling together a hands off AAR correctly is a lot harder in my opinion, since I should be keeping an eye on the entire map. The event log for the first 8+ years had over eight hundred events. :eek:

Storey: Nonetheless, it will be fun. I did a HO (offline) for the basic GC just to see what the AI would come up with. It was... hm.... ahistorical?
:rolleyes:

zacharym87: Yep! Personally I waited a long time before downloading MES. I'd d/led a mod for another game and was rather disappointed, so I wasn't sure I wanted to risk the throw. I'm glad I did.

Judge: As I'll be following your AAR. I really hope you survive in yours - from what I'm hear of the Mongols I'm afraid you may have bit off more than you can chew.

tombom: I hope so! I see you're working on a CK scenario? Well, if nothing else it might give you another interpertation of the Middle Ages. :) Between MES and the vanilla GC I'd say the GC is a little more... orderly. Things can go wrong <i>fast</i> in MES. (Or go right just as quickly.) If you like chaos, this qualifies. As an example, keep an eye on England for the next sixty years.

mfigueras: Thanks and welcome. I'm curious to see what will happen also...


General Comments:

...except the AI's already conspiring against me. It's choosing 'option B' in the multiple choice events a lot, so we may see a very different timeline develop.

Italy's more or less on target, though France promises to get strange if Aquitaine loses their war too badly. Losing Murcia (eastern Spain) was expected - the Balearics moving in was not. In the east Polotsk is doing really well, and I'm pleased with the Roman victory over Hungary and Bohemia (plus three provinces total.) I have a soft spot for the underdog :)

Thanks folks!
 

Machiavellian

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That AI is quite the sneaky one.
I look forward to seeing what happens in the world. I am also curious as to how well the Mongols will do in a hands off.
 

coz1

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Quite an unstable world for sure! I loved your description of Barbarossa. Simply great! :D
 

unmerged(8606)

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Any news on your hands-off, CatKnight?
 

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Machiavellian: Well, the ball is starting to roll. The Mongols right now are busy trashing the Nestorians. I think this bodes ill for Judge's AAR. We're only seventeen years in!

coz1: Unstable...and strange. My jaw hit the floor when England started diplovassalizing most of France.

mfigueras: Patience young Skywalker... ;)

General Comments:
The Mongols are on target. Polotsk (up by the modern Baltic States) is really impressing me! Ghana's doing well also.

England's vassals as of 1167 are: Aquitaine, France, Blois-Champagne, Toulouse and Brittany.

Germany's are: Gelre, Brabant, Saxonia, Austria, Arelate, Bohemia, and Este (Italy). Due to events Saxony has Bavaria and Mecklenberg as vassals, and Este has all the northern Italian city states.

With England's alliance breaking up, I don't expect too much to happen of this - but a major brawl for control of Western Europe might be on the horizon.

The Levant is quiet. Too quiet. Everyone's armed to the teeth and... sitting there. All the Crusader states are in an alliance though, so I expect that to blow up sooner or later as well.
 

CatKnight

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Chapter 2: The Lombard League

7 July, 1167
at Parma, in Este,
Proud Member of the Lombard League


This will be my last missive. My darling German husband insists we move to Cologne where, says he, the evil ones from Brabant or Zeeland covet his lands. Damn them, says I, knowing full well they're too busy intriguing with each other to worry about the outposts of a decaying, fallen kingdom.

Italy is free. Oh, we may still bend the knee on paper but that bumbling buffoon finally outsmarted himself. He thought we'd go to war against our Pope? Against God Himself? Perhaps he thought burning Milan would cow us, but no. The city states of Italy formed a league to preserve our freedoms. Let the bastards rage and cry foul, they brought this doom on themselves.

Aye, milord. Everyone will remember Friedrich Barbarossa alright. A failure as a king, and a failure as a man.

Now, where were we?

Italy

The greatest news, of course, is the Lombard League. Founded on 19 September 1166, it is a direct reaction to Germany's declaration of war on the Pope. Oh, he had Italy join him alright along with Arelate, Saxonia, Bohemia and Austria (hereafter known as the king's dogs) - but the city states as one voice said no. Well, almost one voice: Milan's wavering, perhaps remembering the destruction of their city in 1159, but they'll come around.

I may be forced to move to Cologne - but my son will tell the story of a land free from German domination. That is more than equal payment.

Elsewhere:
* 1159: Milan destroyed by Germany following their surrender to Italy.
* 1160: The Burgundy/Arelate war that involved two major alliances ends with Arelate agreeing to pay for the lost pigs. No lands change hands.
* 1166: Shortly after the Lombard League is founded, Pisa's government falls.

ita1167.txt


Western Europe

Western Europe continues to be the story of two dynasties. My lord's German Empire continues to implode, with Mecklenberg breaking off from Saxonia following one agreement or another. Saxonia and Denmark both launched crusades against the pagan Wends, which must have led to one disagreement or another as the lord and his dogs declared war on the Danes in 1161. It's still ongoing.

The Plantagenets have taken the time to mire themselves in Gaulic politics. Between 1162 and 1166 they vassalized Brittany, France, Blois-Champagne, Aquitaine (what was left of it after the war), Toulouse and the Crab Nebula. Their alliance with most of these states broke up after Wales started a war with Meath, but England quickly rebuilt most of it as she persecutes Scotland.

Ireland deserves a mention here: First Meath annexed Ulster in 1159 and Leinster in 1160. Then Munster and Connacht stole these lands from Meath, vassalizing them to the latter. Finally Connacht defeated Munster, taking choice lands and vassalizing them as well. Ruaidri of Connacht was appointed High King in 1166.

Elsewhere:
* 1159: Gemrany supported a puppet-pope vs Alexander III
* 1159: Dogs/Pommerania war ends with Pommerania-Wolgast going to Denmark
* 1160s: Flandres, Wales and Iceland all try to destroy Meath to little effect.
* 1160: Portugal welcomes the Knights Templar and promises war with the Almohads. Everyone's still waiting.
* 1161: Almohads annex Tripolitania to secure their eastern border.
* 1162: Denmark becomes Germany's vassal for exactly six days.
* 1162: Almohads, Tuareg and Baleares attack Castile without result.
* 1162: Toulouse/Aquitaine war ends with Aquitaine partitioned by England and France.
* 1163: English-French alliance collapses over Wales attacking Meath.
* 1164: Wales wins reparations from England after a brief war.
* 1166: Almohads break with Baghdad and declare themselves Caliph.
* 1167: Sweden's civil unrest ends.

weu1167.txt


Eastern Europe

Polotsk and Kiev. Two tiny states on the outskirts of civilization, but what a generation they've had. Again and again these nations have been assaulted by alliances of several countries, and they've not only emerged victorious but vanquished their foes as well.

Polotsk finished off its first major war by annexing Prussen and the Ests, while Kiev fought off furious attacks by three nations - annexing two (Novogorod-Severski and Perejaslavl) by 1163. In 1164 the two nations began fighting, some say for control of eastern Europe!

Hungary also woke up after their stinging loss to Rome, vassalizing the Petchengs in 1160 and joining Poland (as well as the Papacy and Gotland later on) in a war with Denmark. In 1164 they fought a brief skirmish with the Roman Empire, ending with Constantinople paying a heavy indemnity.

Elsewhere:
* 1160: Armenia Minor annexed by Rum Seljuks
* 1161: Dalmatia defeated by Roman Alliance (Georgia, Zeta, Roman Empire, Serbia) and vassalized to Georgia.
* 1162: Romans claim Hungarian land. Nothing comes of this except worsening relations.
* 1162: Roman Empire annexes Zeta
* 1163: Cumans and Khazak finally hand Kiev its first defeat in war.

eeu1167.txt


Asia and Africa:

News from the far east is disturbing. The Mongols, a tribe of horse nomads, seem to be crushing their rivals or otherwise forcing them to acknowledge their leadership. From 1163-65 four independent tribes surrendered to their rule and now they are at war with a race of Nestorians. If they continue at this rate, God knows where they'll stop.

In Africa there seems to be a group calling themselves 'Ghana.' These Ghana annexed two rival tribes - the Sosso and Mossi and have turned into a regional superpower. Their future ambitions are unknown, but since I'm told they are south of the Almohads, they are welcome to come north and try to stop the 'Caliph.'

Elsewhere:
* 1161: Song China soundly defeats Jin Empire, taking three provinces
* 1161: That same year the Jin Empire loses one province to these Mongols
* 1166: Panyda Madura throws off the Cholan yoke and earns the wrath of six nations.

waf1167.txt
 

Lucius Sulla

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Awesome!

A hands-off AAR is something that has crossed my minds a thousand times, but still it has been a challenge I have never dared to face yet. I'm happy somebody is brave enough to do so. And you have the advantage of not having to recur poorly to mistical and magical metaplots to be able to explain the unnatural development and growth of a kingdom as other *cough* *cough* ;).

Apart from that, I must express my utter hate for the MES developers, for developing the scenario so well... and those awesome unit pics! If I had known that I would have holded my AAR until this version at least, so shame on you, MFigueras, Obilexeke, Languish and the rest of the MES crew. Shame on you, I say! :rofl:
 

Judge

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Wow Polotsk is doing a great job. The Romans are doing fine but soon they might get their hands full :) This is a really great idea for promoting the MES.
 

Machiavellian

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A question about the Mongols and how the AI works with them. Is the AI waiting for the special trigger events that allow them to absorb their neighbors, increasing their centralization and reducing their badboy or are they just taking provinces and annexing in the normal manner?
 

CatKnight

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Machiavellian said:
A question about the Mongols and how the AI works with them. Is the AI waiting for the special trigger events that allow them to absorb their neighbors, increasing their centralization and reducing their badboy or are they just taking provinces and annexing in the normal manner?

Yes.

The Mongols declare war, and at a certain point an event fires annexing the tribe. Here's an example:

Event 103811
Trigger: Mongols are at war with Tayichi'ut
Mongols control 'x' province (I assume the capital)

Spark: Startdate: 1150 End date: 1250

Result: (Only one choice)
Inherit: Tayichi'ut
Badboy: -1
Population loss: 1200 in above province
Stability: +1
VP: +20
Centralization: +1
Cash: +50


So the Mongol AI goes to war, and at a certain point the enemy is declared 'defeated' and annexed.