• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Storey

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I’m going to try the impossible here folks. I’m going to write an AAR for those who like stories and dislike log style AARs. I’m also going to try and write an AAR for those who like log style AARs and dislike stories. Everybody still with me? So if you want to read the story just read the white print and skip certain sections that I write about just below. Yea go ahead and read below.



Okay so lets say you just want the nuts and bolts of the game, screw the story. In that case just skip the white print (story) until you come to…

"Here"

That’s right anywhere you see…

"Green type you’ll be in the game section of the AAR. Just a little story telling but mostly facts. You know those two-handed no nonsense in your face give me facts or give me death parts of the game."

Now for everyone else just read everything, that’s right everything, because I’m going to try to incorporate the game sections into the story. Yea I lied up above about skipping the green sections, live with it. I do that a lot, lie that is. Am I confusing anyone? Tough nuts, as they use to say before any of you were born.

So lets see if any of you were paying attention.


Kingdom of Jerusalem

Playing on Hard/Aggressive settling.

Baudouin III (3-3-3) rules our tiny kingdom made up of two provinces, Samaria and Judea. We have 2,00 Infantry and 500 Cavalry. I can only maintain 10,000. One warship and two galleys float in the harbor. Our national religion is Catholic but our provinces are Orthodox. Our Culture it French and, you guessed it, our provinces are Arabic. We have only 75d in the treasury. What can I say? Life sucks.

To the North is the County of Tripoli and further North is the Duchy of Antioch. I hope to get them both in an alliance ASAP. To the South East are the Fatimids. We aren’t friendly but they don’t hate us. To the East is the Ayyubids who hate our guts. Something is going to have to be done about them and the sooner the better because they aren’t in an alliance at this time.

Goals? Sure I have goals. I’d like to make six figures a year and have a yacht. Oh you mean in the game? Short term the alliance I mentioned above and I’m going to try to take out the Ayyubids. After that who knows. I don’t have any long-term goals so I’m going to see what opportunities come up.

No cheats. I fact I have in-house rules that I’m stupid enough to follow. For the first hundred years I never invest in land, navy or stability, only in trade or infrastructure. This means I lag militarily but that makes it more interesting. Also makes me very careful about taking stability hits. After one hundred years I may modify that rule. Hey I’m not completely stupid. I never take a loan unless the roof is falling in on my head. I just don’t like loans, go figure. I use auto-send for my merchants. I figure if the computer it dumb enough to send its own merchants then it can send mine. Means my trade income usually has the virility of a wet noodle and I’m not talking al dente here folks. During wartime I allow myself to turn Auto-send off so I don’t waste money but when at peace I allow the AI to do its worst. As for battles I have a couple of quirkily rules. I know, who would have thought that? If my forces are stationary and I’m attacked I will not retreat. They live or die where they are. If my forces are moving when attacked I allow myself the choice of retreating or not. Why this strange rule? Hey pay attention and repeat after me "It makes the game more interesting."

Let the game begin.



October 30, 1948

London England

The Royal Stratford Hotel, room 617

Dear Mr. Rowe

The fat man is dead.


I looked up from the letter, stunned for a moment before continuing.

I found him in his room sitting in the parlor armchair. He looked quite comfortable wearing his usual white suit with a yellow carnation in his lapel. From the freshness of the flower and the hotel doctor’s professional opinion he died of natural causes a few hours before I arrived. The funeral is at Saint Marks cathedral on the 30th of October at noon.

Regards
Aurturo Pasquale"


Leave it to Aurturo to talk about the death of a close associate with his usual brevity of words laced with such deficiency of emotion. I looked at the hotel room clock and saw that I had a little over an hour before the service started. I shook my head and thought about arriving in England just four hours ago and here I was already going to a funeral. The hotel doorman hailed a cab for me and as I sped off to the church I thought of the man called ‘The Fat Man’. I conjured an image of him and the memories started flowing at an increasing rate of speed if not clarity. It was hard to believe that I first met the Fat Man almost twelve years ago. Where was it? Yes I remember now…


July 13, 1936

Cairo, Egypt

Just after sundown

The El-Salamlek Palace Hotel, room 312
 
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unmerged(11366)

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Ooooh, yes, a film noir log style novel style AAR! I'm lovin' it!

(apologies to McDonalds)

...oh, and good luck :)
 

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Great!!! Another one Storey AAR!!! Hopefully, it shouldn't sink into Quicksand!! :D Hey, can you beat the record of greatest KofJ expansion in ten years!!! Look at my KofJ Chapter in MES Crazy AARs

Joe (Sapphire)
 
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stnylan

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Excellent! :)
 

Stonewall

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This should be a good one. Looking forward to an update.
 

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Trying to please everyone? I see diplomacy in your future.

You got me inserested.
 

Storey

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Hajji Giray – A little film noir with a dash of adventure is what I’m trying for so wish me luck.

Stroph1 – Welcome aboard, hope you enjoy the ride.

Sapphire – Wow! You kicked some serious butt with the KofJ. Alas with my in-house rules I don’t think your record is in danger with me. I’ve played ten years of the game and I took a different approach with the Fatimids. You’ll see how that came out.

Rhodz, stnylan -Thanks for dropping by.

Jwolf – I’m not sure where I get some of the lines I come up with. I had to grin when I came up with that line. :D

Stonewall – update coming up soon.

Zeno of Cyprus –I figured what the hell I might as well try to make everyone happy. Its going to be quite a challenge. :eek: ;)

Joe
 

Storey

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January 13, 1934

Cairo, Egypt

Just after sundown

The El-Salamlek Palace Hotel, room 312

I sat in one of the hotel room’s comfortable armchairs watching the man I had been chasing across half the Mediterranean for over a month as he calmly read my letter of introduction. Mr. Simmons of the English manufacturing company of Simmons, Manchester and Harte had assured me that there would be no problem once I delivered his letter. From the frosty reception I received since I first knocked on the door to room 312 I wasn’t so sure. Even sitting here I still couldn’t believe that I was in the company of the indomitable Mr. Alistair Higgins. For those rich enough and in search of rare antiquities that no one else could find he was the one they hired. Rumors hinted that he had turned over every rock in the Middle East at least twice in the past thirty years and looking at him I almost believed it. For the past generation and a half he had plied the Middle East in search of treasures of lost and fallen civilizations. If the local authorities or international agencies objected he still found a way to obtain and transport his latest acquisition. In my profession, Archeology, he was the devil personified. All my training told me that these treasures belonged in museums for all to see, not locked away in someone’s private collection.

Now that I was here I wasn’t so sure what to make of the man. As Mr. Higgins continued to read the letter I slowly scanned the room. Two men stood at the far end of the room in front of the open windows relaxing in the cooling evening breeze. They had on ill fitted gray suits that looked heavily worn. Both were stocky and had that look of large boned solidness that reminded me of draft horses. Forever ready to do the yeoman work for the right man. At first I thought their suit’s shoulders were ridiculously over padded but then realized that they weren’t padded at all. I swallowed at the thought of having a difference of opinion with these two men. They both held fedora hats in their large fleshy hands and talked in quite tones that faintly rumble in the background, all the while carefully watching Mr. Higgins and me. The only other person in the room sat in an armchair just behind Mr. Higgins. He was a small man dressed immaculately in a black suit with white pinstripes. His white bow tie with black pinstripes provided a break between his black suit and his black hair, which was a tangle of dark curls that glistened in the room light with an oily luminance. He sat cleaning his nails with a small wicked looking knife apparently ignoring me but for the rare brief flicker of his gray eyes in my direction. For some reason he reminded me of someone at an archeological dig slowly removing layers of dirt from someone’s tomb but the tomb felt newly occupied. The small man smiled at some inner thought but said nothing while taking in everything as he continued to meticulously clean his fingernails.

Not the friendliest group of strangers I’ve ever come across. I thought to myself.

Mr. Higgins raised his eyes over the letter he was reading and looked at me for a moment before once again looking down at the letter apparently consuming the contents as if it were a distasteful morsel of dried meat or indigestible fish. I settled deeper in the armchair and took the time to measure the man and found several aspects to his appearance that interested me. He looked 55-60 years old and filled his linen white suit till is stretched slightly wider than the armchair he sat in. This overweight condition was off set by the intelligence that emulated from his eyes and the quick vigor of his movements. Even reading the letter was done with a flare as he held it with one hand away from his body all the while measuring the words one at a time. His thin white hair ran in straight lines from the front to the back leaving little doubt that he left a few more strands in his comb every morning. His face was clean-shaven and marked by a matched pair of jowls. Even at this time of night he not only wore a suit but also a pale yellow tie with a blue sapphire tiepin. A white carnation was in his lapel. I wondered where on God’s green earth he managed to find a carnation in Egypt. It struck me that he had the air of an intelligent gentleman restrained only by the limits he found in others. Left to his own unrestrained devices who knew what he would accomplish. Mr. Higgins raised his eyes once again to mine and after a moments hesitation I lowered mine. He "humph" and lowered the letter still looking directly at me. When he started speaking his voice resonated a power that impressed me with the fact that I was not talking with just any other man. Each word was clearly pronounced and carefully chosen. His questions came across more as demands than requests.
 
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Secret Master

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You know, this isn't just a noir style AAR. It sounds like it is a bit of Indianna Jones as well. Let's see if I'm right.

Trying to please everyone with both super game and super story posts? I wonder if you can pull it off.
 

stnylan

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That was a very intense scene. Mr Higgins sounds a like a most determined bloke.
 

unmerged(21085)

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Storey said:
Not the friendliest group of strangers I?ve ever come across. I thought to myself.

:D :D :D Nice!!! That is bit of the understatement of the day!! :)

Thanks

Joe (Sapphire)
 

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Thank God I'm not the only one who thought of Indi, good start, unless you were looking for the green text which should be comming shortly right?
 

Storey

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Secret Master – Yep Indy is an inspiration. I’m not sure of a super game since I’ve played the first ten years and it’s already a struggle.

Stnylan – Higgins is very imposing. Once he makes up his mind to do something nothing will stop him.

Sapphire – Yes I agree. He doesn’t know what to make of them and they aren’t too sure about him. ;)

Jwolf - :eek: :eek: :eek: Stop it you’re starting to scare me. Are you a mind reader? :D :D

Zeno of Cyprus – I promise the green areas are coming. There really is a game here but I have a few more posts to get in to set up the game parts. :)

Valdemar – Me get something past a Mod? Never! :D Welcome aboard I hope you enjoy the ride. Since I won’t be back until Thursday I’ll try to get another short post up today.

Joe
 

Storey

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"It seems our employer Mr. Simmons feels the need to send you here to, shall we say, help? Perhaps you would enlighten us as to what you have been specifically hired to do?"

"The letter doesn’t say?

"No. Mr. Simmons has never been acquainted with verbosity and has always been a handmaiden to information. It merely says you have his full confidence. If you don’t mind maybe you could tell us something about yourself. Ah, Mr. Rowe is it?

"Yes, T.R. Rowe. The T R doesn’t stand for anything."

"How quaint. Now Mr. Rowe how did you come to be in Mr. Simmons employment?

"I was in England working for the London Museum…"

"Unpaid volunteer work I presume? Categorizing specimen’s unseen for decades by the public or the staff? Digging through cardboard boxes filled with old bones and other such, shall we say detritus of history? Dusty tomes of dubious worth that still have to be listed so that no one of importance will ever come to study them? I’m sure you were well qualified for the work."

I kept my voice under control but my mind worked wonders on Mr. Higgins ego.

"No. In the United States I graduated with honors with a major in Archeology and a minor in Anthropology. The London Museum hired me because I had the qualifications to do the work. My main job, however uninspiring, was to analyze the effect of Hellenistic culture on the Hittite enclaves of northern Turkey."

Mr. Higgins looked thoroughly under whelmed. He glanced around as if looking for something and I knew he didn’t wish to know more about my work at the London Museum so I quickly continued.

"Anyway the contract with the museum was coming to an end and I was looking for other employment when Mr. Simmons’ secretary contacted me. Mr. Simmons and I met and he explained his concern with your latest adventure."

"Adventure! Ha, pray continue."

It was the first of many times I would hear that bark of a laugh and see his grin. I swear his face would change shape forming an oval canvas for his large grin to spread from jowl to jowl as they trembled with his laugh.

"He showed me your telegrams and offered me the job of checking out this "find’ that you wrote him about. In his words, I’ve never seen Higgins run off like a chicken with its head cut off like this before. So he sent me to see what’s causing this unusual behavior."

"He thinks you have enough knowledge to make an intelligent decision? Hmm, where did you graduate from?"

"The University of Washington."

"Ah your esteemed national capital. I was there once. Quite beautiful in the spring with all those cheerful cherry trees."

"Well actually no, not that Washington, the other Washington."

"There’s another one? Who would have thought?"

The small man behind Mr. Higgins twitched a small smile as he excavated another fingernail with his small knife.

"Oh never mind Mr. Rowe maybe later you can explain. So how did you find us and so quickly?"
 

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:D That is nice update and not mention that "Rowe" surname was my grandfather's surname as well :eek: Hmm... ;)

Looking forward to Thursday!!

Thanks

Joe (Sapphire)