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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Stuyvesant

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Let's face it: the Teutonic Order was led by someone whose name suggested he should be a clown ('Poppo'? Seriously?). At that point, any expectation of competence (unless it involves throwing cream pies or riding miniature bicycles - neither of which have been invented at this time) goes right out of the window.

Indy, Indy, Indy... So full of rage, so passionate (about inflicting pain/misery/death on others) and so successful! Ireland is quite the sight to behold (except for Derby, which is an eyesore). Shame that Crimmy got away from his just deserts, ungraciously dying of pneumonia before he could be served a fitting sentence. This is one occasion where being the Byzantine Emperor would've been helpful - castration and blinding sounds like just the thing for him. Oh well, think of it that the wet weather of Ireland did him in, and then it's in fact an ingenious and long-plotted murder: after all, he only came back to the damp squalor of the Emerald Isle because you bribed him. If he'd stayed in sunny Italy, he would never have caught pneumonia!

A heretic realm is next? Have the Cathars appeared? Should make for a fun reign, though maybe challenging to last 50 years.

Keep an eye on Indy: the man's been cutting a bloody swath from Ireland to Ierosalem an he's only 40 years old. The AI might still get some good use out of him.
 

theosZA

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I know you might not have enjoyed Ireland but it was a lot of fun to read. Maybe a heretic Muslim next?
 

TheDeaconBosco

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I know you were kinda bored with this run, but to be honest you've actually managed to make it more entertaining that I thought it would be, and that's not a praise I lavish often just so you know, so... Chin-up, buddy!

Heretic religion? Hmm... I bet it's going to be something super silly like Iconoclasm.
 

tnick0225

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World Update...and Revealing Our Next Adventure

@GreatUberGeek: After Crimthann died the next heir would be Crimthann's son Broen. If Broen dies then one of Crimthann's two brothers not really sure what their names are. As far as where we are going next? Well it will be far far away from Scotland!

@mike the knight: He was full of rage in those last years. It will be interesting to see what the AI does with him.

@Stuyvesant: Yeah the TO has issues holding Crusade wins, but you're right with a name like Poppo what does one expect? And Crimthann did get some ironic cosmic justice with pneumonia, guess he just wasn't cut out for the Irish weather! But it won't be a Christian heresy its a bit more exotic then that!

@Scott1964: Hope it will continue to be interesting!

@theosZA: Glad it was a fun round to read! I enjoyed writing most of it, just ended up being too easy there towards the end. And I was getting excited about moving on to our next round as well. As far as which heresy, you're close but it isn't a Muslim heresy either.

@TheDeaconBosco: Happy to hear you found our stay in Ireland to be entertaining. Accomplished a lot with Indy so I'm proud of where I'm leaving him. It was fun to write, just it being the simple place to play mixed in with wanting to get to the next round added to the boredom. And well it will be even sillier than Iconoclasm!

~~~~~
World Update Time​



Our time in Ireland saw us raise the de Wexfords to two thrones, and probably put an instant halt to Stawell England expansion any further North. With luck Indy and his descendants (or relatives) should he fail to produce an heir will be able to push south and cripple the English. But, that's for the AI to do.

With Ireland still fresh in our heads it will be the first map. Already showed one in the previous update, but I decided this one should expand down into France, as you can see if you look close there is a green Irish splotch there as well.


How did that happen? I don't really know the full details. But Countess Sabd Crovan inherited that green French splotch, otherwise known as the County of Vexin. You would think the French would have declared de jure war for it already, but they've been dealing with civil war after civil war so swatting at some lost Irishmen isn't very high up on their to do list.

Only other fun thing to mention about this is that Holland is still independent and looking healthy.

Next up is Central Europe. The Breton Karlings are still dominant in the HRE, which is beginning to gather steam and blobbing a bit. Perhaps a bit too much.


The Slavic Kingdom of Pommerania has also lost some lands to the HRE and I am beginning to think they're days are numbered.

Something special on this map to note. Hungary is where Hungary should be! Its days of wandering around trying to find its way home have come to an end. And what makes that even more special is that our old friends the Mihaljevic's now hold the Kingdom of Hungary. I was wondering if the AI would ever make it happen and was beginning to have my doubts. But 50 years after leaving Tvrdoslav his grandson Stanislav the Ill-Ruler re-created Hungary.


Another fun thing I think about that shot is looking at Bulgaria. It has taken advantage of the Free Greek States, and swallowed Constantinople. Most of the ERE is now Catholic as well, and Bulgaria is predominantly the only major Orthodox power left.

Oh and King Stanislav Mihaljevic of Hungary has a weak claim on Bulgaria, so we may see a super-Hungary emerge if the stars align just right.

A look at Scandinavia and most of the Steppes.

Sweden is the most powerful Norse country left. Denmark is being conquered by a Catholic Uprising so it may fall soon. Norway is a mess of Vikings fighting for supremacy, but largely they're too busy raiding to focus on nation-building. Over in the steppes however, Perm is having a rough time at the moment. For a while they were the most powerful nation in that part of the world. But they're going through some civil wars. Ugra, Bjarmia, and I believe Chud, are all rebels against Perm. So it may or may not solidify. But regardless, Perm has helped in keeping the Suomensko(spelling?) faith alive and well.


The last world update we did the above map was also dominated by Volga Bulgaria, however said Sultanate has collapsed and is currently an OPM.

Moving a bit to the South we get to see the Seljuks in all their glory. They were never able to move West very far so they've sort of just blobbed around the Steppes and saw their momentum come to a halt. Anatolia as mentioned before is ruled by the Saudids, which also rule over most of Persia. However the Persian Kingdom belongs to little old Vihad which is being occupied by the Shia Hussayn Caliphate of Mesopotamia.


Here is a better look at the Middle East that we talked about shortly after the last Crusade. Nothing has changed really so no need to revisit that. Well besides the fact that I think its hilarious that Nubia is still alive and kicking! While Abyssinia has been reduced to the graveyards of history.


And now for Africa.

Mali has collapsed into warring states giving the Qutid Sultanate of Mauretania an opportunity to make their way towards Timbuktu. The Rahhalid Sultanate of Andalusia (which is Catholic) owns a large chunk of the Kingdom of Mauretania and may very well usurp that title if they keep expanding in the neighborhood.


Iberia is becoming less and less interesting as Castille slowly consolidates power. One thing that keeps changing here, however, is Navarra/Aragon. When we arrived in Ireland Navarra was the dominant power there, but then Aragon took over via a Bedouin Karling coup. Well, Navarra has deposed that evil Karling Sultan and has taken most of its lands back. But the conflict between Aragon and Navarra will continue and I'd imagine it will change hands a few more times.


Oh yeah and look at that independent Grenada! Be awesome if it stays that way although I have my doubts.

So is it time to reveal where we will be next?

NOPE!

Let's look at more maps.




So that is what the current religious world is looking like. Catholicism seems to be destined to rule Europe, and really isn't facing a significant threat from anyone at the current time.

Now where are we going for our next adventure???

Please o please let it be a land that I can carve out a new home like I did for Tvrdoslav...

Clear on the other side of the world. To a land ruled by a man named Shah Vahid the Liberator.


Oh yeah he's a Mazdaki...a heresy of Zorastrianism. And surrounded by the Saudids, Seljuks and at war with the Hussayn Caliphate.

I guess I got my wish for something more interesting...

And from the looks of it damn near impossible...

Maybe I should have stuck with Indy.
 
Last edited:

GreatUberGeek

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But...you got lots of claims! :D Ah well, Zoroaistrian(spelling?) heresies are always fun.
 

Stuyvesant

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The Saudis are forming quite a superstate (albeit a bit scattered). As for the heretical Zoroastrians - not quite. So what's Vahid going to liberate? The contents of his bowels? One wrong step and you'll be obliterated. Congratulations! You definitely got a more 'interesting' state to play with! ;) Since Vahid has 24 martial and 6 intrigue, I would suggest loading your people onto boats and trying to carve out a new homeland somewhere far away - but lacking that, perhaps the northern Caspian shores can offer you succor?
 

mike the knight

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tnick0225

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@TheKaspa: I shall never swear fealty! Lol...I hate swearing fealty so I definitely won't be doing that. And won't convert. Those things may help me survive but I think it'd ruin the point of trying to improve what I start with. So just like the Tvrdoslav turn I'll try to scratch my way out of this bad situation.

@GreatUberGeek: Yeah it should be fun, if we are allowed to stay there for a while.

@Stuyvesant: Going north of the Caspian and trying to carve out a land up there may be a viable option if I ever get a chance too. But Vahid I think he liberated his little chunk of Persia from the Seljuks or Abbasids or something really not too sure what he liberated. Although I'm sure those Caliphs would love to liberate his bowels :)

@mike the knight: I've been thinking the same thing if I get a large enemy army to follow me I'll lead them into the mountains and hopefully slaughter them. But we'll see if that's even doable :)
 

TheDeaconBosco

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Yeah the liberator nickname is reserved for peasants that have successfully won a rebellion. As evidenced by his first name being the same as his dynasty, he is very well a peasant turned king, though one wouldn't think so given his abnormally high stats.

Definitely an interesting character that could very well have existed in historical standarts, not like some frankish/irish dynasties I know...
 

tnick0225

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Part 5.0 - Vahid Shahdom of Persia

@TheDeaconBosco: Yeah high stats for a peasant, perhaps we was an officer in one of the local imperial armies. But yeah he's a more realistic character than the de Wexfords of Ireland we had previously. And his story is a little more interesting. Although his position is a bit of pickle.

So without further ado, you get to see why I really wanted to get to this turn, so enjoy.

~~~~~
Part 5.0 - Vahid Shahdom of Persia​



Well I asked for entertaining, I asked for a challenge, I asked for something that would keep me on my toes like the Abbasid lands of constant rebellion and discontent. The RNG gods have answered with their just punishment.

Vahid, the Liberator of all Mazdakians in Persia. In a way his situation reminds me of that Manichean dude we had to slap around and destroy as Tvrdoslav in the land of the Pecking Pest. Although we are lacking strategic miracles, such as our giant neighbors tearing themselves asunder in Civil Wars and such things like that. Oh no, instead we land smack dab in the center stage between three fairly stable massive Muslim Empires.

The Saudids to our South that rule most of Persia and are surely licking their lips awaiting to snack on us are the most powerful by far and the successors to the Sunni Caliphate that the Abbasids lost. The Seljuks are a Turkish Kingdom that has Imperial ambitions of its own. They really want to move into Persia proper, because they heard the last Persian Sultanate that moved too far into the steppe shattered, and was gobbled up by the Abbasids. Apparently the steppe is poison to any and all Middle Eastern superpowers. Or, at least that's the tone this game has taken. Thus, the Seljuks are moving slowly.

But for now, these two behemoth Sunni nations are at peace with us and therefore we can't worry about them at the moment. Oh no, we have another fish to fry. The Hussayns of Mesopotamia. They're the Shia Caliphate, and their not at all happy with the Mazdakis holding the Persian Crown. Thus, the Caliph Hussayn is already at war with us when we land in the lands held by Vahid. And the war is not going well at all.


Needless to say we're between a rock and hard place.

As we start this scenario, my armies are scattered. We have some far in the south playing hide and go seek with some Shia. We have some scurrying around on the other side of the Caspian lost, wondering where their dear Liberator is today. Its a mess, and to that thank you AI!

I go around finding all my various stacks of 100 to 1000 men and send them all on a death march to unite so I at least have a few thousand to throw at the Shia. Not that it will do any good, because when I look up at my lands, we're being occupied and occupied fast!


Within a few months I've lost most of our remaining provinces. It's a shame really but no helping it. The Shia Caliphate has close to 30,000 men camped out in our lands assaulting our walls one after another.

But finally my men find their Shah that Liberated them from the clutches of the Sunni Caliphate. All is well now. We have a stack of 3,700 men. Diminutive in comparison, yes, but enough to mount an insurgency.

I find a slightly smaller stack of Shias and send Vahid in to spill a little blood finally at Merv.


The Hussayns then occupy yet another holding pushing their war score up to 80. Defeat is only a breath away. But Vahid gives chase and kills the army he routed at Akhur. At least we managed to wipe out a few thousand of our enemies.

I look around though and if I move further north I'll be met with destruction.

January 1, 1068, rolls around and I realize there is no way to win. Its futile and eventually the Shiah Caliphate will be able to enforce demands anyway. So I happily offer my surrender.


Vahid gets to live another day, but we're now reduced to a few counties, and to be honest really shouldn't be calling ourselves the Shah of Persia anymore since we own zero lands in Persia now.

But this doesn't prevent Vahid from making a baby with his wife and he even goes so far as to spend some of his remaining gold buying her some poetry books.

In October of that year baby Khosrau is born making son number three for Vahid. Which does no one any good, because we don't need more mouths to feed. And babies will slow the escape should we end up in another war against one of these giants.

A year passes by rather quickly with nothing happening. I watch our gold increase, and our levies replenish, but nowhere near to the point I need them to be.

June of 1069 comes about, and the Turks decide its their turn to kick us in the teeth.


This is where I decide its time to pack our bags and retire the Liberator to some vacation home on the Black Sea. In fact I think I'll call forth our levies and start the march now!


As I get ready to run away I notice my Northern path is cutoff, and there's a group forming in the South. But the numbers don't look all that bad. Definitely not as bad as it was with the Shia Caliphate.

I get to thinking then, we have almost 600 gold. There's got to be mercenaries!

I go to try and hire some and much to my dismay there's only one, yes one available for hire. And they can only give me a few thousand more men.

Well I guess having over 4,000 is better than being a hair over 2,000.

So I hire them.

Seeing his life crumbling all around him Vahid realizes for whatever reason that he is by far thee Greatest Shah...EVER!


Then again I suppose it's fairly easy being the best Shah when you are the only Shah. Unless of course he's comparing himself to Kings and Sultans, in which case Vahid is obviously quite delusional.

While waiting to see how the Seljuk troop movements are working I see a chance and pounce like a lion.


Vahid then proceeds to chase the routing soldiers to mop up the remaining men.

This gives us 24 points in the war score department which is pretty great. Now if only I can lead more Turks to a slaughter. However, I discover much to my surprise that I was the one being led to the slaughter.


While I was cheering our proud Liberator on I failed to maintain tactical awareness. And completely did not notice that 7400 men stack that gathered just to our south. Prior to discovering that unfortunate turn of events I was going to try and lead the Turks south into the mountains where we probably would have been able to put up a decent defense. Sadly, taking the offensive against that other stack led us to this situation of having nowhere to run.

But run we shall.

There is a river up north of the Caspian. If we can get there first Vahid may be able to pull of a miracle victory.

But the Turks travel too fast.


We've been intercepted. And Vahid is about to get beaten silly.

While that battle rages on the Turks plop some men in our home counties and begin sacking our holdings.


Which swings our warscore by quite a bit. To the point of no return really.

We also lost that battle and the subsequent ones while we were running away. The Turks annihilated Vahid's army. All the way to 0.

I can't put up a defensive fight anymore. I ruined any chance of that.

So there's no other option but to pack the wife up and go looking for that beach-house on the Caspian. Or maybe the Black Sea...


Vahid was doomed for failure. I could have converted to Sunni Islam but that would not have saved Vahid, just would have prolonged the inevitable. I could have swore fealty, but I hate doing that just to survive. I figured I'd give this a go and see what happened. Besides there was no point doing either of those things and seeing the Mazdaki religion disappear.

Even though it will now disappear.

So for the first time I get a game over screen. Its actually only the second time I've ever received that great screen in the game since purchasing it so that in a way is an accomplishment all on its own.

I wish it had gone better though as a Mazdaki powerhouse would have been hilarious.

Now that I got a game over what happens? Well I load back up as the Seljuks and wait for Vahid to accept the surrender which he does. I then save, and hit the random button once again, wondering if the RNG will give me something interesting but not so suicidal? I guess when I pray to the RNG I need to be more specific because last time it gave me something interesting and suicidal.

So we hit the button.

And it sends us to Africa.


Sheikh Samir Shaiban of Taroudant, he has three counties to his name. And is a vassal of the Duke of Fez if I remember correctly. Although Samir's lands technically belong de jure to the Emirate of Marrakech which is held by the Qutid Sultan.

Not only is our new Sheikh Samir a vassal to an Emir. But his Emir is a vassal to the Sultan of the Rahhalid Sultanate of Andalusia.


This could be promising....
 

DennisRoos

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Well, that ended quickly. It's part of the Random Game System. CatKnight also lost with Bengal and Luxembourg. I suppose this turn was kind of hopeless from the beginning. At least your next spot is more promising. The first time in this set you'll be a vassal instead of an independent ruler, which should be interesting. And in Catholic North Africa no less! The Europeans have come a long way from the occupation of Aquitaine by the Muslims a few centuries ago.
 

mike the knight

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GreatUberGeek

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Your liege is Catholic? :p Too short of a time with Vahid, but this should be better.
 

Stuyvesant

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Your time with Vadid was short and not-so-sweet (though Vadid seems to have a gift for making sweet sweet love to his wife - perhaps he was playing a longer game, breeding the next generation of Mazdaki insurgents, ready to topple the unbeliever at the first sight of weakness?).

And now you're a Catholic Bedouin, a vassal of a vassal of an old, crippled, scared, shy Catholic Sultan, whose monniker is 'The Unready', who is currently leading troops, and whose intrigue rating is rather lacking. This shows lots of promise. :)
 

Wilkey

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Finally sat down and got caught up on this AAR. Shame about Shah Vahid, a Mazdaki super state would have been very interesting to follow. At least Sheikh Samir looks to be just as intriguing.