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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Polar Mongoose

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Hi all.

This is my first attempt at an AAR and my first serious game of CK, so feel free to comment one either my writing style or my gameplay.

Starting in the 1066 scenario, I have released the the counties of Durham and York as vassals of Cumberland, with the AAR focusing upon the Berkeley family and their attempts to restore Saxon rule to England
 

Polar Mongoose

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January 20th 1067

Swithelm Berkeley was a Saxon, and 1066 had not been a good year for the Saxon nobility. Following the battle of Hastings most of the Saxon nobles had had their lands taken and given to William's Norman followers. The only reason Swithelm still had his lands was the swearing of fealty to King William by his own leige, Duke Morcar of Cumberland, an event that Swithelm was less than pleased by. However he was bound by his own oaths and so had to put up with his irritation. He vowed however that one day, a Saxon would once again rule England and that he would do everything in his power to make this happen.

Swithelm was no fool though, he knew that open rebelion could never succeed as things currently stood. He would have to build up his power first, for at the moment he had no money, little recognition as a nobleman and no influence with the church in spite of his religious background.

Swithelm Berkeley



The first issue for Swithel was to establish his court. Following the exile of a great many saxon men, the only courtiers available were women. Agatha of York he appointed to be chancellor, Elfwynn de Greystoc as steward and Margaret Percy as spymaster.

Swithelm knew that in order to expand his powers he would need more funds and therefore summoned his steward and chancellor.

Swithelm: Tell me, how much money are we currently generating? I should like to construct a library so that I will be known as a patron of knowledge and learning.

Elfwynn: At present we have an income of 2 ducats per month sire, and it would take years for us to generate the funds needed to build a library, besides which there are no following of the liberal arts in York and so a library would be futile.

Swithelm was not pleased by this, it was evidently going to take a long time to build up the power to overthrow the Normans. However he quickly overcame his frustration at the prospect of a long wait. Perhaps his children or even his grandchildren would have the power to do so if he began to develop York now.

Agatha: Perhaps we shall be able to develop a culture of learning and science by the time we have the money we would need, or at least make a start.

Elfwynn: Or we could improve the infrastructure of the land so that when we can more easily afford such building projects



Swithelm: Very well, we shall begin to save the money in the treasury, and we shall have to force some for of education upon these Danes. I'm sure that even they can be taught to read. And if not we can develop mining and send them down into the bowels of the Earth to find me some wealth instead.


Unfortunately given Swithelm's almost complete lack of understanding of military matters and the fact that the most militaristic in the castle was the kitchen maid, there was no firm direction made on military matters. This meant larger fortifications were developed, in spite of the fact that it would take decades to afford an upgrade to the castle.
 

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Welcome to the Crusader Kings AAR forum, and good luck with your first AAR.

Those Saxons are quit popular, since last week someone also started an AAR as the count of Durham in the same area :)

So, it is interesting to compare the two and see what turn they take.
 

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Thanks for the welcome :D

I guess I choose a Saxon as England is the country whose history I know best (not to mention geography, I'm always getting lost looking through various German counties). Playing a Norman just feels weird, they being invaders of my ancestors.
 

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A good start. At least this portion of the game should pass relatively swiftly. Oh, and time to find a wife!
 

unmerged(21937)

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Red hurts my eyes and green also to a bit lesser extent. There are quite a few other colours available though, like black, lime and pink, that looks quite good on CK forum background.
 

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Please don't use any colours on the text. I will skip reading this AAR with all the colours.
 

Polar Mongoose

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Thanks for the feedback :)

Now that I look at it after reading your comments I realise that those colours are really hard to read, apologies for that I guess when I checked the post it looked ok to read as I already knew what it said.
 

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January 10th 1069

Swithelm's plans for the development of York into an economic powerhouse capable of taking on the Normans were not quite going as he wished. Firstly he had had to fund the relocation of a fleeing nobleman, Edgar, to York. At first this had seemed like a good idea as presumably Edgar as a nobleman was trained in the arts of war and would make an effective marshall for Swithelm's forces. However it soon emerged that Edgar was no military genius, but then neither was Swithelm so Edgar was appointed marshall anyway in the hope the two of them together might at least be able to not totally mess things up.

Swithelm had also been obliged to receive a bishop appointed by the pope, which of course had done with good will, but since then there had been some distrubing rumors about the bishop and the nuns, the dairymaid, a barmaid in the town, and in fact just about anything in a skirt.

Being a chaste man Swithelm disapproved of such things. Unfortuantely he needed an heir, so he was going to have to indulge in such things at least to a degree. The ideal situation would be a dynastic marriage with one of the other counties in England in the hope of aquiring more lands. Following the Norman conquest, most of the counts of England had been replaced with young childless Norman men, so there were few opportunities for dynastic marriages. The best available was a marriage to Emma de Breteuil, daughter of the count of Hereford and Gloucester. Her two brothers meant there was little chance of inheritance without disease or 'accidents', but it would give a claim, which was a start.



January 28th 1069

Agatha of York was feeling pleased with herself. Not only had see managed to arrange a marriage between her leige and the daughter of one of the counts in England with the most land, but she has also secured 28 ducats as dowry, more than doubling the size of the treasury. Life was good.


Emma de Breteuil




Despite the marriage being arranged rather than from love, Swithelm and Emma got on well together, and within a few months Emma was expecting her first child. Furthermore Emma complete the last of her education, developing into a silver toungued negotiator and skilled steward. With her appointment to the position of steward the county income was increased by an extra ducat every two months, a noteable increase.

December 22nd 1069

The people of York were somewhat indifferent to the birth of their counts son. After all he was a Saxon while they were Danes, descended from Viking settlers, and the count, being somewhat cheap, had not organised any public celebration and there was to be no new church offered as thanks to God for the blessing of an heir. Besides, it was the middle of winter, cold and wet.

Swithelm however was joyous. Having mellowed over the last few years he realised that it would take several generations to take the throne from the Normans, so an heir was of the first importance. He still wasn't going to dedicated a new church though. York had a perfectly good church as it was and money didn't grow on trees.
 

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Does the boy have a name ? :)
 

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Still, since it is going to be a task of generations it is very good to see him start producing those necessary descendents!
 

Polar Mongoose

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January 10th 1086

Today was Aethelthryths 16th birthday. By rights he should now be preparing to take up duties as count of his own land while until such a time he should inherit the main family titles. But his family lands only consisted of one province so there were no titles to give him and he therefore had to be satisfied with being Marshall of his fathers forces. And these forces were at the moment the strongest in the north of England.

Aethelthryth Berkeley, heir to the county of York


Aside from the birth of his younger brother Harald, now 14 and training to be a priest, in 1071, the first few years of Aethelthryths birthday had been rather uneventful.

In 1075 a brief war had broken out between the Kingdom of England and the Welsh dukes, but nothing had come of it, peace being declared without any land changing hands. However a Yorkshire scholar, travelling to Wales to observe the tactics used by the two forces, uncovered documents suggesting the Berkeley family had a claim on the title of Duke of Lancaster. While the Berkeleys were not strong enough to act upon this claim, it was thought it may well prove useful in the future, especially given Aethelthryth had not received any claim on the titles of Hereford or Gloucester due to the large number of his cousins ahead of him in the inheritance order.

In the year 1077 the Pope called a crusade against the heathens holding the holy city or Jerusalem. Of the Christian nations, only England answered the call, mobilising the forces of all English counties but Durham and York. Count Swithelm was a strong supporter of the crusade through his rhetoric, and his piety was widely recognised. However without the King of England supporting the costs of transporting the Yorkshire regiment to Out Remer Swithelm was unable to take part in the crusade.

And this was probably just as well for the county of York. The money that would have gone on the maintenance of soldiers instead went on the development of forestry, fishing and mining in the province, increasing incomes and prosperity. This prosperity in Yorkshire was sharply offset by the poverty on the rest of England following the crusade. The crusade had failed to reach Jerusalem and had bankrupted England and decimated her armies, while the Seljuk Turks had managed to force the Byzantine Empire out of Asia and had even taken the great city of Byzantium.





None of this was Aethelthryths problem though. He was young and with any luck would be able to secure a good marriage. Then it would be a matter of waiting for the one of his neighbours to slip up, and then the Berkeleys would strike.
 

EvilSanta

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Nice for first aar,really nice.Make those norman dogs run!
 

Veldmaarschalk

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Crusading is a costly business indeed.

But you know that when your liege ask to mobilise your troops, you can agree to that and then put your army-maintenance to zero. Your troops (headed by your count) will then be under control of the AI and won't suffer any attrition by not getting paid by you.

Just don't forget to put army-maintenance to 100% when your regiment has returned.
 

Polar Mongoose

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Veldmaarschalk said:
Crusading is a costly business indeed.

But you know that when your liege ask to mobilise your troops, you can agree to that and then put your army-maintenance to zero. Your troops (headed by your count) will then be under control of the AI and won't suffer any attrition by not getting paid by you.

Just don't forget to put army-maintenance to 100% when your regiment has returned.

That was what I was going to do, as I'd have been bankrupt by the time the troops even got round to organising to leave England. But as it was no one asked me for any troops.
 

stnylan

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It's the only way, unless of course you just like refusing *whistles innocently*

I'm not, on the whole, a loyal vassal.