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I lurk in the AARs all the time but have never gotten around to writing one. So, this is it. I’m not sure where it will take me but I think we’re about to find out …

I’m playing in my mod – Deconstructed Europe R1C – starting in 1453 AD (857 AH). I couldn’t decide between Western Europe and the Middle East since they're both alot of fun, so I decided to do both. I selected Normandy and Judea as my nations of choice. When putting together a set of images to open my tale, I wandered around Google images for a bit; I started with some religious paintings and ended up with Mont St. Michel and the al-Asqa Mosque:

Openingimage.jpg

Not exactly sure what that means, but I think this may well develop into a religious campaign.

The game is set on normal settings with 50-year province discovery times. I’ll play 10-years as each country with the only starting goals of forming the Great Nations of France and the Caliphate. Beyond that, we’ll see where the game takes us …


-------------------------


In my Judean texts, I started using alot of Arabic and other terms for flavor. Here is a quick dictionary of the tems in use:

Archangel Jibril - in English this is the Angel Gabriel
Malik al-Judea - King of Judea
Emir or Amir - Literally 'Commander' but also a common honorific for national leaders.
Amir Yavarianfar - Supreme Commander
Amir ul-Umara - Commander of Commanders
Amir-i-Tuman - Commander of 10,000
Amir Panj - Commander of 1,000
Amir-i-Nuyan - Commander of 100
Bey - (Turkish) a chieftain
Sheik - an elder or a tribal leader
Infante - A cadet line of the royal family but I made it mean the heir.
Sharia Law - The body of islamic religious law.

ben - (Hebrew) son of
bat - (Hebrew) daughter of


-------------------------


For the different peoples in Arabia and elsewhere, I use an 'i' or an 'ani' added to their nation or city name. Often I just make up something I like the sound of. I think I started it off and on and then it started to creep in more and more as I write the different sections. Here are some of the common names I use:

Judani - people of Judea
Hedjazi - the Judani ally of Hedjaz
Aegyptani - Egyptians. (I liked it better than Mameluki)
Europani - Europeans (I'm really quite pleased with that one)

Then there are Yemeni, Qatari, Ethiops, Nubani, Omani ... the list gets quite long.


-------------------------


The calendar I'm using is the Hirji calendar which is a lunar calendar and about 12 days shorter than our calendar. It begins on the year of Mohammed's birth in 570 and there are 12 lunar months:

Muharram
Safar
Rabi' al-awwal
Rabi' al-thani
Jumada al-awwal
Jumada al-thani
Rajab
Sha'aban
Ramadan
Shawwal
Dhu al-Qi'dah
Dhu al-Hijjah

Let me apologize, but I didn't start converting the dates back to the gregorian calendar until about the 3rd or so Judean post so the first couple a little wierd to read.
 
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comagoosie

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Alright you are doing one ;)

Good Luck! Your mod makes some interesting outcomes.
 

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The Dual Dreams

A Tale of Two Empires​

Openingimage.jpg

This is the story of the rise of Norman France and the Judean Caliphate and the early beginnings that helped form the modern era. For centuries common wisdom held that the age of empires was over. Rome had fallen. Persia was dust. The Mongol Empire was only a memory. The world was nothing more than a collection of squabbling kingdoms – each too weak to rule it’s neighbor.

In Europe, the only constant was the Christian faith, but that wasn’t enough to unite men to a common cause. In the lands once known as Gaul, Dukes and Kings plotted amongst themselves for control of the land.

normandy1453.jpg


The Muslim lands across Africa and the Middle East were in equal disarray. All that remained were emirs and sultans holding on to little more than city-states; each wanting to return to the days of the Caliphate but none with the ability to hold sway over the others.

judea1453.jpg


Trade, however, was flourishing in the major centers of trade like Napoli, Tunis, Lisboa and København. Great cities were beginning generate national incomes that gave leaders hope that their fortunes would soon rise.

COT1453.jpg



Caen, Normandie, July 12, 1453

Duke Armand de Caen, Duc de Normandie, lay abed with a fever.

Fortunately, the year was unusually quiet with both the Flemish and Orleanais occupied with other matters and not pressing their specious claims to Norman lands. Even so, the Duke had been ill for some time and many began to wonder if this was the end for their somewhat unimpressive Lord. As a man of 36, he has been invested as Duke for the past 5 years and has been content to oversee his lands but has shown little interest in adventuring abroad to win fame for himself and his people.

As he slept, it is said he had a vision of the Archangel Michael, the Warrior-General who commands all the armies of Heaven, atop the monastery of Mont St. Michel. There, he was shown all of greater France united under a single rule. This was a France where all of Christendom turned for support and favor. The Archangel said that the Lord God has determined that once again men may rise above their fellow man and form the nations and empires that have not been seen on Earth since the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire. Now is the time for the Lords of Normandy to take what is rightfully theirs.

Duke Armand awoke and summoned his counselors and told them of this dream. A retreat to Mont St. Michel was quickly organized a pilgrimage of Thanksgiving for the Duke’s return to health. In reality, it was a diversion to allow the Duke and his counsel to plan their first steps in fulfilling the Lord’s will.

ArmandIII.jpg

Armand de Caen, Duc de Normandie on retreat in 1453


Jerusalem, Judea, 5 Rajab 857 AH, 1453

The Emir of Judea, Judah ben Solomon, was thrown from a horse and was knocked unconscious. A young man still, the Emir had only been on the throne for a year and would still much rather tame a stallion than run a principality. His father, the Emir Solomon the Younger, ruled Judea for 37 years with a steady hand. Unlike his brother rulers in Allah, Solomon followed old Judean tradition and took only a single wife and produced an heir later in life so that his son, Judah, was only 17 years old when he had to assume the title of Emir.

As the Emir lay unconscious, his ministers worked to keep the news of his injuries a secret as long as possible to prevent their lord’s many cousins from plotting to take the throne.

As Judah lay abed, he found himself in a wonderful palace. Awaiting him there was the Archangel Jibril who revealed the Qu’ran to Mohammed. Jibril spoke to him and told him of Allah’s wish to unite all the followers of the true faith under a single banner and the return of the Caliph who can bring all the People of the Book onto the true path.

Jibril_speaks_to_Judah.jpg

the Archangel Jibril reveals the future to Judah ben Solomon

The Emir awoke from his injuries two days later full of a passion and a drive none had seen in him previously. He spoke first to the Great Imam Amhad ibn Joshua then to his counselors. If Judea was to take it’s rightful place in Allah’s designs, there was much work to be done.
 

comagoosie

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I think that it is pretty cool, having a mod creator writing an AAR from his own mod!

keep up the good work.
 

VILenin

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Interesting AAR. I like the the dual-country idea and it'll be neat to see tried out in your mod.
 

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comagoosie - ya know, You're the one that planted the seed in my little brain ...

t0m - :) If I can only find the time to write up the game so far - stupid real world. :)

Stroph1 - They are - although the game has taken a few unexpected turns so far ...

rcduggan - Yeah ... I did that a few releases ago and never went back to insert better flags. There are some other countries with modern flags too - It's either Norrland or Lapland, but one of them have a flag that's actually the work or a contemporary Swedish artist instead of a flag ...

VILenin - I debated doing an AAR in my own mod - thinking it would be sketchy - but I decided to do it anyway. Now If I can just stop having to work for a living so I have the time to do it ...
 

nalivayko

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Nice mod and nice idea for AAR, best of luck, I'll be reading.
 

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All About Anjou

All About Anjou

Armand de Caen, Duc de Normandie was and average kind of noble (5/5/5) but he was anything but stupid. He knew that in order to fulfill his dreams and the Lord’s vision, he had to have financing for the one or two wars needed. Normandy, however, was not a strong center of trade and it would take decades to build up trading hub. A much easier solution would be to take over existing trade.

To the east was Antwerpen, the thriving center or Flemish trade. It was rich and tempting, but would take some work as it was also the home of Flander’s royal court. Much more tempting was Anjou to the south. It controlled trade throughout most of France and Eire. While Armand had no legitimate claim to the lands of the Duc D’Anjou, Tours was claimed by him as well as many of the surrounding nobility. The history between Anjou and Normandy was long and often contentious, but the Duc d’Anjou now owed fealty to Provence and may well be vulnerable. With a little luck, a feint toward Tours could bag the greater prize.

medieval~bridal.jpg

First, to cement his relationship with Pierre II, roi de Breizh, he married off his eldest daughter, Matilde Hélene, to Brittany’s heir. The wedding was held at Twelfth Night Court in Nantes.

The following spring, in 1454, with full support from the Brittany, Armand declared war on far off Provence and invaded Anjou.

1453nrm20080312185540.jpg


Armand underestimated the ease in taking Anjou and over estimated the size of the armies sent from Brittany. Over the next year and a half, the province of Maine, once owned by the Duchy of Anjou, traded back and forth between the Duc de Normandy and Anjou a few times. But, Armand, leading the Army of Normandy, was able to wrest control of Anjou away. Just before the early snows started to fall, he took control of Tours where he ended his campaign for the year. Armand, his son and heir Armand Philippe and his new Breton son-in-law wintered in Anjou and enjoyed all the hospitality M. le Duc had to offer.

Meanwhile, the remaining forces of the Duc d’Anjou, after capturing the manors of various Norman nobles to survive the winter, began the siege of Caen in early March of the new year. Armand took to the field and Anjou in the field of battle on the 18th of March, 1456.

On the morning of the Battle of Caen, Armand Philippe took ill and was unable to leave his tent. He was dead by noon. By then the battle was already underway. Both sides were evenly matched and my mid-afternoon, the Normans thought they were victorious when the Duke of Anjou took an arrow to the throat. But, within minutes, Armand vomited, fell from his horse and died. Distraught, the Norman Army quit the field.

In a twist of fate retold countless times over the centuries, that evening, a messenger arrived from Provence offering peace to the new Duke, Charles, cousin to Armand.

1453nrm20080312191937.jpg
 

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What was Provence Thinking?


Novelists and historians have put forth hundreds of theories on why Provence gave up their northern possessions, but no one is really certain. Regardless, less than a month later, the Kingdom of Toulouse invaded Provence and absorbed it barely a year later.


Charles the First of Normandy


Charles Philippe Albert Roujouet is known to history as both Charles the First of Normandy and Charles the Black. Originally, his intention was to replace his cousin as Duke. Which, a little poison in a couple wineflasks worked quite well. Now, with Anjou and Tours added to his newly won lands, he had better ideas. Charles seized the reins of government before Duc Armand’s supporters could hope to organize a regency for Armand Philippe’s infant son.

They were, however, able to spirit the infant as well his grieving mother before Charles arrived in Caen. ‘Duke’ was an insufficient title for Charles. At his coronation, he declared the birth of the Kingdom of Normandy.

cantigas.jpg

His first act was to consolidate his hold over Anjou by removing many of the old noble families and replacing them with new, loyal Norman Lords. He was ruthless in consolidating his power. Any dissent was met with swift retaliation – imprisonment and often death.

Charles found himself enthralled with Armand’s dream of empire, but was determined to forge it from a different direction. At Christmas Court, he declared that the new Kingdom to be a nation of great explorers and they would control the High Seas. To that end, he declared the abandoned Viking settlement of Reykjavík to be a Norman protectorate and dispatched a group of rather surprised ‘settlers’ to found a colony there.

1453nrm20080312193031.jpg


Later that summer, his plans changed when a group of Germanic states declared war on Holland and their allies, Flanders. Seeing opportunity to take back some French lands from a distracted Flemish overlord, he took control of the Army of Normandy, which was still securing Anjou, and headed north to Rouen and Picardie.



An Inconvenient Regent


He never made it. Soon after the army crossed from Maine in Normandie, Charles the Black vomited, fell from his horse and died. On his person was found the wine flask used by Duc Armand at the Battle of Caen …

1453nrm20080312193309.jpg


It is said that Armand’s widow, Vivienne, was instrumental in avenging her husband’s death but it cannot be proven conclusively. Regardless, she sat on her grandson’s regency council and held inordinate power for a woman of her day. She did not, however, think nearly as grandiose as her husband or the late, unlamented king and instead kept the council divided to the point of being deadlocked. Vivienne's motive was to ensure her grandson reached his majority; everything else was of secondary importance.

Vivienne.jpg



<New voice, this time it’s just me>
Ok, now this annoyed the crap out of me. It was bad enough that I lost a decent king (5/8/6) for a regency council (3/4/3), but in 1458, Guyenne and their ally Orleans went to war with Toulouse. Champagne, with the help of Lorraine and Burgundy, then declared war on Orleans. This would have been a perfect opportunity to seize Paris. But I had to sit and watch and hope the regency would end soon.

1453nrm20080313170227.jpg


So I built a second army with the funds available from Anjou (that war really worked out well for me – even with the odd way it ended with a loss plus death plus winning) and waited.

To keep me from getting too bored, Brittany declared war on Leinester so I thought I’d help get a piece of Eire. I took control of Munster in 1462. Brittany stole the prize from me and vassalized them (which was roughly when I noticed I was the junior in that war). All I had to show for it was an annoying 1000 Irishmen wandering through Normandy playing at sieging my provinces, so I made peace, declared this to have been a really weird decade and waited out the last of 1462 so I could go see what trouble Judea had gotten into ….
 
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The Rise of Jeroboam the Great, 859 – 866

The Rise of Jeroboam the Great, 859 – 866 AH


The Emir Judah of Judea changed the course of his nation in 857 with his vision of the Angel Jibril. To attain the goals given to him in his dream, he determined that Judea should be the center of culture, architecture music and the Arts for all of Islam. Jerusalem was a very Holy City and so it felt was natural for him to make the city that much more pleasing to Allah. The Emir surrounded himself with men of the arts and learning and encouraged the nascent arts in his realm.

1463jud20080316150510.jpg


Unfortunately for Judah ben Solomon, his injured head came back to haunt him in the summer of 859 when he was suddenly hit with a series of blinding pains centered on the base of his skull. He was soon bedridden and on 18 Jumaada al-awal 859, the Emir Judah died.

His heir, Jeroboam Bar-josiah of Gaza, was an elder cousin who had not spent much time in the Royal Household, but he was a capable general and a keen administrator (6/8/6).

Jeroboam did not share his cousin’s passions for the Arts, but saw that the populace was enthralled with the Dream of Jibril and took the tale as a true sign from Allah that the Judeans truly were his chosen people. In fact, many in the marketplaces had long given their late ruler the nickname Judah al-Rashid (the rightly-guided) in honor of his special relation to Allah. While Jeroboam disapproved with the attention and cost put toward the Arts, he knew the most he could do was interpret the tale of the Dream as it had too quickly become a part of the Judean identity to quash it.

The artists and philosophers, however, were a different matter and they had to be removed from underfoot. They were sent out into the streets of Jerusalem with instructions to teach the common people. Each was given a stipend to support them in their endeavors which was much less expensive than keeping them in palace.

medievaljews.jpg

The philosophers go to the People

The new Emir then began speaking of the need to defend Judea to ensure that Joshua al-Rashid’s Dream grew to fruition. He spent the next years growing the army and finding the best men to head his army and navy. An alliance was struck with the Grand Emir Uthman II of the Mamluks in 860. Once he felt secure in his position, Jeroboam felt ready to unfold his long held plans of conquest over the Damascans.

On 20 Jumada al-thani 864, war was declared. The Mamluks and Karamans both betrayed Judea and refused to support the invasion. The Judeans were committed and invaded Damascus.

1453nrm20080313170228.jpg


Barely three months later, the Judeans were betrayed a second time when the Mamluks declared war and invaded the Sinai.

1453nrm20080313193818.jpg


For a year the Judeans fought a two-front war. The only thing that saved them was the Mamluks’ neighbors, a Tunisian/Libyan alliance and a southern Ethiopian/Nubian alliance, all declared war. Finally, in early 865 the Damascans agreed to an end of hostilities.

1453nrm20080313194024.jpg


(side note: from this point until June of 1465, I lost all my screen shots :( That'll teach me to be so heavy handed in my computer housekeeping.)

Jeroboam ordered his soldiers to direct all their force against the treacherous Mamluks. The Judeans invaded and the Mamluk armies, facing a three front war, were unable to hold everyone back. In the end, Jeroboam emerged victorious in the eyes of his people by demanding and receiving the Province of Diamientia, which he claimed to be Western Gaza and the true goal of these wars (who cares that that land was historically a part of Aegypt since time immemorial. The Emir was lauded and his soldiers were declared heroes.
 
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comagoosie

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Yes it seems that Judea has the luck that is needed. I thought you were doomed when the Mamlucks declared war, but you pulled through. Congrats!
 

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comagoosie said:
Yes it seems that Judea has the luck that is needed. I thought you were doomed when the Mamlucks declared war, but you pulled through. Congrats!

I wish I could take credit for that. I was playing Normandy when the last post took place. (I just filled in the details from the history log.) I actually didn't intend it to be a full post - just a bit of background information that kept growing. :) This next post will be my 10 years as Judea.
 

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Jeroboam and the Bedouin Coast

Jeroboam and the Bedouin Coast, 866 – 871 AH

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Jeroboam the Great


Jeroboam knew that Judea was in a difficult position. The populous knew they had won the war, but they didn’t look beyond their celebrations. Judea was surrounded by enemies with no allies and few prospects for one. Hedjaz to the south controlled half of Arabia as well as the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina. Damascus was gathering it’s forces and the Mamluks, though currently busy, would not forget they lost land to a nation they intended to own outright. Their old ally, the Karamans, had turned to Damascus for support. Only the Persians and Iraqis seemed to approve of the Judean state – but not enough to join in an alliance with them.

In desperation, Jeroboam sent and embassy to the court of Emir Saladin ibn Mohammed in the ancient city of Aleppo to the north. Jeroboam offered his eldest daughter, Fatima, as first wife to Saladin’s eldest son and heir. In Jumada al-awwal 867, a bargain was struck and Dulkadir allied herself to Judea. Better fortified, Jeroboam began preparing for the upcoming war with Damascus.

Meanwhile, word was spreading throughout Islam of the philosophical and artistic riches to be found among the Judani people. In the 8 years since he first placed the learned men out among the people, Judani reputation grew beyond any of his expectations. Of course, he took full credit for the idea …

In the tenth year of his reign, in 869, Hedjaz approached Judea with an unexpected offer: alliance. They had lost their support from the Yemeni far to the south and needed backup for their upcoming campaigns. Seeing this as an effective deterrent against the Damascenes and Mamluks, Jeroboam agreed to the plan.

So, it was later that same year when word came from Medina of a declaration of war against the Haasani and Omani to the east.

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Hedjaz and Haasa fought deep in the Arabian Dessert over who would ultimately control the Bedouin oases in Nejd. Jeroboam sent General Menochim Jotham and the Army of Judea east to take Al Haas and Qatar on the Persian coast. Al Haas offered little resistance, but Qatar was not so easily subdued. During the siege, General Jotham took ill and died. His son and aide, Abraham Jotham, quickly took control of the armies. Sensing opportunity, he abandoned the siege and headed east to the lightly populated lands of Beni Yas and Liwa. He took the lands and forced the Haasani to accept peace with Judea.

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Young General Abraham was rewarded with governorship of the two provinces and a couple cavalry units to ensure continued Judean rule. The remaining foot soldiers in the army headed back to Judea proper. They were still in Al Haas when the Damascenes, who are always on the lookout for a quick profit, declared war on Hedjaz and Judea.

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The Damascene Cavalry rode through the unprotected lands of Al Jawf and Jabal Shammar and into Tabouk which they forcefully took from Hedjaz. The Hedjazi army was fighting near Qatar and the Judani foot soldiers could not keep up with the Damascene horse. The Judean nobles, long jealous of their Emir’s success with the cultivation of the arts – and him just a Gazan! – took this moment to demand their own privileges. Jeroboam quickly agreed to end the Palace’s sole support of the artists and allow the Great Families to instead offer patronage to artists and philosophers of their own.

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In the meantime, the Damascenes entered Judea and lay siege to Gaza City. The Judean Army finally entered Tabouk from Al Jawf. They took the province from Damascus, met up with a regiment of Judean Horse from Jerusalem and attacked the Damascenes in Gaza. After routing their army, Jeroboam demanded and received a peace settlement from the Damascenes in 871.

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The United Emirates of Judea and Dubai

The United Emirates of Judea and Dubai



Over the next five years, the lands of Judea and Dubai prospered The Judani were pleased with their new emirate and quickly accepted the Bedouin culture and Bedouin nobles as a natural part of Judea proper. Jeroboam had plans to expand his control over the Bedouin coast of Dubai and spent those years planning. Unfortunately, on 27 Jumaada al-awal 876, Jeroboam the Great died in his sleep and his less capable son, Solomon Faisal Bar-jeroboam (6/3/3), took his place as Emir.

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The plans for war were far enough advanced that the Hedjazi did not want to put them on hold, so in mid-Ramadan 876, war was again declared on Haasa and Oman. Solomon disapproved of the timing but put his father’s plans into effect. Unlike the last war, the united emirates of Judea and Dubai were strong enough to take overall control of the war.

As the Judean Army headed east, the Dubai Cavalry entered Oman and defeated the Omani army in Qawasim. The Haasani took Beni Yas and Liwa while the Dubai forces took control of Qawasim and Suhar. The Omani were offered peace in exchange for the two provinces which they quickly accepted.

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The Dubai cavalry used the new lands as a base of support to fight and chase the Haasani back and forth through the 4 provinces and finally back into Qatar. By then, the Judean Army had taken control of Al Haas.

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The Haasani, caught between the two armies, fled to Bahrain where they were protected by the Haasani navy. Siege was set to Qatar and it fell in late Rajab 877 on the day the Christians celebrate the Christ Mass. Surrender was demanded. On 1 Sha'aban 877, the Haasani agreed to vassalization to the Grand Emir Solomon of Judea and Dubai.

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