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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

DarkReborn

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Now that's the kind of miracle worker that I like!

And finally, a Catalonian AAR that is not with the Barcelona dinasty!

take that, Kurt!


I'll be following this :D
 

Farquharson

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Kurt_Steiner, JimboIX & Specialist290: Indeed, I realized that getting both arms chopped off and still fighting on was not a very original idea, but I couldn't think of anything better for a dramatic "Severely Wounded" event. :)

RossN & RGB: Alas yes, limb replacement miracles are far beyond the Count's meagre resources. I haven't even saved up enough for a forestry yet... :(

Jestor: You ain't seen nuthin' yet! ;)

Specialist290: Yes, people who want the County of Empuries are certainly lining up - and not forming a particularly orderly queue I'm afraid! :eek: I think the lustful skeptical Bishop thing is just the Pope's way of getting rid of undesirable elements from the Vatican...

Chief Ragusa: But he's still got his teeth - "Come here and I'll bite your head off!" :D

DarkReborn: Of course, there may be a reason why no-one has done a d'Empuries Catalan AAR before... :rolleyes:

Duke of Wellington: "Just a fool's hope..." in the words of one cool wizard.

And now read on as things take an unexpected turn in the next nail-biting episode of "Blood and Gold: a Catalan Tale"!
 

Farquharson

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Chapter 6 (1076-80)

The End of an Era

Count Ermengol d'Empuries was angry. In fact he was more than angry, he was livid. While thieves and smugglers roamed unchecked across his lands, his liege was marching his men about near Toledo. All sixteen of them, that is to say, the last pitiful remnants of the once-proud Empuries Regiment which had set out three years earlier to do battle with the Emir of Toledo. Now the Count, less both of his arms lost tragically in the first battle, was still leading his men, but it seemed now like a futile matter. The Emir of Toledo was still fighting on but he too had been fatally weakened by the war.


The army marched east wearily to besiege the Emir's new capital of Castellon. On the way they learned that the Emir of Murcia had now declared war on the Emir of Toledo - it seemed like his days were numbered. By July 1077 the Duke and the remnants of his army were outside the walls of Castellon, with news that the Emir of Murcia was besieging Valencia to the south. A few months later Valencia had fallen and the Murcians had arrived to take over the siege of Castellon. The war now seemed more futile than ever, and Count Ermengol was only too glad when the Duke finally dismissed him and his men, who now numbered precisely four.

The next piece of news that came, in January 1078, was that the King of France was now pressing his long-standing claim on the County of Rosello and had declared war. In normal circumstances Count Ermengol would have been horrified at this development, but he now saw it as a golden opportunity. For surely the Duke would once again demand that he mobilize his troops in order to defend Catalonia against the invaders from the north. And he was damned if he was going to let his liege do that again. This would push relations with the Duke to breaking point, which is precisely what Count Ermengol wanted. Surely the King of France would be delighted to acquire not only the County of Rosello by force, but also the Count of Empuries as a willing vassal by diplomacy?


So as King Philippe's 3000 strong army began their siege of Rosello, and the Duke marched his 250 men north to try to break the siege, Count Ermengol waited quietly for the summons to come. However, for some reason which was beyond the Count's ability to comprehend, no summons ever came. When the Duke's army arrived at Empuries on their way north the Count went to greet his liege.


Count Ermengol: May I bid you welcome, my Lord. How goes the war, Sire?

Duke Ramon Berenguer: Oh, fine Empuries, absolutely fine. I'm just marching north to see to this little spot of bother with the King of France, then I'll head back down south to finish off the Emir of Toledo.

Count Ermengol, surveying the Duke's men: That's quite an army you've got there, Sire - must be all of, what? 250 men?

Duke: 257 to be precise.

Count: You'll be wanting the Empuries Regiment to join you I suppose, then?

Duke: Oh no, Empuries, no need for that. I know the sort of ineptitude you're capable of when the heat's on, and I just can't take the risk another time. Thanks for offering though.

Count: Uh, right my Lord. Don't mention it. And good luck with the war.

Less than a month later the Duke's son, Count Ramon Berenguer of Rosello, surrendered to King Philippe, handing over his lands, but the Duke fought on. And then came the next tragic event of Count Ermengol's tragic life…


His tragic death.​

As has been noted before, the House of Empuries was running short of male heirs, but fortunately Ermengol's brother Berenguer was still alive and perfectly able to take the reins of power. What was just a teensy bit problematic was that, for some reason best known to themselves, his two sons had taken their mother's family name of di Rocaberti instead of the name of d'Empuries. Thus the d'Empuries dynasty was now at risk of disappearing forever as it turned into the di Rocaberti dynasty.


Oops…​

However, this problem paled into insignificance in May 1079 when the Emir of Zaragoza spotted that his Christian neighbour the Duchy of Catalonia had virtually no armies left and was currently being eaten up by the King of France. He can hardly be blamed for deciding to get in on the action while there was still something left to take. He promptly declared war on the Counties of Urgell and Empuries.

Now at last, thought Count Berenguer, the Duke will call upon me to mobilize the Empuries troops. But the Duke stubbornly refused to do so. What to do? If Count Berenguer mobilized them himself, the Duke would certainly not send a summons, but if he just sat and did nothing it was only a matter of time before the Emir of Zaragoza came calling with his huge armies. In August 1079 the Count came to a decision. It was only a fool's hope, but what options now were left to him? The regiment was raised and set sail for the island of Mallorca, which had been part of the Emirate of Zaragoza for the last three years.



Time to take a holiday in Mallorca​

The Count and his tiny army landed on Mallorca in November, meeting no opposition whatsoever and began to besiege the enemy fortress where the garrison had taken refuge. The news from Empuries was not good. Having seized the County of Urgell, the Emir of Zaragoza had marched on and was now besieging Empuries.


It was in February that the news finally came that the Count had been dreading. Empuries had fallen. He was no longer the Count of anywhere - the proud line of d'Empuries had come to an end. Count Berenguer and his men packed up and returned to their ship and set sail. Set sail for where? "Well," thought the Count, brightening somewhat, "no ties now, no responsibilities. The world's my oyster I suppose."

And so Count Berenguer and his men found their new calling in life…


 
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Farquharson

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And so ends this rather short AAR! This of course is rather shameful - to actually lose a game of CK in 1080... In my defence, I was playing a particularly tricky County in a perilous location, and also had some bad luck.

With hindsight, here's what I think I should have done - refused to mobilize my troops when the Duke asked the first time. Hopefully he'd have asked often enough that I could switch allegiance to the King of France early on. Then it would just be a question of watching while the rest of Catalonia broke up, hopefully picking up some pieces for myself, and perhaps becoming the Duke of Mallorca or something.

That, however, is only with hindsight!

Anyway, thanks as always to all who read and posted in this AAR during its short life. I am now definitely in the mood for writing some more, so will almost certainly be embarking on a new CK AAR in the near future. Watch this space!
 

unmerged(59077)

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Well, it's over when it's over. It was a fun read!

And never discount piracy as a profession.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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That happens for not taking Barcelona into consideration :D

Take that, Dark Reborn...

Just kidding, it has been just sheer bad luck. Perhaps it should have been wiser to become a liege of France...
 

coz1

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Well that was inconvenient. I guess old Ermengol wasn't able to get his arms around the problem. ;)

Too short by far so I am looking forward to the next attempt, Farq!
 

Specialist290

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...And now I'm on hand to witness the staggering conclusion of a Farq AAR!

(Yeah, yeah, just trying to put a positive spin on things :p )

Very bad luck there. Reminds me of the time that I was planning a Swabia AAR, and my own liege (the King of Germany) declared war on me out of the blue. I forgot that not mobilizing your troops gives your liege a claim on all your titles...
 
Last edited:

Farquharson

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RGB: I'm sure the d'Empuries clan turned out to be far more successful as pirates than they were as Counts of Empuries :) .

Kurt_Steiner: I'm sure you're right about pledging allegiance to France. I'm just watching Catalonia crumbling in a similar way in my new game (see below). Becoming a French vassal is probably the best strategy for survival for Empuries.

coz1: Sick! :D Well, the next attempt is already up and running - the link is in my sig.

Specialist290: I recently started a game as the County of Warwick and William the Bastard grabbed my title in 1071, declared war on me and the game was over three months later :( . Dunno why these lieges taken it into their heads to do such things - I hadn't even refused to mobilize my troops, he just grabbed the title of one his most loyal vassals :wacko: .

Duke of Wellington: Bhutan - heh, heh! I've tried playing them as well...

Well, as I mentioned, the next AAR is already started, a CK version of my EU2 "P is for Portugal", but starting as the County of Passau. Check it out!
 

unmerged(60841)

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Ermengol the armless pirate will no doubt be far more inspirational than Ermengol the count- good show, sorry it had to end so soon.
 

Snake IV

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Must have missed the end of this. It was one odd AAR, never deciding weather it was serious or humourus, but it was entertaining while it lasted.
 
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Cèsar de Quart

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I'm so late, but I must say that I enjoyed much reading this AAR, especially because my family comes from modern a Catalan modern region called the Empordà, named after the famous couny of Empúries. I spent many summers swimming around the ruined port of the ancient Greek city, and I keep good memories of that time.

Take care, then, and keep writing wonderful ARR's.