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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Y. D. Dandy

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I finally bought Cossacks and Mare Nostrum with the recent sale. For my first full game with these expansions, I decided to play Candar since 1. I like the color, 2. I love the flag, 3. they have some decent ideas (core creation costs in tradtions!), and 3. I can't find an AAR on them.

I'm playing with the Beyond Typus mod. Though I've usually played with it since I discovered it, I considered playing in vanilla for the AAR. Then I remembered that in the current version Turkish is in the same culture group as Bedouin and a different culture group from Azeri. I could make a mini-mod just to edit cultures, but if I did that I'd create a giant Turco-Persian group, which would be a huge buff to me. Beyond Typus's culture groups are mostly linguistically-based, so I'm trading the Egyptian and Iraqi for Azeri and Turkmen, which I think is more than fair. (Also, annoyingly, Anatolia is in Asia in BT, which means that I won't be able to create trade companies in most of Asia until I move my capital. Europe and Asia are cultural constructs, and there's good reason Paradox put Anatolia in Europe.)

I figured I'd write the AAR as I play because I once planned on doing a Leon AAR. You know why you never saw a Leon AAR from me? Because once I'm finished a campaign, I tend to either start a new campaign or stop doing anything EU4-related entirely when I suddenly remember that there's things in my real life that need doing. (Like Candar, I picked Leon because I liked its ideas, its flag, and its map color.

At this point, my goals are the following:
  1. Become a different sort of purple blob in what should be rightfully Ottoman land. Relegate the Ottomans to the dustbin of history in favor of a country with a much nicer flag and map color.
  2. Originate Global Trade and be eligible to originate Manufactories and Enlightenment. (The latter two aren't guaranteeable, so I'll screenshot the criteria for them before the tick so y'all can see I'm eligible whether I get them or not.)
  3. Follow in Ataturk's footsteps (or I guess foreshadow Ataturk's footsteps) by attempting to fulfill the six arrows of Kemalism.
  4. Make as many fourth-wall-breaking jokes as possible. (Yes, I'm probably the only person who will find them funny, but I'm going to do it anyways.) I will consider the game won (but still keep playing), if I can get the Russians to siege down Aleppo at any point in the game.
Candar's awesome flag:
flagofcandar.png


Note on earlier attempts:
I should disclose that I restarted multiple times before I figured out an initial strategy that worked. My first attempt I allied Ramazan, not noticing that they had a Mamluk core. Faced with a choice between war against my meatshield and serious trust hit with everybody, I decided that allying Ramazan was a mistake. And while some EU4 players might roll with their mistakes, I decided to cut my losses and start over.

When I restarted, I learned that it's a fluke that Karaman was friendly the first time; they usually rival Candar. Because when the Ottomans are at the door, the focus of your hatred should be another small nation on the opposite side of the Ottomans. And as it turned out, Karaman was almost useless. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that my allying them was the only thing that kept the Ottomans from eating them, and I like their flag.

After several restart scums to get a friendly Karaman, I got into a war with the Ottomans at equal tech and what started as a more than 3:2 numerical advantage. Karaman did not join, because they had a truce with the Ottomans but Mamluks, Trabzon, and Dulkadir did. And I quickly learned why people complain about fighting the Ottomans so much.

So this AAR will start with my third serious attempt. Now that I've got the first war over and done with I'm fairly confident that this is a campaign I will see through until the end, so I'll write the first couple posts today or tomorrow.
 

Y. D. Dandy

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Part I: Kemal comes to Samsun

11 November 1444

Bey Kemaleddin Ismail of Candar (2-3-2) looked around nervously. The House of Osman had risen rapidly from a tiny state on the edge of the Roman Empire to control half of Anatolia and most of Rumelia and had just defeated the combined might of Christendom. The Ottomans were the greatest danger the independent rulers of the Near East had ever faced, yet he was stuck with calling Canik, Circassia, and Georgia his rivals."

His brother, Red Ahmed the Useless (3-1-0), shrugged fatefully. "God has willed it that the House of Osman will reestablish the caliphate and conquer the world."

"If God is the author of our history, he's not a fan of piety, he's a fan of Mary Sue narratives. How else do you explain the Ottomans, or the Tamerlane? To beat the Sue you must become the Sue!"

"And how do you expect to do that when the Ottomans have twice the monarch points we do and the money to afford lots of advisors for even more of them?" asked Ahmed.

"You know the joke about the two men and the leopard?" asked Ismail.

"I don't need to outrun the leopard; I just need to outrun you?" giggled Ahmed.

"That's the one. Eventually, the Ottomans will fail. In the meantime, we need to persuade them to look elsewhere for their land. I will hire a master recruiter and I will turn as many pigeons and as much paper as I can into swords for our armies. The rest of the pigeons and paper I will bury in the ground at Çankırı. This will cause the copper mines there to become more productive and the city to turn into a giant metropolis full of new taxpayers."

"Don't you need the pigeons and paper to trade to the alchemists for downloadable technology?"

"Not as much as we need the swords and the money. Besides, if we wait long enough we get a huge discount because the alchemists figure that anybody willing to wait several decades to buy a DLT isn't going to pay full price for it. And now, before the month ticks we will send alliance offers to the Mamluks, the Karamanids, and the Trebizonders, in that order."

"What about Dulkadir and Ramazan?"

"We'll tell Dulkadir we're friendly and they'll send us an offer on their own; Ramazan has a Mameluk core in Osmaniye."

"Is there any connection to the House of Osman?"

"I have no idea; I googled it and still can't tell whether it's an anachronism."

"What's 'googled'?" asked Red Ahmed.

"Another anachronism."

1 December 1444
"In two weeks, I'm going to join with Trebizond to divide Canik. We each have a core and ours is the better one," Ismail informed his brother. "We need all the swords we can keep, I'd like you to be a general."

"I don't want to fight," protested Ahmed, "I might die! Why can't you ask the Umera for a general?"

"They don't have enough influence," explained Ahmed, "but I assure you: I don't want you to die in battle either. That would cost me paper to increase stability, and I need all the paper so I can bury it Çankırı."

"If you keep burying pigeons and paper in Çankırı, it will become a metropolis to rival Constantinople itself," observed Ahmed.

"That's the idea," said Ismail.

"But Constantinople is at the center of the world, on a vital trade route; it's the capital of the old Roman empire. Çankırı is a backwater province in our backwater state. Plus it's got a name that can't be written properly in the Arabic script: Arabic doesn't have the 'ç' or 'ı' sound."

"In fairness: Latin doesn't either, when we inevitable adopt the Latin alphabet we'll need to invent whole new letters for those sounds," said Ismail sagely. "But none of that matters, what matters is Çankırı has copper, making it the best place to bury pigeons."

"Your logic as always is incontrovertible," conceded Ahmed.

"And now, we need to get back to the topic at hand: defeating Canik. Go to the armory and get yourself fitted out."

***

Ahmed presently returned in a fine suit of armor. "OK, I'm back, how do I look?"

"You look like you'll make almost as good a general (0-2-1-0) as you will a ruler."

"Sweet! Now let's take Samsun back from those Caniki bastards!"

Ismail shrugged. "Can't. The Swedes say we have to wait a month after the Battle of Varna to declare war."

"How did we even hear about the Battle of Varna so fast anyways? And why are we listening to what a bunch of Swedes say, or using the Roman calendar? And if we're waiting anyways, why not wait until those two infantry you recruited finish assembling?"

"We're using the Roman calendar because we want to be Romans, don't we? That's the whole point of this. If Greek-speaking Christians can be Romans, why not Turkish-speaking Muslims? And we have to declare war as soon as we can, because the House of Osman doesn't want any of their neighbors getting bigger and will warn us not to go to war."

"But if we go to war before they warn us they'll be cool with it?"

"No, they'll be furious, but they want to eat Canik, so they don't have good enough relationships to enforce peace on us."

"And they won't declare war on us while we're at war?"

"Inshallah they won't. That's why we allied with the Mamluks, Karaman, and Dulkadir."

"I thought we allied Karaman because we liked their flag."

"OK, that was a big part of it," Ismail conceded. "That flag needs to stick around for as long as possible. Their map color could use some work though."

flagofkaraman.png

13 December 1444

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 2.34.52 PM.png


"You realize you promised Trebizond land but forgot to call them into the war?" asked Ahmed.

"I didn't forget," insisted Ismail. "I deliberately waited to call them in as part of my grand strategy."

Ahmed shrugged. "Can't say I know much about diplomacy."

"Of course you don't," said Ismail, "you've only got a one in that stat. I'm thrice as good as you at it. It's the one thing I'm mediocre at."

28 January 1445
"Did you see that!" declared Red Ahmed. "I defeated Little Ahmed's forces as they laid siege to our capital, even though everyone said he was a better general!"

"I did indeed," said Ismail. "I'm absolutely certain that it was all you and had nothing to do with the terrain and river crossing bonuses Little Ahmed took, and the last-minute arrival of the Trebizonders played no role."

"Now I see why you waited to call in the Trebizonders," Ahmed declared. "It was so that I could have all the glory to myself!"

"Yes," said Ismail. "That was absolutely my plan."

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 2.37.20 PM.png


1 January 1447
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 2.51.38 PM.png


"When the Canikids accept our peace offer, Samsun will be ours again, and Bayramli will be restored to Trebizond!" declared Ismail.

"Is it too late to ask why we're giving a Muslim Turkish province to the Greek kufar?" asked Ahmed. "Also, why we allied with the Greek infidels at all?"

"The Greek infidels won't be able to convert it for a long time. Also, we won't be able be able to convert the land of the Greek infidels for a long time, making it annoying to govern."

"OK, so Samsun is ours. But the siege was over on 31 December 1445. Why did you wait a year exactly to sue for peace?

"I find it auspicious to let my enemies stew for a bit."

"Then why didn't you wait until 19 May?" asked Ahmed.

"I didn't think of it," Ismail explained calmly after a mere five minutes of non-stop swearing. But I promise you this: nine years from now on 29 October, I promise to erect a giant equestrian statue of myself in the middle of the city."
 

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Part II: Georgia on My Mind

13 April 1447
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 2.54.48 PM.png


"Apparently," said the Red Ahmed the Useless, "the Crimeans rejected the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become vassals of the House of Osman. I wasn't even aware that was a possiblity."

"I was," said the Bey of Candar, "but then I'm three times the diplomat you'll ever be. I didn't expect it to happen so soon though. I'd hoped we'd have beaten up Crimea before they accepted Ottoman vassalage, but this is even better; it lets us bide our time."

1449, in Sinop
"You know how Abkhazia is rightfully ours, right?" Kemaleddin Ismail Bey asked his brother Red Ahmed the Useless.

"What? It's across the Black Sea! It's also got some disgusting increased coring costs!" protested Ahmed. He had a point, administration being the only thing Ahmed was actually mediocre at.

"You may understand administration half-again as well as I do, but I understand diplomacy three times as well as you do," Ismail reminded his brother. "And if we attack anyone who borders the Osman domains, the Osmans will join them against us. We still can't take on the House of Osman, but we can kick the asses of the Georgians. However the Osmans have just declared war on the White Sheep Turcomens, and may have a border with Georgia at the end of it. We need to strike now."

1450's, in Georgia
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 3.44.58 PM.png


Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 3.56.38 PM.png


"Why do the Georgians keep attacking us!?" asked Ismail in frustration. "They lose every time!"
"Ahh, but they get the defensive bonus," observed his advisor the master recruiter, "and their forts are in the mountains. You lose more men, and they're trying to bleed you dry."

"Haven't the Georgians ever heard of mercenaries?" asked Ismail.
"Mercenaries cost you money," said the master recruiter. "I imagine they figure that at the very least they will inconvenience you."

"You won't be able to fight another offensive war for a long time. Better make the most of this one."

"But I can't make the most of it!" objected Ismail. "I promised the Trebizonders land, and they don't want any of it. But even if I take no land for myself, even if only take money, war reparations, and humiliation, the Trebizonders are unhappy because I promised them land. Even thought they get a share of those spoils! Either I take a white peace or I lose my alliance with them and can't call anyone into war for land for 30 years!"

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 4.02.36 PM.png


"I thought you were the mediocre diplomat," observed the master recruiter, "yet you don't see the problem here."

"OK, smart guy," said Ismail. "What is the problem?"

"The Georgian attrition strategy has worked and they now outnumber you."

"OK, I see that problem and it's only because I'm trying to avoid taking loans. But what's the solution?"

"Have you tried asking a hoca?" asked the recruiter. "I hear that Gugıl Hoca is an expert on these things."

Ismail nodded and called upon Gugıl Hoca.

"The problem," said Gugıl Hoca, is this: "Imereti is a province of strategic interest to Trebizond, yet you have not transfered its occupation to them. Until they occupy all their provinces of strategic interest, they will refuse to even consider taking land."

"And when I transfer Imereti to them?"

"They'll still refuse to take any land; they just don't want it themselves."

"That's a stupid system," complained Ismail.

"Why?" asked Gugıl Hoca.

"I wanted to release Imereti as a vassal and feed it Gori; I can't do that if I can't take Imereti."

"So you can't take any provinces you ally wants for yourself?" said Gugıl Hoca. "I think the system is working as intended."

"Fine," grumbled Bey Ismail. "I'll take the two coastal provinces the Greeks don't want and screw with Georgia in every way I can."
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 5.34.53 PM.png



"That will cost you pigeons," observed Ahmed. "I thought you were burying all your spare pigeons into Çankırı?"

"Not even enough to increase production by one," said Ismail. "And I've been burying paper provinces along the coast in an attempt to spread the Renaissance from Amasra. See, I knew the Renaissance would develop naturally in a high-development European city, but I didn't realize that Çankırı wasn't in Europe."

"Another name for Anatolia is 'Asia Minor,' and that didn't clue you in?" Ahmed the Annoying asked.

"Yeah, Asia Minor, like not real Asia."

Later that year, Red Ahmed the Useless met with a tragic accident. The new heir, Ali (3-3-5), was as mediocre as both his brothers at their best, and far superior to both in their military skills.
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 5.40.32 PM.png


Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 5.40.48 PM.png

For the good of the country, the visionary but rather pathetic Ismail immediately had himself appointed general. He nonetheless went on to live a long and healthy life, perhaps a reward by the fates for his brave and selfless leadership.
 
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Candar aar... That's a new one.
 
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AngryWallabee

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You almost never see someone play as one of the Turkish minors. Subbed!
 
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cliffo

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I really like your writing style. I hope you can keep this up.
 
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Y. D. Dandy

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Part III: Rome and the World
9 April 1465

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 6.32.24 PM.png

"A week ago, the warning from our friends to the south expired," Bey Ismail told his brother.
"Warnings expire?" asked the naive young Ali.
"Every generation they forget they warned us for a month. It's our window to strike."
"OK, but strike where? Genoa is protected by Austria, Trebizond is our ally, and we can't take on the House of Osman."
"You forget that we're a few day's journey by sea from Constantinople, City of the World's Desire," declared Ismail.
"No, I remember that! I was violently seasick the one time I visited and vowed never to set foot on a boat again!"
"Then you'll understand how this survey of my domains shows that Constantinople is rightfully Candar's!"
"That just looks to me like you took a map of Anatolia and wrote 'Mine!' across the whole thing."
"Then you see how Constantinople is rightfully ours?" Ismail asked.
"Constantinople isn't even in Ana... eh, I guess the point you're trying to make is that you're going to invade Constantinople?"
"That's exactly it!"
"If the Arabs failed twice, to take the city, what makes you think we can take it?"
"Well yeah, they're Arabs. Fierce fighters, but not big on strategy. The Russians took it, the Crusaders took it, and we're going to take it for keepsies."
"I suppose it helps that the Roman Empire is a shadow of its former self. Even so, do we even have the men to properly siege Constantiople?"
"Nope!" Ismail shrugged and grinned ebulliently. "We don't even have the boats to carry our army! But we can get all later. The important thing is that I've sent a letter to the Roman Empire demanding that he hand over my city. Since he impudently refused, I will have to ride into Constantinople as conquerer to teach the Romans a lesson. And when I do, all my subjects will call me "Fatih."
"They already do call you 'Fatty'," Ali observed, staring pointedly at his brother's midsection."
"Yeah, but this time they'll mean it in a nice way."

15 February 1466
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 6.37.11 PM.png


For months after a distant Anatollian Bey had declared war on the Roman Empire, the Romans had seen no sign on them, nor was Candar the Turk that the Romans worried about. So when Ismail, Conquerer of the Future landed his troops in the woods north of Constantinople, the Byzantines were caught by surprise. It wasn't a brilliant maneuver, but it caught the leaderless Greeks who had been picnicking on the banks of the Bosphorus by surprise.

The Roman Army had no time to retreat behind the city walls, but they couldn't have done that anyways because the defenders of the City of Constantinople itself insisted that there was no room inside the fort. Never mind six thousand men and a thousand horses more could easily fit inside the nearly vacant city's vast walls: that's not the way things are done the defenders insisted. Nor did the three thousand defenders behind the walls sally forth to turn the tide, because that would have taken a level of strategic thinking the miserable Greek wannabe Romans were completely lacking. And so, despite technically greater numbers an the advantage of the high ground, Roman infighting allowed the Turks to win the day, as it had since the Seljuk Turks started pressing on the borders of the Roman empire several centuries ago.

22 June 1470
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 6.59.33 PM.png


In June of 1470, Kemaleddin Ismail rode into the great city of Constantinople as a conqueror, marching right into the palace of the Roman emperors.
"You've won," said the Byzantine emperor, whose name Ismail had never bothered to learn. "The city is yours."
"It's nice to visit and all, but I'm perfectly happy with Sinop," said Ismail. "Frankly, while Constantinople is nice to visit, it's too full of Greeks for my taste. I mean it's basically empty and I could repopulate it with Turks, but I have to convert all the Greeks first and then give them all pigeons as a reward for learning Turkish. That just seems ike too much of a bother right now."
"So I'll just give you the treasury and you'll leave?" asked the Emperor hopefully?
"Oh no," Ismail shook his head. "I'm taking your treasury—it's rather pathetic I might add—but from this point on you'll be my lap puppet. When I tell you to bark you ask how high."
"I think you're mixing metaphors," observed the emperor.
Ismail signaled to his troops, who pointed various pointy objects at the Roman Emperor. "Bark," he commanded the emperor.
"How high?" the emperor asked, his voice equal parts fear and confusion.
"Good boy," said Fatty Ismail.

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 7.00.45 PM.png


The conquest of Constantinople an subjugation of the Roman Empire allowed the Bey of Candar to declare himself a rival of the House of Osman. (Unfortunately it didn't stick the first time, so several years later he did it again, this time using a bigger pen.)

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 7.11.32 PM.png


After conquering his adventures in Constantinople, his regular routine of burying paper and pigeons in the ground grew tedious, and Fatty Ismail took to the bottle hard. Two years later the vineyards of Candar's Georgian provinces produced a disappointing yield, and Bey Ismail decided to join a twelve step program and seek the help of a higher power.

1470's: Reign of Ali
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 7.19.34 PM.png


Unfortunately for Fatty Ismail, but likely fortunately for the realm, the Twelve Steps didn't really work. Official sources say he died peacefully in his sleep and not passed out drunk on the chamber pot as legends suggest.

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 7.24.24 PM.png


Ali continued his late brother's work with a rigour Fatty Ismail had lacked, and not long after his coronation he found a large cache of swords, paper, and pigeons his brother had completely forgotten about. The pigeons were dead since Fatty Ismail had forgotten to feed them, but while that may be problematic for some uses, a pigeon doesn't need to be alive when you bury it in the ground to increase copper production.

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 7.26.43 PM.png


Ali was a true renaissance man, and 14 months after his coronation he proved it by declaring himself a Renaissance Man and burying fifteen ducats in the one province which still insisted that the Mona Lisa is overrated.

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 7.29.58 PM.png



When researchers from the House of Osman invented bronze cannons a year later, Ali was beside himself.
"How did you not invent this first!" he demanded of his researchers. "What am I paying you for!?"
"We almost did invent it," one natural scientist explained. "The Osmen had a lot more money than us, but we're only a few months away ourselves. We tried glass cannons and ceramic cannons. Bronze was next on our list of things to try after we tried wooden cannons, and thanks to the Osmens we now know we can skip that step. Bronze. I don't think you see the upside to this, do you?"
"What's that!!?" demanded Ali.
"Bronze needs copper, and who has lots of copper?"
"We do!" Then after a pause he smiled. "Maybe the Osman Sultan will try to come take it from us."
"That would be a good thing?" asked the researcher.
"I can't get an to join us in attacking the House of Osman; they're too afraid. And the Great Horde is always too much in debt. And let's not forget about the House of Osman's Barbary barbarian buddies. But if the House of Osman attacked us..." he trailed off.
"At this point we'd still probably lose since none of our allies will have cannons," observed the researcher.
"Well yeah, but only probably."
 
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Ali was a true renaissance man, and 14 months after his coronation he proved it by declaring himself a Renaissance Man and burying fifteen ducats in the one province which still insisted that the Mona Lisa is overrated.
a pigeon doesn't need to be alive when you bury it in the ground to increase copper production.
Official sources say he died peacefully in his sleep and not passed out drunk on the chamber pot as legends suggest.
We tried glass cannons and ceramic cannons. Bronze was next on our list of things to try after we tried wooden cannons, and thanks to the Osmens we now know we can skip that step.
oh boy, I like your humor.

Definatly subbed.
 
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Subbed :) I can never do Turkish Delight
I'm not sure I could either. Even with a faster computer and autosaves only every three months, I still don't have the patience for Ironman. I never play below speed three (though I pause frequently) and even normal month ticks are annoyingly laggy. (Plus, as I said, I refuse to play in the Middle East on vanilla while "Levantine" is a culture group, meaning I can't get achievements even if I did play Ironman.)

On that note, I've noticed some things about the Beyond Typus mod which make playing Candar with it considerably different than it would be to play on vanilla, and likely easier on balance.
  1. BT adds Canik as a nation between Candar and Trebizond and gives you a core on Samsun, which has a center of trade. This makes allying Trebizond both possible and advisable and a declaration of war before the Ottomans warn you super-easy. If you're playing on vanilla I'd still recommend allying Trebizond if possible, because then you can call them into war against Georgia for land, and they'll likely decide they don't want any. Plus you don't want a ton of Orthodox Pontic land early in the game.
    -
  2. BT adds a ton of provinces to Anatolia. In some cases I think it adds too many, and then Van remains weirdly massive in a sea of tiny provinces, but Çankırı is one of of the provinces they added. I realized I'd have had to sink a lot of Dip into resources that aren't copper if I'd been playing Vanilla. Plus I imagine the available BT in Anatolia is consequently increased.
    -
  3. Anatolia isn't in Europe (though I believe it should be for cultural and gameplay reasons), but Genoa has a historically-accurate outpost right next to Kastamonu in Amastris. These changes make it harder and easier respectively to embrace the Renaissance. I suspect that the net effect in my case was the make it slightly harder, but that Genovese outpost later made it easier to get other institutions, so on the balance these changes probably made my game easier.
    -
  4. One of the tiny provinces that BT adds is Osmaniye. This is one of the many provinces I think they shouldn't have added; Cilicia has far too many provinces in BT (personally, I think it should have four: Kozan, Adana, Mersin, and Silifke). Plus Osmaniye starts as a Mamluk core, leading the Mamluks to declare reconquest war against Ramazan every time, which I assume is what the BT creators intended for reasons which elude me. (I want to play as Ramazan when it gets unique ideas, but I'm going to have to do it either in vanilla or with a different mod for it to be feasible. I'm nowhere near a good enough player to survive as an Anatolian beylik when both the Ottomans and the Mamluks want my cores.)
    -
  5. The BT people remove the wastelands that vanilla added. This is one thing I strongly prefer about the vanilla game. I'm not sure what it is with modders and their hostility to wastelands; they add strategic depth.
    -
  6. The BT people add a bunch of minority cultures in Anatolia and the Caucasus. Some are historically accurate, like Laz in Rize and Cappadocian (Greek) in Cappadocia. Others are more questionable, like the large number of provinces with Christian Armenians, "Cilicians," and Syriacs (the latter two are culture groups BT adds). And it's not clear why Laz gets its own culture but Ossetian, Abkhaz, and Svan do not; linguistically and culturally those are much more distinctive.
That said, I don't think Candar is a a particularly hard nation to play even in vanilla as long as you're willing to restart scum so Karaman doesn't rival you. In fact, even if Karaman does rival you, it probably wouldn't be too hard to play. But having Karaman as a rival feels weird for role-playing reasons, and you don't want the Ottomans to eat them quite yet.

If you ally Karaman and the Mamluks ally Karaman (as they did about a decade or two in in my game; I wasn't paying close attention), it forms an anti-Ottoman bloc strong enough to persuade the Minty Menace to find other targets. Ideally you want the Ottomans fighting Europeans or Steppe Hordes, rather than going for easy free cores in Karaman or a super-powered mission in Byzantium. And after you win your first war with the Ottomans you're pretty much set.

Of course if the Ottomans get the Crimean Khanate as a vassal before you've had a chance to beat one or both of them up, your work becomes a little bit harder for you. Having the event fire early in the game and the Crimeans reject the Ottomans was an incredible stroke of luck for me, but probably not for the readers.

oh boy, I like your humor.

Definatly subbed.
Coming from you that's high praise indeed. :cool:
I love your AAR's: you have a risk-taking derring-do and a patience for micromanagment I never will, and your writing is hilarious; I've learned that eating and drinking while reading your AAR's presents a choking hazard.
 

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Part IV: Crimea River
September 1478
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 7.42.28 PM.png

"I 'found' you some documents showing that Amasya is rightfully ours!" declared one of Bey Ali's minor advisors.
"Amasya?" asked Ali. "Why in God's name would I want Amasya!?"
"Well, it's Turkish, Sunni, and in the same general area as Samsun. Plus it's got that whole scenic beauty thing going for it."


"The whole of Anatolia is teaming with scenic beauty!" declared Ali. "But Amasya produces grain, and frankly we have too much grain already."
"I thought you can never have too much grain?" asked the advisor.
"Whoever told you that is a damn liar!" objected Ali. "My first priority is getting the copper mines of Ankara and the silk mines of Izmit."
"I don't think silk is mined," objected the advisor.
"Isn't it? It's valuable, and valuable things are usually mined. Where do you think copper, gold, and iron come from?"
"Metal is mined, but fabric is usually grown," said the advisor.
"Oh yeah what about asbestos!?" demanded kind Ali. "Asbestos is the absestest! All my clothes are made of it."
"That seems a bit itchy," noted the advisor.
"Oh, incredibly itchy," agreed Ali, "and way too warm, but it protects me from dragons.
"Are dragons really a problem for you?" asked the advisor.
"I saw what happened to Black Harren when the Targaryens showed up," said Ali Bey. "That could have been averted if people had had the sense to wear absestos clothing. Besides everybody knows unpleasant things are good for you, so I figure wearing absestos will prolong my life by at least a decade or two."
"OK, but still, I thought you should know that the world is very impressed with our claim on Amasya. They're almost twice as impressed as they were when your brother conquered Constatinople and vassalized Byzantium."
"To be fair, the world was never impressed with anything my brother did. He could have conquered all the lands of the House of Osman and people would have said 'that's pretty good, Fatty Ismail.' The sad fact of the matter is nobody takes short men seriously. Hypothetically, a nobody from Corsica could conquer half of Europe, and he would mostly be remembered for his height."
"That's a weirdly specific scenario," observed the advisor.
Ali shrugged. "It's a beautiful island. Someday I hope to be reincarnated on it."
"Er, Muslims don't believe in reincarnation," observed the advisor.
"That's OK, I'm a closet Alevii," said Ali.
"Don't Alevis believe they're reincarnated as stars, not people?" asked the advisor.
"Don't you tell me what I believe!" said Ali Bey "If I say my pet lizard is a dragon then you agree it's a mother4ing dragon. And if I say I can be a Corsican in the next life then you say. 'Yes, of course he can!'"

May 1980
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 7.50.41 PM.png

"My Bey," said the messenger, "we've received word from the diplomat you sent to build a spy network in Edirne that the House of Osman are planning to attack the Albanians."
"You mean spy networks have other uses than planting fake maps in our enemies' archives?" asked Ali incredulously.
"Well, yeah," said the messenger in a tone that Ali didn't appreciate.
"I'd have you shot for that tone if I hadn't declared the royal palace a arquebus-free zone," he told the messenger. "But since I have, begone from my site. I need to focus on pretending to help the Mamluks conquer the White Sheep Turcomens so they fell they owe us."

October 1481
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 7.59.42 PM.png


"My Bey," said the messenger. "The House of Osman finally declared war on the Albanian hill people over an insult."
"Took them long enough," said Ali. "And why would Albania insult the Ottomans? They don't even have any allies to defend them."
"I'm pretty sure it's a culture misunderstanding" explained the messenger. "My valet is Albanian, and it turns out that the Albanian for "as you wish, honorable master" sounds exactly like the Turkish for 'I had intimate relations with your mother last night while the goat who is your father looked on.'"

10 May 1486
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 8.51.14 PM.png


"My Bey," said the envoy "The Mamluk Sultan requests your help in taking Mesopotamia from the Black Sheep Turcomans."
"Tell him I'll be happy to help," said Ali. When the Mamluk envoy was gone he turned to his favorite wife.
"Tell me my lokum" why do the Egyptians think we want to invade Iraq?"
"Well, you did declare the Genovese, the House of Osman, and the Black Sheep Turcomans 'an axis of evil' in that speech where you declared them your rival, dear," said his wife.

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 7.01.15 PM.png


"Oh yeah," said Ali Bey, "I'd forgotten about that. Still, can't they see I'm busy in the Crimea?
"You've destroyed the armies of the Crimeans and the Circassian vassals, occupied all their land, and are laying siege to their capital. They're willing to give you anything you want. You could peace out now and focus on Iraq."
"Our army will feel better if they take the Crimean capital," said Ali, "and I imagine they'd be much happier there than in Iraq. By the time they got there it would be summer. Crimea has much nicer weather in the summer."
"I wouldn't know," she said, "I've never been."
"I'll take you to Yalta when the war is over," he promised.
"Yalta belongs to the Genovese," his wife pointed out.
"We'll go incognito then," he promised her, "as ordinary, Turkish-speaking tourists. I'll have the tailor make me some asbestos shirts with floral patterns for the occasion."

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 8.51.51 PM.png


The next month, a messenger arrived from Crimea with news that the Crimean capital had fallen.
"Make peace before the Crimean navy engages ours!" he demanded of his diplomat, "otherwise we might lose some ships unnecessarily. And we need our whole navy for all the luggage the wife and I are bringing to Yalta.
"I'll teleport straight there," promised the diplomat.

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 8.55.37 PM.png


"My Bey," started the messenger who appeared in Sinop the very next day, "I have great news from Crimea."
"You again," Ali said. "Where's the diplomat I sent to Crimea via teleporter?"
"The diplomats say their teleporters only work in one direction; they have to travel back to Sinop by pony boat.
"Have to or want to?" demanded Ali.
"In fairness, my Bey, you are pretty insufferable," averred the messenger. "How many times have you said you'd have me shot if it weren't a waste of ammo?"
"I'm not sure," said Ali. "How many times have you been in my presence?"
"And I assume you're going to say it again this time?" asked the messenger.
"I think you know the drill," said Ali Bey. "Tell it to yourself, do it twice, in fact."
"Very will my Bey. Or as my valet would say: 'Dün gece annenizle samimi bir ilişki kurdum, babanız olan keçi baktı.' Now, if I may ask one thing, my Bey. You had a claim on the Circassian coast, but only took land from Crimea which you had no claims on. Why?"
"Did you hear that our friends in the Great Horde lost all their Circassian provinces to Circassia, including some that weren't even Circassian cores?" asked Ali.
"What does that have to do with anything?" the messenger asked.
"The Circassians were forcibly vassalized and force converted to Sunnism by the Crimeans. Now we've driven up Crimea's war exhaustian and taken all their most valuable provinces. How long do you think their overlordship over Circassia will last?"
"Not very?"
"Good," said Ali Bey.

"Are you going to help the Mamluks against the Black Sheep Turcomans now?" asked his wife?
"I guess," he shrugged. It's not like we have better things to do.

1489
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 9.12.40 PM.png


"Say dear," said Ali Bey's favorite wife, following the return from Yalta, 'did you hear the stories the Candarid disapora was telling in Yalta? In its way, our story is every bit as epic as that of the Houses of Timur or the House of Osman."
"Is it though," Ali asked? "My drunkard brother reclaimed Samsun from the Canikids, grabbed a few wine-producing provinces from the Georgians to fuel his alcoholism, and when he conquered the the Roman Empire, he managed to make it so anticlimactic that not even the House of Osman really cared. I managed to take a few provinces from Crimea and send our troops on a futile hunt for non-existent bronze cannons in Iraq."
"I'm sure a good PR bard could turn that into an epic, in fact I've found one who says she'll do it for eight ducats and some paper to write on."
"She?" Bey Ali's eyes lit up.
"I know what you're thinking," his wife said, "but I should warn you she's a Lesbian."
"She's a filthy Greek?" said Ali. "Damn, there's always a catch."

1489
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 9.14.12 PM.png

"My Bey," said the messenger, "our diplomat in Edirne says the House of Osman is planning to attack Trebizond."
"We're their only ally, aren't we?" asked Ali.
"Well," said the messenger, "they're allied with Circassia in the Circassian war for Independence."
"Oh, of course," sighed Ali. "They think Trebizond and their allies are distracted and weak. We must be like a praying mantis."
"So you're going to star going to the mosque?"
"No," said "Ali. I'm going to build our army back up to our force limit, so we look stronger than we are."
"So you'll take some loans?"
"No," said Ali, "I'm not desperate enough to give any money to those damn Genovese bankers."

27 November 1489
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 9.23.10 PM.png

"My Bey," said the messenger, "The Mamluks have made peace with the Black Sheep Turcomans. And we got a bunch of money and favors due to our participation."
"Wow, participation trophies really are a thing!" declared Ali Bey.
"So now you can finish building your army up to the force limit."
"Oh yeah."
"And maybe pray that that's enough for the House of Osman to not attack Trebizond?"
"I will become the praying mantis!" vowed Ali.

1490
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 9.29.59 PM.png


"My Bey," said the messenger, "the House of Osman has decided to declare war on the Black Sheep Turcomans instead of our friends in Trebizond."
"Allahu akbar!" declared Bey Ali. "Truly this has been a great year! Remember in January?" The Genovese left the Holy Roman Empire.

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 9.26.05 PM.png


"They're still allied with Austria though," observed the messenger.
"But now if we declare war on Genoa Austria is just a regular ally. And besides, that alliance won't last, I guarantee it.

1493
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 9.46.32 PM.png


"My Bey," said the messenger. "The Ottomans just grabbed a ton of land from the Black Sheep Turcomans!"
"How much land?" asked Ali Bey.
"They now stretch from Thrace to the Timurids."
"That's it!" said Ali Bey. "Guards, take this messenger outside the palace grounds and have him shot!"
The messenger smiled wanly and the guards shifted nervously.
"I mean it!" he ordered, and this time guards asked. "By the way," he told the messenger. "I asked Gugıl Hoca, and he told me that Albanian for "as you wish, honorable master' is..."

24 December 1494
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 10.03.47 PM.png

"My Bey," said the new messenger—this one much more respectfully than the idiot he'd had shot—"The Great Horde is asking for our help against Beishto."
"Who?" asked Ali Bey in surprise.
"When the Crimean Tatars force-converted Circassia to Sunnism, it didn't just increase their liberty desire. It also dramatically increased unrest. Orthodox rebels restored them to Christianity, and Cossacks created an independent state based in Beishto. It consists of two cores of the Golden Horde and one province they can't core that we have a claim on."
"So we're likely to get land and favors."
"It appears so."
"How can I say no?" said Bloody Ali Bey Sanguinely.

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 10.08.47 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-12-22 at 10.08.56 PM.png

And indeed, land and favors with the Great Horde were both attained in one of the easiest wars ever fought.

Autumn of 1496
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 10.15.13 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-12-22 at 10.17.43 PM.png

Feeling rather bored, Bloody Ali decided to buy himself a new palace and annex himself a petty Georgian principality.

1505
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 11.39.38 PM.png


"Why didn't you take the rest of Crimea?" Ali's wife asked him. "You left the Crimean Khan with one province."
"It's much more humiliating to him this way, he said."
"I like it when you're nasty," she said.
"Say, lokum" he asked her, "how do you feel about another vacation to Crimea? A long one?"
Almost nine months to a day after a particularly steamy night on the banks of the Don, an heir was born to replace the previous mediocrity, one who had died a suspiciously bloody death after being made a general.

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 11.50.08 PM.png
 

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I love your AAR's: you have a risk-taking derring-do and a patience for micromanagment I never will, and your writing is hilarious; I've learned that eating and drinking while reading your AAR's presents a choking hazard.
thanks!

"Whoever told you that is a damn liar!" objected Ali. "My first priority is getting the copper mines of Ankara and the silk mines of Izmit."
"I don't think silk is mined," objected the advisor.
"Isn't it? It's valuable, and valuable things are usually mined. Where do you think copper, gold, and iron come from?"
"Metal is mined, but fabric is usually grown," said the advisor.
"Oh yeah what about asbestos!?" demanded kind Ali. "Asbestos is the absestest! All my clothes are made of it."
"That seems a bit itchy," noted the advisor.
"Oh, incredibly itchy," agreed Ali, "and way too warm, but it protects me from dragons.
"Are dragons really a problem for you?" asked the advisor.
"I saw what happened to Black Harren when the Targaryens showed up," said Ali Bey. "That could have been averted if people had had the sense to wear absestos clothing. Besides everybody knows unpleasant things are good for you, so I figure wearing absestos will prolong my life by at least a decade or two."
I am amazed how much text and joke conversations you are adding in this AAR ;)
 
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"I'll take you to Yalta when the war is over,"
I see what you did there ;).

"I know what you're thinking," his wife said, "but I should warn you she's a Lesbian."
"She's a filthy Greek?" said Ali. "Damn, there's always a catch."
Those are some cheeky jokes there, I like it :).
 
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Y. D. Dandy

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I am amazed how much text and joke conversations you are adding in this AAR ;)
Well, I'm not a particularly daring or skillful player, and I suck at remembering to take screenshots in a consistent fashion, so I need to post something besides "look at these pictures of my slowly and boringly growing empire."

Speaking of not taking screenshots: Ali actually died in 1606, and Isfendiyar(1-4-2) was Bey when Yakub was born, but I forgot to screenshot Ali's previous heir's death, Isfendiyar's appearance, or Ali's death, and didn't check Ali's death in the ledger. Also, it turns out in vanilla that Samsun (Canik) is owned by the Ottomans at game start. This would make playing Candar on vanilla really hard. I'd like to say that means I'll someday do another Candar AAR with vanilla starting provinces, but honestly there's a lot of purple (or purplish) nations I'd like to make AAR's for (like Kutai, Satsuma, Aq Qoyunlu, Merina or Mahafaly, and the Livonian Order), and if I manage to write one AAR a year I'll be impressed with myself.

So this may end up being a deceptively easy AAR, as a result of my overly cautious playstyle, my choice of mod, and two two incredible strokes of dumb luck (the early Crimean succession event and an Ottoman regency which will be the focus of my next installment.
 

stnylan

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Most amusing. Need to keep an eye on those Ottomans though - they will surely try to be difficult soon.
 
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Y. D. Dandy

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Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 10.25.19 PM.png


You would think that, wouldn't you?
I really need to finish the next installment, which involves war with the Minty Menace, but the temptation to keep playing the game is so great...
 

Tom D.

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I really need to finish the next installment, which involves war with the Minty Menace, but the temptation to keep playing the game is so great...
I feel the struggle, it can get very addictive sometimes ;)...
 

Ykcin81

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"I know what you're thinking," his wife said, "but I should warn you she's a Lesbian."
"She's a filthy Greek?" said Ali. "Damn, there's always a catch."
 
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