• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Chyll

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Duke Frederick VI of Barcelona

Frederick VI took the ducal throne and swore that he was not going to sit about and doing to restore honor to the family “like his father”.

And he was true to his word. After taking the throne in 1383 it was only 1385 when he declared a claim war to put himself on the throne of Francia.


To be fair, Frederick VI was beginning from a position of some strength as his father had quietly secured a larger duchy by taking in the de jure counties of the Duchy. But hardly real power. Frederick VI was hoping to win by surprising Aymar III who had many revolts on his hands to sort through already.
(Player’s Note: and worst case scenario, he had pressed the claim so it could be inherited...)

And it started promisingly.


But, the promised failed to deliver. After some initial victories (such as the Battle of Amposta in December of 1386)


The war simply dragged on and on. It was clear, however, by mid 1387 that Frederick VI was clearly ambitious and determined in his goal.



1390 brought a change in fortunes. One of the other rebellions was a faction seeking to put Frederick’s younger brother, Salvador, on the throne. And he was the beneficiary of the weakness of the Empire and the faction won. Emperor Salvador I inherited Frederick’s revolt, at the same time that the faction that installed him rejoined the empire and increased its strength.

Still, 1391 began well, with a victory at Nogalte in January.

(Player’s Note: warscore stood at +12% after years of warfare. I just couldn’t manage sufficient forces to threaten Imperial holdings and defend my own lands from depredations of the enemy, and allies were few and far between...)

Things quickly changed in March.


Then the armies of Barcelona were defeated in the field at Motril, where the duke was maimed.




The fighting dragged on until, in 1392, Emperor Salvador passed away and his son Acfred inherited. Frederick decided to end the conflict with his cousin and asked for a white peace, which was accepted.

(Player’s Note: the warscore was at -5% and my chances were foolishly low. Also, note that Brittany is returned to the Empire. Aymar IV won a war reclaiming it and revoked the title King of Brittany just before Salvaor usurped the empire.)

Acfred I appreciated Frederick’s loyalty and skills, and appointed him Marshall in May of 1392. And he needed the aid, as within a handful of months he faced a complete revolt in France.


After an extended period of planning and plotting, December 1393 saw Frederick make his move to drag the duchy of aragon into his control, declaring war on Duchess Eva to take Albarracin for his own.



The war drug on, however, as the Duchess resist bravely. But the final sieges were in place and victory nearly assured when Frederick died young in February of 1395, leaving the realm to his 15 year old son Ugues.
 

mike the knight

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Such a lazy father ,such an active son! But both died without many glory at their tombs ! Now Ugues should glorify the family !
 

Chyll

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Ugues I

As the young duke came of age, he was married to Wulfhidle von Weimar.


He promptly celebrated the wedding by successfully completing the war against the Duchy of Aragon and taking Albarracin that same month. (Note: Roger had taken the duchy from Eva in the intervening years.)




Duke Ugues, in September of 1396 was not skilled at arms, but offered abilities in diplomacy that were quite promising. He also was on fairly reasonable terms with his Emperor. He was... not as interested in his wife as a young noble in need of heirs should have been, however.



(Player’s Note: For reason I never fully understood, this mayor was interested in promoting my death in late 1396.)


In September of 1397 the inheritance was secured with the birth of Xavier.




In 1402 Emperor Acfred I the first passed and was inherited by his son, Acfred II. The new emperor’s hold on the empire seemed tenuous and uncertain, and Ugues acted boldly. But the request for a peaceful independence was rejected, and a civil war begun.


Which immediately raised the possibility of usurping the title King of Aragon. The Emperor did not hold the title, and the independence - via war - of Ugues allowed him to seize the title from the Emperors vassal. King Ugues was well pleased with his boldness.




In early 1404 Lleida became Occitan.

(Player’s Note: finally, only introduced the culture to the the province hundreds of years ago...)

Acfred II was assassinated in 1405, and succeeded by his young son Acfred III. The young, beset by rebellions and claims against his crown, surrendered the independence of the Kingdom of Aragon in April of 1406.

(Note: ultimately Acfred III would lose the crown. Blasi Corrino, who was descended of Uhtred Corrino who had first seized the crown from Ugues branch of the family, would take it in 1415.)

December of 1407 would see Zaragoza added to Aragon, as King Ugues continued a steady pace of power consolidation.


Ugues followed this with an opportunistic attack to capture Narbonne. The fighting went well, and within a short period of time the family’s ancient homeland was under the control of Aragon.

(Note: Duke Ubert was in revolt against the Kingdom of Aquitaine, and Ugues had arranged a claim to be ready...)

In 1413 Albarracin became Occitan.


And in 1418, Tarragona followed.




The 1420’s saw Ugues take action against Navarre, to bring them into the Kingdom and put closure to a region that had caused considerable difficulty for this family for generations.





In February of 1425, Queen Wulfhilde died. This followed the death of the heir Xavier. But luckily provenance had seen fit to allow Wulfhilde and Ugues to be fruitful, and despite 7 daughters there was a second male heir in young Ugues.


In June of 1425 the war for Navarra ended.



Leon Corrino was made duke of the new feudal duchy as the republic was washed away.


King Ugues I was confident, strong, and had extended the Kingdom with confidence and determination. Despite a nagging illness, he evaluated plans for the next phase of his career with excitement and...
 

Chyll

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Ugues II

It is important to note that the inheritance law of Aragon was feudal elective. This legal precedent came with the title when it was usurped by Ugues I from its prior holder. Ugues II won the throne easily as there was such admiration for Ugues I.

Ugues II came out of his minority in August of 1427.


He was wed to Melisènde Corrino in May of 1429 in a grand ceremony at the Great Cathedral of Sanctus Columbae.


Ugues II celebrated his nuptials in the same style as his father - taking Carcasonne into the kingdom a few months after.


In March of 1430 Aragon sealed an alliance with the Empire of Francia, wedding his sister Rugi to the young Emperor Jorge Corrino.




In celebration of his strengthened political situation, and ambitions to restore glory to the family, Ugues II declared a Royal Tournament. He promptly entered it to show his own mettle and resolve.


(Player’s Note: GGAAAAAaaaahhh....)
 

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Frederick III

The brother of King Ugues I was elected King of Aragon at the passing of King Ugues II.



After the death of his first wife, Frederick ‘The Wise’ remarried a bright and promising young woman of the von Weimar dynasty in 1438.


In 1440, Frederick took action to firmly secure the dynasty’s hold on the Kingdom of Aragon by changing the inheritance law to primogeniture.


In 1441, it was known to all that despite the separation in years of their ages, that the King and Queen were passionately in love.



(Player’s Note: GGAAAAAaaaahhh....)



An End
Frederick’s rule was quiet following the reigns of his recent predecessors. But the Kingdom remained secure, which said much for the turbulence that surrounded Aragon.

The patience, and quiet of his nature was passed on to his grandson and heir Aznar (first son of his own son Aznar who had died), who similarly reigned unremarkably for many years... so we will let this story conclude.
 

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First a special thank you to Mike the Knight my vocal follower, your interest helped keep this AAR from fading out too soon.

Assessment

So, I began this game with little firm plan. My entire thought process was limited to the idea that I wanted:
  • To use the Corrino family name, and push a lexicon of Dune Corrino first names into the system
  • Start as a ‘fish out of water’ with an initial lord whose culture clashed significantly with that of the local region

That was it - no grand aspirations. The result? I dropped a Scottish count into Narbonne, and started things rolling with an eye towards expanding southwards into Hispania.

Where did I end up?

First, regarding name usage - Shaddam was the most dramatically Dune Corrino name I introduced to the game, and after a few disasters in using it, I pretty much dropped it. (It was cursed, I tell you.) I consistently used other names, and the computer also propagated them itself for a time. However, the longer the game ran the fewer there were in the overall family. All and all, a fun experiment in that regard, but not as visible as I would have wished.

Second, regarding the ‘fish out of water’ aspect - I backed off of my initial Scottish lord forcing a cultural clash into Occitan France, and peacefully allowed the second generation to convert to local culture. This worked out okay, as that left a ‘standard’ Occitan-Frankish conflict in place for me to push within France. A later ruler flirted with bringing more Scotsmen in, but nothing particularly organized. Still, even without any real efforts on my part Scottish still flourished for a time - even spreading as far as the baron level in the county of Urgell. I had a second opportunity with the arrival of the Scottish Emperor Godfrey, but backed off again. I wonder if I had been draconian about it if I could have created a thriving Scottish community?

As for expanding south... I started as Count of Narbonne and moved along the coast to capture the Duchy of Barcelona and Aragon. France itself initially impeded my efforts, and then a strong Castille slowed me further, and I was ultimately distracted away from my Hispania target. As it was, I finished as King of Aragon, with Narbonne and Carcasonne in my realm, not much different than what my first couple of Dukes established. I guess you could say I did not get very far...
And that would be completely fair. I have never played a game in CK2 all the way from 1066 until 1453. I usually cash out sometime between 1250-1270. As a result I think my experience with some of the complexities of the later game overwhelmed me. Or, maybe I simply am trying to justify that eventually my luck ran out and I could not keep it together. Either way, Emperor Frederick IV lost the empire of Francia and became simply Duke Frederick V and it was another 60 years or so before I worked myself carefully back to a King title with methods familiar and comfortable for a lord in the late 11th century, in line with my primary play experience.


In some ways this was great fun, though. As a minor lord in Aragon again, I largely stayed out of the great power plays raging around me in Western Europe and observed the clashes of the many branches of the Corrino family as they squabbled for the titles of the Empire.


The Critical Juncture
It is hard to quantify what ‘the moment’ was where I lost control of events. If I had to pin it down, it would be Emperor Godfrey ‘The Drunkard’. Presented with an independance ultimatum he capitulated without a fight. This lost the bulk of the British Isles, Norway, Republic of Navarra, Mauretania, etc. Could he have won? Hard to say in retrospect. At the time, I was convinced that he couldn’t. And the image of an Emperor sitting on his throne throwing back wine and mead complaining of the traitors was too easy to keep in my mind.

The resulting loss of territory and might pretty much guaranteed a life of increased complexity and risk for every ruler after. Additionally, claims on the lost territories were allowed to lapse and the Empire became highly unlikely to regain it’s losses with any ease.

The Legacy of the Corrino Dynasty

The single Count Corrino of Narbonne founded a dynasty that came to dominate Western European holdings from Scotland to Mauretania with a powerful presence in the Holy Land.


Oddly, in some ways I am most proud of the Corrino families that I did not control.The stories of the Corrinos of Jerusalem, Aquitaine, and Mauretania were fascinating and cool. And then there are the Corrinos that gained and lost the crowns of Wales & England. But in particular, I enjoyed watching those ruling in Castille and Scotland. Neither were places with which I heavily warred,and they were never part of the empire. Yet, the families of each came to be key figures within their respective realms. (In fact, typing this I noticed for the first time that Poland is Corrino, and I have no idea how or when that happened.)



The Kings of Castille & León: 1285-1449
In Castille and Leon, once King Berenguer Corrino inherited in 1252, his descendants (in one form or another) held the crowns as independent rulers until the game ended in 1453. There was fighting and usurpation of the crowns, but it was all internal to the Castille branch of the family.

The Kings of Scotland: 1285-1449
The story in Scotland was far less clean but quite cool. Walter II inherited the crown in 1285, and the next 100 years essentially represented an extended succession crisis of securing the Corrino throne in Scotland. (In many ways representing some of the coolest elements that CK2 presents in it’s stories.)

Gilchrist initially inherited Walter, but was forced from the throne in 1318 by Ross Buchanan, who in turn was usurped by the powerful Duke of Moray - Boudouin de Blois ‘The Ill Ruler’. Baudouin managed to outlive most of his children, and his fifth daughter (and 7th or 8th child overall), Adelinde, inherited. It initially appeared that the de Blois dynasty may have settled into their role as rulers.

But Hector regained the Corrino throne by ousting Adelinde within 2 years. He himself was promptly overthrown in a succession crisis in 1353 by Laurence a Muirebe (whose claim came from Corrino blood - replacing his uncle Hector). Laurence’s mother, Alice Corrino, inherited her son two years later. She held the throne briefly until her uncle William Corrino pushed her aside. Adelinde de Blois reappeared on the scene and usurped William, and her son Alpin held the crown until finally Walter III, grandson of Walter II regained the throne for the Corrinos to hold until the game ended.


These are just a couple of family examples, as I have had quite a bit of fun going back through the family and titles and piecing together stories I did not directly touch. Actually, getting and learning Europa Universalis so I can import this game has been on my mind, because I would love to see the Corrino dynasties continue their run... but I am unlikely to do so any time soon.

(The ‘regnal list’ summary of the main families is linked in the first post at the end of the Google Docs folder list.)


Republics
While republics can be incredibly annoying as a feudal lord, they had a rough go in this game. Only Pisa and Venice were left. Genoa fell to the HRE at some point. Navarra rose and fell, Gotland vanished at some point, and none of the Italian minor republics lasted (if ever they appeared.)


Religious Notes
Orthodox Christianity suffered greatly in this game, and has been nearly eradicated. In the late 1100s, the ERE and HRE merged. This combined empired was not sustained, however, and in the resulting split a large section of the ERE shattered into a diverse network of rulers with strong Catholic leanings. Without a strong empire to defend the faith - with Catholic and Tengri pressure in the North and then a Nestorian Christian Ilkhanate in the South and West - Orthodoxy collapsed as a meaningful religious order.


The fate of Orthodoxy is clearer in this image - clinging in the far north. And only three tengri counties remain.


Sunni Islam in the West was beaten around badly. The Shia in the East fared slightly, but only slightly, better. The arrival of the Shia Timurids supplied a fresh infusion of that belief system, but the Nestorian faith remains an ubiquitous obstruction to Shia expansion.

Final Notes
I had fun. A lot of fun. And that is what matters.
 
Last edited:

mike the knight

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You managed to reclaim a part of your glory! Iam proud that I witnessed this story .I hope I will see soon your nbext project .Stay tuned for my own too!