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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Webstantine

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Cyclades - A Naxosian AAR

I've started three AARs now and every single one has broken somehow, so I expect some of you will pass over this one as another probable failure, but I've made precautions against this one dying so don't go yet.

I've decided after three AARs in the HRE it's time to go on holiday to the sunny Greek Cyclades, controlled by Naxos. Naxos is a vassal of Venice at my time of starting (1st January 1405), I chose a date where the Ottomans had collapsed just to make it easier, this also means we get to see the nation of Athens which is fun. This may have a slow start due to being a vassal and being scared, I haven't even figured out an opening move yet but I'm sure this'll work anyway.

Rules:
1) No more than three vassals.
2) Only three personal unions at a time, random ones that I don't ask for won't count.
3) No truce-breaking.
4) Never move the capital.
5) Stay Catholic.
6) Stay as Naxos.

Objectives:
1) Conquer Anatolia and Greece.
2) Keep and expand the Crispo dynasty.
3) Convert everything to Catholicism.
4) Conquer Caucasus and expand to become a new Russia!
5) Westernise.

Contents:
Introduction - Below this post.

Giacomo I
Venice's Agreement
A Man, A Plan, Saruhan!
The European Arrival
 
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Introduction

Alexandra's Diary - December 31st 1404

I was celebrating the new year at a party in the palace, the Duke was about to do a speech; he walked up onto the stage "Happy new year sir!" I shouted.
"Not quite yet Alexandra", he said as the crowd laughed, "1404 ends soon, 1405 will be a new age for Naxos!" I rolled my eyes at this, he says that every year, "The Ottoman's have collapsed and we can start our expansion, first we'll need independence from the Doge, which I'm sure he'll allow. The Cyclades are some very nice islands but compared to The Ottoman Empire or our fellow island nation England, were practically nothing, but one day we'll be the greatest nation on Earth and all will look upon Naxos and say, "Damn, that's a pretty big country." and they'll be right!" Duke Crispo kept taking for ages, I lost interest and walked away to see an accurate representation of Naxos, the map on the wall showed it:

erRD09C.jpg


This place is in all honesty a few islands loosely governed in collaboration with Venice. I haven't been around here for long but I've heard about Crispo's amazing optimism. Whilst everyone was occupied by the Duke I slipped off to the Duke's study to find out more about how Naxos really was. I found a slip of paper describing the city in detail:

KFB5ROn.png


The town is an Orthodox settlement although Crispo and everyone else at the castle were all Catholics including me, they exported a small amount of wine to be sold in Venice and received some of the profit. A small bit of paper caught my eye, it was a screwed up ball tossed to the corner of the study, I opened it up and saw how the Board of Rulers had rated Crispo:

9ycx4S2.png


They had given him a 5 in every category, that's not too bad, why would it annoy him so much? I put the paper back down and walked back to the party, the countdown was about to start.
 
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Chapter I - Venice's Agreement

Alexandra's Diary - 1st January 1405

It's a new day and a new year, after dancing until sunrise I thought today would be a boring day but the Doge of Venice arrived at the castle to speak to the Duke with a deal; it seems the Duke has got his independence but the Doge said "I'll let you be free, but I have terms for you to follow, you have to make Venice look good, defeat the Muslims, spread Catholicism, I will remain your ally in this. If you... disappoint me I will take back the Cyclades though, remember that." The Doge is a scary man, I would've stayed as his vassal with those terms, but Crispy thought he could succeed so they were accepted, Naxos is now free!

GF4iLNZ.png


Alexandra's Diary - 1st May 1405

Crispo honoured his agreement almost instantly, my father (Who is the king's advisor.) had decided that Mentese was the best first target, he told me they have no allies and their army was currently in Rhodes were they could be kept by the fleet. Also as Naxos is now a bastion of Catholicism a holy man was sent to the town center to start trying the Naxosians.

ngYYgLQ.png


The Doge visited again a few weeks later, he looked as scary as always. He demanded that we help Venice in a war with Austria, Crisp had no choice but to accept otherwise he'd lose his greatest ally. It seems to me we aren't quite free from Venice yet, they still have us wrapped around their finger.

opius86.png


The war with Mentese is going great, the 1,000 men arrived there last week and were joined by The Knights yesterday, the navy is keeping the Mentese in Rhodes. In other news my birthday is coming up and I'll be sixteen and will probably have to work for the Duke, I hope he'll give me an easy job.

3hbzzt8.png


Alexandra's Diary - 9th May 1406

Okay, it's been a year since last entry so I'll write one, the siege in Antalya was a success! Mentese was fully occupied but Crispo wouldn't make peace, he seemed to think something would happen.

bV3la9A.png


I had my birthday, I'm to travel around and try and get countries to promise to protect us if we're attacked I start next year though so I don't have to do anything for now! In the meantime however the King tried to get me used to the travelling, I was sent to Cyprus to organise a royal marriage, the journey wasn't the hard part, the king of Cyprus was a Frenchman and didn't understand anything, he was convinced I was going to marry him; I'm not even royal but he got it in the end and his son married Crispo's niece.

hfeR2y7.png


Austria was still at war with us, we'd all forgotten when one day a messenger arrived and said that we must be relieved to hear the king of Austria wanted a white peace, we agreed even if it took us a minute to figure out what he was talking about. I also managed to get Achaea to agree to a royal marriage without as many problems though the boats make me feel sick but the sailors say I'll get used to it.

zZxaxNa.png


The King approached me to discuss the Mentese peace, he'd already talked to my dad but I was still honoured, we decided that outright annexation was the appropriate deal and Mentese agreed to it, we now owned Antalya. Athens was the next on my list of countries for royal marriages, they accepted right away and it wasn't a long journey back so I got plenty of free time for writing this!

RUG13Ly.png


Alexandra's Diary - 20th May 1406

I visited Antalya with my father, it's a nice enough place but the locals are very angry, many of the locals were Muslims so Crispo sent a missionary to try and calm them down. At home in the palace I have been voted most beautiful noblewoman in Naxos, it sounds good but there are really only six other noblewomen and they're all over 50. The real big news was of Saruhan, some Mentese soldiers got away and got Saruhan to declare a jihad on us, the Doge turned up and said he'll help so we should be fine I guess?

zh1TLIF.png
 

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Chapter II - A Man, A Plan, Saruhan!

Alexandra's Diary - 3rd October 1406

I've started work, I have to travel Italy and get rulers to guarantee our independence, my first stop was Tuscany; the ruler there accepted with no hesitation, the war with Saruhan couldn't progress until either side had more men then the other, we had 1,000 and they had 1,000. Crispo had started work on another regiment and it would be ready in about 2 months.

egeXmAs.png


As I traveled through Venice we got word of a peace with Austria, Venice would give up Verona and give a small reparations payment for the damage the war had done. After passing through I got to Aquileia who also agreen to come to our aid if we were attacked.

GOxuNJH.png


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The new regiment was done! The new 1,000 men were shipped on to the navy and carried to Antalya and met with the other regiment, I was sent as well, but not to fight, I was meant to document the war for the King's records, it was still quite terrifying being on the battleground though I was only there for the siege part.

AtUP80Y.png


The battle in Saruhan was a success, we lost more men overall but the Saruhani army ran off into The Ottomans when the sensed defeat, Hizir Saruhanoglu (their ruler) ran away with them, we had to make the peace deal with a random noble who was put in charge.

L3KS9rN.png


Alexandra's Diary - 26th August 1407

Seeing that we were becoming a powerful country some small nations around the area decided to get an allliance with us, both offers were accepted, one came from Cyprus and the other came from Achaea, they would also help if we were attacked!

4Cr1JsF.png


asrVlBm.png


The siege in Smyrna was a success, we could now discuss peace with the noble in charge!

aypsKFv.png


The peace we agreed on was the same as Mentese, full annexation and a missionary was sent straight after we got the province, the missionary in Naxos was doing well; it wouldn't be long until we had Naxos the proper Catholic religion.

JDbubKI.png


Alexandra's Diary - 1st February 1409

Now we were at peace the Doge had decided we must help him in his war, he was fighting Byzantium. The Doge had already done all the hard work for us so we joined to maybe take a province or two if we could.

VUp48SG.png


In other news Cyprus's king died without an heir and Crispo's brother Hugues was made the next king of Cyprus, expansion of the monarchy is always good! If I had accepted the Cypriot king's offer of marriage I would be the Queen, but oh well, no use crying over spilled milk.

nS5AR3a.png


Our tiny army was split between the last two unsieged provinces, Macedonia and Larissa, we hoped to siege them both before Venice makes a peace so we can maybe take one of them.

u4qqXll.png


We sieged Larissa without too much trouble and Macedonia was soon to follow, we could make peace now seeing as there's nothing else we could do.

cAHDHqJ.png


vT6bRIY.png


I was at the peace conference! It was great, the Byzantine emperor was there, the Venetian Doge decided he had a right to be there and Crispo and his Cypriot bro' were both there. I've never seen how it works but it seems that the Byzantine emperor is given the terms and he has to choose whether to accept, I don't get how he could refuse really because he has to stay here until we have made peace, in the end he agreed to give only Larissa though we tried to get Macedonia, Crispo thought it would be funny to offer me in the peace deal but luckily the Byzantine emperor didn't accept though he offered Morea but the Doge rescued me by saying that was his siege so it couldn't be offered.

OyqeGKt.png


A new map was made of Naxos, it was going well, we had holdings both sides and in the Aegean Sea, The Doge was not disappointed so we were allowed to keep the Cyclades! Our next steps would be heading East where the Europeans wouldn't stop us.

EkH2ngf.png
 

unmerged(145182)

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And you're now sitting on 3 Ottoman cores... Isn't it a 15 k ottoman army that can be seen here ;). Good luck!
 

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Chapter III - The European Arrival

Alexandra's Diary - 5th December 1410

Crispo wasn't lying when he said he would lead us into a new age was he? He had this country out of Venetian influence and many times it's original size, however there are a few faults with us I've spotted:
  • Only one of our four provinces sees Crispo as themselves as a core of Naxos.
  • None of our provinces were the proper religion.
  • We are Lombard with Greek speaking populace.
But luckily for us the first conversion came through! The Cyclades were now Catholic!

Nr1f4sY.png


I was back to my duties of securing protectors for Naxos, one good thing about us never abandoning our Lombard roots was that Italians would usually guarantee our independence willingly.

jiR45QQ.png


It was an exciting day in the castle when a man from Athens arrived with news, Athens promised us their throne after we laid a claim to it, if we got it we could join Naxos to Larissa. However the Athenian king would have to die without having an heir, which was likely as he was old and unmarried.

igYGfDq.png


The Knights arrived to speak to Crispo with an offer, they offered us an alliance that we accepted not expecting anything shifty.

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However the Knights almost instantly called us into a war with the Ottomans and we had no choice but to decline.

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But then I noticed a French ship sail past Naxos one day and wondered where the were going, I told my father and a messenger went to France to ask, turns out The Knights weren't the only onees fighting.

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Castille, France, Portugal, Venice and even the new state of Syria were fighting, we reconsidered the Knights offer and we joined in the war grabbing what was left with our two regiments.

6fnThUX.png


Alexandra's Diary - 25th May 1412

I don't enjoy wars and I was allowed to stay at home for this one, because of the war a revolt broke out in Larissa I can remember the revolt leader coming here demanding we cede it to Trebizond, we refused of course but the revolt was three times the sixe of our army so we could not do anything to stop it.

ip3pwDp.png


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However on more pleasant news I received a letter from the war, Anatolia had been sieged and Yazgod followed on from there

jII2fhP.png


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Over the course of the next months we managed to convert the two Islam provinces, for the first time ever and probably the last time in a long while Naxos was a purely Catholic state, now we deal with the war!

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Alexandra's Diary - 28th October 1413

So I'm back to my duties of documenting the war and luckily it was coming to an end, Serbia made peace taking Nis, this wasn't a very threatening peace.

KcfTxxd.png


Wallachia's peace was much more eventful, they had taken Silistria, now they had a port, and I have heard rumours that Wallachia was attempting to form 'Romania', whatever that may be, sooner I think they will be a great rival to us, I can feel it.

zXGqHDZ.png


France was the leader of the crusade and decided that as all these others were making peaces they would too, they didn't take anything but we were left as the lone country against The Ottomans, they had began recovery so we did what we had to and took what we could in our peace deal, We got Anatolia and got them to revoke claims on our land.

JfZtub2.png


A man from Athens arrived today with great news, we're even throwing a party to celebrate, Athens' king had died and left Athens to Giacomo Crispo, our claim to their throne paid off and we were rewarded greatly with our new country!

Vk4iCvN.png


Our next step will be the large but weak Karaman.
 

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This doesn't go on much longer after this, I've tried but I can't make it happen. Do you want to see the rest or shall I close this here? Either way an Auvergne AAR will be starting soon because of the gaping hole in the French vassals AAR market.
 

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You might as well post what you have and bring things to a conclusion that satisfies you. Otherwise, the fate of Naxos might begin to gnaw at you. You'll find yourself subconsciously drawn to conquer or otherwise influence Greece, then you'll find yourself playing more and more campaigns in the region. In the final stages, just before you teeter off the brink into Cycladean madness, the characters you've made for this AAR will possess you in real life and force you to do horrible things...