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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
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oddman

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Hm. A Spanish name would be appropriate, would it not? Do I get to pick the island?

If so, I hereby christen the island currently marked in as "Jamaica" as "Isla de los Jenizaros" in commemoration of the brave Janissaries and their service in India.
How about "Illa dels Geníssers"? It is the Catalan translation.
 
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Irsh Faq

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Illa dels Geníssers it is.
 
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Irsh Faq

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Hey, Oddman, a question. Does average buildings per realm include the buildings of vassals, such as the American vassals? If so, would it be possible to do a map seeing how well they are developed and such in their own right?
 

oddman

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Hey, Oddman, a question. Does average buildings per realm include the buildings of vassals, such as the American vassals? If so, would it be possible to do a map seeing how well they are developed and such in their own right?
Currently, all red/green maps consider vassals to be part of their overlords. I can change this, of course, but that often results in non-player realms dragging down the average.

Might I suggest red/green maps in which only player nations are shown, yet without their vassals?
 

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Young Men

Can you see them, in your mind's eye?

Do you see the young men, in their thousands and tens of thousands, the thunder of their horses' hooves shaking the steppe?

Do you see the horsetail banners streaming in the wind of their passage, under the golden Eagles?

Can you hear them singing? Do you hear their songs of war, and of love left behind?

If you can, then hold them thus, in your mind's eye; and do not let them go. For they will not come back to us, the young men.

It is easy to laugh, or to sneer. The question comes readily to the lips, "Did they think it would be easy?" Had they thought, perhaps, that their grandparents fled mere shadows and night-fears? Perhaps they had imagined themselves as heroes out of stories, had thought that all that went before, all the millennial history of Rome, had existed only so they themselves could exist, and could win glory by defying the Shahanshah. It is necessary, in a story, that the villain seem victorious in the first half, so the hero may overcome a true threat; and the greater the villainy, the darker the gloom at the halfway point, the better the story. But history is not a narrative; or if it is, it is not given to any man to know that he is its protagonist. The men who held the walls of doomed Carthage, and for three years defied the power of Rome at arms, they thought themselves heroes too; but for them there was no rescue and no relief. Their walls were torn down and the place where their city had stood was sown with salt. For though Calliope loves the beleaguered garrison, and often sends unexpected allies to their aid, her sister Clio has a heart of stone, and loves only the big battalions.

It is easy to be cynical; easy, and wrong. They were young men; of course they thought themselves equal to any task they undertook. Of course they believed that their grandparents had exaggerated, that hard-won victory at Jvris Ugheltekili had been inevitable, that if only they themselves had been there, Anatolia could have been held and the Persians driven from the Holy Land. When have young men believed the war stories of their elders? They see men who move with the caution of aged bones and creaking joints, and think, down in their marrow where beliefs form, that the Persians need not have been so formidable as all that, to overcome these shriveled ancients. They look around, and see young men like themselves, moving with easy muscular grace, faster and smoother than any grandfather. And so they come to believe that an empire older even than Rome will be cast down at the first storm from the steppes, that they have merely to ride west and all will collapse before them.

Young men will always believe in easy victories; that is not the yardstick to measure them by. The mettle of a man is found in what he does when his easy victory recedes into the distant horizon; when the enemy shows that he is indeed formidable, and comrades fall on every side.

Perhaps you did not see these soldiers before; perhaps you have yourself born arms, and no longer believe in glory and the dramatic dash of ten thousand lances. Perhaps your sight is blurred by the ghosts of your own fallen. Well then: Do you see them now? Do you see the host riding slowly eastward through winter winds? Do you see the men, not so young now, leading strings of horses with empty saddles? Do you see the trail of shallow graves they leave behind, each with a lance thrust into the ground to mark the place? You cannot hear them singing, now; they are too tired. Perhaps, if you listen, you can hear the howl of wolves drifting through the snow that blows in their east-turned faces. But if you see them thus, turn away; do not cherish that image, in your mind's eye. For it is not the true one; and these men, too, shall not return to us, though they yet live.

Still a third time: Do you see them, the soldiers of Rome? Do you see them transformed by the hard alchemy of defeat, no longer cobbled-together tribal militias but disciplined legions? Do you see them, turning at bay against the pursuit that snaps at their heels, and sending the veteran troops of the Shahanshah reeling back in defeat? Do you hear the sound of twenty thousand men shouting together, "Victory!"?


If you do, then there is no need to hold on to the image, in your mind's eye. For these men shall return to us, no longer young, but grown to full adulthood in the harsh school of war. And winged Nika shall ensure that their memory lives while Rome stands.
 

Irsh Faq

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I like your AAR, KOM, but the brave the African arquebusiers who turned back the Horde, and drove them in disarray from the Indian plains to the Himalayan foothills seem to be unaccountably missing? :D
 

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So history is not a narrative, but AARs definitely are. Sorry, the Ethiopians were left on the cutting floor; they don't fit my epic story of defiance and vengeance against Persia.
 

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So history is not a narrative, but AARs definitely are. Sorry, the Ethiopians were left on the cutting floor; they don't fit my epic story of defiance and vengeance against Persia.
Neither, apparently, do them stacks I wiped or the Komnenid insistence on refusing reasonable peaceterms while their allies collapse under rebels... ;)
 

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A coalition of Africans and Europeans (Egyptripoli, Ethiopia, Kongo, Catalunya, later followed by England and Persia) descended upon Gujarat, supported by its allies of the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere (Punjab, the KoMgols and Qin, though Qin only against the Europeans + Persia). At first, Gujarat was whupped by the Africans + me, and then England took a quick bite, DoWing, sieging and peacing for a rich province in record time. With Gujarat's allies, which had come to the rescue, busy in India, Persia jumped in. This, in turn, brought in the Croatians, hungry for some Anatolias - but Persia whupped all comers.

As things are now, the Africans are peaced out, and due to a technicality I am still at war, leading an alliance of Persia and me against Punjab, Gujarat, KoM and Qin - though this is all the same war, and terms have been agreed upon with respect to Gujarat. Persia and Punjab and KoM, not so much. Gujarat is army-less, on the verge of collapse but un-occupied; Punjab is army-less, occupied and collapsing. KoM is beaten but not occupied, Persia is out of MP but in possession of its armies. Croatia is still good to go, though across the Dardanelles.
 

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King of Men

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Neither, apparently, do them stacks I wiped or the Komnenid insistence on refusing reasonable peaceterms while their allies collapse under rebels... ;)
The stacks you wiped are the reason for the middle part, where the troops retreat through winter winds with Aryan armies snapping at their heels; also for my whole meditation along the lines of "did they think it would be easy?"

I would like to point out that the Khanate has recovered from the initial disasters, that there are now 24k Persian troops (with no manpower reserves) facing my 52k (with plentiful manpower and more regiments a-building) on the steppe front, that we could certainly whip the Persians from Bersh to Baghdad, and that we are accepting the Persian peace offer purely to avoid the collapse of our ally Punjab. Also that this Persian aggression has not benefited Persia on net: It gains five provinces and loses a large amount to its northern neighbour, apparently without a blow struck.
 

King of Men

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Someone sum up please what King of Men has written :D (AKA what happened).
Look, I'm always happy to have readers. But nonetheless I suggest that, if you don't like the format of weekly short stories with a rather tenuous connection to the underlying gameplay, then perhaps my AAR is not the right one for you. Irsh Faq wrote a nice one with the diplomatic and gameplay details of the Indian campaign, if that's what floats your boat. It's perfectly OK if you like his AAR better than mine. (He said bravely while his lips trembled.) But as a favour, could you just ignore those posts you don't follow, rather than complaining about them?

Finally, if you check back a couple of pages to what was posted right after the session, there's more game-oriented stuff. Post 270, for example, summarises the ingame happenings from my point of view.
 

FrozenWall

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So to recap the session from the Persian perspective; I moved in as long-term sub for Persia. At a glance there is much to worry about;

Pre-game offers of friendship with the Asians are rebuffed in various ways, cries of DEATH TO PERSIA being the more common.

Persia is Shiite which means -20% tax, (but +0,5 morale). Leaving me behind economically and forcing me to rely on vastly less cavalry to make ends meet. My divisions are 10/2 inf/cav, as opposed to most my neighbours 7/6 divisions. However, my Shia morale bonus, + national drill mean I will win almost any battle, regardless of casualties.

Persia's perm is notoriously quiet, so I find a nation isolated. In addition most my neighbours are part of continental-spanning alliance blocks/non-aggression pacts/plotting circles. Even better Persia sits in between all of them! So far this game Persia has gotten it hard from Punjab, and a Russia vengeful over Persias attempts to destroy it in CK.

The national focus is placed strangely, meaning I wont be able to get it back to the capital to enact the all important 'weights and measures' until next session! :(

Despite having 2 trade ideas, 3+stab and no infamy I cant seem to get trading going, I normally suck hard at it in sp, but in mp I'm just screwed. No money for poor Persia, we are 12th in income. Croatia makes 4 times what we do!

Realizing we are isolated we start sending out alliance proposals. The ever-reliable Catalonians gracefully agree. Russia does not respond, Punjab rejects it.

Persia goes into an army building frenzy. Generals are recruited, terrain % surveyed, marching distances calculated.

Persian generals draw a collective sigh of relief as the Russian sub has to go and Russia is brain-dead.

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

I fail at trading some more.

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

Treacherous Asians save me from more bean-counting, Punjab, Mongols, Qin and India declare war!




Massively outnumbered, with no real tech lead, and with substantial Catalonian aid far away we notice one great mistake in Asian planning: Their armies have not been concentrated on our border! This leaves a brief window where the Punjabis are unsupported by their allies!

Contingency plans are put into effect: the one prov border with Mongols are guarded by 3 caucasian divisions with the Calipha at the helm, 4 anatolian and caucasian divisions are sent to the Punjabi theatre.

Of the 3 divisions in the Persian mountains 1 withdraws.

Punjab plunges in with 6 divisions, they are allowed to spread out and siege.

The mongols are allowed to advance into a burned Astrakhan, Persian divisions watch from the mountains. Mongols withdraw leaving one division to siege.

With the Gujaratis only provinces away the Punjabi theatre swells to 7 divisions, 2 front and 5 reserve hidden in the fog. The front divisions are given our best leader and sent against the southernmost Punjabi division. Punjab dutifully diverts all neighbouring divisions to support, but divisions not immediately adjacent continue siegeing. From out of the fog of war appears the Persian reserve, lead by my best maneuver leaders. Before Punjab realizes what has happened the battle is won by superior Persian morale modifiers! The stack is hunted down and whiped by 2 reserve divisions, the other 5 assault the Punjabi rescue forces.

The Caucasian divisions pounce on the Mongols, who are swiftly driven out. The Gujaratis vanguard throws itself upon Persians entrenched in the mountains and are dutifully repelled.

Punjab accepts peace at the cost of 1 province.

A Qin army is found besieging a Persian vassal in Arabia, and are dutifully informed that there is no war any more. They looked sad.

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

I fail at trading some more

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

Later there was a war over Indian trade ports. After much surrendering and un-surrendering Persia joined its allies to put pressure on the Asians to surrender. Punjabs 2 border divisions were swiftly wiped, and swift occupation began.

Up north the Mongols, likewise ill positioned to support each other, were defeated by superior Shia morale and hunted down. However due to terra incognita Persian armies were unable to properly pursue the last of the wily pony lovers, and were forced to retreat before the Siberian winter attrition.

The dastardly Croats, having already stolen Judea and Cyprus in a recent war, now demanded all of Anatolia in exchange for 4000 gold and help eating Punjab. With the peninsula obviously worth far more, and Persian generals quite confident of their own ability to handle the Asians, had the Croatian messengers flogged with ferrets.

Something that proved not entirely to the Croat kings liking, and there was war to enforce the offer. With the Croat economy 4 times the size of the Persian, and their armies equal in number, with superior units, and half cavalry. Not to mention their mp was full while mine was decidedly not.

Oh, and none of my allies came to help, being to tied up in India fighting Qin. Yay!

Mercs were raised all over Anatolia, scorching the dirt out of it. 7 armies are directed there, less than he has, 3 are left to hold the mongols. Army-less Punjab is left to rebels and vassals. After much maneuvering battle is joined where I wanted it, Shia morale once again wins the day at horrible loss in life and Croatia is run out of Anatolia, all but one of their divisions get away.

We entrench ourselves. One division is scraped due to mp shortage. The session ends.

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

With a vengeful vR about to return to Russia a strategic decision is made; Persia sells the steppes and Caucasus to Russia in exchange for friendship and alliance. The monetary and opportunity cost of having to repeatedly fight and plot against Russia over that land exceeded the income by far in my view. People may argue that I sold of a defensible border, but what is the whole point of keeping said land to protect against Russian aggression if Russian aggression is caused by Persia's occupation of said land in the first place? (Persia took it from Russia in CK) Much better then to hand it back, as Russia has a long history of not wanting to go south of the Caucasus even when he could have. Good relations are a better defence than borders in my mind.

After much wrangling the Asians agree to surrender 5 provs, 4 Punjabi and 1 Mongol, as well as release Oman.

This leaves Croatia and Persia staring menacingly at each other from across the straits....
 
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Emperor Ike

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To India


Well it turned out that the reign of Abu bark Reis was not what it had been hoped to be. Though there was war in his time it was war were Egypt was simply participating in name and no Egyptian saw the Punjabi fighters who had attacked Persia, the ally of Egypt. The war later ended in a stalemate. Abu bakr Reis died later in a hunting accident in 1470. The next Emir was Mas'ud Asim who ruled from 18th March 1470 to 17th March 1478. Once again much didn't happen except the Rio de Oro colony was reclaimed. He resigned peacefully when his term ended and moved to live with his family in Tunis. Then came Fakhri Izzet who ruled frp, 17th March 1478 to 4th of July 1481. Not much was recorded from his reign.

Then came 'Usam Nedin who ruled from 4th of July 1481 to 3rd of July 1489. It was Emir Nedin who was to decide the further actions taken by Egypt to create the Great Egyptian Empire. He was contacted by Ethiopians who asked them to join in a Crusade against Gujarat that would start in the coming decade. Nedin accepted this offer when he learned that Egypt would gain Kutch region of Gujarat to themselves. So Nedin ordered the gearing up for war to happen all over Egyptian lands and all able bodied men to join the army for better tomorrow. Quickly Egypt managed to gather a massive force both in land and as well as in the naval forces. Though Nedin never got to lead his nation to the war as his term came due and he was not re-elected. Instead an more fanatical military figure Mämmi Negib was elect to the office. Emir Negib would command Egypt in the war against the evil Gujaratians together with his allies Kongo and Ethiopia.

Then the time to leave for India came. The brave Egyptian soldiers boarded the ships in the harbor of Cairo and set sail to South India where they were to join the Ethiopian forces that had landed there from Ceylon and to aid them to establish an beachhead. The Gujaratians were no match for the numerous well trained Egyptians and Ethiopians and soon the Gujaratians were on the run. Soon the armies of Kongo and Andalusia joined the effort and together the Allied forces pushed north destroying the Gujaratian armies. This marked the beginning of the "Stalling War" as the Gujaratian leaders decided to offer terms to the Allied forces. This of course was only to stall the Allied forces from moving north. So the Gujaratians tried to offer their own terms but the Allied declined them and offered their own ultimatum and terms. But the Gujaratians didn't accept these terms and tried to renegotiate until they decided to revoke their surrender and the war continued.

But the Gujaratians had bought enough time for the Mongols to establish an defensive line in the north. Line that was soon broken by the Allied forces as well as the timely war between Persia and Punjab which forced the Mongols to withdraw from India and move to far east to help their Punjabian friends who seemed to be more important to them. So the war continued and soon almost all of Gujarat was in the Allied hands which finally forced Gujarat to accept the peace. Even though they once again tried to stall the peace so that the Chinese armies could arrive to India and help them. Well the Chinese arrived but when they learned that Gujarat had already accepted the peace they still continued the war. But soon a peace was agreed and Egypt had established an foothold in India.

What riches would India bring to the Egyptians and would they be able to hold their gains? That remains to be seen.
 

unmerged(288807)

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A coalition of Africans and Europeans (Egyptripoli, Ethiopia, Kongo, Catalunya, later followed by England and Persia) descended upon Gujarat, supported by its allies of the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere (Punjab, the KoMgols and Qin, though Qin only against the Europeans + Persia). At first, Gujarat was whupped by the Africans + me, and then England took a quick bite, DoWing, sieging and peacing for a rich province in record time. With Gujarat's allies, which had come to the rescue, busy in India, Persia jumped in. This, in turn, brought in the Croatians, hungry for some Anatolias - but Persia whupped all comers.

As things are now, the Africans are peaced out, and due to a technicality I am still at war, leading an alliance of Persia and me against Punjab, Gujarat, KoM and Qin - though this is all the same war, and terms have been agreed upon with respect to Gujarat. Persia and Punjab and KoM, not so much. Gujarat is army-less, on the verge of collapse but un-occupied; Punjab is army-less, occupied and collapsing. KoM is beaten but not occupied, Persia is out of MP but in possession of its armies. Croatia is still good to go, though across the Dardanelles.
Thanks for the sum up.
 
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