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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Rallying the Troops

Rallying the Troops​

February 5th, 1556
Imperial Villa, Athens



Zimisces, King of Hellas, sat on his throne, eagerly trying to listen to the words of the chattering priests around him. They shouted 'We need to raise our armies' and 'No, we must create a great uprising with our Greek brothers in the north', and some 'We need support from other nations to fight the Turks'.

A revolutionary ran up to the throne "King Zimisces! There is a man here who wishes to to see you! We were not told that he was arriving, and the guards tried to force him back but-"

"Greetings, King Zimisces!" smiled Vasili Demakis. He was holding a Venetian arquebus in hands pointing the trail of five guards in front of him. "Keep moving boys."

Zimisces laughed. "I'm impressed, Vasili. You managed to fend off five guards and hold them at gunpoint. Perhaps you need to whip them into shape?"

Vasili and Zimisces laughed. Vasili put down his gun and patted Zimisces on the back. "Very good to see you again, King of Hellas."

"I've learned that a visit from you isn't always the best thing to happen. What news to you bring?" Zimisces said.

Vasili's face went from happy to solemn. "My associates in Crete inform me about the Venetians' plans. The Doge has declared war on us and will try to strike at Athens."

"War? Damn those Venetians. You can never trust the Dodge of Venice!" agrily said Zimisces, his teeth now gritted. "Wait a minute, I though the Venetians were at war with the Ottoman Empire?"

"Yes, that's right." answered Vasili.

"So we are at war with Venice and the Ottomans, who are fighting each other as well," he contemplated. "Perhaps their war against each other can let us off the hook. Fathers, what do you reason?"

"A war with Venice can be a very dangerous thing!" shouted Father Kouli, an Athens native. "Perhaps if we give them the lands they claim, then our war with them will be over. We need only grant them Morea and Ionia-"

"Only Morea and Ionia?" sarcastically remarked Father Panagiotis. "This is most of our country that you speak so lightly about!"

"But the Venetians are not the cruel oppressors like the Ottoman Sultan. In Cyprus, the people were permitted to keep there religion, and many Greeks on the island have prospered as merchants," responded Father Kouli.

"I think we should fight," said the frail Father Thanasis. Everyone looked at him. One of the oldest men they had ever known, Father Thanasis was a priest from the island of Samos. He was the representative of the island's priests in the Assembly of Nauplion, and even the soldiers attentively listened to his words. "Are we so afraid that we would give up a war that has not yet been fought. This Doge of Venice, he is a treacherous one. The Doges took Constantinople by betrayal, and ended the Empire's chance of survival against the Turks. And now look at them. They are forced to fight the Turks! I say we raise our armies, and raid the Venetian coast! But we cannot afford a battle. We shall play dirty, like Venice did three hundred years ago."

"Very good words, father. Vasili, I am eager to hear your opinion?" asked the King.

"My opinion, King Zimisces? It does not matter what I think. I will lead armies against the Turks if that is your wish. I will send a letter of surrender to the Venetians. I will even lead the men in open battle against Venice. It is your decision, and I am afriad I cannot give you my counsel," humbly said Vasili, bowing to the King.

"Very well, Vasili. We shall fight both of our enemies. We shall wage war against the Turks who seek to rule us once again and against the greedy Venetians who claim our lands so they can gain wealth from them. Fathers, go and tell the people of my decision. Vasili, I need you to and recruit as many men as possible. We are to raise an army to free the Greeks in the north and east. Long live Hellas!" cheered the King.

The priests nodded their heads in support and the soldiers raised their swords in ceremony. The room filled with the phrase "Long live Hellas!"
__________

February 10th, 1556
Korinthia (Corinth)

"Siko Pano! Siko Pano! Dimitri! SIKO PANO!"

Dimitri groaned in his bed. "... no... it's too early..."

"Dimitri, get out of bed now! There's a meeting in the town square at noon! Hurry, you'll be late!" yelled hus mother.

Dimitri closed his eyes again. "... big deal... how much time till noon..."

"It's already noon!" scolded his mother.

"Already noon!" he exclaimed, jumping out of bed. He frantically tried to put on his clothes, while his mother went into the hallway. He ran into the kitchen, to find his mother baking some bread. "Mother, why didn't you wake me up sooner?" he complained.

"I did," she smiled. "Hours ago. You said you would get up on your own."

"And you believed me?" he said.

His mother smiled again. "Take some fruit. You'll be hungry." Dimitri crammed an apple into mouth and waved goodbye.
__________

February 10th, 1556
Town Square, Korinthia (Corinth)



Dimitri was running as fast as he could now. He could make out the church at the south side of the town square. A large crowd of men were gathered at the front of it. He ran faster trying to get to the meeting quickly now. He could now make out the voice of the speaker.

"People of Korinthia, I bring word from the King!" he began. "Long have your people been a great influence on Greece and on Europe. Was it not you who flourished as a people and founded the great cities in Asia Minor?"

He heard the people cheer.

"Was it not you who joined with Sparta and defeated Athens in battle?"

The people began to cheer much louder. Dimitri finally made his way to the back of the crowd. He couldn't make out the speaker on the church steps, so he tried to inch his way up to the front of the crowd.

"People of Corinth, was it not you who lived under the rule of the greedy French knights and eventually ousted them out?"

The people cheerd even louder than before.

"Then people of Corinth, spearheaders of Western culture, fierce warriors, and brave souls, your fellow Greeks call upon you now to defend your country from the oppressive Turks and treachurous Venetians! Do you accept the call to arms?"

The crowd cheered uncontrollably and bagan to shout 'Long live King Zimisces!' and 'Long live Hellas!' Then they shouted 'Long live Vasili Demakis!' Vasili Demakis? thought Dimitri. Was this the great leader of Greek troops that he had heard tales about. He was here in Korinthia to lead the men to victory and safeguard the Greek nation. Dimitri was ready, for he was going to war!
 
Last edited:

coz1

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Well done, sir. Very descriptive and engaging. Now let's take it to the Turk!
 

stnylan

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Certainly. The Ottomans need to learns omething about the meaning of defeat.
 

unmerged(25190)

First Lieutenant
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Marching North

Thanks for all the feedback! :D Here's my third installment!
 

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First Lieutenant
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Marching North

Marching North

June 23rd, 1557
Thessaloniki, Macedonia



"Keep up the pace now! We're almost at the gates of the city!" shouted the commander. He rode upon a brown stallion at the the back of the marching column of soldiers. The soldiers were not armed with arquebuses as their regular weapon, but long, thin swords. Several were armed with long pikes and were placed alond the sides of the column. The men had been marching for days across the Greek hills in the blistering sun. Ocassionally, they would come across a fresh water spring or a friendly village which would provide them with water or food. But they had not seen any towns for quite some time, and the men were hungry, thirsty, and very dirty.

A man on a great black horse came charging at them quickly. He was yelling, but he was too far off to make out his words. Coming closer the men could hear him yell "Commander! Commander!"

"Not that annoying Stavropoulos again," whispered the commander to the officer beside him. "I thought this scouting mission would get him off by back for a while." Stavropoulos was the son of a common Greek shopkeeper. His family name was worth little to nothing in Greek society, but he held enormous wealth. His mother was an Italian noblewoman whom his father had met years ago in one of the islands. She was an only child and her parents gravely disapproved of this marriage. However, from his mother's inheritance he was one of the wealthiest men in the nation, with vast estates in the Greek islands and back in his mother's native Florence. Extremely inquisitive and somewhat annoying, his parents paid for him to become an officer in the new Greek army, and he was the military's problem now.

"Commander the city-" he began.

"Yes yes Stavropoulos, I know we are approaching it. But have you found the location of the Turkish army?" he asked, still riding in his horse.

Trying to keep up Stavropoulos asked "The Turkish army?"

"Yes, where are they positioned?"

"Sir, they are nowhere near the city!"

"Nowhere near the city? Then they must be planning to get us into a trap. Scour the entire region for them!"

"Sir," he began, trying to make his concept simpler. "They aren't even in Macedonia, anymore."

"What?" he said confused. His ordered his horse to stop. "Kouli! Thanos! Order the men to stop!" He signaled to Stavropoulos to move to the side of the road.

"Sir, they have only left minor garrison troops inside the city," said Stavropoulos, his horse now clopping its hooves in place.

"Do you have an idea why?" he asked concerned.

Stavropoulos, who was quite taken aback from being asked his opinion sorted his thoughts now. No-one had really ever valued his opinion before. He recalled the rumours spreading in the towns east of Thessaloniki. "Sir, the I have heard rumours from the towns east of Thessaloniki. They say the Turks have gone to fight a far more dangerous enemy."

"The Venetians?" asked the commander inquisitively.

"Reports indicated that the Turks have already sent men from the Slavic provinces to fight Venice, and they are sending other armies to take Venetian islands in the Mediterranean. Word has spread that a greater enemy fights the Turks now."

"A greater enemy? But who could this be..." he muttered. "Nevermind. An enemy to the Turks is a blessing for the Greeks. Kouli! Thanos!"

Two more officers rode to where the commander and Stavropoulos were talking. Both were brown horses and were in elegant Greek revoluntionary dress. Stavropoulos was amazed at the speed of one of the horses, it seemed like a wild horse from Hungary.

"Yes commander?" asked the distincly taller officer.

"We give the men five more minutes rest. Then we march straight to the gates of Thessaloniki and begin the siege. We need to make sure that we punch a hole in its western wall! We want a fast siege, with minimal civilian damage. You have your orders!"

"Yes, Commander Demakis!" they said nodding and rode off to the front of the army.

"Well? Don't just stand there Stavropoulos! Do something!" commader Demakis roared.

"Yes, sir!" he nodded. He turned his horse back to the commander almost as he turned around. "Like what commander?" he timidly asked.

"Now!" he boomed. Even Stavropoulos' horse jumped. He frantically rode off from the commander.

Commander Michael Demakis was a Cretan native. He left Crete with his brother, and was a vital piece in the Greek Revolution. His achievements, however, never came close to his brother Vasili's. No-one made stories from his lesser-known accomplishments, however still heroic. He was known around Hellas, simply as 'Vasili's little brother', his second-in-command. Filled with bitterness over the years made Michael jealous of Vasili's glory. His sense of nationalism and chivalry never died out, but he became competitive and cruel to those who thought were inferior to him. Becoming a commander in the army instantly because of his connection to Vasili, he hoped to gain a new indentity as a great military commander of the Greek armies. Soon, he hoped, Vasili wouldn't be able to hold a candle to him.
__________

June 30th, 1556
Piraeus Port, Hellas



The old San Angelo creaked in the dock, as waves collapsed over its hull. She was very sturdy ship, built in Naples decades ago. Originally a merchant vessel, it was purchased and maintained and by the Hapsburgs for diplomatic missions across the Mediterranean. But tonight she found her herself docked in the port of Piraeus, the main port in Hellas.

A cloaked man approached the docked San Angelo. Only concealing one hand, he was holding an old lantern. Once a fantastic gold lantern, but now covered in rust, it gave the figure an eerie orange glow. His feet made the old wooden planks on the dock creak loudly, and he gradually stepped closer to the old ship. He stopped walking when he reached the boat. The lanterned remained perfectly still, his hand untrembling.

Footsteps were heard about the San Angelo and then a Creeeek as the plank went down. The cloaked figure made his way up the plank and up the ship.

"There waiting for you in there," said the sailor in deep German. His finger pointed to the large cabin at the back of the ship.

The cloaked man opened the door slowly and entered the cabin.

"Father Kostas, how nice to see you have finally arrived," smiled the man sitting down.

"Greetings, Captain Rundadt!" smiled the cloaked figure. He spoke German very poorly and his crackled voice meant he was very old. He removed his cloak and placed his lantern on the table. He was wearing traditional a traditional Orthodox priests robe and had a long beard. He blew out his lantern.

"Father Kostas, did you receive any word from the men at Thessaloniki?" asked the young man in Greek.

"Yes Vasili," answered the priest in Greek. "The men have initiated the siege seven days ago. All they need a breach in the walls and the city is theres. The Turks barely have enough men to even garrison them inside the city, and the breach of the walls would mean the Turks would fall easily."

"Excuse me, Captain. I had matters to discuss with my friend here," said Father Kostas to the Captain in German now.

The Captain shrugged. "I have your numbers right here, Father Kostas." he said, pushing a rolled-up piece of parchment to the priest. "Number of Turkish and Venetian troops along the border, generals-in-command, its all here."

The priest smiled. "Thanyou, Captain Rundadt! My counry and I are deeply indepted to you."

"Think nothing of it, Father Kostas. This is what allies are for, after all!" he laughed.

"I hear the Austrians have done us a great favour in diverting the Turkish and Venetian armies from Hellas." said Vasili Demakis.

Father Kostas translated what Vasili said into German for the Captain.

"We Austrians are not one to back down from a fight! We shall honour our alliance with the Greeks and slaughter some Turks and Italians while we're at it!" he laughed. "That is of course, if they don't beat each other up in the first place!"

Father Kostas laughed hard as well. Vasili joined in as well, hoping not to offend the Austrian Captain.

The full moon illuminating the harbour completely that night. The San Angelo was still rockung in it's dock from all of the waves, and a great light could be seen from the captain's cabin. The Austrian flag from the ship fluttered from the winds in the town, as did the Greek ones accompanying the armies in Thessaloniki...
 

stnylan

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Are they really allied with you are just fighting the same war by good fortune?
 

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Allied.
 

coz1

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Wonderfully written -Arcadian_. There is a depth to this even beyond your excellent English AAR. Very enjoyable. :)
 

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The Austrians always make wonderful allies in the balkans. Seems you might have an easy ride ahead.
 

LordLeto

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And then, you turn on them!
Thats the general idea, but in my hellas game I decided to keep them to protect my northern border from a super Poland spanning from France to Moscovy, even with Orthadox tech grouping they lead the word by a head or two.
 

unmerged(25190)

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Sorry I haven't updated in a while, but my computer is in the shop and I'm just writing from my Dad's laptop. I should post the new update sometime this week when I get my computer back.

The War is over in my game, but I'm not dropping ANY hints at all!
O, and Austria is definately an ally I want to keep :D
 

unmerged(25190)

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Entering Athens

Entering Athens
July 15th, 1557
Athens, Hellas



"C'mon march faster! With that pace you have a better chance of walking unarmed into the Turkish armies and living!" barked the grizzled old colonel. "Hurry up at the back there or I'll put you on the frontlines!"

"He's a cheerful character?" said a young soldier under his breath.

Dimitri chuckled. "If the old goat hears you saying that he'll put you out on a fishing line and feed you to the Turks."

The soldier and Dimitri laughed as they marched past the village. It was a very quiet Attic village close to Athens, serving mainly as a meeting place for local farmers. Sheep scattered the countryside, grazing on the region's thin soil. The army marched onwards, full of promising young recruits.

"Nice to meet you, the name's Michael," whispered young Michael under his breath, so that the colonel couldn't hear him.

"Dimitri. Dimitri Trivolas," said Dimitri.

"Trivolas? Sounds Peloponesian. Arcadia? Laconia?" asked Michael.

"Actually, I'm from Corinth," corrected Dimitri, as the old colonel screamed more words of encouragement. "You from around here?"

"Chios. From the islands. I came here as soon the Revolution began, so I could fight. Well I really came with my three brothers and mother. Relocated the whole family to the mainland, in the heart of Hellas."

"The boys from Chios?" joked Dimitri.

"And proud of it!" smiled Michael. "So when did you join up with the army?"

"Sometime in February. Nearly half the men in Corinth joined up."

"So I take it a lot of them joined up," Michael said, looking back to see if the colonel was watching.

"I couldn't believe it either. But there was this hero from the islands... I was amazed at how he could unify the people and rally the men so well-"

"Vasili Demakis?" asked Michael, while Dimitri quickly nodded back. "Quite a speaker no? And the stories about him! The old men in Chios would never stop the stories. Did you hear about the islander, what a war hero he is, I hear he's half Chian-"

Dimitri laughed so hard that the colonel looked at him for a moment. Keep marching Dimitri thought. Maybe he didn't notice.

The army marched onwards, towards Athens, the great ancient city of the Greeks. The birthplace of Western culture, the great artistic city even during the time of Rome, the bastion of democracy against tyrants. Athens at last! The men cheered as they saw the city. Their old colonel was a bit more cheery as they entered the city, and the skyline of the city was like an oasis to them.

The people came out of they houses and cheered at the approaching army of infantry. Another army was marching a few blocks away from them. The people waved Greek flags and priests were spreading incense across the streets. The armies were massing in Athens for their next move.

"Ah, Athena. What a magnificent city it is!" smiled Michael as he saw some local girls throwing rose petals at the army. "Tikanis koritsyes! How are you girls!" he said in Greek as he passed by them.

They giggled and threw more petals at the army.

"What can I say?" said Micheal looking at Dimitri. "I have quite a way with women."

Dimitri rolled his eyes.

"Actually, I got a girl of mine in the mountains. By the village my family moved to. Her name's Maria - Ah, Maria!" said Michael dreaming of his sweetheart.

"So you are going to marry her sometime?" asked Michael, stunned by the crowds gathered across the city streets.

"The second the war is over! So Dimitri my friend, tell me how the girls are in old Korinthia."

Dimitri thought about finding himself a girl. There weren't many where he was from. He lived a big distance from the town, and the girls in the city wouldn't likely take up farm life with him. "They are very beautiful. The city girls especially."

"There's nothing I like better than a nice farm-girl. My Maria from the mountains - the body she has! Chasing after goats and carrying water up the mountain. Now that'll make you a strong woman!"

"Haha! Michael if you had a mind of a soldier like you did your eye for women-"

"Then I'd be slaughtering ten Turks a day!" he laughed.

They marched closer to the Acropolis, where the armies would meet in front of. Already banners and flags littered the foot of the ancient citadel. Priests blessing the armies and local girls flirting with the soldiers. Dimitri had only left his beloved Corinth in late February, and had been drilled in marching and fighting for months now. His troop was always on the move, practising for their coming plan of attack - only stopping briefly for Easter celebrations in Larissa. The armies in Athens were now well-trained, and had the siege army in Thessaloniki to cover Hellas from northern threats. Here a second army would be finally be formed, and test its mettle against the Turkish and Venetian threats.
 
Last edited:

unmerged(25190)

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Note: I have decided that I will end this AAR after the Greek War of Independence. I may be inclined to include another war afterwards, but this AAR will have a short timeframe (due to it's novel-style format).
 
Last edited:

coz1

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That's too bad, because you are doing great! Very nice update and I hope you think about extending it a bit further. Longer AARs are harder to write, but they are a joy to the rest of us if done correctly and you have had a very nice touch with this one (as you are doing with your English one as well.) Look forward to seeing what happens here.
 

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_Arcadian_ said:
Note: I have decided that I will end this AAR after the Greek War of Independence. I may be inclined to include another war afterwards, but this AAR will have a shirt timeframe (due to it's novel-style format).
I agree with coz1. Don't stop. This AAR is extremely well written, and there's definitely room for more storytelling. You use dialogue and description well, and the font is rather funky. Good work.