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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013

so after some thinking, I decided that Oirat Horde is best fit to "play with elves" in EU3. One of possible origins of name might be "wood people", so there you go. The goal is to stay true to elven ways: conquer the world without changing goverment type. Ok, that would mean only the world that is reachable by foot. If I actually survive that long, we will see can Elves reform.

Idea is to go west fast, and try to reach and hit most of big countries before technology gap grows too much. Which possible means somehow dealing with Golden Horde early on to get access to Hungary. I would try to avoid Russians and Scandinavia early on, dig through Hungary and pick fight with Austria and Bohemia one at the time. Probably I would need buffer zone when closing on France until I figure out how to actually bring them down. Maybe wait until both England and Castille attack them. Or maybe Westernization is an option but staying horde, I doubt Elven ways are outdated weapons.

Another goal, more important than simple world conquest is teaching muslim Mongols and Mamluks a lesson. They were mean to shamanist Oirats, and true Elf forget nothing! Being Buddist so early might not be historically accurate, but Elf is proud with his wisdom, so yeah.

Historically, in mid 15th century Esen Taishi led Oirats to their biggest extent, had some success in war against Ming and wanted to become a Khagan. Declaring himself a Great Khan was also his biggest mistake. Let's see if we can conquer so much that Oirat leader will be accepted as a new Great Khan.
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marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
Just to clarify as I forgot, I am using DW 5.2

So, on a cold October morning, young and ambitios Esen Taishi was sitting in his tent, visibly angry. Captain Radi walked in, checking on young commander.
Radi commander.jpg

Esen: Oh, it's you.
Radi: You look troubled, young lord. Same thing as before?
E: Off course! Why do warriors even follow my father? It is ridiculous. He said it last night again.
R: Your father is good warrior and good Khan. He expanded our territories already and...
E: HE IS INSANE! He thinks we are all elves. A mythical creatures! Us, the proud Mongolian warriors. It is embarrassing!
R: To be precise, he thinks we are descendants of elves. Not that it matters much as long as he keeps winning battles.
E: He is crazy, simple as that.
R: You dream of becoming Khagan, even though you are not direct male descendant of Temujin. Not sure which is more crazy.
Esen gave him a sharp look. It made him even more angry, but he knew captain was right.
E: Well, that at least should make Oirat warriors proud, instead of fools, following Khan Elf around.
R: So what do you suggest? Sudden new young Khan?
Esen needed a couple of seconds to speak.
E: No... no... not at all. I respect him and love him. I wasn't talking about that at all.
R: So you're just wasting time and words for nothing. Common, we are continuing west towards Kazaks and I would say it's gonna be a long war. You already build reputation as warrior, and you'll have plenty more oportunities to look forward to.
Captain Radi simply left with those words, no courtesies or any farewell. Esen liked him for it. Cut to the point and keep focus. It was good having him around.
E: Well, I guess I can ignore being Elf as long as battles are coming.
He touched his bow thinking of glory.

marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
I started going west with my army and built few more regiments and attacked Kazaks completely ignoring wars with Tibet and Delhi. Well Delhi was busy with Chagatai, but Tibet sieged my border provinces. After a lot of chasing Kazak armies around, Nogai attacked me as soon as I gained border with them. Again lot of chasing around and lot of rebels poping up in Kazak provinces.

Meanwhile, in east, Manchu appeared on our borders. That's why we head east now. I guess I should form second army and send them south, since Tibet are actually settling on two provinces.

marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
- Khan is dead! We have a new Khan!

Esen walked out of his tent. Thousands of warriors gathered around to hear his words. Cut under his left eye was still bleeding. He must be a leader, he must be fierce. And he knew that it is the only way.
- Proud steppe warriors! My father Khan Toghan is dead, died long before his time. It is up to me now to lead Oirats to glory. You all know me as you knew him. You already know I will continue our ways. I might not have agreed with everything my father was saying, but we all want the same thing, whoever the Khan may be. We will ride together, break our enemies, teach a lesson all those who looked down on us, teach them the lesson that will cost them their lives.

He made a pause to make sure all eyes are upon him. He was doing this right. Don't present yourself above them as Khan, say that we ride together, fight with them, do it Mongol way...

- You all know that I am ambitious. You all know I want the great Mongol Empire again. We can fulfill what my father started, but we won't stop there. We can do what Bojrigins did, but we won't stop there! We shall ride beyond the plains of Lithuania. We shall break all Turks and raid Constantinople. We shall take Vienna and Rome, we shall take all German lands and knock on gates of Paris. Not even Vikings will be safe. Oirats! Ride with me as I ride with you! It is time for glory! It is time of prosperity!

Instead of cheering and hailing, Esen was met with silence. Cold sweat started forming on his neck. How could this be, what went wrong?
One young and seemingly reckless warrior stepped out and spoke directly to him.
- My Khan, what is this word prosperity? What are you saying?

Esen managed to restrain himself from rolling his eyes visibly. *I am a fool. And my father and his persistence that I should learn more than just ways of war. Now I have to take care how I speak with my soldiers. If he could only see me now, how would he laugh... And now, to finish this as loud as possible*


Camp was thundering with cheers and roars.

marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
As you can see from my previous post, I forgot to mention that in 1406 Khan Toghan died natural death, and Esen, still in his prime, took over the war. That naturally prompted rebels in Kazkak lands, Nogai was still being sieged. Lot fo boring chasing around, so let's hope Esen's rule will be powerfull and long.
Kazaks are are eventually vassalized after I got way to west. Nogai had to be conquered to get to Astrakhan. I should let rebels free southern Nogai provinces and then make them vassal too. Also, I am constantly minting between 25 and 30%

So, Manchus are not a problem, with properly sized army with bigger cavalry ratio. Meanwhile on the east Nogais are rebeling like crazy. So after destroying Machu army, Oirats forces are split again in two, new regiments produced and bigger army is sent back to east. Then something awesome happened:

After routing Nogai rebels, they retreated to GH provincces, resulting in new Nogai with capital in Zaporozhie:
I was already prepared to rush to Astrakhan and got there before GH. Pure luck to get CoT without fighting GH. However, initial fortune is not long lasting. Qara Qoyunlu conquered all of Georgia and I want those provinces to make way to Crimea, where Genoa and Hungary await. However, Black Sheeps are allied with GH and Chagatai.
Makes no sense to fight on west while Chagatais easily get my cores. So Esen will probably retreat western army to deal with Chagati while sacrificing western provinces, and then somehow reconquer them.

This is cherrypicking Manchu provinces. Those low on both tax and manpower will remain to be vassalized.

BTW, military drilled Korean kicked some Elven ass, but didn't pursued. So more calvary is recruited and then we play second leg.
And on the south, Tibet is brought down with small army. But question is, do we focus on west with everything, trying to actually pull this off, or do we spread in all directions? Elves should be smarter than spreading too much, even Mongols didn't attack multiple fronts. On the other hand, it might be useful to start digging to India, maybe get Bihar's CoT, and surely more fun?

So, if anyone is reading this: would Elves focus on primary goal to west, or try to get everything?


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You know you want it all.....

...but you can't reasonably expect to take it all at once. I'd probably try to establish a buffer zone with a vassal or weak ally to cover my back, then direct my attention toward the real goal. Time is NOT on your side, so you've got to head west as soon as you've stabilized the eastern and southern borders, otherwise you'll find yourself badly outclassed against a long list of well-funded adversaries in another 50-80 years. On the other hand, rushing west with your eastern border unguarded is an invitation to disaster.

marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
Thx for feedback, Kovax the Hun. Unfortunately I already proceeded with fighting on all sides. However, thing is that I should not need much soldiers in east or south. I won't even attempt to fight Ming as that would cost a lot of time, and since they can't send colonist, I would have to wait out until they accept defeat. On the other hand, all those Indo-China countries are weak, and one medium 8 to 10 army should be enough to slowly dig the way and vassalize poor countries. Indian countries are lot stronger but I don't have to push hard or fast. So I guess I will push in all directions, but won't invest much in the process. I need some armies standing around to put down revolts, and keeping the center of Asia is a must until I get cores. Manpower is already not so bad but I need more gold to maintain huge hordes. Vassalizing poor provinces sounds like better idea, and if I lose any of those it doesn't matter in long run. So pushing west, and just playing safe as possible in south. I would try to get CoT or two, but we'll see.

But lets proceed. Armies are moved back to Mongolia and declared war on Chagatai. There is no sense in fighting GH and QK if Chagatais are snatching my Mongol provinces. And fortune shine on elves again: no one jumped in to help them. This makes the war easy as I already have bigger army. In the east, usable Manchu provinces are snatched and remaining three sieged and vassalized. Second leg with bigger cavalry size against Korea worked fine.
EU3_123.jpg EU3_124.jpg EU3_125.jpg
In the south, after Qamdo defected I got border with Assam and Tuongo and then vassalized Tibet. Army there is only 6K but enough for slowly charting new lands

Back to the West with even bigger army while Chagati war is till on, just waiting for few provinces to defect before vassalizing them. I don't need them, but I will try to get CoT in Sind so need border with Punjab. Timurids are falling apart, but so are West Indies, all countries have rebels or fought Timurids, therefore I will try it with small army. On the west, 2 simultaneous wars are declared. I don't want GH in same war as blacksheepers and will try to peace out with GH while slowly getting Georgian provinces from blacksheepers. Kazak vassal will help.

Qara Koyunly actually have bigger army then my western forces, but half is in Crimea against Genoa (I saw Crimea getting green stripes), and second half was seen in nearby Dagestan, while their brave GH allies are helping with Georgian rebels. So elves will take on sheepers one by one and move into Gerogia once GH is out of the way.

Meanwhile, elves went full Land with sliders. I wanted to reduce army costs. And got lucky. Captain Radi decided to get married and settle down, new captain Tsewang presented himself to Esen and was hired immediately. Other two advisers are for inflation and manpower.
Twice I got event for going Aristocratic with stability hit. I think in this shot it was after first time, I tihnk it is full aristocratic now. From now on probably centralization and innovative, I will need westernization and decades go fast for Elves.

GH is serious, and they have help from Tartar patriots. Kazaks were actually useful, as GH army attacked them in Abkhazia and then I moved in to help, then chased them until decimation. However GH still has 3 times more soldiers. I was checking every month would they accept my defeat without losing any land. Timurids are their allies and joined the war, but were happy to white out fast as they have too much troubles already.

In the south, Assam is charted and then elves started making Tuongo maps. Meanwhile, Tuongo army is on pilgrimage in Qamdo, and no Elf has problem with this. Their provinces are horribly poor, capital city is a bit better, so I will siege it just to make it harder for them to create new regiments after their army is destroyed.

Finally, in 1425 GH accepted my defeat without gaining anything but prestige. Alania and Georgia were already occupied and Abkhazia was under siege, but I had to send most of troops to fight Tartar patriots. After that I just went on and seized Azerbeijan and southern sheep provinces as they actually provide some income, just while waiting for provinces to defect. Then in 1426, here comes the Ming with their endless troops, and seemingly without understanding of elven language of peace. I moved my eastern army away into Manchu province and let Ming with their siege-parties.

in 1428, something happens that I didn't know is possible.

Tuongo defects even though there was no connection with Oirat lands. I though it needed to have neighbor province for this to work. Anyway, elves were not expecting this, but also didn't care if province was sieged. At the time only 2infantry regiments were in the area. Southern army grew to 9k in size but had to split and go north to deal with some rebels. Pegu has 7k army, but Arakan is OPM with 1k, so elves went there to kindly ask them to join the tax vassal trend.

Little later same year, Azerbeijan defects while armies were waiting for Abkhazia and war with Genoa. This brought wars with Otomans, Jalarids and Persia. Now normally I wanted to ignore this, but I saw Persia has stripe of provinces with Fars and Hormuz, so 2 CoTs with only 11k army. Kinda too juicy to ignore. More troops were already recruited in core provinces and on their way, so we'll see.
As you can see, I also named armies properly, so I know which is what. Khan Esen is commanding Central army of only 5k with main focus to fight Kazak/Nogai rebels, but meanwhile also has fun with Kashmir and Punjab.

Oh, and since there is not much job for diplomats normally, I was constantly trying to get Military Acces from Timurids, and actually succeeded after like 8 or 10 attempts. Otherwise, Central army traveling around Timurids to West India and back to Nogai for rebels would be just mental. Elves are smarter than that.
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marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
Next few years were little bit of time waste, but at least we got our passage to west.

Ming play roughly and wants me to cancel to many vassals. I let them play. For some reason, they leave my capital alone.
In the south, Ceylon invaded Assam (I guess they hold Bengal area) and some Manipur patriots appered, and now place has more colors on map. I couldn't siege all Assam provinces to vassalize them so jsut took tribute and are recovering provinces. But I will leave Ceylon and focus on vassalazing towards south-east. So, fast-forwards to 1430:
Ming accepts peace if I cancel only Manchu vassalization. Naturally that results in war with Manchu and they are quickly back into the fold. Also, elves are determined to vassalize Tuongo and Shan. and proceed south-east towards better shores.

What you can see on next shot is Khan Esen strategy of complete time wasting while playing with Ottomans, now that road to Crimea is open.
Instead of usual 2 armies 15k each, Ottomans brought 10K armies. One went to practice patience with Persians in Azerbeijan, the other got destroyed. Elven two western armies are 8 and 9k strong with almost perfect generals. So Ottomans attack one army, second one moves in to help, and then finish them off. However Ottomans quickly come back with more. It is useless to try to fight them from one side as clearly horde can't pass straight from Anatolia to Balkans. After sucessfully sieging both Armenia and Van, Ottomans were willing to accept Oirat defeat. I think I shouldn't even have bothered and just moved to Crimea, so it is another year and half gone, but OK.
Genoa has 12k army, but was busy sieging Kouban, so elves took Kaffa and moved to Crimea. Genoesse then sieged Kaffa instead of attacking locked elven warriors. Second western army was kept busy by Gerogia and rebellions. I wanted Georgia to play like this. I want copper producing Kartli and then would vassalize OPM Immereti as it is not very useful.

Meanwhile Persia got Azerbeijan while elves strrugle to vassalize poor sheep provinces with insufficient armies. New army is on its way from the east though.

In east, Korea obviously has some island somewhere as I was not able to vassalize them after cherrypicking some provinces. Since I don't want to fight them regularly, I guess I would annex whole Korea even though provinces are useless. 10k soldiers splitted in two armies guard Manchu and Korea.

In south, Nepal invaded Ceylon, Tuongo and Shan are vassalized, and then I attacked and lost two battles against Pegu! Elven army was 5I/4C versus 6I/1C and lost two times. Both times retreated back to owned province with 1 regiment waiting, so I guess that's why Pegu didn't followed. Then I moved army in another direction, letting Pegu destory that 1 regiment. Not the best move of Khan Esen. Third time with full count and morale Oirat army got best of Pegu and proceed to chart new lands and fight half-broken Pegu army.

And last but not the least, West Indies front:
Instead of vassalizing Kashmir right away, I wanted one province ot defect so I can vassalize Khorasan. Then I would let rebels take back Jammu, and Kashmir will stay vassal. But now I think that I can't keep Khorasan as vassal without the border. In any case, I want to reach Sind and CoT and then vassalize what's left of Sind and Baluchistan. This was being done by weak Central army, now in Nogai to fight rebels. However, Bihar is getting strong, perhaps Central and Indian army in south-east should join and crush Bihar.

Currently is summer of 1433, waiting for Criema to defect and attack Hungary. In 1435 Ming will be back so I better recruit again in core provinces. Third western army arrived and is checking Azerbeijan. Persia has 2k more soldiers, but only 2 cavalry to Oirat 5. Also, need to finish vassalizing blacksheepers.

Eventually it might be good idea to take on Ottomans from two sides. They will slow me down, but I would get to produce Azab infantry. Combined with steppe cavalry, that should be best combination for the rest of 15th century.
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marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
Esen was bored and uneasy, but kept confident and determined face. They were sieging Nogai rebel stronghold. Rebels were already destryoed, except they managed to Ust Yurt and now garrison had to be dealt with. It was his job after all, putting down Mongol rebelions with his small but well disciplined Central Army. And by doing that stay close to western front for faster travel of messages. On east everything was under control, as was expected. General Dayan kept far east in order and general Sechen was slowly vassalizing Buddist brethren in Indo-China.

But things were going slow. It took a while to annex Georgian coast of Black Sea, and now it takes time again to annex Crimean area from Genoa. Too much time! He hoped to get to Hungarian plains much faster. And show them that Choros can crush and then keep hold on Hungary, what even Bojrigins couldn't. And he knew how - European infantry units drafted from newly conquered lands. Horses needs plains, but city-dwellers are more useful in occupying city provinces, after Mongol warriors crush the armies on the field. As long as they are motivated to be loyal, that is, and every soldier that has a family will be well motivated. And when Constantinople falls, nobody would dare to deny him title of Khagan, even though he is not paternal descendant of Temujin.

But why are things so slow? Surely western nations are no match for his hordes. If at least there was some fighting to be done instead of boring siege. But he himself gave order of positioning and duties and he must be example. And there should be some messanger coming soon anyway. It's been a while since he received word from Black Sea. And general Hottari with new Western Army must have arrived by now to Azerbeijan and battle Persians. Two centers of trade so weekly protected! It was too sweet to resist! Stupid heirs of Timur are losing lands all over.

One guard stepped in: "Mighty Khan, a messanger arrived."
"Good!" Or is it, that's a bit too soon. "One from Western armies?"
"Uh, no, my Khan. Chagatai soldier, from many scouting parties across the border."
"Messanger from east? But why would... well, bring him immediately".
"At once"
One doesn't need to be experienced Mongol warrior to tell that man has been riding day and night.
"Oh mighty Khan, Conquerer of Asia, uniter of Mong...."
"Apologies, oh mighty Khan. Bad news I bring. Timurids are attacking."
"What?! Timurids? Now?"
"We scouted their armies before we were sure, Khan. Both their main armies are on the march. One is heading this way, another towards our Chagatai lands. And third smaller army is marching towards Kazakstan."

This was strange. Timurids are in disarray and can't handle rebelions. They must hope to strike east while most or Oirats are in west. But two armies coming near... They want to catch me while I am with small force. Or cut me in west while they plunder in Asia. They saw the oportunity. But it will take months for them to arrive. Months I can use far better.
"You said they are also marching on Chagatai?"
"Yes Khan. Off course our troops are already mobilized and marching into their lands"
To join them or fight them, I wonder. "Great, have some rest, man, it will be a long war."

Esen stepped out on windy day. Golden Horde must have joined in already. He should have declared war on Golden Horde himself and sieze their gold mines even if Timurids run back. Mesenger must be sent to west, but west was no concern. Güshi and Olzvoi, the two by far best generals in the known world are there. He must try to handle Timurids without marching western armies back. He is outnumbered, unless Chagatai stay true to their worlds. Risky, but necessary if he wants to reach his dreams. It will be known soon enough anyway...

"Men, double-up on those rams. This siege is taking too long."

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marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
EU3_3.jpg EU3_4.jpg

Central army was marching east. Small Timurids army was closing on Turkestan, about the same size but only 2 cavalry regiments. A Mongol army without proper cavalry - they should be punished just for that. And it will show the world that small army is enough for Khan Esen to stop his enemies. Or rather, Khagan Esen.

They reached the small stream designated for camping and vanguard was calling a halt. Khan doesn't need to give such small orders, every Mongol ought to know when to stop and when to rush without command. Every Mongol should be far more dangerous than any other soldier in the world. But western reports were troubling. General Hottari lost 2 battles against Persians, would lost the third too but Persians were clashing with some zaelots rebels so he grabbed the oportunity. Good move, and he was fine general, but how could he lose? Persians had slightly bigger army but barely any cavalry. Hottary's army was mainly cavalry. A steppe cavalry at that. How could that be? Persia was supposed to be easy picking. Did Oirats becoem bad fighters over night? Should he be worried of this Timurid force too? No, he will not have it. Troubles or not, there is no stopping now. It's been a year since this war started, if Timurids didn't do anything threating until now, then they don't know how to make war.

Esen turned to one of his guards.
- Those messengers our scouts picked up?
- Messengers themselves stayed to rest with scout groups, my Khan, but one scout from each group reached us.
- Yes, yes, send for them.

Three messages in single day. Too much. And whatever it is, it may wait until evening and camping. He is not turning around now. And it is better to hear messages without too many ears around. Most likely one message at least would make a big impact. For better or worse, he has to wait and see. Some food should pass the time.

He was still chewing when men were presented to him. Good, he thought, they are fast when called upon, they ought to be.
- Two messages from west and news from east, my Khan.
- The east.
Young warrior stepped forward.
- We caught a rider while hunting Timurid scouts. Chagatai rider with good news. They were scouting ahead of their own armies and discovered that Timurids have more urgent business than war with us. Few weeks after they moved their armies and announced war against us, new pretender appeared. Well provisioned and obviusly planning it it for a while. No less than 15k are sieging Samarkand.
Esen raised his eyebrows. Those are not good news, but great news.
- Their second army is now stuck between the pretender army and few small Khorasani rebels. Chagatai are sieging eastern Timurid province unchallenged.
- And their second army?
One of his guards replied - Still sieging in southern Nogai provinces, my Khan.
Incompetent idiots. I should destroy them and let their clans collapse. But they will manage that on their own, I have west to focus on.
- Good. News from west?
- My khan, Nogai clans that rule Zaporozhie are now vassals to Ukraine.
- What? How did that came to pass? I thought Ukraine is under Lithuanians.
- We don't know, Ukraine is small and broke away from Lithuanians. They hold ony Poltava, but somehow vassalized new Nogai. But there is more. Cherson is no longer Hungarian. Nogai clans rule it.
- WHAT?! I am waiting to annex Crimea and finally enter Hungarian plaines, now I have more clans to fight to get there? How could Hungarians lose against Nogai if Ukrainians can beat them?
- There is war going on, my Khan. Turkish sultanate of Candar invaded Moldavia and Wallachia. Hungarians attacked them and all Sunni sultanates joined in, Ottomans, Morroco, you name it. Hungary can't protect against Ottomans.
- Hmmmm, could be we want border again with Ottomans then, after we lost Azerbeijan. What are our armies doing?
- As you instructed, fighting Golden Horde in the north, trying to sieze Samara and gold mines. Russians are also fighting them, so our forces have easier time, otherwise...
- Good. And you? Are you bringing me news from Persia?
Last scout spoke.
- Yes my Khan. As you already heard, Persians turned out to be good fighters, but we prevailed. Currently we are sieging all their provinces, Fars and Hormuz with biggest forces off course. Azerbeijan should fall soon. We are constantly fighting rebels though. Qara Qoyunlu are now our vassals, and they are sieging what's left of Georgia.
- Yes, that's good.
Perhaps he was doing something wrong after all. Luck obviusly helps him against other Mongols, but western states are hard to defeat. Perhaps destiny is telling him to focus on Mongols and Asia, and stop dreaming of west. Wait, what am I doing? That is thinking of weak. I will strike west and beat all difficulties. I will be first Khagan of the new line!
- Send word to western armies. I want another passage to Ukraine. Tell them to take Boguthjar, that is central point in Russian planes. Then they proceed west to Ukraine and Zaporozhie and sieze them too - so no reckless rebels may cut the only supply lines through Georgia - We will dispatch this small army of Timurids and head west to help against Golden Horde. Timurids are no longer a threat. They will start begging for peace soon... and be declined until we get what we want on west. Good now! All is well. Soon Europe will tremble from Mongols again.


Morning was cold, but that was good. He was awake and sharp, and all camp was as well. He was watching his men packing. Fighting will start soon, and that made him relaxed. Battle and bow he understood, it was global strategy he had fear of.
- My Kahn, one of our scouts! A new message from east.
- What? Bring him immediately.
One of his Oirat warriors was brought.
- My Khan, we had contacts with scout from east bringing varoius news. In northeast, Korean are rebeling but they do not pose a threat. In southeast, we are siezing whole Pegu lands. Trading in Malacca will soon be ours.
- Hm, more good news, although all expected.
- There is more. I am not sure how to say it, but we heard other rumors from our own lands. Prominent warriors and men heard of defeats from Pegu and Persia, despite we prevailed in the end. They are questioning our ways of war. Many think that they didn't change much since Temujin, but that other nations have adapted and are now better prepared for our hordes. Many question will other nations fear us like before.
Esen was quiet for a while. He could sense his guards are also quiet, fearing how he may react. This was direct questioning of his capabilities. But punishing this scout won't prove anything. And after all, he has the same fears for a while now. He must act.
- Those many that are concerned are correct to be concerned. Our armies don't strike like they used to. We have more men, but it is true, our ways are no longer sharp as they used to be. Send message acros our lands, everywhere. Mongol armies will adapt. We will work on improving our weapons and armors. We will all be more cautios and improve are tactics. LEt everyone know changes will come soon. Go now. And everybody else, go and pack, we leave immediately.

Disrespecting as it was, it also confirmed his fears. So other warriors also understand westerners are putting better resistance than before. Changes are coming, although he didn't know what will changes be. Well, Mongols learned from enemies before. Temujin and Subutai weren't experts in siege warfare before gaining some valuable Chinese prisoners. In the end, anything must be done to make his armies invincible. Because there was only one way to a title of Khagan: the world must tremble!

marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
So, we got one free slide mvoe towards Innovative. Timurids are stuck pretty much, so elves focused on GH provinces. Vassalization of poor Indo-China continues. In Persia, provinces are being sieged. Idea is not to take Luristan as it is not very profitable, instead wait for Ajam to defect to Persia and then get it.

On west, elves are diggin alternative road towards Ukraine and Zaporozhie. Naturally Samara was first to be occupied, as gold always comes in handy. However, Samara costs a lot in peace deal, so I will wait for Samara to defect and then sign peace with GH, and subseuently with Timurids as they are war leaders. I might get some money too.
Also, it was time for slide movement. Elves are going centralized, since that will be hardest to achieve anyway, and with free Innovative movement, Innovative slider is at limit. Both sliders will create big revolt risk in the end, so no need to push innovative ahead of time. Luckily, result was rebels poping up. Currently biggest fear is stability hit, so a bit lucky there.

At the end of year, positive event:
Immediately following by creation of new army. I should explain that elven armies are mostly smaller than 10k. Usually when manpower reserve is anywhere between 12K and 15K new army is created in core provinces with 3 infantry and 5 or 6 cavalry. Also constantly new regiment is produced in Astrakhan. Constant rising of army tradition allows a lot of good generals, so smaller armies are better for attrition and can be come together for bigger battles. In my mind it also feels more like Subutai's strategies :)
Those distant armies in Korea/Manchu and Indo-china are 10k and 11k, so they can handle everything on thir own, and Western Amry 3 which will be now renamed to Persian army, grew to 14k because Persians were good on morale and too many rebels are still poping up in Persian provinces.

marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
Shaman was talking about ancient myths and legends. Few boys, almost grown men from the tribe have gathered to listen while eating. There is more riding to be done before the day ends, and boys are pressured into training before the sleep. So there wasn't much time for stories or ceremonies, so meal-time was used. Galdan was among them, although he must have heard these stories many times.

Esen was watching from small distance, scraching his beard. He didn't like boy's interest into elven legends. He prouded himself as following his grandfather ways, which Esen liked even less. Still he was far more tolerant about his son than he was with his father.

Khan Toghan, his father... even though size of lands his father conquered can't compare to what Esen already achieved, it was Khan Toghan who started it all, who started the rise of Oirats, no matter how silly his belifs in Elfs were. Esen was more ambitios and more brave. But as he was looking at his son, almost a man now, he remembered his father. Sometimes before sleep comes, it felt like he just echoes his fathers steps. And like his father is watching him, stern about his sons roughness but pleased what strong warrior he had grown into. That would be the way of Khan Toghan - even though he was Khan and Esen would be Khan after him, he only insisted that his son becomes fearless warrior, and leading will come in time. Respect is more important than the glory - Toghan used to tell him when he was still a child. He never even asked Esen to consider accepting the idea of elven heritage. Can he be a different father to Galdan? Can he demand and insist on anything except that he becomes strong and brave?

Esen touched the scar below his left eye. Sometimes he mistakenly thought it is warm and bleeding, until he touched it to reassure himself. Great Khan Esen, uniter of Mongols and who wants to be a new Khagan. Stern, stupid and overly aggressive, breaking enemies on all sides. And yet, even in my old age, I still miss my father.

Someone was approaching from behind, so Esen quickly rubbed his eyes and turn around. Captain "Young" Radi was smiling at him. Esen called him "Young" as his name was Radi, like his fathers old captain he liked to talk to. My father had his Captain Radi so I should have mine - said Esen when he spotted him commanding the regiment of Torghut tribe and elevated him soon afterwards. "Young" was much better at keeping men's morale then the old one was. But he also reminded him of his youth, when Esen was just a warrior.

- Proud how Galdan has grown up, my Khan? Worried about elven affections?
Old and young Radis had more in common than just the name.
- Yes, and yes. He is not as strong as I was, but he is far more clever. Spending time behind army lines worked fine for his understanding of tactics.
- I agree, and so does everyone. And the other question?
- You know what I think of this elven rubbish. I assume you would protect the boy now.
- Yes, but not because of sympathy. For some warriors, tales of elven heritage boosts their pride and morale. Especially...
- Especially for Oirats who mostly kept to the forest. Yes I can tell that. I am so proud to know my followers are able to believe in those stupidities. I am also happy to have a councillor to always oppose my thinking on any matter.
- Then let me oppose you again. He is not a boy anymore, he is 15. It is time.
Esen was surprised.
- Now? In the middle of winter?
- This war will be over soon and we will gain border to Hungarians and Ottomans. Both are still at war with each other, so I don't expect ambitious Khan Esen to sit still. And we already know they are far better prepared then 200 years ago. What is good for morale is good for empire. I don't expect you will have time for this, come the summer.
- Perhaps you are right. Besides - Esen looked at the white clouds above them - sons of Khan ought to have a short childhood.


Galdan looked at warriors cheering. They all knew him, off course. He has been riding with them all the time. And was often in company of respected warriors. And he never spoke unless asked. His father Esen thought him respect is more important than glory, and sometimes respect is not earned through raw strength.

He held a short speech about being proud Mongol, that they are the wolves of the steppes, that now proud forest Oirats who are descendants from joined Elf and Mongol people must lead new Mongol empire, and reach western shores until there are no sheep to try to resist them... crowd was cheering, it was what they wanted to hear.

Esen was standing behind, being both proud and afraid. Proud of present, afraid of future. But tonight was a good night, and Galdan's introduction will echoe acros the empire. He was surprised to see increase in cheering when elves were mentioned. "Young" Radi was by his side, smiling as always.
- Surprised to see true power of the Elf, my Khan?
- I suppose. Although fewer and fewer things are surprising me. Times are changing.
- Indeed. But don't worry without need my Khan, he will be a good and powerful Khan. Me and other councillors will make sure of it.
- Leave future for the future and deal with today. Did you prepare everything?
- Off course. Galdan is already invited to my tent and there will be drinks. At some time, before he is too drunk, I will leave tent to piss but instead of me returning, three girls will enter the tent.
Esen gave him a sharp look.
- Three?!
Captain's smile was visibly wider than usual. Esen shook his head with a grin and stepped up towards his son. Galdan finished the speech already and crowd was becoming less loud.

- My warriors. You all know Galdan since he was a boy. But he is not a boy anymore. In next battle, he will not stay behind with reserves and generals. In next battle, he will ride in first line next to his Khan.
As the crowd was thundering more loud than after any Galdan's word, Esen glimpsed a moment of shock and fear on boy's face. Esen couldn't keep from smiling. Good, he is not stupid if he is brave. And he just learned again what Mongols respect most of all.
Crowds were thundering without stop, without weakening of cheers.
And he learned how to push his own son someday. I filled my pants on my first battle. Father threw me in river when battle was over so others don't notice. Let's see if Galdan will have to swim too.
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marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
In july 1437, it was time for first free core:
It is shitty province, but core is a core, and is already occupied by vassal Chagatai. As soon as Samara defects, I will sign peace with GH and Timurids and get this province.

And in same month:
With Samara elves can offer peace with GH and get out of war, since GH still fields lot of soldiers and will finish with Russians sooner or later. But elves welcome war with Malacca and prospect of new CoT. General Sechen of South-East army, faithful blade of Oirat empire, vassalized those weakling jungle dwellers, crushed the nation of Pegu and paved the road to the main prize: sacking of Malacca. Which will be followed by annexation and Oirat traders in the city.

As I was about to offer peace to GH, one-provinces Sibir decides to go mental. I won't even send troops, as vassal Kazaks and Chagatais are close by:
EU3_27.jpg EU3_25.jpg

These provinces costed 10 infamy, which means I can't proceed with vassalization of those numerous volunteering nations. I should have DoWed GH as soos as Timurids DoWed me, but I wasn't thinking... Taishi Esen was not the brightest fellow anyway.

Budjak defected to Nogai so elves are sieging it, and soon Persian provinces will start defecting which means new war wth Ottomans. They are still involved in Hungary. So 2 western and one central armies are positioned to invade balkans, third western, central and persian armies will invade Anatolia. Central armies are smaller 5-6k and used to put down rebels in Asia, but currently it is peaceful, new army is already formed in Asia and they must support bigger armies against Ottomans.
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marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
Esen was listening to Galdan. Young man had some good ideas. He proposed that Esen's Central army stay longer in Russian plains and put down rebels, and join western armies later when war with Ottomans start. Why? To trick Ottomans to attack western armies, without expecting any additional Oirat troops. And crushing few more rebels will send stabilizing message to newly acquired lands, and nobody wants too many brave rebels around who might see war against Ottomas as opportunity. He was young but he understood very well what it meant to sustain an army, and how fast which army may travel. And he seemed to know a little about western forces, something Esen was never paying attention.

- I simply talked with soldiers about rumors, father. What was spotted in battles, what kind of weapons they recovered and so on.
- And?
- Well, their steel improved. Their armors and weapons are stronger and less heavy at the same time. And they started having small cannons in their forts. Very ineffective, to be sure, but in years they will fire projectiles far longer than any catapult. And most important, their foot no longer trembles at the sound of horse hooves, but know how to move, position and use arrows and spears against cavalry. I am afraid we can no longer use simple cavalry charge at all.
- Then what do you suggest?
- I am not yet sure. I will know better when I see them. But we will have to learn from them now. And we have been overlooking infantry too much.
- Bah, how will ever any infantry be a match to steppe cavalry?
- Father, I am telling you...

They were interrupted by soldier hurrying to them.
- My Khan, news from Persia. Informations about Persian battle abilities. Messenger just arrived.
- Well, excellent timing. Speak.
- General Hottari was protecting Fars against Perisan rebels. They regained control of Ajam and moved south to meet him. They had slightly more men, but off course less cavalry. General Hottari reports his men and horses were well fed and rested, and all 6k of cavalry with him, little less infantry as he sent some regiments to sieging. Battles were bloody and both sides lost half the numbers.
- What? Some dusty rebels killed half of Oirat army? How? Did they tricked him to attack?
- General reports that he kept high ground at all times, but had to use cavalry often to ease pressure on center. Even though Persians were attacking and in weaker positions, they knew how to shield from arrows, they kept lines against our lances. And cavalry never really broke their lines, just forced them to focus on wings instead just on center.
- I cannot believe this! Such a costly victory against some petty undisciplined rebels!
- Actually...
Esen's mouth fell down in shock.
- What? What are you saying?
- General reported that he had to withdraw from position, leaving strong garrison in Fars. While Rebels were sieging as they couldn't assault so weakened, our troops have been refiled and general Hottari returned to make decisive victory. But he sent documents detailing their equipment and tactics with highest urgency.
- That he did well. We will have lot to think of. Give me the documents, and make sure every Mongol in our empire hears about this.
- At once, my Khan.

Esen felt his head spinning. Is this what it comes down to? Is this how pitiful Mongols became? I fought for years to unite tribes and extend across whole Asia, to be beaten by Persian rebels? Is the whole West now laughing at steppe warriors?

- Father, if Persians can fight like this, then Ottomans....
- I know, I know. Even weary and unprovisioned from war with Hungary, they will fight far better then Persians.
- So what should we do?

Esen smashed his fist into ground, going with right knee to the ground. But ground seemed to be shaking already, before his hit. All what he thought he knew and how powerful he thought he was is now being tested. So be it then! I lived like a wolf and will die like a wolf. If sheep grows too big and can fight the wolf back, then wolf must grow too! His voice was almost a whisper.

- We shall crush them. All of them. And we will start with Ottomans.
- We will?
- Perhaps I don't know much about tactics, but I know war. And I know soldiers. Soldiers are just men. No matter how good their armors and swords are, if soldier is scared, he fights poorly.
- And how will we scare Ottomans?
- Not Ottomans. They will fight bravely. But we shall crush them mercilessly and bloodily, crush them so hard that every other nations will fear great Mongol armies once again. We shall crush them completely.
- But how? If they are better fighters?
Esen stood up and looked towards the horses.
- That is an easy answer, my son. Numbers.
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marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
So, in spring of 1438, Azerbeijan was back in Oirat hands, which meant new war with Ottomans and Jalayarids, but elves peace out fast from Jalayarids. Luckily, vassal blacksheepers are also in war wit Ottomans from before. Western armies move in.
EU3_28.jpg EU3_29.jpg

Then Esen remembered there is something called spies. Second was successfull in lifting fog of war.
EU3_30.jpg EU3_31.jpg
That is all of Ottomans. 14k army, second army only 9k stuck in sieging of Qarabagh. Few more regiments. And few Serbian and Bosnian regiments in Balkans. As soon as western armies start sieging Balkan provinces, capital Edirne included, main Ottoman army heads back towrds the capital.

This was Esen's mistake. Idea was to wait in Edirne for Ottomans to attack while crossing the strait. Then second army moves in to help. And third army, Central army led by Esen would confirm the victory, but bad luck happens:

Rebels start to pop-up, including huge stack in Cherson, blocking a pass to Blakans. So Esen turns back to fight rebels in russian plains. Ottomans arrive in Edirne and have big penalty for crossing the strait, completely useless general (regency so no general-ruler) and Oirats are led by awesome 6 manoeuvre - 6 shock general Güshi. And numbers are slightly in Oirat favour, but all this is not enough. Edirne battle is a total bloodbath. Ottomans win on morale. Before total defeat, Oirats do organized retreat to Burgas, where one regiment was left to continue a siege, because Esen wants Constantinople badly. So Ottomans don't pursue, but head back to Anatolia and lick their wounds in Bythinia for few months.
And influenced by worse performance of troops against western nations, Oirat nations decide to abandon narrowminded ways completely.

Meanwhile their second army is destroyed, so Persian army heads back to Persia, some provinces are sieged while 3rd Western army move through Anatolia towards the Balkans.
Then it was time for second Gallipoli campaign. In this shot it seemed like Oirats can hold their ground, while third army is moving towards Bursa to cut off the retreat.
What actually happened is that Ottomans stayed on this low level of morale, while Oirats are constantly falling with morale. New defeat was in the air. Then army in Anatolia arrived in Bursa and feinted to join the battle in Edirne, before it was cut off by Ottoman navy. But it was enought for Ottoman army to retreat to Bulgaria. Now Oirat superior generals continued to pursue and it took months before army was destroyed.

In the end:

Notice that Cherson was lost to rebels meanwhile.

It is easy to be general after the battle. So what could have Esen done better? Elves should have abandon Balkans temporarily and move north to clear rebels. Then Central army could provide help against Ottomans. Also, Ottomans might not have moved back to Blakans but might have continued east if Balkans were not under attack. This was also good as Oirats had three operational armies on that side, and would easier dealt with Ottoman main army, and then proceed to second one.

Manpower loses would be smaller. Also, losing provinces to rebels and then reacquiring them prolonged the time for defection, which post-poned war with Hungary.
However, that proved not to be much of a problem becuase of the last event for this post.

Some European nations moved in against Ottomans, Venice got some province in Greece. Fast foward to 1442, almost all Ottoman provinces have been siezed but take a long time to defect. Lot of rebels in Russian plains, mostly Crimean nationalist. I will let them take control of few poor provinces and then vassalize them.

And on 5th June 1442:
but I will cover this later. Right now, you know how next few years will look like.
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marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
Blood on Galdan's cheeks was already a clot. Day was a long one. He stayed with his father's body while every soldier of their so called "Central" army came to honor dead Khan. Sun was already low and breeze was blowing. Somehow he thought of his father's life as season of autumn. Cold, rough and stubborn, at times even cruel, but ripe... despite his flaws he did subdued more than any Khan since the Great Empire. But inevitably going towards the end on his own. Why did he pushed west so hard? We have enough armies now to break Ming if he just said a word. Form again The Great Yuan. Wait until all Mongols themselves proclaim him Khagan. Instead he would declared himself a Khagan. Stubborn fool.

Galdan touched the blood on his cheeks. Of all unordinary things Khan Esen could have used, he only used Huns' way of warrior lamentation. And used it to honor his own father Khan Toghan, even though Toghan didn't care about it at all and Esen disliked his fathers tales of elves.

Well, if Toghan deserved one bloody cheek for his conquests, then Esen deserved both! Not doing it would send a message to warriors that Galdan do not respect his fathers deeds, and he will gladly risk his life to prove them wrong. Except for ambition of Khagan, off course. They are watching him right now, he knew, and honoring his father in his father's own way was a danger to his life. But he must show strength, and damn them if he doesn't honor the glorious Khan Esen like he ought to be! Besides, they will surely let him speak and hear what he has to say, and keeping the title of Khan while avoiding idea of Khagan should be enough. Still, even if everyone in Khanate starts following him, there will still be lot of struggle among Oirats, as it always is when powerful Khan dies.

Captain Radi and commandant Tsewang were walking towards him. Two loyal subjects of his father through last 8 years or so. But loyalty is never granted. Was that sadly or luckily, he didn't know. Both men had serious face as they approached. Galdan tried to remember did he ever saw "Young" Radi without a smile before, but failed.

- And?
- It is not as bad as it could be. Rebellions rose everywhere as expected. Your cousin declared himself a new Khan but has only a small army back in Mongolia. Ottoman lands are tamed, but rebels are too numerous in Persia and Russian lands.
- You will just talk like that, Captain? No respect for a new ruler?
There was a second of silence and tension, but Galdan broke it with a short smile.
- Do not fret, my advisers. You may call me Khan.
Two advisers quickly exchanged the glance with each other.
- I will not pursue my father's styling. I am Khan Galdan, the first of my name.
There was undoubtedly a sign of relief on their faces. They won't swallow this "the first" entirely smoothly, but it is nowhere close to trying to push "Khagan" title. And he needs to start adapting everyone to changes. There were many to come.
- What else?
- Armies suffered some desertions. All generals send messages of honor and declarations of loyalty.
Off course they are, they are a true warriors. They will not run away from rebels and undermine the whole Khanate, even if new Khan proves arrogant as previous one. And if new Khan proceeds with conquests, they will follow.
- All except general Sechen, you mean?
- Well, yes. Ever since Tuongo rebelled we lost contact. Except for that traders that sailed past Malacca and brought news that Sechen reached the city but retreated immediately back north a while ago.
And it's been years without any help being sent. Entire army mostly consisting of Oirats stuck in the jungle somewhere. They have enough nations to keep themselves busy and to profit, to be sure. But now with half of Khanate in rebellions, they won't receive help in years to come either. Enemies will spread the news of Khan's death so they will have rebellions there as well. And there is nothing that can be done about it.
- It is as it is. Send commands to generals to pull back and start fighting the rebels. I don't want new lands before we secure the realm. Otherwise our enemies will see we can't tame what we already conquered. Gold mines in Samara are priority, leave western provinces in Russian steppe for the last.
- That's were it is the worst. Our scouts report huge armies of Ukrainians.
- Then let them have their fun. They will clash with Golden Horse or Poland eventually. Or declare independence and sooner or later have to go back to ploughing the fields. We will strike again when they scatter. As for Persia...
- General Hottari reported he might be able to turn Persians against each other. All of the rebels want freedom, but with different leaders in mind.
- Still he won't be able to deal with it alone. Instruct armies in Anatolia to march to Persia and help Hottari secure trade centers. We will stay here and secure Astrakhan and gold in Alania.
- At once, my Khan.
- Leave now. I will come to speak to troops soon.

As they were walking away, Galdan watched their backs. He had no doubt his father was poisoned, but what role these two played in that he had no means of discovering. Were they among culprits or were they only suspecting like he was? And it might not be important, they are useful to the realm. But Galdan wanted at least someone's blood. Commandant Tsewang didn't even said a word, still that doesn't mean anything. Damn. He should not start spilling blood just to ease his anger. And there will be time for revenge. Being greater Khan than his father was much stronger ambition than a mere punishment. My stupid father. During the bloodbaths in Balkans against Ottomans, Esen was still instructing that few regiments must always keep the siege of Bursa. He wanted city to fall and then to start war on Byzantines. More than once he send instructions through whole realm that he will proclaim himself Khagan once Constantinople falls.

Was he really expecting Mongols would forget their ways just because he would conquer "City of Emperors" of some infidels? Mongols CHOOSE Khagans, and only choose of Bojrigin line. Maybe there were Mongols who didn't care about that, but most have been furious about that ambition. There was no Mongol satisfied with idea of self-proclaimed Khagan. Galdan could see that in men around him. Burgas was annexed on 1st of June and Khan Esen instructed to siege Constantinople immediately. And four days later my father dies while having perfectly good health just a day before. I guess it is a clear message to me not to make the same mistake. Well, I know how to play games myself. All Mongols will soon become descendants of elves, whether they like it or not. And they won't have time not to like it as long as there is war and plunder.

marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
Meanwhile in Indo-China...

General Sechen was practicing with his bow in early morning, as he liked to do every morning. He was getting old, but he was still strong and intent on keeping it that way. He always practiced early in the morning. Jungle air was always heavy, but it was a bit better before Sun detaches from horizon. And practice was good for his calmness.

More than 20 years since he started this cursed southern campaign! Some of warriors started having children with slave girls and building tent villages. Keeping Oirats inline became slightly easier after that, but still warriors looked at him with hate. How long will his reputation shield him from assassination and complete desertion of troops? Khan would punish them all if it comes to that, but they can simply stay here and avoid punishment.

He shot another arrow and tried to focus on happier thoughts. Hopefully, it will not last much longer. Pattani lands are being sieged and soon war for Malacca can be started again. And then his name will be remembered in history and it would no longer matter if he dies or not.

One warrior rode towards him.
- General, morning routine without real problems. Few men got into fist-fight last night and will be disciplined. There was a rider in the night with news that other sieges are also without problems, so there was no need to wake you up.

General just nodded and man rode back to the camp. His men were very well used to him not speaking without need. Besides, good general doesn't have to deal with any minor things, his men must be able to handle almost everything themselves.

Again he wondered how big was the part Buddhism played in their lives now. As they passed through Tibet and kept fighting towards the east, they met only Buddhist along the way. At first they laughed at Buddhism and even executed some of the men that tried to preach them about it. Now most of his men were Buddhists, as well as those few local men that have been recruited. It seemed so childish now to sacrifice to deities. He doubted most of his men really found inner wisdom, but still he couldn't help wondering if that also helped in keeping their loyalty. Old Mongols would already rebelled or insisted that he founds new Khanate in this part of the world. Now they all want to spread Buddhism among other Mongols, once reunited. Capturing Malacca would surely increase the willingness to listen to new ideas back home.

He spotted a rider approaching fast from the north. That could be anything, but he was old enough to know those were not good news. Soon after rider reached the camp, he reappeared riding towards him with few more of his men riding around him. General put down his bow and turned directly to the nearing rider. As he reached talking distance rider put his horse to a halt, while others stopped on both sides of the rider and towards general. He recognized the rider, one of the scouts. No reason to doubt his loyalty but men didn't let him approach their general without protection. All standard actions that required no spoken commands.

- General, all lands we conquered are rebelling. Many of our garrisons are being sieged and many more rebel troops are forming.
His eyebrows were already narrowed in anger. There was still no need to speak.
- We captured few rebels in two separate actions. They all said the same story. News reached from Tuongo that Khan Esen is dead.

General lowered his eyes. Is this destiny making fun of him? Or old gods are punishing him for abandoning them? First Tuongo brakes away from chains, and he had to persuade men to proceed south and leave Tuongo unpunished. Then upon reaching trade center of Malacca, Pattani declares independence, cutting his supply lines again. But if he pushes south now, he will lose all that he fought for in last 20 years. If he would die, people will more laugh at him than honor him, taking Malacca or not. He wasn't harsh on conquered lands, having developed sympathy for Buddhist, even respect for their bravery in battle, weak as they are. But it seems men are men regardless of their religion. So be it.

- Send riders to all sieges with this news. Tell them to continue and complete the sieges. Then we reassemble here.

One of his own man asked him - And then to Malacca, general?
- No.
He said it simply and without any emotion. He will not show anger. This was his way of being strong: always show unquestionable determination. His men looked surprised.
- We went too soft on these nations, hoping to create unity and prosperity. They want something else, it seems. As rulers of these lands, we have to oblige them. We will use old Mongol ways of breaking the enemies.

His men raised their eyebrows. Some of them will object, but not for long. Buddhism doesn't mean much went somebody attacks you from behind. They are Mongols, after all, and war is war.

- Instruct the leaders to recruit men from fallen cities to replace loses, under threat of lives of their beloved ones. Enslave the rest who are strong to work the fields and keep them underfed. Mongol footman will replace fallen rider, while locals will fill in infantry. When we complete Pattani, we march north. We do not let some weakling rebels to rip off the lands from our fists. As for their huge numbers, we will deal with that too, like true Mongols: hunt them to the last man.
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marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
Crowd of warriors were mostly silent. Here and there small a mummer could be heard, but all in all nobody gave direct reply. Men didn't know whether to look at him or at each other. There was a tension in the air and it grew steadily.

Galdan's speech did not seem as inspiring and ambitious one. He didn't use what his father taught him about getting cheers. But he didn't want them like that anyway. They will accept him, this new ruler with strange ideas or he will never turn the world into his sheep herd.

He spoke of abandoning old ways of war. No more reliance on cavalry charge and usage of bows from the distance. No more single type of armor. No more Mongol pride when faced with western steel. And abandoning cavalry focus, with more infantry ought to be recruited from conquered lands, that will then pass the infantry tactics and drills to Mongol warriors. He spoke about better keeping the cities and garrisons, as well as reducing slaughters and instead employ conquered nations without enslaving most of them.

He knew that Mongols will not welcome this. He also knew that it had to be done. Continuation of old ways would break the realm within years. His father lost all of Mongol reserves in his brave but mindless charges against Ottomans. And if all those rebels fight like Persians, their loses will grow and eventually they won't be able to protect even Mongolian lands. He wanted to push west and conquer, but he needed to turn east and rebuild.

Captain Rudi finally spoke before restlessness among warriors grew beyond words.
- What are you saying, my Khan? That we are weak?
- No, we are strong to be sure, almost as strong as forces of Genghis were. But enemies... enemies are no longer sheep. They all grew into wolves. We were lucky that Ottomans and Hungarians were at each other's throats for so long, and still we lost... how many men did we lost exactly? Does anyone even know? In any case more that Genghis lost during whole his lifetime of war. So you answer me, answer your Khan: how do we fight them? How do we win?

There was some exchanging of looks among the men, but nobody attempted to answer.


Yelling at men was now perfectly timed. Everyone acted as if they were caught in crime or something.


He gave them few more seconds of silence before bursting into laugh. As he expected, laughter startled them all.

- Why are you fretting, my loyal brave men? Why are fearless sons of steppe acting so confused? Did you really thought your new Khan, a son of mighty Khan Esen, is weak? By all means, I want to conquer even more than my father, and I do mean it, by all means, by any means available. Once again, how does the wolf alone defeats the whole pack of wolves?

He gave them just a second of pause, and continued with sound of confidence.
- It doesn't! One wolf is not stronger than many. It must grow into something bigger. It must grow so big that other wolves will look like sheep against it.

Captain Radi asked - Into what? A lion?
- To whom do you speak to, my friend?

Captain Radi swallowed, then spoke slowly.
- Into what, my Khan?
- That's better, captain. As to answer you, I am a son of Mongolia and barely know what lion is. I would rather compare ourselves to something we understand. Something that is long spoken in our legends. A dire-wolf.

Captain Radi smiled and he heard few more men bursting into laughter, but those were laughter of approval. Another mythical creature, big and strong and, more importantly, a wolf. Something sons of steppe can easily relate to.

- Do you hear me men? We are descendants of elves! Now we will be dire-wolves of steppes! The elves stayed true to their ways, and then retreated to forest and disappeared. Great Temujin used enemies and their knowledge to make his army better. But we will go beyond! We will use everything we can. Their armor and swords, their canons, even their horses. We will learn how to hold cities if we have to. But we will crush everyone! We will conquer more than Bojrigins ever did! We will be dire-wolves! We will remind every wolf out there that they are sheep to us!

After a long cheering and glorifying of new Khan, small pyre started as expected. Men were drunk, slapping him on the shoulder and some even hugged him while yelling some predictions of victories. He is still young son of Khan in their eyes, one of them. That makes them loyal, but he will have to sort it out. Loyalty must be joined with respect. And with fear if needs be.

Night fell, fires were burning, and he was half-drunk himself when he spotted commandant Tsewang, drinking with other men. He took a good look on those men. Some of them he often saw with commandant. Might be that commandant had following on his own. He hesitated for a moment and decided to act.

Could be he is wrong for disliking the commandant always being serious, opposite of "Young" Radi. It was always funny seeing two advisers like that together. It was funny until today, that is. He was good commandant, increasing discipline of men, and it was no strange that kind of man dislikes jokes. But it was more than just serious. He was dark somehow, like nothing could ever satisfy him. And he was traditional, blindly true to Mongol ways. Galdan might be horribly wrong suspect of him. But the message needed to be sent anyway, and he can simply use him while setting up a trap. Commandant was a close adviser of his father, and if he is betrayer it must be punished!

Galdan approached Tsewang and his men, drank with them for a while and turned to leave. At safe distance he turned back to look at Tsewang and nodded to him. In a few moments they were speaking while blending in drunk men around them so nobody can hear them.

- Commandant, you have your own men installed in our armies that carry out your orders for improving armies. And you have your own means of communicating with them.
- Correct, my Khan. How can I be of service?
- Send word to your men in Third Western Army. They should be positioned in Bulgaria, I believe.
Commandant nodded.
- I want to notify general Yelu to move his men to Serbia, instead.
Tsewang wasn't hiding his surprise.
- Shouldn't they head back east and hunt rebels, my Khan? You said so yourself.
- I said to our men what needed to be said. I believe they will not welcome battle for Constantinople while our realm is overrun by rebels. I also believe that siege in Serbia will cause Byzantines to leave their safe walls and make attempt on Burgas.
Commandant raised his eyebrows.
- Yes, my Khan, that would be expected. And we can expect that, if our cavalry would move back once Byzantines start sieging Burgas, they would cut their supply lines and then make easy job out of their army.
- My thoughts exactly. And then Constantinople itself may be sieged. I want your men to deliver a message to general Yelu secretly, since I don't want this to be known by other armies until it is done.
- I see.
- Tell general Yelu to remain in Balkans and capture Constantinople at all costs. Dealing with any nearby rebels or armies may be done only if siege in Thrace is not at risk. It is the greatest city in the world and I want it.
- And then, my Khan?
- Same as with Ottoman cities as we annex them. Make public executions of those without families. Recruit those with families living in cities held by our troops. I want those Azab infantrymen in our armies. I also want to change old Bojrigin way of reallocating artist to Mongolia. Artists will stay in cities now held by Mongols and increase our glory with their art everywhere, not just in Mongolia.
- It will be done, my Khan.
- Good. That city will fit perfectly in my future plans.

Galdan turned and walked away without looking at commandant's reaction. No need to tell commandant so obviously of suspicion. As he was walking away, he could only conclude once again that he didn't like Tswang. He disliked more commandant's properly addressing him with title than other men forgetting to call him Khan. In the end he might make example out of commandant regardless of was commandant actually guilty or not. But how to ensure that he had upper hand over him or any other adviser and renowned warrior in his army? Perhaps he should keep his enemies close, let them think his mind is only about war like his father was. Yes, that might work. He would have to start spending more time with all of them. Probably even inviting them together for dinner in his tent on irregular timings. In any case, executing any Mongol or not, soon he will be responsible for thousands and thousands of dead, either directly or simply as Khan. He wondered when he will start dreaming rivers of blood that his father spoke of sometimes, when there was nobody else around.
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marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
Apologies for going mental with fiction. But in-game death of ruler happened few days after Burgas defected and I could now attack Thrace, so I decide to use it. Historically, Esen was most powerful Oirat Taishi (he was not Khan but Taishi, something like Shogun in Japan) and his own demise was to declare himself Khagan against Mongol rules. Eventually after few more mistakes his own generals and men turned against him. So, I thought it was convenient to use Constantinople as trigger for current ruler's death. Now young ruler has lot on his hands.

manpower reserve is down to 3k due to war with Ottomans
there were lot of additional rebels spawning in Persia and Russia in first few months of succession crisis
crossing from Balkans to Anatolia is impossible due to always being in war with someone with ships

new rule is only 20. With luck, he will have long reign and core all of presently owned provinces
There are not many wars going on because only Burgas defected. All Ottoman provinces are still only occupied so no rebels spawned there
there are few hundreds gold coins in reserve

Just few months after becoming a ruler, current ruler makes fool of himself event happens with -1 stability hit. Stability is now at 1 and that should be better. All investments are directed to Government trying to get to first NI but it is always out of reach due to constant increase in realm size.

So after year of fighting rebels, realm has lot of black stripes. At the end of year, Constantinople fell.

Manpower is -15k and yearly money balance is -50 or so. Monthly manpower increase is over 800 after Ottoman lands defecting but still it is not even close to good. Kazak lands are still without forts so at least that was easy to clean with small army. Several of rebels stacks luckily ended up fighting each other. Naturally CoT and gold provinces were first to be cleared of rebels.

Something nice for the spring:

And as crisis was over officially and borders ar getting longer, I got new wars. Castille conquered Karaman, Venice seems to own whole non-Ottoman balkans and in north I gained border with Hungary and Poland. I was already at war with Mamluks. Too much...
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marko river

Second Lieutenant
Dec 16, 2013
Bump! Best possible event with perfect timing. Perfectly perfect timing. This brings elves back in the game. I was already looking for 10 years of manpower recovering while trying not to lose too many provinces, and then this happens. I guess Khan Galdan's recruiting of slave soldiers happened in-game too :)

So let's get back to chronological order. European steppe provinces were spawning Zaporozhie nationalist in first couple of years of succession crisis, afterwards Crimean nationalist were spawning. Both were spawning as far east even in Nogai provinces. In any case Zaporozhie was allowed to break free with poor provinces Bersh and Mordvar. Capital was in Azow which they got from Genoa, so I sieged Azow and waited to defect. Subsequently Zaporozhie in Bersh and Mordvar was vassalized. At this point general Tsewang dies, which will be covered in fiction part :)

On far east, general Dayan of Eastern army passed away and was replaced by young general Zaya. No province was lost, although it took a while to defeat all rebels and siege back provinces. Both Manchu and Korean patriots keep spawning on regular basis though. In Central Asia, new Mongolian Army was dealing with Sunni zealots in Chagatai provinces, while Bhutan nationalists overwhelmed Tibet.
EU3_41.jpg EU3_46.jpg

Over next year, from 1445 to 1446, in Anatolia, Castilla was sending colonist and formed one 12k army. In Balkans, they unloaded more troops, while Venice was colonizing Macedonia and Kozani and I won't be able to stop them soon. Western 1 and Balkans army were dealing with rebels and rebel garrisons in Crimean provinces, one general died so two armies were eventually merged in to Western 1st under best general Güshi and arrived to free Budjak from Hungarians and move against Poland. Bulgarian rebels were allowed to get Silistria as it is the poorest Bulgarian province, with idea to be vassalized off course.
In Anatolia, two armies finished some rebels and sieged Kastamon to finish with Candar. Then they attacked Castillians together with some 20k soldiers. In November, Constantinople finally defected.

Then chasing of Castillians followed, while single regiments sieged occupied provinces. Algeries owns Sinope and brought some troops, while Mamluks are moving to Kastamon because they are allied with Candar. Turkish patriots were gaining control of west Anatolia, so Castillians from Balkans moved into Anatolia and started to fight rebels and inevitably, they will have to clash with elves. Hungarians came back to Budjak and assaulted, so next month Western 1st paid them a visit, leaving siege of Podolia.
Even though they were outnumbered, I did kinda expected bigger resistance from Castille. Then news arrived that clarified that:
So Castille was being besieged in their homelands, which probably resulted in lowered maintenance. Or simply technology gap is still not big enough.

At Caspian sea, Crimean nationalist were allowed to take Ust Yurt since its horribly poor on both tax and manpower, but Crimeans spawned a lot more to the west. Some were fight off by Western army, then 2nd Central army moved in to finish them and to win back some provinces already occupied by rebels. However, Ust Yurt was already rebel controlled for a long time and when gaining independence, they got 2 more provinces. I now have to siege them and wait for them to defect, then vassalize OPM Crimea in Ust Yurt.

Many good generals have died, and new ones are good but not superb like previous ones. I am not sure if total army size or realm size has any influence, but under previous Khan while still fighting for Manchu and Korea, army tradition was getting to 100% and was always high in any case. Now it gets above 60% but never reaches 70%. Don't understand why, but I still have fine generals, usually better than enemy... just no superb ones as before
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