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Greetings, fellow aar writers/readers! While working out the subject of my next aar the mention of one of my olders ones, the first installment of "How to Run a Minor Nation into the Ground" came up. In that aar I played several minor nations, and as expected, completely ruined them. Debt, war, or stagnation defeated every one, and most often a combination of those factors.

It seems that although I had taken notes on 4-5 different factions, I only wrote stories for two, Moldavia and Urbino. Apparently I was distracted by some flashy "success" I had with Hesse, putting aside my remaining failure stories to write one for them.

I find this shameful and much to my embarassment. To make up for this year old abandoning of my duties as a horrible player/aar writer, I've decided that a sequel is in order.

This will be a history book aar. First on the list is sunny Crete, home to Minotaurs, the ancient Minoan empire and Cretans (That sounds bad, maybe Cretians? Cretanians?). My goals will be to somehow form a major nation out of the island, or to at least manage to amuse some with my tale of woe and failure. In the unlikely event that I succeed in turning Crete into a major nation, I will either move on to a new minor faction or, if the readers prefer, continue on to see what untold greatness the little island kingdom can eventually achieve.

First update should be up sometime tonight. Here's a link to part one of the series for anyone interested.

http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?t=320428
 

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Alright, now to begin the tale of Crete.

Like most stories, this one begins with a Simpsons quote. What, most stories don't?!? Well, this one does, and here it is:

Homer: "I wonder why stories of degradation and humiliation make you more
popular.''

Moe: "I dunno. They just do.''

With that little bit of foreshadowing or red herring out of the way, the tale can move on to its true beginning.

In 1453, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, Constantinople itself, fell to Ottoman forces. There were a few remnants of the Empire, like Trebizond in northern Anatolia, and Athens and Morea in Greece, but Crete was not one of these. Crete had long ago fallen to the city-state of Venice. No one, least of all Lodovico, the young man appointed viceroy of Crete by Venice, thought the island would ever be independent again.

Then, it happened. War broke out between Venice and Milan over control of northern Italy. Despite greater resources the war was not going well for Venice, and their armies were at best at a standstill with those of Milan. When Milan offered peace in exchange for the release of Crete as an independent nation, the Doge of Venice was only too happy to accept. On June 24, 1453, the nation of Crete was born. This day would remain a major holiday for the island as long as the nation existed, and tended to be celebrated by overdrinking and harassing Venetian shopkeepers.



Lodovico was popular and with Milanese backing became King Lodovio I, first king of Crete.

The new king was very charismatic and said to possess a silver tongue, but neither overly good at administrative work nor inclined towards military prowess. Like all former viceroys of Crete he had merely been the candidate to make the biggest bribe to the Venetians. Having no close confidants, the king had no advisors, preferring to make all decisions concernign the island himself.



King Lodovico was unhappy with the small size of his Kingdom. Even with an ally like Milan Crete could easily be conquered by most of its neighbors. He decided that to ensure his fledgling nation's safety conquest would be needed. A 1st army and fleet of Crete were immediately ordered, although it would take some time to finish them.

Meanwhile, he bided his time and checked out his neighbors. He decided that with its vassal Athens, Morea was too powerful to defeat. Cyprus was too far away to ensure troop landings, and allied to powerful Hungary as well. That left Rhodes and Naxos. He noticed troops could travel by ferry without large transport ships from Athens to Naxos, and picked them as a first target. After many tries, military access with Athens was gained. Meanwhile, a larger army and fleet were ordered. Troops were slowly shipped to Athens to prepare for the war. Several small loans were taken out (5 ducats), but surely the gaining of a new territory would allow them to be repaid easily. Things got even better when Morea offered an alliance.



Unfortunately, Lodovico was a rather fickle man. Upon hearing that the island of Rhodes was not only without ally but without an army after a bad war with the Ottomans, he switched targets. To ensure Cretian soldiers could gain access to the island he secured military access with the Crusader Knights who owned the island, then planted troops there to "defend" them from further Ottoman attack.

Then, claiming that the Knights had reneged on payment for the military aid he declared war, shocking the rest of the world and reinforcing the idea among Latin nations that the Greeks were less than fastidious about keeping their promises. Even his own people were shocked and stability on the small island nation plummeted. Luckily allies Milan and Morea were not so picky and joined in on the war.



Sensing an opportunity king Lodovico also declared war as planned on Naxos. With Milanese and Morean help both his enemies' navies were easily defeated and the army of Naxos was pushed into the sea.



Unfortunately the king showed his lack of military knowledge when after successfully repelling a Naxian ship full of troops he did not pay attention to where the enemy fleet fled. It went to a space south of Crete and troops from Naxos landed and sieged Crete itself!

Luckily the siege of Rhodes ended and the Knights accepted annexation. The army on Rhodes attempted to attack the army sieging Crete but they were easily repelled. The war with Naxos became a stalemate with both sides taking their opponent's capital.



The annexation of Rhodes saved Crete, ensuring a base form which to fight the war. After several attempts, with their only province taken, Naxos agreed to accept becoming a vassal of Crete. Crete had managed to double in size and gain a vassal within the first two years of its existence. It was now time to devote resources to the economy and stabilizing the nation.



OOC: Well, that was one of my better starts. I was a little suprised by the tiny loans (must be connected to how much your country makes now) but it's for the best, the interest is only .1 per month! :D I still don't have huge hopes for my chances, but things aren't looking too bad so far.
 

Capibara

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That was indeed a good start, but what will you do when you end with the mediterrean independent one-province states
 

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Good luck! :)
 

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Funny. I thought about writing an AAR again with England in MMG in attempt to run England into the ground with bad choices then saving myself with good gameplay. I wasn't goos at running myself into the ground hard enough, though, and could handle rebellion and a war with Scotland simultaniously. I'll be reading this, it seems interesting.
 

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Capibara Then I will start picking on two Mediterranean states! :D

camo Thanks, I suspect I'll need it.

t0m I have an update for it planned today. Because of its "style" (if one is so generous as to call my attempts at a gameplay aar that) it takes almost no time at all to write updates (really about as long as it takes to upload the pics), and I don't see it slowing down anytime soon. :cool:

piff133 The thing is, I didn't lose with all those countries in part one on purpose. :eek:o I have a bad track record with one province minors, and had written an aar back when I started detailing my failures. Only time will tell if I'm good enough at the game now to win with a OPM.

Failing with England would be tough, since the AI is so helpless with naval invasions it would be hard to lose territory in Britain. Maybe release all possible states in a peace treaty with France (Wales, Cornwall, and Northumberland, I think), then purposefully lose a war with Scotland? A few loans and bankruptcy later, England could be in a bad way.
 

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King Lodovico spent the next few years consolidating his small but growing nation. Stability slowly rose, and the First National Bank of Crete was established. The people of Crete were very happy to see Venice weaken in a war with Austria, becoming even smaller than ally Milan.

In 1462 the King scored a diplomatic coup by exploiting a diplomatic gaff to improve relations with the Ottomans. It seems that while within the hearing of the ambassador from Crete the Ottoman Sultan was heard saying something disparaging about the leader of another nearby large country. By promising not to tell anyone of this insult, relations between the nations rose markedly and military access was exchanged with the Ottomans.



King Lodovico slowly bided his time, looking for a target to expand his empire. At first he settled on Ancona, but it was decided that Milan might not be up to fighting Ancona's ally Venice. The King was drawing up plans to invade Albania in January 1464 when he died mysteriously. Apparently because of a royal marriage with the rulers of Trebizond Crete was now under their dominion. It would later be suspected that the King of Trebizond was involved in King Lodovico's death.



The death of King Lodovico would mark the end of Crete's golden age. Trebizond's ruler was incompetent, and somehow managed to get into a war with Ak and Qara Koyunlu, dragging Georgia and Crete along with him. Then, after doing nothing to stop Georgia from being annexed he made a peace deal with the countries, but claimed that Crete led the alliance and would have to make a seperate peace! This despite Crete having no King of her own!



Meanwhile, Milan managed to get into a war with Aragon, also dragging Crete into it. Cretian stubborness paid off in both wars, as Milan eventually made epace with Aragon, including Crete in the peace deal. Then, after many years of no fighting, an automatic white peace was made between Crete and enemy alliance leader Qara Koyunlu.


 
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Just when things began to look better and the people of Crete were looking forward to the death of the King of Trebizond disaster struck. Trebizond again dragged us into a war with Ak and Qara Koyunlu. This time Ak Koyunlu was able to land soldiers on Crete, taking yet. But, in the epic Second Battle of Crete, they were forced to surrender, while the Cretian navy took several of their ships, growing to a mighty fleet of 3 cogs.



Things began to look better, with our enemies unable to reach us by sea, when the Knights of Cyprus declared war on Crete, despite good relations.



Suddenly all the world's eyes were on Crete. Hungary was dragged into the war by Cyprus, then Crete declared war, bringing in the Ottoman empire. Even former ally Naxos, released from vassalization to secure peace with Qara Koyunlu, declared war on us. The Ottomans were the ones to take the Isle of Rhodes, while their allies the Golden Horde took Crete. In the end we were forced to give up Rhodes to the Turks, and the Golden Horde forcibly annexed Crete. Crete's story had ended oddly, with the little nation having become the center of a attention of a number of large countries, and picked apart by those countries.

To this day the name of the King of Trebizond blamed for all of this cannot be spoken in Crete, unless as a curse.



 

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Dosent look so good for you :p Good luck on your next country! :)
 
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Geredis

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I rather enjoyed that. I'm also a bit surprised you managed to survive for twenty-four years as Create. And you could've made a century I think if you just hadn't married into that useless royal family of Trebizond.

So, which nation are you now going for?
 

Kazmir

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Doing well there, good luck! Lets hope you can break free from the Trebizonian (most likely not a real word :D) grasp soon!
 
Last edited:

Geredis

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Kazmir said:
Doing well there, good luck! Lets hope you can break free from the Trebizonian (most likely not a real word :D) grasp soon!

Kazmir, there's no more Crete. Its now the island resort of the Golden Horde.

the AAR said:
In the end we were forced to give up Rhodes to the Turks, and the Golden Horde forcibly annexed Crete. Crete's story had ended oddly, with the little nation having become the center of a attention of a number of large countries, and picked apart by those countries.
 

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Geredis said:
Kazmir, there's no more Crete. Its now the island resort of the Golden Horde.

Ah damn I missed that, only read the last post quickly while concentrating on the screenshots. Thought the Horde was allied with Ottomans.
 

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camo Thanks, with my relative lack of skill I'll need it. :p

Geredis I'm definately going to be more careful about who I accept royal marriages from (at least it could have been a big country). I saw all these great opportunities, too, in particular a defenseless Corfu without allies. When King Lodovico died I had 2,000 men preparing to invade Albania. :(

Kazmir Yep, Crete is now a vacation home for the Golden Horde, at least when they're not in Corsica (conquered by them early in the game). I guess either the Ottomans weren't the alliance leader (a bit odd) or the Golden Horde was part of the flurry of other DOWs I received.

I think for my next faction I'll try a landlocked Balkan nation. I'm thinking Croatia or Bosnia. First I'll get another update or two for my Novogorod/Venice campaign, though.