- Jan 25, 2007
Kara Koyunlu – The Black Sheep
I’m going to write this AAR in a similar style to ‘The Golden Horde – A Dying Empire’ by dealing with events from the rulers view (really enjoyed it by the way). This is my first AAR and only 2nd game of EUII so don’t be surprised if it isn’t perfect played. Its played on Normal/Normal using AGCEEP.
The Kara Koyunlu were a tribe of Turkish origin and settled in and around Azerbaijan. They suffered a great defeat and were routed by Tamerlane just previous to the start of the Grand Campaign which explains the hatred of the Timurids. The Ak Koyunlu (White Sheep Turkomans) who destroyed them in the end are also bitter rivals. Anyway getting on with it...
The Tribal Leaders and later Sultans
Qara Yusuf - New Beginnnings
Qara Iskander - The Calm Before the Storm, The Timurid Wars I, The Timurid Wars II, No News is Good News
Jahan Shah - Of Traitors and Timurids, The Might of the Black Sheep, Watching and Waiting, War and Peace, What Comes Around Goes Around
Pir Budaq - The Last Black Sheep
(Continues as the Safavid Empire)
Qara Yusuf - New Beginnings (1388 – 1420)
The Great Qara Yusuf
Quara Yusuf had been from riches, to rags and back to riches again. Early in his reign the Kara Koyunlu had been vassals of the Jalayirid dynasty in Baghdad and Tabriz. Later after defeat against Tamerlane he fled to Mamluk Egypt before finally returning to take Tabriz as his home and force Baghdad into vassalisation. He had led the Kara Koyunlu since 1388 and now the kingdom appeared stable for the first time in a long time.
The question was where to take them now. They were rich, thanks to the mines of Kurdistan and centre of trade at Azerbaijan, but not powerful even with their Vassals further south in Baghdad and Basra. They were also surrounded by enemies. To the east lay the great Timurid Empire with their vassals the Ak Koyunlu to the west, to the south the equally worrying Mameluks and no doubt the Ottomans would soon dominate the west. With his horde numbering only 13,000 men they might not last long alone and their vassals in Iraq would likely only aid an attacker.
Qara's Map of the World
- Black Sheep - Grey (curiously not Black)
- Timurids - Brown
- Mamluks - Lighter Brown
- White Sheep - White
- Ottomans - Green
Qara was wily in his old age and knew action had to be taken. First he started overseeing the recruitment of 5000 infantrymen to bolster the horde. Secondly he sent diplomats to Shirvan, the Ottomans and the Mamluks securing marriges between his 3 daughters and their royal princes.
Next he needed an ally, a big powerful ally. The Timurids were sworn enemies so they were out. He looked south on his map of the world. The Mamluks! He sent a diplomat immediately to join the Mamluk alliance. The Mamluks refused without justifying their reasons. Quara wasn’t amused but he had a backup plan. The Janissary army of the Ottomans was the greatest military machine in the known world and they would be the new allies of the Kara Koyunlu. He dispatched another diplomat. The Ottomans approved being short of other allies save a few Christian nations they had previously vassalised. This was grand news for the Kara Koyunlu.
Meanwhile in Azerbaijan the 5000 men were ready for action. Due to a lack of funds none had horses but that may be an advantage in the mountans of Azerbaijan.
Qara thought these extra men should be enough to persude any larger kingdoms from attack the Kara Koyunlu for a little while at least. Qara now came to review where all his money was going. He sacked a large number of men working on ship building. The Kara Koyunlu needed no navy, for a start they had no port. He also instructed no money be minted as a wise administrator he knew the dangers of inflation (well ahead of his time).
During his time in Egypt Qara had learnt the he led a backwards nation. The Kara Koyunlu had no notions of trade or running provinces and while the horde was fierce he had seen the Mamluk and Ottoman armies and to stand up to them and others like them they would need training and discipline. He set about pouring the wealth created from the mines into improving their knowledge of these things.
Qara was a brilliant yet simple man and knowing there was little else he could do to aid the kingdom he spend his time with the horde and his sons. He was old and he knew one day one of them would take charge of the horde. During a patrol Qara was stung by a scorpion. The wound became infected and he died shortly after. Such a great leader killed by something so small.
Funeral Procession of Qara Yusuf - 1420