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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Sepulcher

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Mediterranean Misfits - a multiplayer Veritas et Fortitudo AAR.

Introduction:



A merchant republic down on its luck, a French state with a Napolese king and Aragorn... I mean Aragon. A strange alliance, but one that will shake the earth (or at least the small part they inhabit).

This game is a mixture of competitive and collaborative play... In the beginning we will have to rely on each other for our very survival as independent states. However, as time goes on and our power increases, we will no longer need each other's support. Our close positions will cause tensions between us, perhaps even tearing apart our alliance. Can we hold in our bloodthirsty instincts and work together? Or will this end in tragedy? Another two players will join us later, one playing as Byzantium, but they are unfortunately predisposed during our first session (I murdered one of them).

The perspective will shift between chapters, with Venice and Aragon getting the main stage at the start. I aim to make each slightly biased towards the P.O.V nation as I feel that this adds to immersion. I will ask the players for their thoughts and long term strategies, although these may not be revealed in full detail as I am an untrustworthy backstabber who will no doubt take advantage of such information.

Venice - Peacemoon a.k.a Sepulcher
Aragon - Rommel a.k.a NoobKillerKiller
Provence - Odysseus no know aliases
Byzantium - Armenius a.k.a Dr. Bombay
? - Applejack (presumed deceased) a.k.a Cronos


Venice's Update:




By the beginning of the 14th century Venice was a city just coming into its stride. It would go on to become a major Italian power throughout the rest of the century, before declining in the 15th century due to a number of factors. Now that the boring and no doubt inaccurate history lesson is over, let's get down to business!

Highlighted in yellow is public enemy number one: Aquilia. Their capital happens to be one of my cores. This state of affairs will not be allowed to continue.
Public enemy number two is highlighted in red, I forget their name but I truly do hate them with all of my heart. They are not one of our cores, but I'm sure they've done something to annoy me.
The fugly brown circle surrounds Milan, although I am sure that you already know this. They are part of the HRE, and mighty Luxembourg *snigger* will come to their aid if I attack them. I will need to take them on in the future if I want control of the Venetian trade node (which I kinda' do).



Provence: Shall I declare my independence yet?
Aragon: Vait a second, Venice might vant to start a few vars first.
*Venice declares war on Aquilia*
Provence: I guess that answers your question...


Unlike vanilla, the Austrians are kindly disposed to us, allowing me to sign an alliance with them in the first few months. There are a few rather more unfortunate changes too, like their weakness in the 1310 starting date.

I don't call them into the war, not much point really. Aquilia's only ally is another OPM, which is hardly a challenge to my mighty armies, Am'I'Right'?



Yeah, turns out I am.

Venice has a pathetic navy at the start, hardly fit for Prussia, let alone a major naval power. I rectify this situation by constructing a multitude of ships around the Venetian lagoon.



We finish our glorious fleet 3 years after the game began, and about two years after the war ended. Verona has been cored during the meantime, and I am converting Euborea to Catholicism. For some reason the locals do not appreciate this :huh: .

We're also dragged into a silly war with Bavaria by Austria, nothing to worry about. Bavaria has the mighty emperor on their side, the downside to this is that the emperor happens to be Luxembourg. I debated about whether I should send troops to help them, but decided not to as Austria has it all under control.

Savoy is my ally now. This has annoyed the Provence player - Odysseus - as he has territorial plans about Savoy (and Savoy has territorial plans about him).

Nothing much to add here, still kinda' flabbergasted by the events of the next chapter. Let's just say that things get rather exciting rather quickly...

I would post the second chapter today, but I need to beat Rommel like a pinata until he coughs up the screenshots I need.
 
Last edited:

Morkazar

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Dr.Livingstone

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Penguintopia

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Added to the VeF AAR list!!! Thanks for doing this!!
 

Sepulcher

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Chapter 2 - Aragon's role in the war of independence.




14,000 men, a large fleet and an overburdened diplomatic corps. An accurate, if rather concise, summary of Aragon in the year 1310. Aragon has far too many vassals: annexing vassals is much harder in Veritas et Fortitudo, so much so that Aragon's future strategy will be confined by this for the foreseeable future.

Rommel, who is far too trusting for his own good, confided in me his overall strategy for this game. The first step will be taking over Aragon's multiple vassals, starting with Majorca - the smallest and weakest. Using the diplomatic relations released by the annexations he will find strong allies to aid him in a fight against Castile. His only ally is France, which isn't as big a boon as one would expect as France is rather weak in the 1310 starting date.
He will also, with the help of Venice and Provence, launch attacks on the Berber states of North Africa. Getting rid of those states is one of the few things we agree on, largely due to their support of Berber piracy (they're called Berber pirates for a reason).

He also might do some colonizing or something equally tedious.


The anti-climactic battle.

Aragon was quiet for many years, but the peace was punctuated by a war with His Imperial Majesty... Luxembourg. Luxembourg wrecked... France*? And ended the war with a white peace.

The war with Naples



Provence: Are we gonna' declare my independence soon? Only at this rate I'll spend the next century under the Napolese heel.
Venice: You know, that's kinda ironic 'cos Naples is in the heel of Ita...
Provence: Yeah yeah, very funny.
Venice: Give me 10% of your trade power and it's a deal.
Aragon: And you have to help vith my vassals.
Provence: * vague agreement, can't remember exact words*.



Venice: This is going well, Naples has no allies and I just destroyed their fleet.
Aragon: If they have no allies, then vhy is Castile in the var vith zem?
Venice: I...




Our plan was to hold them off in Aragon while I (Venice) occupied Naples. The war goal was to control Provence's capital, so all we really needed to do was hold out.
Things didn't go to plan, particularly the part about holding out. Aragon's army was wrecked upon Castile's pike-tip multiple times before Castile finally ran out of manpower. Venice was financing people with money for mercenaries, so our manpower pools remained largely intact.




After a brutal war of attrition, Castile was spent. Rommel broke the siege of Barcelona, ending the war in Spain at about the same time that peace negotiations were happening in Naples.
Provence would become independent, help Aragon with its vassals and give 30%, or was it 40%? Of its trade power to Venice. Might have been 50% actually... :D

The next chapter will be from the perspective of Provence, as they play a big role in the coming events. After that I will switch back to Venice.



*This is quite possibly the first time that anyone has written this sentence.
 
Last edited:

Sepulcher

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Zou Aze noz zo zind zo zrovance.
?

You have not so ? Provence?


Edit: Ah, I have not done this to Provence?

Well, the reason for the German accent is that the Aragonese player has a thick German accent. Odysseus is Flemish, but he hasn't got much of an accent.
 

Belgiumruler

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?

You have not so ? Provence?


Edit: Ah, I have not done this to Provence?

Well, the reason for the German accent is that the Aragonese player has a thick German accent. Odysseus is Flemish, but he hasn't got much of an accent.
I shall explain:

You are not so kind to Provence, for taking trade power etc :D
 

Sepulcher

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Chapter 3 (short) - The water in Majorca don't taste like it "aught'ta"!



Provence starts the game in a personal union with Naples - under the heel of the Heel of Italy. It is, in other words, a shoe. This gives it 3 choices at the start: stay with Naples and build an economy, stay with Naples and build a navy, or, God forbid, stay with Naples and build an army!
With so many breathtaking decisions to make so early in the game, decisions with such great ramifications for the rest of the world, Odysseus was at a lost as to what to do. He spent 10 minutes simply staring at the screen. Cogs whirred at lightning speed as the strategic genius plotted and planned. The calculations so vast and complex that he made not one sound for the whole period. If we didn't know him better we'd had thought he'd gone to fetch popcorn.

Provence has a significantly higher number of provinces than in the original game. Unfortunately... they're all shite. The average base tax is three.

He, along with Aragon, devised a plan so devious and malignant that I must recount it in full. Only then will you understand...



Aragon has too many vassals, as I am sure you will remember. If Aragon released Majorca it would receive no stability hit, but it would have a truce. Provence could then declare war on Majorca, conquering it and selling 2 provinces to Aragon while keeping the rest for itself.



The plan was perfect, but as often with perfect plans the execution was... inexact. Majorca itself, and Montpelier, fell quickly. Roussillon was... a royal pain in the fundaments. The province held off Provence's armies for over 5 years. Provence received so much attrition due to the province's bonuses that their manpower pool completely deflated. They were reduced to hiring 2 units of mercenaries to continue the siege, taking out loans to do so. The army of a nation was destroyed by the defenders of a single province. Admittedly it wasn't much of a nation, but still...



Aragorn renamed it Hornburg in honor of the brave men who lost their lives in the final assault.
 
Last edited:

Sepulcher

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Edited for grammar and tenses.

Do you guys like the style used in the aar? I could switch to become more narrative if you so wish...
 
Last edited:

Belgiumruler

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Edited for grammar and tenses.

Do you guys like the style used in the aar? I could switch to become more narrative if you so wish...
I love it!
 

Tallfellow

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I'm really enjoying this so far. And the writing style is just perfect.
 

frankatank109

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Your current style is great, it's funny without focusing completely on comedy.
 

Sepulcher

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Chapter 4 - The Fairly Significant Northern War.




At some point in the year of our lord 1331 Austria called me into one of their pathetic wars. Instead of sending vague assurances of aid while at the same time standing down my troops, I decided to help them for once. Maybe I had a sudden change of heart, maybe I had a generous impulse, maybe I just wanted to annex Trent...
So I moved a stack of 6,000 men into the province, still at 20% maintenance ('cos I'm a miser at heart), and began to siege the fortifications. I sat my army charitably in the province while Austria beat up their small neighbors, and then I noticed something:



Venice: There's two possibilities that I can see.
Aragon: Oh?
Venice: Either Castile joins the war and we get wrecked, or they don't and Naples gets wrecked.
Aragon: Such political insight, you must be zer model for Machiavelli's Prince...


The string of random symbols after my name is a fair indication of how I felt when this popup appeared. I assumed that our problems with Naples were over after the independence war. If Naples were a human player I would chalk this down to revenge, but as they're an AI nation they must want something else. Something more tangible. Something... Sicilian.

Luckily enough for us, Castile is too busy beating up the unbelievers to help Naples, so we can put our full attention on Italy.



Unluckily for me, Trent happens to be an Austrian core. It's giving me a -20 relation malus with them because they want my territory. I am left with no choice but to sell them the province for 20 gold. This money will be sent to the families of the brave men who died via mountain goat while besieging the province. I need my alliance with Austria - their help will be invaluable in the numerous Italian wars I wish to start. All for the Greater Good, of course...



With Naples' huge army sitting in Southern Italy, occupying their provinces is impossible. I instead settle for taking Achaea instead. Aragon is holding Naples' army in Calabaria, so they're essentially out of the war at this point.

What more can I say? We couldn't build up enough war score to take anything (even with Achaea occupied) - we didn't have the manpower to attack Naples head on - and we'd take tonnes of aggressive expansion without a casus belli anyhow. Aragon peaced out for some minor concessions, mainly in the form of gold, gold I've get to see a penny of.

In about 5 years of warfare I have achieved not a single thing, well... apart from the collection of power points, at any rate.



Oh.

Well, at least he didn't strip naked and prance around the streets of the capital like some I could mention.
 
Last edited:

Sepulcher

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Oh, I have an announcement:

Arminius will now be know as Arm-En-Ba-Ali-Ius, this is because he has switched to playing the Ottomans following a rather unfortunate accident involving Byzantium and multiple coalitions.

The king is dead, long live the king!