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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

vasziljevics

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Welcome to my AAR featuring the (for the time being) really small sheikdom of Tripoli. This is going to be somewhat of a roleplaying style game. My lead and my base is that Tripoli is populated mostly by savage Pirates of the Mediterranean - corsairs - who may seek only money and blood but are ultimately deemed to reform their society and country - or otherwise, go extinct in the bloody struggles of the upcoming centuries.

The version is DW 5.1, every game setting is on normal (including difficulty), lucky nations random, low aggressivity. Some basic (and amongst them some AFAIK common) rules:
- I will follow my misssions. Won't cancel them unleass they are "undoable" ("Naval race versus England" and "Protect against [insert HRE here]" being my favourites...).
- Will try not to reload. I will if its only stupidity or lightheadedness is the reason but otherwise random events and everything else will stay as they come.
- Since we are pirates, at first I will demand all possible gold in peace deals and then anything else, except when it would cause impossibility of a higher goal (vassallisation for example).
- Also I will try and vassalise as many nations along the Mediterranean as I can. They must answer to the Chief Corsair or else should be destroyed!
- Will stay Sunni and going for some kind of republican government form (big words... I will be just happy if I'll be alive fifty years into the game...)

So, goals:
- staying alive...
- reform the government, and ultimately...
- ... westernize!

(EDIT as of 18-01-12: I delayed weternization for now - unless I desperately need it I will try and prosper in my actual [Muslim] tech. group.)
(EDIT as of 12-03-12: now I realize that I have to westernize before the full-scale superiority of Castille gets the better of me)

These are simple but challenging goals for a basically dirt-poor sunni country with muslim tech, tribal government, terrible sliders and literally enemies everywhere...
Currently I have more goals on my mind, but first I should survive the bloody Spanish and their never-ending crusades. And if I won't, then... perish honourably. So - let us begin...


Contents:

The Rule of the High Council (1399-1513)

Ahmad the Old (1404-1430)
01. Getting Ruled... (1399-1408)
02. The First Years of Piracy (1408-1418)
03. Learn From Your Enemy (1418-1429)

Mansur the Great (1430-1454)
04. Riding the Storm (1429-1444)
05. Where Do We Go From Here? (1444-1454)

Interregnum (1454-1468)
06. A Long Expected "Party" (1454-1468)

Ahmad II (the Preserver) (1468-1513)
07. Forging an Alliance (1468-1478)
08. On Dangerous Waters (1478-1489)
09. Fragile Peace (1489-1501)

First Interlude - draft of 1501

10. Conquistadores (1501-1509)
11. One Step Forward, One Step Back (1509-1513)


The Years of the Great Reforms (1513-1545)

12. High Hopes (1513-1527)

Ali I (the Usurper) (1527-1536)
13. Titles (1527-1536)

Regency (1536-1545)
14. Between (1536-1545)


The Reign of the Sultan in Tripoli (1545-...)

Ali II (the Reformer) (1545-1601)
15. Preparations (1545-1553)
16. Revenge of the Burjis (1553-1559)
17. Securing the Mediterranean (1559-1567)
18. Some Wham!s to Deal Out (1567-1573)
19. Go West! (1573-1581)
20. Go West! (reprise) (1581-1593)
21. Tortuga... Tortuga Bay! (1593-1597)
22. End of an Era (1597-1601)

Muhammad I (the Mujahid) (1601-1621)

Second Interlude - draft of 1601

23. Change of the Wind (1601-1609)
24. The Empire is on the March (1609-1615)
25. Return To The Subject (1615-1620)
26. Fate (1620-1624)

Ali III (1621-...)
27. One Step Right, Two Steps Left (1624-1634)



So here we are, in the 777th year of the Hijra - or as the infidels of Europe count: 1399 years after the great prophet, Isa was born. In this very year, the leading berber corsairs of the territory known as "Tripoli" has decided to put aside their internal struggles for a while and had a look at the wider world outside their "realm". Well... they were not overjoyed by the things they saw...


worldu.jpg



What they saw was a world changing. Spanish crusaders wiping out the the people of the True Faith in Iberia, more infidels with even more gold setting sail from the ports of Genoa and Venice to stretch their rule onto the muslims. Brutal eastern hordes threatening the peace and prosperity in the Levant, a territory which has just been cleared from the Men of the Cross. The Islamic world was in danger. And they recognized, that they have to enact some serious reforms, else their country won't live through the upcoming century...
...well, they should name it a "country" although currently it has no real borders, nor real government, nor at least somebody who could be called a ruler.


gov1399.jpg



The highest ranking corsairs agreed that they should elect a chief, who can enforce the much needed reforms to make the Tribes of Tripoli glorious once more, but they didn't decide it hasty.

At first, they made some immediate decisions about the country, leading all their income into the common treasury to raise more men and equip more ships for hunting on the Mediterranean Sea. To have more fundings for this, they decided to abandon their remote feelings about trade and tried to be a bit more free-minded about it. They also immediately set out agents to the city of Venice to arrange an agreement between the owner of the largest fleet on the Mediterranean Sea and the corsairs. This would share the profits fairly...


sum01.jpg



And how successful will they be? Well, we will see that...
 
Last edited:

Memento Mori

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Nice idea! I hope the government reforming or westernising won't come too soon, as a berber pirate aar is much less common then a westernised Muslim one...
 

Ashantai

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Agreed, this looks very interesting if you can survive your many enemies.
 

AwesomeSauce123

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This looks interesting.Will be following.
 

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Subscribed.
 

vasziljevics

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Part 01 - Getting Ruled... (1399-1408)

So we set sail...


misc01c.jpg



...and are almost immediately interfered by those arrogant greeks in Constantinople. The corsairs cannot let some "emperor" (of one city... and a half maybe) claiming the seas for himself, so we decided to intervene.


misc02.jpg



While the tribes got prepared for the the greeks, some envoys arrived from the the Chief of the Holy City Mecca, offring alliances with them. The High Council considered it a useful agreement, just in case the treacherous Mamluks on our eastern borders would planning to be even more treacherous...

Apparently sending all the warriors to the European coast made some criminal organisations (And for that I mean "not government scale" criminal organisations in our case...) really bold, and the smugglers, who were otherwised welcomed on our shores, got a little too shameless... The Council used some gold to restore the satus quo and the hirerarchy of stealing money from others.

Meanwhile the provoked war wasn't going well for the greeks. Our turkish brethren managed to hold off their amphibious assaults and the combined forces of the Turks and the corsairs laid siege to Constantinople itself.


misc03.jpg



(Meanwhile on the other side of the continent.)


misc04a.jpg



After more than a year of siege, the greek city of Morea has fallen to our brave warriors. The sultan of the greeks didn't have too much choice, as his capital was already under siege too, so he gave the Council concessions over that city... and some gold of course.


peace01.jpg


(Later on Candar managed to annex Constantinople - I doubt if they can hold onto it...)


However, the doubts of the Council about the future of the corsairs were not remained amongst themselves. Some of the lower ranked shipmates began complaining about the situation as well, and they felt that the members of the High Council are not capable to solve the problems we face. The leaders however were aware of the escalating situation and signed an agreement with the younger and bolder captains about more determined reforms.


misc05.jpg


(I wonder who would be those "liberals" in the Sheikdom of Tripoli in 1403... and HOW would be they "liberal"...?)


In the 10th month of the year 1404 - after much debate - the council agreed that, especially in these times of war, the tribes need a strong leader. There were several competitors, but ultimately they promoted a well-known old captain (and an exiled relative of the Chief of the Mamluks) as the new Malik of the corsairs!


leader01.jpg



The new malik was an ambitious leader and in focus of his ambition was the neighbouring sheikdom of the Hafsids. They were cowards, dishonouring the call of the Sultan of Morocco to take up arms against the cursed Spanish crusaders so they didn't have much honour in the Muslim world. A fact, that brings in it's own exploits...

...so in the year 1406, after Ahmad and his soldiers annihilated the Hafsid army in several battles and took their unguarded settlements in the south, the Tunisians didn't have much choice but to yield to the will of the corsairs. This broke our alliance with the Holy City of Mecca, as they were cited arguments about "dynasties" and "lore" in connection with the Hafsids. Words that doesn't have much meaning for a corsair. For the time being at least...

But of course as always when the warriors set sail for glory those who remain home begin to conspire. Now that words have finally reached the Chief of the Mamluks that one of his... "sensitive" relative became the Malik of the Corsairs, he tried to ignite some unrest (with bribes and promises) against Ahmad. However the Council, who were in charge of the country when the Malik was abroad, didn't take it lightly.


peace02.jpg



Beating the Hafsids in battle without foreign support secured much prestige for the new Malik, so when he finally arrived home, the Council presented him with a great honour - from now on he would be not just the Chief of the Corsairs, but also our spiritual leader on the Path of Islam.


dec01.jpg



To be honest though, it was clearly a political decision. With such title, Ahmad probably would be taken more seriously when negotiating with foreigners - muslims or not.

To show their support even more squarely, the Council named Ahmad's grandson (with the same name) as his potential successor as the Malik of the Corsairs.


heir01.jpg


(He is 5-4-6 - what can I say...? I expected better :))


With his succession safe, Ahmad used the next years of peace to strengthen his legitimacy in the sight of his people. He wanted to become the uncontested ruler of the corsairs and for now the members of the High Council have no ill feelings about that. The seamen admired his skills of leadership and his successful raids againts the greeks and the cowards of Tunis.

However, the year of 1408 brought interesting news to the cities of Tripoli. Looks like when there were no more innocent muslims to conquer, the accursed Spanish crusaders finally turned on each other. This ignited a long and violent dispute both in the Council and between the Council and Ahmad.


misc07.jpg



The Aragonese hold some lightly guarded islands in the Mediterranean and if the Castilians manage to sink their ships to the bottom of the sea, the road for submitting those islands would be clear... Though, and it was the Council's opinion against Ahmad's, it could easily bring in numbers on the side of the Crusaders. Numbers, that would be obviously greater, than the combined forces of the corsairs and the men of Tunis. Even with the turkish maliks on our side.

So for the time being, the dispute remained unsolved - to raid or not to raid, that is the question...
 
Last edited:

unmerged(245171)

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I laughed so hard when i saw that Muscowy is a minor in a PU with Mazovia XD
 

il_loco

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I wouldn't attack Aragon in such an early phase of the game, if I were you. You might find yourself against Castille while both of you are fighting against Aragon.
 

Ashantai

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I agree, avoid Aragon for now and focus on someone more managable.

Great update though. Very impressive start.
 

Malurous

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A fun idea with a challenging nation (I never seem to catch a break if I try a Tripoli game...) and a great start - I'll follow!
 

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Bump :D This is cool, please continue!
 

vasziljevics

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I apologise for the hiatus, I have had much to do in this week - I am going to visit my parents on this week-end which means some days without internet but after that update will come, I swear (I already have the stuff for it).

Cheers!
 

JDMS

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Great start! And I agree with the others that avoiding Aragon would be a good idea at ths point.
 

vasziljevics

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Part 02 - The First Years of Piracy (1408-1418)





The dispute about attacking the Spaniards or not remained open for a while, with the Council, and especially two veteran captains, one from the Saharan lands of Ashantai and one of Turkish origin being the main antagonists for that. Ahmad is known to be a headstrong ruler but he is no fool and always considers the suggestions of the old captains.

Otherwise... who says that simple pirates cannot into architecture? Some of the rich and able shipmates in the city of Sirt decided to team up and repair the old Byzantine fortifications of the city that lied in ruins for centuries. It was a wise decision, considering that the growing activity of the corsairs in the Mediterranean could provoke violent answers from those, whose money is at stake.


misc301.jpg



Meanwhile the stolen and captured artistic treasures from the previous sacking of Constantinople started to become sings of wealth and nobility amongst the captains. This was a huge potential for new black-market branches and smuggling - stealing and falsifying those are became more and more common.


misc302.jpg



The debate of Ahmad and the Council about the Iberian situation finally came to an end because of the arrival of something, that was beyond even their combined power: a comet! Astrologers and fortune-tellers swarmed the cities of the Tripolitanean Coast telling about all the possible disasters the Crusaders could bring upon us - so after all Ahmad agreed with the Council that the raid against the Spaniards should be suspended for the time.

As for now, Ahmad has more commmon problems - like the continous rebellions of the Greeks of Morea.

But letting the lads reconstructing that old fort of theirs is certainly had its benefits. They made a truly remarkable work with those ruined walls and towers...


misc303.jpg



The countries around Tripoli now started to recognize the corsairs as a real threat to their merchants ships (and even to their coastal cities). The capturing of a huge Egyiptian merchant fleet has brought back the amount of treasures comparable only to the profit of two other average years. You can never steal enough though...


misc304.jpg



After a long and relatively peaceful year, news have come from the countries to our west: the Sultanate of Morocco has finally been broken by continuous rebellion of the oppressed people of Fez and the Berber patriots funded by the Pirate-Sultan of Algiers.


misc305.jpg



These were ill news indeed as the power-hungry Sultan in Algiers has been a self-proclaimed protector of the dishonourable Tunisians and now he will have even more slaves and coward minions (whom he would call 'soldiers') compared to all the able shipmates in the Free Cities of the Corsairs

Nevertheless Ahmad didn't neglect his duty as the leader of his subjects on the Path of Islam. He has had organized and sent missionaries to the Greeks in Morea and even sent for scholars to the East who would study he text of the Holy Book and interpret the teachings of Mohamed to the people of Tripoli.


dec02n.jpg



Finally the organized raids on the Mediterranean have started to bring back profits. The coffers of the Council have been filled and the Captains looked after a new short-term goal for the prosperity of Tripoli.


mission02.jpg



They didn't look far - the leaders of the Kingdom of Achaea, former neighbour and rival to the Greeks of Morea, have committed enough atrocities against our peaceful missionaries and smugglers (ehm... I mean traders.) to deserve to be punished. So it was decided that in nearest possible opportunity, they sorry 'capital' (along with their pathetic 'country' ) should be submitted to the will of the Council.

However this gonna be a tricky task, as the Italian rulers of Achaea have close ties to the King of Milan, the King of Naples and even to the Doge of Venice (though he has secret connections with the corsairs as well.)

And Ahmad and the Council should expect opposition from inside too - in the year 1413 a group of reactionary captains have approached them about abandoning the reforms and set the corsairs back to their 'ancient' ways, but they weren't enough in numbers nor in will to achieve anything.


misc306.jpg



Looks like the spirit of Byzantium is not a thing that fades away easily...


misc307.jpg



Indeed...


misc308.jpg



The corsairs yet again set sail to aid their Candari brethren in their struggle against the rebellious Greeks. And it was there, during the siege of Kaffa, where the long forgotten plague, the Black Death spread its wings again. Ahmad himself was amongst those who felt the Paradise and the Seventy-two virgins very close, but he miraculously survived to see the fortress fall to the hands of the pirates.


misc309.jpg



After the second sacking of Consantinople the Greeks didn't have much choice but to fill the treasury of the Council with some gold and revoke their claimed protectorate over the Greeks of Morea, who already have converted to the True Path of Islam...


peace03.jpg



After two long sieges and a grave illness, Ahmad felt that he could enjoy a bit of a rest at home...
 
Last edited:

Malurous

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Pretty good to get so much cash from events and that peace deal, should really make a difference for a nation with an economy like Tripoli's.

Also, Running Wild? Nice one, Alestorm next? :D