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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

TinMann

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Red Crescent



The Sultan of Mauretania's bid for Hispania and Arabia

This is a gameplay/narrative AAR centered on the Shia Idrisid dynasty based in Mauretania, starting in 867. Historically the dynasty was in decline in this period and would be removed from power in 895 altogether. AAR describes an attempt to not only survive, but unify the Muslims of Northwest Africa and Andalusia, conquer Hispania, and resist the inevitable European attempts at Reconquista.

I like playing Muslim nations, personally, even with the original decadence system introduced in the Sword of Islam expansion. Since there are not many AARs based on Islamic dynasties, I may include short walkthroughs or Let’s Play videos if anyone is interested in the details of how I play them. I may restart the AAR to stay up to date if the coming Rajas of India expansion will dramatically alter the decadence system.

Since I don’t know very much about Islam, suggestions for improving the narrative are always welcome. In any case I will make every effort to be respectful to all faiths represented here.


Table of Contents
Chapter 1:Sultan Yahya 'The Bold'
Chapter 2:Unification
Chapter 3:Reach for Empire
Chapter 4:The Golden Age of Mauretania
Epilogue:Conclusion


Chapter 1: Sultan Yahya 'The Bold'

January 1, 867


It was not long after his wife’s funeral that Sultan Yahya II of the Idrisid dynasty came to the realization that it was time to undertake the Hajj. The Sultan held court in the walled city of Marrakech, the Capitol of the Sultanate of Mauretania. It the one of the largest settlements among the arid plains and mountains in Northwest Africa. In the gathering darkness one evening, he passed along the news to his courtiers after the evening meal.


Sultan Yahya II in 867.


Yahya's randomized skills are pretty good. Ironically the one thing I was looking for was stewardship. As I get larger I feel high diplomacy is more important, but at this size -- stewardship is my preference.

His first order of business is to journey to Mecca, since the Hajj offers a lot of potential benefits without many drawbacks. In the meantime I will also look for two wives and start to build up a war chest.
He told them that he felt compelled to draw closer to Allah while in the depths of mourning. His chief steward, Mayor Qutaiba of Tata, suspected it was more likely the Sultan wanted to be away from home for a time, and the duties and sadness that lingered here. In truth, both of these reasons were correct in equal measure. But there was a more dubious motive as well, which the Sultan chose to keep to himself. Preparations for the arduous journey across the entirety of North Africa began in the morning.




The Idrisid Dynastic line
The twenty-one year old, newly minted Sultan had only recently come to power after the loss of his father. Now, his six-year old son Al-Qasim granted to him by his late wife, and his nephews Ali (also 6 years old) and Idris (5) were the only living members of his clan.

Before departing, Yahya instructed his Grand Vizier, Abakada of Marrakech, to search for potential brides among the nobles of Mauretanian tribes and into Andalusia, to the north. Curiously, and without explanation, he insisted that Abakada not approach any Ibadi nobles to the east. These people, who functioned effectively as the autonomous Rustamid Emirate under Emir Aflah in eastern Mauretania, were considered heretics of the Sunni branch of the faith. As Shia, Yahya (as well as the majority of the people in his Sultanate) was largely uninterested in the religious disputes of the Sunnis. That made his order all the more curious to Abakada. Nonetheless the counselor agreed with a curt bow and disappeared to begin his correspondences.

Family and tradition meant a great deal to Yahya II. His dynasty had been founded by the Sultan Idris I of Mauretania in 788. Sultan Idris was the great-great grandchild of Fatimah bint Muhammad, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad himself. Yahya II was the sixth sultan in the dynasty that bore the name of its founder. Despite this unbroken line of succession, the Sultanate’s sphere of influence had diminished over recent years, leaving Yahya in direct control of only the western portion of Mauretania, and nominally at that. This was a state of affairs that the young Sultan fully intended to change in his lifetime. To that end, Yahya had a plan.

At the last minute Mayor Amma decided to join him for the Hajj, which was a welcome surprise. Yahya hoped that perhaps the Mayor could help him develop his administrative skills while on the journey. Together with a handful of bodyguards, the small group departed on the seventh of January.


January 21, 867: War with Andalusia

Little did the Sultan know the chaos that would engulf his lands just days after his departure.

On the twenty-first of January, the powerful Sultan Muhammad Umayyad of Andalusia, whose lands comprised the majority of the Iberian Peninsula, declared an unprovoked holy war on Mauretania for the Emirate of Fes. Sheikh Yunus of Tamdoult, Yahya’s talented Marshal, took control of the situation. Riders flew in every direction to call the levies to Marrakech. His initial plan was simple: to mass his forces in the mountains around the capitol. This would allow the anticipated larger Andalusian force to occupy El Rif, in the north of Fes, where they would likely siege the fortress of Melilla. Some time later, just as the defenders of Melilla were beginning to falter, he would round up every mercenary he could find and march to relieve the castle. Hopefully, be it the will of Allah, by that time the attackers may be weakened by their siege and might shatter before him. If not, loss of the Emirate of Fes, which comprised almost half of Mauretania, would be catastrophic. Yunus knew his life depended on the outcome of this unjust incursion by their neighbors, and a decisive victory was absolutely necessary.

 
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TinMann

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April 6, 867
The Sultan returned to Marrakech in early April from his Hajj, refreshed and renewed, to find himself at war. The elation he was feeling from his spiritual journey quickly devolved into a furious mood.

“How could he have done this?” he shouted his questions at his council. “What was Muhammad thinking? With Iberia almost his, he turns south to cripple us? When the Christians to the north still a threat?” His council, fear written in their eyes, had no answers. Only Sheikh Yunus dared to change the subject.

“It has been three months and no sign of them. I know you want to strike first, but we must not. They may be forming a massive army. Prudence dictates that we must wait here and be patient, allowing them to make the first move.”

“Fine,” Sultan Yahya responded, still highly agitated. “But send for the Berber Company. When the Andalusians enter our lands, we will bury them here. And round up some Jewish merchants in Massat. I would speak with them.”

It was clear to the council that the Hajj had changed their Sultan – the man before them was much more aggressive and ambitious than when he set out. This was a change not all of the council favored.

In the weeks that followed, Sultan Yahya finalized the arrangements on marriages to two young brides, Izza (who became his first wife) and H’edda. Both were daughters of local Berber tribal leaders. Izza was beautiful, talkative and diplomatic; H’edda was quieter and more reserved but had a good head for administration. Yahya saw both as having a critical role in his future, and started their relationships with great kindness.


Ironically this attack is providing the realm with a great deal of stability, which is especially helpful early in Yahya's rule. Nothing brings people together better than an attack from the outside. Because of this, I am allowing Yayha to carry one additional sheikdom above his demense without any apparent objection from his vassals.


The Sultanas Izza and H’edda. Having multiple wives has many benefits in-game. Not the least of which is being able to pick a top-notch team that can tutor your children and other young nobles of the realm. I usually like to draw the line at two wives, though, to avoid having an unmanageable number of sons to deal with. Plus, only having two wives allows me to take on up to two other political marriages at any time, which can be handy in a crisis.

June 27, 867: Enemy at the gates


After months of waiting, the Andalusian army materializes at Melilla as expected. They arrive as a single force of over 6,500 men, which is on par with Yahya’s 6,400 levies standing in Marrakech. Since the enemy’s army was smaller than they had anticipated, Yahya and Yunus agreed that they needed to strike swiftly before reinforcements could arrive. A contract with the Berber Company was hastily signed, and a combined army of 8,800 men hurried through the mountain passes towards Melilla. They were on the road to the decisive battle of the war, and perhaps for the future of Mauretania itself.


October 1, 867: The Battle of Ketama

The armies met at the Battle of Ketama on 1st October, outside of Melilla. The one-sided conflict was decided in a matter of hours. The Mauretanians routed the Andalusians, losing about 1,000 men to the enemy’s 5,000. Yahya, who led a flank of the victorious army, was ecstatic. Not only was his first major battle a resounding success, but it carried with it the promise of a bright future as Sultan. He had proven that he could defeat a larger nation on the field, and thus he had earned his birthright – at least in his own eyes. His army chased the remnants of the Andalusians to Tangiers where they finished them off, then began laying siege to the enemy holdings there.

By July of the following year Sultan Muhammad had had enough and surrendered. Celebrations were held across Mauretania, notably among the Berber tribes in the north, which had been so troublesome to Yahya’s forebears. Yahya visited them personally, looking for young nobles who might one day serve him as vassal lords.

Once back in Marrakech, Yahya and his counselors assessed the situation in Andalusia. With the Andalusian army destroyed, Sultan Muhammad found himself in dire straits. He had come under attack by King Alfonso of Asturias, Catholic revolutionaries, and even a mercenary company that had gone rogue, all at the same time. Given this state of affairs, Sultan Yahya’s desire for revenge could not be put off. The Berber Mercenaries remained camped outside Marrakech while plans were drawn up to attack.

 
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October 1, 868: Return to Tangiers


After dealing with a small band of Viking raiders, Yahya declared war on his neighbor to the north for control of Tangiers. Although he would have preferred to take more land, doing so would have required a holy war. This would be seen as improper, however, since Sultan Muhammad was still defending in a holy war with Asturias. Yahya settled on taking Tangiers away from his new nemesis, and moved his army there for the second time in a year. The fortresses and cities of Tangiers fell rapidly, still reeling as they were from his previous assaults.

At the same time a West African commoner named Marwan decided to take advantage of the Sultan’s continued preoccupation with Andalusia and declared independence for the southern sheikdom of Araouane, with the help of 1,400 loyal men. Unruffled, Yahya completed his business in Tangiers before heading south to deal with Marwan.



By June of the following year the rebels had been dispatched, Marwan executed, and Sultan Muhammad had surrendered Tangiers. Celebrations once again were held across the Sultanate, and Yahya’s standing in the eyes of his people soared. At peace again, Yahya took the opportunity to ransom captured prisoners and celebrate Ramadan.

January 1, 871: The New Order
Sultan Yahya spent the next year consolidating his power, raising two Berber tribesmen to Shieks to help him manage his holdings. Their loyalty made it possible to further his legal agenda, which involved instituting crown authority and raising city taxes. Primarily, he explained to his vassal lords, this was in order to institute a larger military with a reformed leadership. The Tribes went along reluctantly, though in exchange Yahya was asked to move his capitol to Essaouira in Massat, which would allow them easier access to his court. All of these changes gave him the authority to raise a professional standing army of the tribes’ best warriors, which consisted of 400 archers and 100 heavy infantry.

These men had little time to acclimate to their new post before they were ordered to march. Together with the Berber Company (which had been in Yahya’s continuous service for almost four years), they headed east to the border to the Rustamid Emirate. Yahya, at the head of the column, refrained from explaining why until days after they had left Essaouira, which caused a great deal of consternation among his officers.

Not long after their departure Yahya’s wife H’edda gave birth to his second child, a healthy boy named Azan. A rider was able to catch up with the army to inform the Sultan the next day.

“This is a good omen, inform the men,” he commented to Sheikh Yanus, who was again at his side.

“Indeed, my lord – and a well-planned one,” the Marshal added with a half-smile.

Yahya responded to the slightly insolent comment with a hearty laugh. “Aren’t they all, my friend?”

Raised Crown Authority to limited to increase levy size and allow me to assign leaders. I also maximized city taxation just because I could.
Moved the capitol to take advantage of higher Military Organization and Legalism tech levels, which allowed be to raise my first Retinues – the ubiquitous Skirmishers.
[/td]
 
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June 1, 871: Holy War for Alger

The army of Sultan Yahya took up residence in Melilla, a city where the memory of his victory over the Andalusians was still fresh in the minds of its residents. From there he sent diplomatic envoys eastwards before gathering his commanders together one evening. By the time he told them they were declaring a holy war on the Ibadi leaders of the Rustamid Emirate, none of them were surprised. A few were curious about his demands, however.

“Why are we demanding Alger, when Tlemcen borders our lands?” Badda, Sheik of Idjil asked. He was a talented young army commander that Yahya had raised up from the tribes.

“Alger is larger, and more of a prize,” the Sultan replied. “Alger is also where Emir Aflah’s lands are. If we take Alger, we may un-land him completely. If that is the case, any truce we sign with him will not apply to his former vassals. With any luck, we will return home with the entire Emirate in our hands.”

“Also don’t forget Sultan Muhammad II of Africa,” Shiek Yunus added. “Once we attack, the Rustamids will be an easy target, and the Africans will likely start their own war from the east. By securing Alger, we block them from further movement westward. At least, for now.”

The planning for the attack went on well into the evening. Later, once they were alone, Marshal Yunus asked his Sultan why they hadn’t offered to vassalize the Rustamids first. Yahya offered a knowing smile as he responded.

“Because I need to… prove my dedication to the faith.”

“To whom?” Yunus asked after a long pause, genuinely confused by the comment.

“To the other followers of the Shia path. How else will I be nominated to the Caliphate?” he asked with a widening smile.

Yunus blinked as he realized what Yahya was up to. This was why the Sultan had lingered so long in the holy land: he was securing support for a run at coveted (and presently vacant) Shia Caliphate title. He wanted to be the spiritual leader of all Shia.

“And conquering the Ibadi will accomplish this?” Yunus asked after another long pause.

“We shall see,” the Sultan replied cryptically as he walked away.


The De Jure Emirates within the Rustamid lands east of Mauritania.
 
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January 6, 873: Annexation of Alger

The nineteen months it took to wrestle Alger from Rustamids was longer than anyone had anticipated. Many battles were fought and not all were won by the Mauretanians. Ultimately they prevailed, but the experience taught Yahya (and his followers) an important lesson: the Sultan would not always be victorious. After a bloody struggle Yahya took control of the sheikdoms of Alger, which he granted to five loyal Shia raised from the Berber tribes. For good measure he usurped the Emirate of Alger title as well, to let his neighbors know that he was there to stay. Unfortunately so was Emir Aflah, who appropriated the Sheikdom of Hanyan from one of his vassals in order to remain the Emir of Tlemcen. As such, Aflah still commanded his former vassals in Tlemcen and Kabylia. Further conquest of the region would have to wait until Yahya’s treaty with Aflah expired.

Following the conflict, Yahya decided stop expanding and consolidate for a time. The Ibadi people that he now governed were likely to cause trouble, together with a rabid outbreak of the Druze heresy that had just taken root in Figuig. Playing it safe, the Sultan dismissed his levies but retained his mercenaries for the time being. He, himself, returned home to meet his 22-month old son for the first time.

On November 1[SUP]st[/SUP] of that year his third child was born - a healthy boy named Adil.
 
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May 1, 877: Annexation of Tlemcen and Western Kabylia


Several years of relative quiet followed. Except for the occasional minor West African revolt and near-constant (albeit brief) Viking incursions, peace had settled on Mauretania. The lords of the land were content, and Yahya’s children were growing up. Things were so uneventful that by May of 877, Yahya had become restless. Emir Aflah had died, and the Sultan determined it was time to incorporate Tlemcen into his realm. Another holy war was declared on Aflah’s son and heir, Emir Abu Bakr Rustamid. The war was brief and by September of that year Yahya was the master of Tlemcen. Due to the several wars he had initiated and won, by this time Sultan Yahya had become commonly known as ‘The Bold’ - a name that he quite liked.

Yahya’s nephew, Emir Ali of Fes, then declared war on the remaining Rustamid holdings in Kabylia. Ali would be successful in adding them to the realm by the end of the following year.


July 2, 879: A New Caliph

The next few years saw the birth of two more sons, Ahmed (by H’edda) and Kassil (by Izza). It appeared the Idrasid dynasty would be intact for at least a few more generations.

During this time the Sultan continued to observe Ramadan faithfully, distributed alms to the poor, and took every opportunity to increase his standing in the eyes of the faithful. By July of 879 his dedication came to fruition when he was granted the mantle of Shia Caliph, a title that had been vacant for years. Sultan Yahya agreed to the honor with all of the humility he could muster, but it was no secret that he had desired the position since before his Hajj. The Shia faithful were small in number, but nonetheless he was quite pleased to serve as their spiritual leader.

This title is a nice thing to have at this point, if only to prevent someone else from taking it first. It really becomes useful when the era of Jihads begin and I can start calling my own.


 
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TinMann

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January 1, 882: Kabylia and Tangiers


By the end of 881 Yahya was growing restless yet again. Looking at the map, he decided that Mauretania needed to incorporate the remainder of the Emirate of Kabylia, which was presently held by the Sultan of Africa. He told his 61-year old longtime friend and Martial, Shiek Yunus, that his services were needed for one more campaign. The old soldier smiled a wrinkled smile as his Sultan gave him the news.

By that August they had completed the conquest of Kabylia, and the sheikdom of Biskra was the only African holding that remained west of Tunis. The Sultan decided to celebrate his vitory by marrying Tanest, a young woman from the tribes who was also an impressive administrator. This was one area the Sultan continued to struggle with as his realm expanded. Around the same time H’edda was promoted to first wife shortly after she gave birth to Yahya’s first daughter, Adiva.


I am choosing to annex all the Ibadi lands as their religious authority is so low, their population should be a lot easier to convert to Shia than Sunnis would be. Since there is little hope of me controlling the Shia holy sites (all of which are in Arabia), I will often have to deal with a mid-range religious authority.



In the the following years his family continued to grow. Tanest gave birth to another daughter, Barakah, in May of 884. H’eddi granted him another son, Badda, the following year.

At that point the only traditional Mauretanian territory not under his control (besides Biskra) was Cebta, in Tangiers, currently part of the Sultanate of Andalusia. As was to be expected, in 885 Yahya invaded. The war was brief, with Sultan al-Mundir (the son of Sultan Muhammad) surrendering quickly.

The sheikdom was handed to Yahya's son Prince Adil, who was a promising young 11-year old at the time. After considerable thought on the matter Yahya later granted him the title Emir of Tangiers, which made him the Sultan’s heir apparent. Even at eleven, Yahya believed the young man was destined for greatness. Needless to say his brothers and half-brothers were quite disappointed.

Sultana Tanest
 
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TinMann

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July 30 886: Ali's Revolt


In late July a serious argument broke out in the great hall of Essaouira between Sultan Yayha and his Chief Steward and nephew, Emir Ali of Fes. The Sultan publically accused him of failing to bring in enough tax revenue. Despite vigorous protests, Ali was sacked on the spot and dismissed. Ali confided in his cousin Azan that the accusation was concocted by the Sultan as a pretense for seizing his titles. Fes had always been a significant holding; hence the reason Sultan Muhammad of Andalusia had tried to claim it in 867. Since Ali’s Emirate included all of Fez and a handful of other sheikdoms scattered around the Sultanate, he was Yahya’s single largest landowning vassal. As a member of the Sultan's dynasty, that left him in a precarious position.

When Ali returned home he was told by messenger that the Emirate of Fes had been revoked from him. Ali knew what this meant. Being stripped of his title meant losing most of his vassals, making him utterly defenseless for what would come next. Having little choice, Ali declared independence.

Back in Essaouira, this was exactly what Yahya had hoped would happen. Although the revolt was a major one, Yahya waited until things were stable in his lands before instigating it. Better now, he calculated shrewdly, then to have Ali grow larger and cause the Sultan trouble in a desperate hour.




Sultan Ali, the former Emir of Fes.



By November of the following year Ali had been defeated. The Sheikdom and the Emirate of Fes were revoked from him, and he landed in Yahya’s dungeon in Essaouira. Furthermore Ali’s brother Idris, Sheikh of Araouane, and his two infant children were also arrested – even though they did not take part in the revolt. Since these men and boys were extended members of the same Dynasty, legally Yahya could arrest them without justification, or significant repercussions from his other vassals. Using the revolt as a pretense, Sultan Yahya insured that Ali’s branch of the family would not try to avenge him, and their lands would eventually revert to the Sultan once they all had expired in his dungeon.

While this was acceptable by tradition, the cruelty of arresting infants was not lost on his court. Sultan Yahya’s dark side had emerged.



This is the dark underside of the original SOI decadence system – the need to viciously prune your family tree from time to time. Not doing so will result in a very large family and high decadence levels, which brings on very serious decadence revolts. In general Crusader Kings rewards players for using a Machiavellian approach to leadership, and nowhere more than in Muslim countries.

While I could execute them all without vassal penalties, I am choosing not to for roleplaying purposes.
 
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TinMann

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September 20, 890: Later campaigns


The intervening years were quiet. Yahya’s son Kassil was chosen to serve as Chief Steward of the realm. Meanwhile Tanest had given birth to Yahya’s newest son, Yeften in January of 887. In august of that same year, Yahya’s longtime friend Marshal Yunus died of natural causes. A state funeral was held, and full honors bestowed upon the man who had guided military matters of state for so long. It was with sadness that Yahya began planning his next campaign without him. Yahya’s son Ahmed, who also recently reached his majority, was given the difficult task of replacing Yunus on the council.

Even though they may not be the most qualified counselors in the realm, I chose Yahya’s three adult children to minimize decadence gain. This approach is a slight handicap to counterbalance the many benefits Muslim leaders enjoy, such as Turkic succession. To this end, I often send Muslim children to the best teachers in the land, since having a high skill may very well keep them alive after their brother takes over the realm.
In late 890 news reached Essaouira that the Andalusians under Sultan Al-Mundir had just repelled a holy war from Asturias. At that point their neighbors to the north were at peace, which made them a acceptable target for a holy war from Mauretania. Yahya did exactly that, demanding the rich Emirate of Seville from them.

Although the Andalusians fielded a significant army, by that time the Mauretanians outclassed them. The war lasted until December 892 before Al-Mindir surrendered.

The Sheikdom of Malaga, which was adjacent to Seville, was held by the Emir of Shuayb II of Krete (a Sunni). Yahya called for a holy war for Malaga immediately following his success in Seville. Andalusia joined in to assist, oddly enough, even though their army had been recently hobbled, but ultimately proved ineffective. Krete surrendered Malaga on September 2, 893.

I could have probably subjugated all of Andalusia instead of this holy war for one emirate, but I didn’t want to deal with a boatload of unhappy Sunnis who would be constantly rebelling, and have a border with Christian Europe all at once, especially late in the Sultan's life. I would rather take Andalusia piecemeal through holy wars, which will clean out the nobility and allow me to replace them with friendly lords. This way too, the Andalusians could serve as a buffer between me and the Christians while I absorb thier nation from the south.
Sultan Yahya looked at the map and decided there was one more territory that he had to secure: Biskra, the last territory in the traditional lands of Mauretania not under his control. It was still held by the Sultan Hafiz Aghlabid of Africa. After another brief war it too was incorporated into the realm. Mauretania was at last unified under Yahya. Celebrations were held throughout the land.

Following this achievement, Sultan Yahya took great comfort in the knowledge of having achieved all of his life’s goals. Now in his 50s, he realized it was time to slow down his expansion and consolidate, in order to allow for the best possible transition to his son, Emir Adil. In his mind, that meant saving up a large reserve of gold, fortifying some key castles, and perhaps founding a university or two in his honor. And so he did.

His pleasant retirement was interrupted in 893 when his youngest Sultana, Tanest, passed away from pneumonia.


 
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Idhrendur

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I am loving this. The writing style, the tips, the layout, and the maps (how are you creating those, BTW, I'd love to adapt the technique for my own AARs), all are excellent!
 

verdas

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This is great; as someone who also enjoys playing Muslims, your advice on decadence management is dead on. I tend to bite the bullet and take three or four wives for prestige purposes, but make sure one or two are older and on their way out of child-rearing. Also having a high stewardship first wife is an absolute must; no prestige penalty for marrying lowborn means you can often get someone who seriously boosts your demesne limit.

Keep it up; you got a good base to operate from so far. I would probably leave the weaker Sunni sultanate of Africa alone for a while to protect your flank from the Abbasids and focus on Spain, although you should be careful what you do there lest you open the door for the Christians. Maybe try to arrange a claim on Andalusia/several Emirates by way of marriage? I know marrying for claims isn't really a Muslim thing, but it could save some time.

*edit: Also, will a Shi'a pretender Caliphate rise up if the Caliphate is occupied? Probably not, right?
 

TinMann

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Thanks!

I agree - central and eastern Africa is just too far away to manage (though I have taken Tunis), and it is a nice buffer with the Sunnis further East. It's nice having only two neighbors, and Africa is so small now they would never attack me.

In Spain I have crippled Andalusia to the point where the Christians are walking all over them. Now I need to cowboy up and start taking on Asturias and West Francia or there won't be much of Andalusia left soon. Not that it would be terrible, I'm just not in a hurry to fight all of Europe... yet.

Right now it looks like there are only two people with claims on the Shia Caliphate - relatives of the Imam of Medina when I claimed the title. Both of them are older and I suspect there won't be any claims left soon. Other than losing my primary title, I don't think the Caliphate can be claimed otherwise. I've never seen a pretender try to take it away... but who knows?
 
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Ybakgibumpti

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Holy potatoes! Your formatting is the best by far across the whole AAR world. I thought the only way to change the amount of characters per line was by making a huge image file and write the stuff in using something like photoshop, or by pressing ENTER after X amount of words. This makes for a much more easier read compared to every ARR ever. I don't know what you did but if there are any other AAR writers reading, this right here is how it's done! Tis a true gem of an AAR!
 

Shadrol

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Thank you so much! I will work on a tutorial for how I make the maps with Photoshop. The map is going to get more beat up and stained as time goes on!
This is glorious. The thing about the map i didn't even notice, then i scrolled back up and saw the torn piece.
I have never really enjoyed playing a muslim, maybe i can learn somethings from you and give it another go.
 

TinMann

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Holy potatoes! Your formatting is the best by far across the whole AAR world. I thought the only way to change the amount of characters per line was by making a huge image file and write the stuff in using something like photoshop, or by pressing ENTER after X amount of words. This makes for a much more easier read compared to every ARR ever. I don't know what you did but if there are any other AAR writers reading, this right here is how it's done! Tis a true gem of an AAR!
Wow, thanks so much! In a nutshell I use tables. When you write a post, click the Switch Editor button [a/A] then add a table with the Table button.



Give the table the width you want to use in pixels. I use 900, which should display well on monitors set to show a width of 1280+ pixels. I also use two columns, and usually two rows per post. I prefer to not have borders. Then you can type what you like into the boxes right in the editor.

In order to set columns to a specific size I use images. I shoot to have my posts’ columns 525 pixels on the one side and 375 on the other. (I think different sized columns are more visually interesting than two evenly sized ones.) For example my maps are always 525 pixels wide. If I have a post without a graphic on both sides I add a blank graphic of the correct width to control size. These “spacers” are 5 pixels tall (very small), either 525 or 375 pixels wide, and are set to the RBG color 15/15/15 – the forum’s background color. That color makes them invisible.

Feel free to ask follow-up questions if this doesn’t make sense. Thanks for reading!

NOTE: Edits in red reflect how I am formatting my posts at present.
 
Last edited:

TinMann

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This is glorious. The thing about the map i didn't even notice, then i scrolled back up and saw the torn piece.
I have never really enjoyed playing a muslim, maybe i can learn somethings from you and give it another go.

Thank you! Part of why I decided to write this was because I've read a lot of people who really dislike the decadence system. I think it can be managed and hope to show how I do so here. If you can sidestep decadence issues, I think Muslims are a blast to play. To boot, we may get some adjustments to the system with RoI as well, which may make them even better.
 
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Menschenhasser

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Wow, thanks so much! In a nutshell I use tables. When you write a post, click the Switch Editor button [a/A] then add a table with the Table button.



Give the table the width you want to use in pixels. I use 1050, which I think looks good in HD. I also use two columns, and usually two rows per post. I prefer to not have borders. Then you can type what you like into the boxes right in the editor.

In order to set columns to a specific size I use images. I shoot to have my posts’ columns 450 pixels on the left and 600 on the right. (I think different sized columns are more visually interesting than two evenly sized ones.) For example my maps are always on the right and always 600 pixels wide. If I have a post without a graphic on both sides I add a blank graphic of the correct width to control size. These “spacers” are 5 pixels tall (very small), either 450 or 600 pixels wide, and are set to the RBG color 15/15/15 – the forum’s background color. That color makes them invisible.

Feel free to ask follow-up questions if this doesn’t make sense. Thanks for reading!
Use [ TABLE="width:100%" ].