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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Stuyvesant

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As for Yakut's sudden and unforeseen (certainly unforeseen by him!) death...
<Drumroll>

Nice one. :)

Yakut had a good run, considering how early on he lost his sight... Dying while gloriously leading his army to victory ain't a bad way to go - of course, being a Rurikovich, he probably was the sole casualty of that time-honored tradition the friendly baggage train raid. :p

I approve of Michael's intention to mess up Hell with an unhelpful breakup of the old demonic monopoly into several more market-efficient sub-units, but... Does Mikey have any kind of clout to enforce his demands? It looks like he's going to get ignored and that Harry and Astarte will continue to run Hell the old-fashioned dysfunctional way.

One last thought: can you explain how King Alp is somewhat disloyal to - presumably - himself?
 

loki100

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At least you got an heir ready and mother still alive, it could be much worse.
not much worse, poor wee alp inherits some large problems ... like a war with a very irate Byzantium and most of the realm in open revolt ... reckon I'll just make it to 1453 without it all falling apart

Michael's plan seems wonderfully confusing - clearly that is part of the plan. Confound Harry and Astarte so much that he can do as he wishes whilst they attempt to deduce what the devil he has proposed. As for Yakut's sudden and unforeseen (certainly unforeseen by him!) death, hopefully Alp can finally be the Rurikovich to crush the Byzantines!
Yakut's death, and since no battle report came up, I suspect that Stuyvesant is right - it was a baggage train 'incident', rather finishes off the war effort. The various princes etc were only staying loyal due to his very high prestige, poor Alp has the prestige you'd expect of a 4 year old ... so they all naff off back to Russia, leaving the Byzantine emperor to exact revenge (till I got lucky with one of those 'heathen's are splintering' events)

<Drumroll>

Nice one. :)

Yakut had a good run, considering how early on he lost his sight... Dying while gloriously leading his army to victory ain't a bad way to go - of course, being a Rurikovich, he probably was the sole casualty of that time-honored tradition the friendly baggage train raid. :p

I approve of Michael's intention to mess up Hell with an unhelpful breakup of the old demonic monopoly into several more market-efficient sub-units, but... Does Mikey have any kind of clout to enforce his demands? It looks like he's going to get ignored and that Harry and Astarte will continue to run Hell the old-fashioned dysfunctional way.

One last thought: can you explain how King Alp is somewhat disloyal to - presumably - himself?
as in the next episode, Harry and Astarte have very different concepts of the best way to halt Michael's plans. As to Alp's disloyalty - I think when you become King your loyalty score when you were a Prince/heir/whatever is fixed, so effectively that was his loyalty to his father ...
 

loki100

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Alp Yurek, 1436-1440, he's in the nursery, the realm is in deep trouble

Scene 1: Yakut's 'trial'

Michael starts by handing down the verdict

"right, sins of lust, circle II ...., off you go ... out that door"

...

"that door ... can't you see where I'm .... no of course you can't"

signals to one of the clerks to remove Yakut

Scene 2: Just outside the door

Harry is arguing with Michael

"but what about letting them defend themselves"

"they should think about that when they were alive"

"anyway I don't want him ... he's not going to lead the demonic hosts in battle, he's got a worse libido than Boris I ... "

"look Satan, Hell is where the evil doers belong ... not just the competent evil doers you happen to like"

"yes, but he'll start disturbing the harpies ... then no one will get any rest"

Scene 3: Russia (Harry is wandering around in a bad mood)

"I'll show them ... trying to cut me out of things .... "bit of arson"



"a dead general ... good to see I can still do that"



"civil war is always good for some fun"







"now his family ... usually quite good fun to stir up a Rurikovich family group"

"yep, there goes mummy"



"there goes his half-brother"



"and, bye, bye, auntie .... nice to see the family getting on so well together"



"think he's all mine now ... "

Scene 4: Michael's softly furnished bedroom

Astarte, at her most seductive, enters

she drapes herself over the back of a chair, looks at him with lust and desire


"you know Michael ... its all yours"

Michael looks a bit worried

Astarte chuckles ...


"oh don't worry about me, I'm not all bad, its just I'm rather drawn that way ... lets see"

Starts leafing through his papers





"my this one is quite the little saint isn't he ... now what about you and that large sword I keep on hearing about"

Michael looks more worried

oh don't worry ... I don't want too much ... you don't really want to clutter up Hell with Harry ... just give it to me"

will Harry or Astarte manage to convince Michael the old ways are the best? Wil Alp have a realm by the time he grows up? Is Michael in danger of becoming the third archangel to slip from grace?
 

morningSIDEr

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Cracking stuff.

"yes, but he'll start disturbing the harpies ... then no one will get any rest"
Wonderful line. Poor Alp, suffering from Harry's bad mood and surprising competence in causing some mayhem. I feel far more sorry for Michael however, being the object of Astarte's affections, even if said affections are quite probably only displayed as part of a cunning ploy, is quite a frightening proposition.
 

Enewald

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If you are to move to Eu3, annex all the rebels. You do not have much time to suffer from a realm too big in the remaining time. :p
 

Stuyvesant

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"right, sins of lust, circle II ...., off you go ... out that door"

...

"that door ... can't you see where I'm .... no of course you can't"
They don't fix that kind of thing up there? Oh wait, I guess he's going to Hell, so no, no freebies courtesy of the Big Yin. :)

"oh don't worry about me, I'm not all bad, its just I'm rather drawn that way ... lets see"

"my this one is quite the little saint isn't he ... now what about you and that large sword I keep on hearing about"
So, Astarte is Jessica Rabbit? :p Watching her put the moves on Michael is quite disconcerting - it's like watching a cute little wide-eyed lamb getting circled by a big, bad wolf... Michael's in deep, deep trouble. :D

As far as the war and the civil war go: perhaps the Byzzies will get tired of having to tramp their way through endless scorched Russian lands to get to those few slivers of Rus' you still control and offer you a white peace?
 

Alfredian

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All this realm duress is because Alp Yurek is not playing to his natural strengths as a small child, ie looking cute and making adults feel guilty. He should also be playing the "I'm an orphan" card as well. Eventually his rebellious vassals' wives will force them to stop rebelling, and be nice to him. He might even get a trip to the zoo.

As ever, great updates. Not sure I want the Astarte as Jessica Rabbit one though. Too confusing....
 

loki100

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If you are to move to Eu3, annex all the rebels. You do not have much time to suffer from a realm too big in the remaining time. :p
ach, this is Rurikovich Russia with added mythical dieties ... you'll be surprised what I can cram into the next 12 years ...

Cracking stuff.

Wonderful line. Poor Alp, suffering from Harry's bad mood and surprising competence in causing some mayhem. I feel far more sorry for Michael however, being the object of Astarte's affections, even if said affections are quite probably only displayed as part of a cunning ploy, is quite a frightening proposition.
So, Astarte is Jessica Rabbit? :p Watching her put the moves on Michael is quite disconcerting - it's like watching a cute little wide-eyed lamb getting circled by a big, bad wolf... Michael's in deep, deep trouble
As ever, great updates. Not sure I want the Astarte as Jessica Rabbit one though. Too confusing....
well she wants to be Empress of Hell, a girl has to make some sacrifices for her life goals?

I must admit, after the 'infamy' quote, I always reckoned that line was one of the funniest ever in the history of cinema ... but then maybe I just have low tastes

All this realm duress is because Alp Yurek is not playing to his natural strengths as a small child, ie looking cute and making adults feel guilty. He should also be playing the "I'm an orphan" card as well. Eventually his rebellious vassals' wives will force them to stop rebelling, and be nice to him. He might even get a trip to the zoo.
he tries 'cute & helpless' in the next update ... it doesn't work out well, Astarte is somewhat frustrated and needs to work out her angst ...

They don't fix that kind of thing up there? Oh wait, I guess he's going to Hell, so no, no freebies courtesy of the Big Yin. :)
Now that does raise a deep theological debate - do bodlly deformities carry on into the afterlife? Now Dante implies the damned heal, so they can be tormented again - quand'avem volta la dolente strada
pero che le ferite son richiuse
(as we come before him again ... to be bruised anew), Canto XXVII, 40-41

so you repair to what you were when you die, but do you get your sight back ... ?

As far as the war and the civil war go: perhaps the Byzzies will get tired of having to tramp their way through endless scorched Russian lands to get to those few slivers of Rus' you still control and offer you a white peace?
I think, being a neat orderly empire the poor Byzantines found it all a bit too confusing, finding all these people who a few weeks had been united fighting them, now knocking lumps out of each other ...
 

loki100

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Alp Yurek, 1440-1441, as he gets bigger, the realm gets smaller

Scene 1: Michael's large, nicely furnished offices

God is playing with the small china tea-cups .... He is also demanding to know where Michael is from the assembled angelic secretariat

"I want him now"

"Aren't you meant to know these things ... onmipotence and all that"

"look I can't be bothered with all that, we have an emergency"

Michael stumbles in ... he looks ... exhausted ... and rather happy

"where ... have ... you ... been"

"my lord, oh just dispensing Christian charity"







Scene 2: The Party

The emerging disaster that is Alp's reign has caught the collective Rurikovich attention

oh good show, only 50 rebels and our generals can still ...



what an army ...



who says the blind can't commit a murder ... thats disability discrimination that is



his uncle no less



oh nasty, Moscow's a biggie



whow, he's shown some promise there



oh

at the bar, Harry is feeling rather exhausted, he's been so busy:




Scene 3: Astarte's chambers in Dis

that was frustrating ... but I feel better after that



now lets see if he delivers



will Michael need to offer a better excuse for his absense? Will Mesud last to 1452? Will Harry recover from his exertions?
 

morningSIDEr

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Very good stuff. My fear is growing following Michael's surprising absence, which even baffled God, and the lacklustre excuse he has provided for said absence. My fear may be growing, my intrigue certainly is not, I truly do not want to know what Astarte did to him! Rather surprising that poor Alp passed away so quickly, he barely had a chance to ruin the realm. Still, hopefully Mesud will prove up to the task.
 

Stuyvesant

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I'd almost say "Poor Alp" (but then, he is a Rurikovich): abandoned and betrayed by pretty much all his living relatives and then murdered by his own spymaster. All at the ripe old age of eleven...

I wonder if this is the Rurikovich equivalent of "Will the last one to leave please turn off the lights" - "Will the last courtier left please murder the monarch"?
 

Alfredian

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Rather surprising that poor Alp passed away so quickly, he barely had a chance to ruin the realm. Still, hopefully Mesud will prove up to the task.
A nine year old with an army at the head of an autocratic government during a civil war. At least it should be eventful.
 

loki100

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Very good stuff. My fear is growing following Michael's surprising absence, which even baffled God, and the lacklustre excuse he has provided for said absence. My fear may be growing, my intrigue certainly is not, I truly do not want to know what Astarte did to him! Rather surprising that poor Alp passed away so quickly, he barely had a chance to ruin the realm. Still, hopefully Mesud will prove up to the task.
Mesud does his best, at least he survives to the end ... but you'll find that Astarte is feeling a wee bit harrased by Michael, which is of course bad news for Mesud

I'd almost say "Poor Alp" (but then, he is a Rurikovich): abandoned and betrayed by pretty much all his living relatives and then murdered by his own spymaster. All at the ripe old age of eleven...

I wonder if this is the Rurikovich equivalent of "Will the last one to leave please turn off the lights" - "Will the last courtier left please murder the monarch"?
yes ... that more or less sums up the end, esp as I got both realm duress and the 'court is a shambles' sequence ... the only question was would the game end before the realm?

What an ignoble end - and only a child too! Still, that's the Rurikovich way I suppose.

It also continually amuses me the amount of claims each successive Rurikovich monarch inherits!
aye, 400 years of pretty random breeding across most of Europe does tend to generate some interesting claims, though recently I seem to have lost most of the odder ones in W Europe

A nine year old with an army at the head of an autocratic government during a civil war. At least it should be eventful.
I have never seen that event! :eek:
keep reading, the (last) event is almost upon us:
 

loki100

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Mesud, 1441-1453, yes he (just about) survives

Scene 1: The Party

there is general approval that Mesud handled this brilliantly



first take their money, then their realm:



this divided opinions




Later, a mass brawl breaks out to decide who was to blame for this



Scene 2: The Bar

Harry is feeling he's been rather busy and so successful, this took so much effort



Scene 3: Michael's rather tasteful chambers

God is waiting, and growing suspicious. In the meantime he's found a list that Michael has made.

Lets see, what he reckons:

Mstislav, move from Spur 3 to Circle VI Hell
Boris I, its pagan, but at least the cold should calm his libido
Vladimir I, move from Spur 2 to Circle X Hell (kinslayer)
Kettu, Circle VII Hell, if we can find him
Ukko, if we must, Circle II Hell
Toikka, he must have recovered by now, Circle VI Hell
Tuokki, Valhalla (nothing to do with us)
Boris II, Spur 4 Purgatory (leave him, the hopping motion is rather fun)
Ivan, Spur 2 Purgatory (might as well he did nothing when he was alive either)
Peresvet, Circle VII Hell, best place for him and he can chat to his relatives
Ratmir Heaven (of course, such a nice man)
Vladimir II, Heaven, ok but he is rather keen
Mitrofan, Spur 2 Purgatory (ok, well he was murdered by his own son)
Roman, Circle X Hell (and he's staying there)
Mikula, Circle VII Hell, bit busy but seems the right answer
Vseslav, Spur 2 Purgatory (zzzzzzz)
Davyd, Spur 2 Purgatory (zzzzzzzzzzz)
Andrei, Circle VI Hell (pity but rules is rules)
Boris III, Circle II Hell (what is with Boris' and their libidos)
Bugra, Circle X Hell (damn right, I'm never wrong)
Yakut, Circle II Hell, another sex crazed one
Alp Yurek, Spur 2 Purgatory (well he was only 11 when he was murdered)

pah, I make the decisions, not some archangel

Michael enters, smelling suspiciously of sulphur, he looks guilty when he sees God

'where have you been?'

'oh all sorts of Christian acts my Lord'





"not very successfully though?





"this celibacy thing, feeling a bit guilty yourself?"



'anyway I know, you've been hanging around the Gates of Hell hoping to meet Astarte'

Scene 4: Dis


Astarte has come back via a little used side entrance, she has been busy, mainly to avoid Michael hanging around the front door. She has been busy.















Scene 5: The final judgement?

God is fed up, its all too complex so he decides:

a) who needs Archangels anyway, they are more trouble than they are worth;
b) to lock the Rurikovichs into an eternal party, at least everyone knows where they are [1];
c) Astarte can have Hell, Harry can have the party.

1- with thanks to Stuyvesant for the idea

And that, is the end ... many thanks to all readers & commentators ... this is the first AAR I've actually managed to finish. Must confess doing the AAR was more fun than playing the game (which I would have abandoned somewhere in the 1350s left to myself)
 

Cornelius Rex

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Will be missed :).
 

morningSIDEr

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A brilliant ending to a wonderful AAR. Michael left like a lovesick fawning puppy, Harry continuing to show surprising competence, Astarte as ever proving ridiculously capable of causing lots of chaos and finally the big man steps in hand out divine justice. I think everyone can be reasonably happy with his decisions!

I really have enjoyed this, the updates have brightened up quite a few crappy work days, thus thank you. Have the plans for a possible move to M&B advanced any further by the way? I'd love to see Harry and Astarte meddling in a new land. Or could they both return in the future for CK2 (please!)?
 

Stuyvesant

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Michael enters, smelling suspiciously of sulphur, he looks guilty when he sees God

'where have you been?'

'oh all sorts of Christian acts my Lord'​
Has he been anointing Astarte again with his Holy Water? Did the Spirit move her? :p

Anyway... Thanks for the memories, it's been a fun ride. :) And a pretty decent ending: Astarte gets her wish, the Rurikovichs are quarantined (much to the relief of assorted Angels, deities, demons and immortal souls everywhere, one would think) and God clears the whole thing off his plate. Michael as a lovesick puppy is a nice bonus. All involved can be pretty pleased with it (except Michael, of course).

Oh, and Harry? I think he'll be perfectly content to run the rowdiest and longest-running party in the Afterlife. Plus, he gets all the Rurikovichs and Michael and Astarte get none. That's some bragging rights, I imagine.

Thanks again. I hope you'll do another story-driven AAR (and one featuring Harry in some role wouldn't be frowned upon), but regardless of your future plans, I have enjoyed this one a great deal.
 

iain_a_wilson

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Congratualtions! This has been a very entertaining ride!

It's always a really satisfying feeling when you finish an AAR properly (and by that I mean start to finish rather than abandoning ;)) isn't it?

Please let me know when you start your next AAR (or do you have any on the go at the moment)?

Cheers!

Iain