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unmerged(63836)

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Hello and welcome.

I'll be playing as Nogai Horde using Magna Mundi Ultimate mod, starting in 1441. Goal is to roleplay, hopefully achieve interesting alternate history to write about, survive powerful neighbours and eventual Russians, and if possible modernise. Should be fun since MM has both - deep, complex, and difficult modernisation system and whole nomadic/tribal system.

Style would be rather compressed history book with images and custom made, photoshoped maps. Similar to my other AARs like Legacy of Mansa Musa, or History of the White Eagle.

I hope you'll enjoy. :)

Oh, and I have very limited knowledge on Tatars/Mongols, mostly based on Wikipedia :blush:, so any corrections from the experts on this field are welcomed. ;)



logo-2.png

TALE FROM THE STEPPE - HISTORY OF NOGAIS


Introduction




Nogai Horde was a confederation of several Mongol and Turkic tribes, occupying steppe territory to the North and East of Caspian Sea. Nogai dynasty derives it's name from Nogai Khan - 13th century ruler of the Golden Horde, and descendant of Genghis Khan. Their confederation, or Horde, came to being in mid 15th century, after Golden Horde collapsed after decades of internal conflict, divided into several independent Khanates.

Nogai rulers, called Beys, had very limited control over their people. Nomadic subjects were divided into tribes, or Uluses, that were de facto independent and it required either - prestige and diplomatic skills, or military might, for Beys to even barely control them. Uluses often fought among themselves, raiding for loot and slaves, and in case of serious conflict with Bey could simply leave his lands to join one of his neighbours. Leader of an Ulus was called Mirza (aristocrat).

Nogais were steppe nomads, and as such they didn't have permanent settlements, nor did they practice agriculture. Only exception was Saraychyq - semi permanent caravan town and seat of the Bey. They moved from pasture to pasture with their herds of sheep, horses and camels, sometimes raiding nomads from neighbouring Ulus for horses and slaves. Bey himself had difficulty to always extract tribute from his Uluses, and other sources of his income came from raids and taxation (or robbing) of few caravans passing via Astrakhan-Bukhara trade route. In the end however, power and wealth of the Bey were so small, that it required truly talented individual to achieve anything of significance.

When embarking on a raid or war expedition, Bey called for his Uluses that could or could not send their men to join him. Such Nogai army consisted exclusively of cavalry. Most of the warriors were poor, and armed with very primitive weapons - clubs, spears, or flails. Richer ones were armed with composite bows, while Mirzas and Bey's retinue often had access to armour and more refined weaponry.

To the west, Nogai Horde bordered with their former masters - Golden Horde. Even though it was greatly reduced in territorry, their Uluses were numerous, and Khans profited greatly from many caravans passing through Volga/Caspian city of Astrakhan. To the east and south was Uzbek Horde. Their Khans ruled over huge territory, including ancient cities in the south. Even though they had troubles with rebellious Kazakhs, they were much more powerful than Nogais. To the north was Kazan Khanate - strongest of Nogai's neighbours. Most of their people lived in cities, inherited from pre-Mongol Volga Bulgaria, and they were much more populous and developed than the rest of Tatar Khanates.


3-84.gif

Nogai Horde and neighbours in year 1441
 
Last edited:

Ashantai

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That's a great map! Very impressive.

Interested to see where this goes. Don't think I've seen a Nogai AAR before!
 

unmerged(63836)

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That's a great map! Very impressive.

Interested to see where this goes. Don't think I've seen a Nogai AAR before!

Thanks, I love making maps. Also, these little yurts and horses would slowly start to disappear replaced by actual buildings and farmland, once nomadism level in a province drops. Working on first update - should be ready soon.
 

Malurous

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Great to see another AAR by you! Let's see what the Nogai can do.

Classy graphics, as usual. :)
 

Mods

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Nomadism level? That sounds pretty cool, will you change your name at 0 nomadism? I mean, imagine Mongolia being called 'mongol horde' to this day :p
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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unmerged(63836)

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Malurous, Mr. Capiatlist - thanks:eek:o, great to have you on board

Mods - sure. It depends on type of government - who knows how it will end, monarchy, republic? That is, if I won't be crushed like a bug by Russia. ;)
 

unmerged(63836)

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logo-2.png

TALE FROM THE STEPPE - HISTORY OF NOGAIS


Timur I

1440-1463



Bey Timur was a very talented leader. While being a competent warrior and military commander, he also recognized importance of diplomacy. He understood however, that Horde needed firmer hand, should it be able to survive among much more powerful neighbours. While uluses of lands immediate to his seat in Saraychyq were more or less obedient, more distant ones - from Uralsk and Mangyshlak region were barely respecting authority of the Bey. Timur understood however, that in order to strengthen his position among nomads he needed to be strong. Though, to build his military power he needed wealth, and tribute taken from disobedient uluses was a very unreliable source of income. Thus, he turned his eyes west, to Astrakhan - rich centre of trade, where trade routes from steppes, Persia, Anatolia, Rus and Kaffa all came together. It was controlled by recently greatly weakened, but still formidable, Golden Horde.

Since Astrakhan was an actual city, it would need to be taken by siege - craft almost never used on the steppes. To remedy this, Bey hired siege specialists from distant Persia, who had acumen necessary to build sophisticated siege equipment. They became founding fathers of Nogai engineer school, and with time siegecraft became one of the widely known qualities of Nogai armies. In mid 1441 Timur sent diplomats to Kazan and Crimea, and managed to forge an alliance with them, which potentially meant Golden Horde surrounded by enemies. He also began to call his uluses to prepare their warriors for upcoming campaign. One of the mirzas from Mangyshlak refused to do so, to which Timur reacted strongly. He couldn't stand further undermining of his authority, and send his retinue to capture tribal leader, later imprisoning him in Saraychyq. This brought wide discontent among nomads, and Mangyshlak uluses rose in open rebellion demanding release of their kinsman. Bey crushed rebels on the battlefield, but conflict delayed his preparations for Astrakhan expedition.


4-74.gif

Timur Bey with his retinue warriors.

Nogai Horde finally invaded Golden Horde in early 1443. However, Khan Sayid Ahmad knew well about the attack from his spies and awaited for the enemy near Astrakhan. To make matters worse for Timur, Crimean Khan refused to participate, while Khan of Kazan joined conflict on Sayid Ahmad's side. Nogai warriors were outnumbered by their enemy, but they were more numerous than army of Golden Horde. Thus Timur decided to ignore Kazan and concentrate on weaker enemy. He defeated and scattered Khan's army at Astrakhan, left some men with engineers to besiege city, and began pursuit after enemy ruler. By summer of 1443 armies of Golden Horde were completely defeated, and their capital of Sarai was under siege. In the meantime however, Khan of Kazan seized control over Uralsk, took houndreds of slaves and murdered whole tribal leadership loyal to Timur, replacing them with men favourable towards him. He then proceeded to besiege Saraychyq. In this difficult situation, Timur was approached by tribal leaders of Mangyshlak, offering help in exchange for release and pardon of their imprisoned mirza. Bey agreed with hesitation, since this decision undermined his previous efforts at centralisation of power.

By autumn of 1443, Astrakhan finally fell, and Nogais controlled eastern half of the Golden Horde. Khan Sayid Ahmad, hiding in besieged Sarai, agreed to negotiate. As a result Astrakhan and Burtasia became part of the Nogai Horde. Timur immediately rallied his forces, and moved east to relieve his besieged capital. He managed to do that in early 1444, but his eldest son and heir died while commanding small garrison. By the end of the year Nogais managed to push out all Kazani armies and regain Uralsk. Prolonged conflict endangered Kazan to potential attack from growing power of Muscovy, and in the end they agreed on peace after receiving small tribute from Nogais.


5-58.gif

Dramatical change in sources of income, before (above) and after (below) conquest of Astrakhan

It took some time to stabilise situation in war weary Nogai lands, and consolidate new gains, but bey immediately began to profit greatly from possession of Astrakhan. Genoan merchants from Kaffa looking for spices, Russian traders sailing down Volga River with furs, or Persians and Turks coming from Caucasus or Bukhara to buy slaves, all had to pay in order to enter the city with their goods. Local Astrakhani and Nogai merchants also contributed to the treasury of Timur. His income increased about seven times after the war, and now profits from trade provided bulk of Nogai leader's wealth, not unreliable tribal tribute. Moreover, conquest changed position of Nogai Horde from minor power to one of the leading powers of the steppes.

Even though lands around Astrakhan were still highly nomadic, it was an actual city. Besides trade there was very limited forms of agriculture and craftsmanship. Timur recognised several benefits from having a city as opposed to having wandering nomads for subjects. They were easier to control, they provided wealth, and could sustain bigger population. He began to encourage his own ulus to settle in Saraychyq which at times was nothing more than a small village. Conservative tribal elites were furious at these attempts, seeing their way of life as superior, and not wanting to forfeit their ancient freedoms.

By the 1449 internal situation stabilised. There were many raids of nomads from Golden Horde territory, but Sayid Ahmad ignored official protests. Furious Timur knew that he couldn't risk another open war yet, so instead he encouraged his northern and western uluses to freely raid into territory of Golden Horde and Kazan. This cemented status of three states as enemies. On the other hand however, he forbidden nomads to raid Uzbeks and lands of Shrivanshah, with whom he created an alliance. Prohibition of raids began to create discontent and erode his authority in eastern parts of the Horde.


2-102.gif

Results of 'War against tribes'


Victorious war brought Timur great deal of prestige and battle-hardened loyal warriors paid by profits from Astrakhani trade. He cased to be dependent solely on tribal tribute for income. Realising that, he started drastic, often brutal, campaign against uluses to radically cement his position. This so called 'War against tribes' lasted for about ten years, from 1449 to 1459. Timur himself rode with huge war party from ulus to ulus, confronting and killing whole tribal leaderships that were even slightly disobedient. Even though sometimes diplomacy and blackmail worked, he mostly had to enforce his authority by spilling blood of thousands on the battlefield. In the end he succeeded, though uluses farther from Saraychuq were still highly autonomous. In Baybaktu region surrounding capital, he went even further and completely destroyed old tribal structures. His people became his direct subjects governed by mirzas nominated by the bey himself. Defeated and broken, some of the local nomads finally began to settle in Saraychyq. They left yurts and constructed permanent houses and instead of herding animals on the steppe, began to plow fields near banks of the Yaik river. It was very slow and gradual process however, and it is estimated that in 1459 Nogai capital had mere 2,000 inhabitants. Craftsmanship was still non-existent, and primitive agriculture barely produced enough food for survival.

Victory in 'War against the tribes' boosted Timur's confidence to extremely high level. In 1460 he decided to attack Golden Horde once again, to completely destroy it and usurp title of Khan. His faith in success relied on alliance he had with Uzbeks, Shrivan and powerful Timurids. Golden Horde however was allied with Kazan and Crimea, and Timur's own allies officially declared themselves their protectors. He took risk and invaded, only to find himself at war with Kazan, Crimea, Uzbeks and Timurids - alliances once again proved to be unreliable. This turned Nogai from attackers into defenders, and throughout whole 1460 they struggled against invaders coming from all directions. Experienced Timur defeated one small army after another, wisely picking out battles, but in the end he realised that he can't win. In year 1461, kingdom of Georgia invaded and besieged Astrakhan with large army, wanting to capitalise on difficult position of Nogai Horde. At the same time Timurids and Kazani began to seize territory, taking thousands of slaves in the process. Fotunately for Nogais, Timurids were attacked by combined might of Chagtai Khanate and Sultanate of Delhi. Eventually Ulugh II settled for peace. Nogai had to pay large tribute to him and return Burtasia to Golden Horde.


3-85.gif

Estimated change in income of Nogai Horde during reign of Timur I

This left only Georgia, which almost captured Astrakhan. Timur regrouped his forces, and managed to relieve this key city in late 1461. He mercilessly pursued fleeing Georgian army to Alania, where he completely surrounded and destroyed it few weeks later. This left whole Caucasian kingdom open for pillage and plunder. By 1463 Nogais were looting all corners of Georgia, cities of Alania and Circassia were taken, and Timur continued efforts towards total victory. He wanted to turn Georgia into tributary state. Unfortunately, he died from an arrow during siege of Batumi, leaving his young son Ishey to uncertain succession.



Summary:

- conquest of Astrakhan
- realm seven times more wealthy thanks to profits from trade
- decisive actions against power of semi-independent nomads
- limited sedentarization of nomads around capital
- almost won, ongoing war against kingdom of Georgia




1-107.gif

Nogai Horde and neighbours in year 1463




.
 
Last edited:

Mods

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I assume that nomadic succession isn't going to be that pretty? Anyway, I like your writing style, I've only read gameplay-ARR's before :)
 

unmerged(63836)

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I assume that nomadic succession isn't going to be that pretty? Anyway, I like your writing style, I've only read gameplay-ARR's before :)

Most likely yes - I don't know yet since I saved right after Timur's death. I'm glad you like it, especially since my English isn't perfect. History-book AARs are cool too. :)
 

Tufto

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Hooray, another thrashing mad AAR! :) and with the signature graphics too!
 

Merrick Chance'

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I will always support a Magna Mundi AAR--and one that uses the tribal mechanics to boot! I must admit that I have never played as a tribal country myself (the most experience of the mechanic I've ever had was from my Egypt -> Arabia game), so this will be a new experience for me. Beyond that, it's a well crafted, well written history book AAR with a skilled use of images.
 

Milites

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Oh my God, yes, yes,yes!

Brilliant as always old boy. I sure do hope you unite all of the Central Asian tribes and show those damn Russkies just what the word "tribute" means.
 

PrawnStar

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Subscribing. Wonderful graphics as always and an interesting looking start situation. I like nomad AARs.
 

unmerged(63836)

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Tufto - thanks

Imperial Aquila - thanks. Guest from AH.com?

Merrick Chance - thanks. yeah, MM makes for very interesting history-book AAR's I hope to catch up with yours soon.

Milites - well, it might be tough. They have vast manpower, and unless I start modernise soon, tech disadvantage may be too big.

PrawnStar - thank you
 

unmerged(63836)

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logo-2.png

TALE FROM THE STEPPE - HISTORY OF NOGAIS

Ishey I

1463-1486



Young Ishey was with the warriors in Georgia when his father died in 1463. Prepared for this moment throughout his life, he assumed command and continued campaign. He was a very talented warrior, leader of men, and diplomat. However, he didn't understand complicated mechanism of tribal politics, or how to ensure that acquired wealth is wisely used. By late 1463 last Georgian city fell, and their captive king Giorgi VII swore fealty to Ishey promising to pay tribute and send men in times of war, in exchange for Nogai protection. In the meantime a pretender named Shigai arose on the steppe. Returning Ishey by bribes and promises turned some of his backers to his side, to later defeat and kill weakened rival in battle. New Bey was merciless towards tribal leaders that opposed his succession until the end, and executed them all to strengthen central authority from the very beginning of his rule. Two years later he backed some uluses in fight against their oppressive leaders, replacing them with more loyal ones. Despite these efforts however, his position was weaker than his father's, and Ishey struggled to effectively govern the Horde. He received less tribute and trade tax because of corruption, and lack of state apparatus of any kind. Still, tribute received from Georgia helped to retain wealthy status of Bey from times of Tumur I.


2-103.gif

Rich Nogai warrior.

Smart diplomacy and few meetings with neighbouring rulers enabled Ishey to repair damaged relations with them. Fact that Nogai Horde was no longer surrounded by enemies, gave an opportunity to expand once again. In 1470 succession crisis started in Kazan, and both pretenders and loyalists were locked in stalemate, controlling roughly a half of Khanate's lands each. Ishey decided to use this opportunity, and in 1471 invaded his northern neighbour. Uzbek Khanate joined war to defend them, but Nogai warriors complemented by Georgian army were more numerous than combined Kazani-Uzbek forces. Ishey's nomadic horsemen defeated one army after another, mercilessly pursuing enemy to prevent their regrouping, while Georgian infantry army besieged cities of Kazan. War ended in 1472 by a decisive victory, with Mordvar and Samara annexed by Nogai Horde. Right after the victory, Ishey established a small military school in Saraychyq, where old generals from times of his father's wars passed knowledge to the new generations. With passing years this small project grew, and since candidates were chosen exclusively from best warriors of Baybaktu region, Nogai ruler soon had talented and loyal commanders at his disposal.


3-86.gif

Gold and Georgian tribute became significant source of income for Nogai leadership.

People of newly acquired land, although still sharing tribal hierarchy and traditions, were not nomads. They lived in villages and cities. This complicated Ishey's problem with governing vast, diverse territory even more. He was forced to grant huge degree of autonomy to cities of Mordvar and Samara, as corruption and lack of authority became even stronger. Nomadic political system with strong warlord on the top, simply couldn't cope with such enlarged size of the Horde. Still, despite being overwhelmed by these problems, Bey became even richer. Gold mines of Samara increased income by around 1/3rd, turning Nogais into wealthiest group of the steppes.


4-75.gif

Estimated change of income until 1486.

During following peaceful years, Ishey continued his efforts to strengthen overwhelmed central authority and encourage some nomads to settle, but to very little effect. He also fought some of the nomadic traditions, forbidding uluses under his rule to raid one another. Surprisingly, these changes were well received, and despite his shaky position, his reign was peaceful and stable - largely thanks to his diplomatic skills. Ishey I died due to fever in year 1486, succeeded by his son - Tin-Ahmad.


Summary:

- Victory and vassalisation of Georgia
- Victory against Kazani-Uzbek alliance, annexation of Mordvar and Samara
- Creation of General's School
- Policy of limiting tribal autonomy and traditions
- Inability to effectively govern



1-108.gif

Nogai Horde and neighbours in year 1486
 
Last edited:

Malurous

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Excellent update, very captivating.

Like Dauth I don't know the mod very well, but I think it might be a blessing - I don't need to know what parts of the writing are about game elements and which are you creating an atmospheric story. :)
 

unmerged(63836)

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Dec 25, 2006
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A nice style, I'm enjoying this. Can you give me a bit more background on the tribalism hashing in the post above? I'm not familiair with MMU.

Well, there are three systems interacting with each other (tribal, nomadic, and Administrative Efficiency) that are pretty damn complicated - I'll suggest to try Magna Mundi. Basically I got harsh penalties not only from tribal and nomadic modifiers, but also from poor Administrative Efficiency. My primitive type of government combined with poor ADM of Ishey is simply not enough. In this update I've tried to limit impact of AE by increasing centralisation. I also keep on increasing innovativeness (to eventually modernise).

Malurous said:
Excellent update, very captivating.

Like Dauth I don't know the mod very well, but I think it might be a blessing - I don't need to know what parts of the writing are about game elements and which are you creating an atmospheric story.

Thank you - i'm trying to sneak in as little of technical/gameplay stuff as possible, though almost everything is based on actual gameplay. For example:

New Bey was merciless towards tribal leaders that opposed his succession until the end, and executed them all to strengthen central authority from the very beginning of his rule. - centralisation +1 after succession rebels were defeated

Two years later he backed some uluses in fight against their oppressive leaders, replacing them with more loyal ones. (event - plutocracy+1, rebel spawn)

Right after the victory, Ishey established a small military school in Saraychyq, where old generals from times of his father's wars passed knowledge to the new generations. With passing years this small project grew, and since candidates were chosen exclusively from best warriors of Baybaktu region, Nogai ruler soon had talented and loyal commanders at his disposal. - decision Army Academy (costs upkeep, bonus to morale, random events giving generals or land tradition while active)

This complicated Ishey's problem with governing vast, diverse territory even more. - penalty from Administrative Efficiency got worse

He was forced to grant huge degree of autonomy to cities of Mordvar and Samara, as corruption and lack of authority became even stronger. - non nomadic provinces ruled by nomads got 'autonomy guaranteed' bad modifier by event. Can't do anything about them currently.

He also fought some of the nomadic traditions, forbidding uluses under his rule to raid one another. - innovativeness +1