Greetings AARland! It has been a while since I last prodded the forums and was working on an AAR. The last AAR I was undertaking was back in 2010/2011, playing the original Victoria. Being back on the forums, I figured it’d be time to start another AAR, this time in the wonderfully produced EUIV!
For those who were not familiar with my style, it is rather simple (and for those old friends of mine who might stumble across my work again, I do bid you hello and hope we can return to our cordial relationship we had before I left!). I write primarily in the narrative or history-book format, that is, imagination rules the world based on what has happened with the gameplay, with much artistic license to fit either the narrative story, or what would be appropriate history of the period. I do not undertake gameplay intensive AARs, so if you’re expecting an AAR with loads of screenshots, continue at your own discretion because you won’t find it here. While I have followed some amazing gameplay intensive AARs that have influenced how I play with certain nations throughout the various Paradox games I own, I prefer not to conduct an AAR in that manner. This AAR will be in the history-book format, it will have a handful of pictures, but mostly historical paintings and etchings. Also, the early updates will not be in-game but historical background leading us up to the start of the game – so the first handful of updates will be astutely historical and imbued with popular scholarship.
So I bid you all welcome, and hope what you find to be enjoyable. For those who I have not had the blessed opportunity to get to know, I do wish through your frequent comments and my responses we may develop a cordial relationship on these forums.
House Rules: I do not play using gamey-tactics, no reloads, no intentional selection of the best event choices (I will try and pick the events based on my ruler’s stat skills, therefore, rulers with greater administration, diplomatic, and or military skills will reflect the event choices I pick in-game). Gamey-tactics, for example, would be for me to wait for the Ottomans to move their land armies into Anatolia, DoW them, and use my navy to block the Bosphorus Straits and have my forces run-rampant over Greece and conclude a peace without much of a war. (Yes, I am playing as Byzantium, which is the continuation of the Roman Empire – the term Byzantine was invented by 18th Century French scholars to denote the “Eastern” Empire from the “Western Empire” after 476 AD).
Disclosure: I do not take responsibility for any pictures that appear in this thread. All credit should be reserved to their rightful owners, artists, and websites. I claim no ownership. Furthermore, I am writing this at my own leisure and for your enjoyment (and mine as well). I can get quite busy with my work, so I cannot promise consistent repetitive updates (daily, every other day, etc.), so hopefully that means we will all be able to keep up in this journey together.
Note from the Author: I am writing a history of the Romans, while the history will eventually incorporate what has happened in my game, the history will be as accurate as possible. Please skip to Volume 1 if you want to read the history as it pertains to the actual game. The first handful of updates, which will be part of my introduction, are primarily based on primary and secondary sources on the "Byzantine Empire" and are intended to provide all of my readers with an accurate depiction of what happened to the Byzantine Empire from the late 12th century bringing us to where we begin in-game. Please also note, when referring to Muslim powers in game, I use the archaic word "Mohammedan" very often. I do not use this word in my professional work, and there are potential problems with the word through historical linguistic evolution (cf. Edward Said, Orientalism) - but since this history is mimicking a history as it would have been written around the turn of the 20th century, the word would have been used, as it was until the 1960s/70s when the word rapidly fell out of favor.
Bonus points for the first person to know the work that the title of my AAR gives homage to, as well as the painting used above (a third point if you get the painter right)!
Introduction (below), pgs. 1-2 (up to post #31, there are 5 introductory posts spanning the history of the Roman state, historically, from 1181-1444 AD)
Preface to the Reader for Volume 1
Preface to the Reader for Volume 2
Preface to the Reader for Volume 3
Note to the Readers, 07/7/14, upon the completion of Chapter XVI.
Crash Course (with four screenshots) of the Empire history's (gameplay wise), from 1444-1497.
Some Interesting Facts about Constantinople
Myths and Facts about the (Late) Roman Army, ca. 100-400 C.E.
The most important primary document in the writing of this AAR - Evagrius, Life of Theodoras! (read Chapter XV and XVI to understand the joke).
List of Emperors and Abridged Timeline of Important Events (I advise new readers who would not otherwise want to read ca. 3-4 pages of word text, which is what I am averaging per update post, in order to catch up to my current progress with a general understanding of what has transpired in game)
Volume 1: The Late Period Empire
Part 1: The Empire of John VIII
Covering the reign of Emperor John VIII (naturally)
Chapter I, (pt. II) The Late Period Empire
Chapter II The Influence of Sea Power upon History
Chapter III, (pt. II), (pt. III) Diplomacy and Caste in the Late Period Empire
Chapter IV, (pt. II), (pt. III) State and Society of the Late Period Empire
Chapter V, (pt. II), (pt. III) The First Macedonian War
Chapter VI, (pt. II) The Army of the Late Period Empire
Chapter VII, (pt. II) Consolidations and Death of Emperor John VIII
Part 2: The Rise of the Despotates
Covering the reigns of emperors Constantine XI, John IX, and Theodoras I
Chapter VIII, (pt. II) The Siege of Constantinople and the War of Constantine XI
Chapter IX, (pt.II) The Foundations of the Greek Renaissance and Restoration of the Imperial Cult
Chapter X The Rise of the Despotates
Chapter XI, (pt. II), (pt. III) The Non-Possessor Movement and the 1477 Council of Constantinople
Chapter XII, (pt. II) A Triumph for Greece and the Neapolitan War
Chapter XIII, (pt.II) The Death of John IX and the Reign of Theodoras the Mad
Volume 2: John The Great and The Rise of Empire
Part 1: The Rise of the Last Roman, John X
Finishing the reign of Theodoras, and starting the reign of John X
Chapter XIV, (pt.II) The Economy of Late Period Empire
Chapter XV, (pt.II) Theodoras' Descent into Madness and the First Italian War
Chapter XVI, (pt.II), (pt. III) The Last Days of Theodoras and the 100 Days
Chapter XVII, (pt. II), (pt. III) The Rise of the Last Roman, Emperor John's early character, and the Syrian Wars
Chapter XVIII, (pt.II), (pt. III) The Roman-Turkish War of 1499-1503
Chapter XIX, (pt. II) Building the Universal Empire
Chapter XX, (pt. II), (pt. III), (pt. IV), (pt. V) The Italian Wars
Part 2: The Last of the Romans
The last half of John X's reign as emperor
Chapter XXI, (pt. II) The Greek Renaissance under John X
Chapter XXII, (pt. II), (pt. III) State and Society under John X
Chapter XXIII, (pt. II), (pt.III) (pt. IV) Dreaming of Alexander (John's Eastern Campaigns)
Chapter XXIV, (pt. II), (pt. III) Of Byzantines and Men
Chapter XXV, (pt. II) The Fall of the Last Roman
Volume 3: The Long Regency
Part 1: The Long Regency and the Conquest of Constantinople
Chapter XXVI, (pt. II), (pt. III) The Last Triumvirate
Chapter XXVII, (pt. II), (pt. III) Melissinos Marches East
Chapter XXVIII, (pt. II) (pt. III) (pt. IV) Gabras Sails on Constantinople
Chapter XXIX, (pt. II) The Iron Empress & Roman Society during the Regency
Chapter XXX, (pt. II) The Third Syrian War & Murder in Byzantium
Chapter XXXI, (pt. II) The Last Regent and the Year of Coups
Chapter XXXII, (pt. II), (pt. III) The Reign of Constantine XII
Chapter XXXIII The Fall of Constantinople
Part 2: The Heirs of the Roman Legacy
Chapter XXXIV The Successors to the Roman Empire
CLOSING NOTE FROM AUTHOR AND EDITOR