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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Spectre48

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Awesome update Spectre. I especially like the Aegean War review thing you did.
Thanks! I wanted to add a unique flavor that I haven't seen before in any other AAR's - though that's not to say it doesn't happen, as I'm sure someone else has thought of it.

To all others: I'm glad you're all enjoying this so much. All this feedback gives me plenty of motivation to post! Another update is to come in the next couple of days.
 

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Well done for that level of expansion after the Aegean War - you must have trebled the size of your Empire!
 

Spectre48

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Man, I'm in love with this AAR: It hits the sweet spot between narrativeness/pseudo-history text and gameplay transparency that is so hard to balance out, it is a proper roman restoration (I hope traditional border are not trespassed for as long as possible!), and it's on M&T! I could ask for no more
I really appreciate that! And I hope you continue to enjoy it.

This is fantastic!

Looking forward to more.
I've got a new update coming tomorrow. I just finished writing most of it, but it's late and work has been stressful this week, so I've got to get some sleep. Thanks for the patience everyone!
 

Spectre48

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The Eagle Becomes a Phoenix



Chapter Four - Greeks and Romans


By 1365, the Serbian Empire had become a shell of it's former self. The rebellions of the Roman patriots in the southeast, and the pretender to the Serbian throne, Simeon Uros, in the north, had won crucial victories against the Imperial Serbian Army, and the Serbian king found himself facing a multi-front civil war. The pretender had defeated the Serbs in the field twice before earning a third decisive victory in the early 1360's and seizing the capital of Kosovo and the surrounding lands. The success of Simeon Uros allowed the Roman patriots in southeastern Serbia, heavily encouraged by the Empire of the Romans, to gain influence and power. There was little Serbian military strength left when Hungary declared war on Wallachia, invading their Serbian allies as a preemptive strike in the first week of June.


The Serbian Civil War, just before the fall of Kosovo in 1365.

While the Empire of the Romans had finished fighting the Aegean War against the Turks and Venetians just three months prior, the Roman Emperor John VI saw yet another opportunity for the Empire of the Romans to regain lands rightfully belonging to them. With the Serbians distracted in the north, and much of the southeast willing to overthrow their Serbian rulers and join the Romans, the decision was made to declare war on June 13, 1365. The Roman army, led by Hektorios Phocas, met no resistance until August 14, when they met the demoralized Serbian army in the province of Macedonia. The Serbian troops put up more of a fight than Hektorios had anticipated, but by the 23rd of August, the Serbians broke and began retreating east. The Romans pursued them for weeks, until they met at the mouth of the river Strymon and earned a decisive victory. Nearly 8,500 Serbians were killed or captured in the two battles, with only 1,600 Roman casualties.



The Balkan War began with the Roman declaration of war against the Serbian Empire in June, 1365 (top), and the Battle of the Strymon River allowed the Romans to invade Serbia without much resistance (bottom).

As the Aegean War was winding down in the early 1360's, Emperor John VI began a reformation of the structure of the Roman military. 15,000 men were organized into the I. Legion Thracia - the first standing Roman legion in nearly a millennium. As this legion marched into Serbia, a second legion - II. Legion Anatolia - had begun to be formed. By September of 1365, though only 6,000 men had been organized into this force, it would be called into action. Instead of marching into Serbia, however, the second legion was brought to Crimea. On September 5th, 1365, the Romans declared war and invaded Theodoro - a former Principality of the Empire of the Romans, and now closely aligned with Trebizond - a former Roman state established after the fall of Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade. The alliance between Trebizond and Serbia dragged the former Roman state into the Balkan War, which gave the Romans an excuse to seize Theodoro with little outside opposition. The siege of Theodoro lasted nearly a year, but in August of 1366, the principality was annexed by the Romans.



The II. Legion Anatolia making preparations to invade Theodoro (top), and the surrender of the city in August, 1366 (bottom).

As 1367 began, the Balkan War was already all but won by the Romans and Hungarians. For the most part, the Hungarians had come into Serbia, defeated the Serbian pretender, and then withdrawn to concentrate on Wallachia while the Romans occupied Serbian lands. The Romans had little to contend with other than local defenders and minor rebels, and this fact would allow the Romans to concentrate their forces elsewhere. On July 21st, 1367, the Duchy of Athens declared independence from Sicily, and the Romans pounced on the opportunity to return the city to the Empire. With no time to organize a real military force, the Athenians put up next to no resistance as 3,000 Roman soldiers encircled and laid siege to the great city. Just over a year later, in August of 1368, Athens surrendered and became a part of the Empire once again.



The Athenians declared independence - followed by an immediate declaration of war by Rome - on July 21, 1367 (top), and the Athenian surrender to Roman forces in August 1368 brought Athens back into the Empire of the Romans (bottom).

By 1369, most of Serbia - including the capital of Kosovo - was in the hands of the Romans. On March 10, the Serbian ally of Trebizond folded and was reclaimed by the Empire of the Romans, extending Roman influence in Anatolia. As more land fell into Roman hands and the Serbian provinces of Ohrid, Pautalia, and Macedonia defected and pledged allegiance to the Empire, the Romans decided to expand the war. In July of 1369, the Romans declared war on the former Venetian vassal of Corfu and their ally, Albania, and a month later declared war on the union of Achaia and Arbanon. With Roman soldiers invading and occupying neighboring lands on all sides, Epirus began to face Roman sponsored uprisings akin to that of the Serbian Empire. By the end of 1369, the rebellion had become a full blown civil war, and in January of 1370, the Epirote capital fell. With Epirus in chaos and their military greatly diminished, the last major power in the Balkans would be defenseless in the case of a Roman invasion. This invasion began after a Roman declaration of war on March 1st, 1370. Nine days later, the Romans met the Epirote army in Thessaly, but much to their surprise, the entire Epirote army of nearly 5,000 men surrendered without a fight.




The Epirote Civil War, 1369-1370 (top), and the Roman invasion of Epirus in March of 1370 (bottom).

By November of 1370, eight months after the invasion of Epirus, Corfu and Albania had both been annexed by the Romans. The combined might of the Balkan kingdoms simply could not stand against the Empire of the Romans. On November 3, Serbia grudgingly accepted peace with the invaders, ceding what was left of southern Serbia to the Romans. Hungary had dropped out of the war in 1369, content with annexing western Wallachia, but with the Roman victory, the Serbian Empire was reduced just to their northern territories in Serbia proper. Epirus would surrender the following year, on September 12, 1371, and the Balkan War was officially ended when Achaia collapsed under the Roman onslaught in June of 1373. The entirety of Greece was now back in Roman hands, save for Achaia, which was annexed by the Roman aligned Principality of Morea. Though the Aegean and Balkan wars had left Roman manpower strained, there was little doubt left in Europe that Emperor John VI had reestablished the Roman Empire as a major power, and had once again restored the Roman legions as a force to be feared.




The peace treaties to end the Balkan War (top) and the newly established borders of the Empire of the Romans after the war (bottom).
 
Last edited:

Barkingdragon13

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I don't think I ever seen a smoother start to a byzantine game. We're not even 20 years in! Bismarck would be proud of this emperor's mastery of Realpolitik
 

Spectre48

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Bulgaria still exists. I disapprove. Border to the Danube!
That's the next thing on my to-do list, for sure. The only issue with that is that Bulgaria is in an anti-Roman coalition, along with the Ottomans, Mameluks, Naples, and Austria. The Empire is strong, but manpower is low (as you can see in the last screenshot), and so patience may end up being a virtue here.
 

GulMacet

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The Ottomans and the Mamluks may be in the coalition, but the smaller beyliks are not, and neither is Genua...
 

Spectre48

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This is the current anti-Roman coalition. Genoa may be a good next target, but we'll see if that opportunity presents itself. Either way, the Romans never were too happy to back down from a conflict... There will be more wars to come ;)
 

DKM

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Your "Chapter Four - Greeks and Romans" pictures aren't working. They say this

 

unmerged(576153)

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Re-upload the screenshots in imgur, the photobucket ones always screw over those who'd like to read AAR's after enough pics have been uploaded and linked(which is why, at least I, stopped following several CK2 AAR's. They are such an eyesore!)
I love your AAR, you did it all beautifully! Is Castille the DotF? That's what screwed me over in my MEIOU save, I couldn't do a thing because of them.
 

Barkingdragon13

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See, that's what I don't like about the coalition system. It'd be better if the beyliks were in coalition, the balkans in a separate one, and perhaps the rest in their own.
 

GulMacet

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Several beyliks and Genoa are not in the coalition. A land connection between Trebizond and your western Anatolian holdings should be doable...
 

unmerged(58610)

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I think you should want to get the ottos on their own. Naples should be out by selling Catana to Sicily. if Sicily accepts Sardinian, sell to Sicily. Sell Naxos and Rhodes to Morea to get Venice out. Release Cyprus to remove Mamluks. Release Theodoro and sell rest of Crimea to them. Worth straight two-warring ottos to annex including a truce break. Just DoW Candar and Karamon before ending war number 1.
 

Spectre48

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That's very frustrating about photobucket. Guess what site I'll never use again? I'll get started changing all the pictures in this AAR to imgur, but until I can do so I at least fixed up the latest post.