• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Excellent work, I love Bzy AAR's looks like you have broken their back, now to reclaim Rome? :eek:
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Long live the Empire! Sic semper Ottomans!
 

SeanB

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Hey, next post tommorow. And it'll be a long one. I'm covering from 1444 - 1510. ;)
 

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Hi SeanB,

thanks for your advice. I think that coward setting is the main difference between your successes and my problems.

BTW, have you already dealt with the unification of churches and how?
And I love Byzatium too... What I really want to try and succeed with is Morea, but that seems IMPOSSIBLE.
Also, I like your realistic approach to game goals, myself I too try to be realistic.

Keep it up.

Regards, Oldtimer
 

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Very nice, Sean. I also appreciate your attempts at realism.

So what next for the medium purple blob?
 

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Good Job. What were Bosnia and Wallachia up to during the war? Did they honor their alliance with the Ottomans? I've found that they tend to just sit on their behinds and let you beat up their Ottoman overlords. Perhaps they too desire independence. If they do try to get involved, I like to use them as a source of quick cash to pay back my loans, or of troops via force-annexation.


Now, go and crush the Ottomans once and for all. Have they inherited Aden yet? If so, that's a huge pain to deal with since you can't get 100% warscore without marching though miles and miles of desert.
 

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1928, Birmingham, England

Henry Graham, a teacher for 12 years at the University of Birmingham, made his way towards his classroom. He was a teacher of history and literature, and despite having done so for over a decade, had never once regretted the path in life he had chosen. Learning from the numerous failures and successes throughout history, was essential for a productive society in the present he had always said. Entering into the classroom, the students who had been speaking with each other about who knows what suddenly snapped to attention.

Laying a stack of books on his desk, he looked over the class. “Can anyone tell me who Thomas III and Andreas I of the Roman Empire were?” He calmly asked the classroom, his eyes glancing across the students who sat before him. Finally, a young woman raised her hand, and stood, “Thomas III was the Emperor of the Romans who proceeded Constantine XI, and was the Emperor who conquered the Ottoman Empire after the battle of Bursa. Andreas I was the Roman Emperor who proceeded Thomas III, and more importantly, it was under his rule that the Roman Empire regained most of the territory that it had lost to the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Mazikert, and then some.” She finished, sitting down.

Henry nodded, smiling slightly, “Very good Elizabeth. Yes, under Thomas III’s rule, the Empire of the Romans achieved their final victory over the Ottoman Turks, and Under Andreas I’s rule, that they regained much of their lost territory, even taking some that had long been under Muslim control. Today, we will be studying the Roman Empire during the period between 1444, after the first Ottoman War, to 1512, the death of Manouel III. Please turn your books to page 187, and follow me as I speak…”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 2 - The Roman Renaissance, Princeton’s history of the Roman Empire, 1437 - 1920

After the Ottomans defeat in The First Ottoman War, they were stripped almost completely of all of their Balkan territories, only still holding direct control over Dobrudja, their northern most territory in the Balkans. Their navy had been ravaged from battles with the Imperial Navy of the Romans, quickly causing them to lose what power they had in the Mediterranean, and leaving them vulnerable to piracy by the Knights of Saint John.

Shocked by its victory over the Turks, some people were still reluctant to return to Constantinople, fearing it was too good to last. But still, other, more loyal Roman Citizens came, restoring the city to some of its former glory, its meager population of 20,000 being restored to a more stable 40,000. While this victory brought the people of the Roman Empire hope and pride, the Turks remained a powerful force in Anatolia. While they did value the Balkans, the real source of the Ottoman Empires strength was Anatolia, the center of wealth in the near east.

The Sultan was still able to raise powerful armies, and the many Turkish tribes of the region feared that they would be the next to be devoured by the power hungry Ottomans. Autocrator Konstantinos XI, however, knew that the Empire could not allow the Ottoman Turks to claim all of Anatolia, lest they become unstoppable, and all the Empire has worked for lost. The Balkans simply did not provide the resources or manpower that Anatolia did, and while they were certainly no longer helpless, most felt that they could not go toe to toe with the Turks just yet.

Konstantinos knew that after such a brutal war, his new Empire was in great need of reform. Over the past three centuries, the Empire had fallen to corruption and greed, nobles putting their own interests before the Empire. Though that had always been something of a problem with the Dynatoi, it only grew out of control in the recent centuries of the Empire. If the Empire of the Romans was to make a recovery, Konstantinos knew that these nobles would need to be reigned in.

As his first act of reformation, Konstantinos established tax collecting programs throughout the Empire. The war with the Ottomans had severely drained the Empire’s coffers, and it needed to regain its wealth before another inevitable war with the Turks broke out. In order to strengthen the Empire’s economy, Konstantinos realized that his administrators, advisors, generals and officials in general needed to be capable individuals, rather than simply in office because of blood ties. The reforms he would set in motion would eventually convert the Empire into a powerful Meritocracy, where a man’s skill and education were first, and the nobility of his blood second.

Despite their previous defeat, the Ottoman Empire continued to expand in Anatolia, conquering the Trabizon region, and even taking lands from the Georgian Empire, which soon descended into civil war, and as a result was unable to even attempt to reclaim its lost land. The Ak Koyunlu in particular were forced out of central Anatolia by Ottoman expansion. The Karaman tribe had managed to hold out against the Ottomans, preventing expansion into their south-central Anatolian lands, and handing them a devastating defeat at the battle of Nicolsa, forcing the Ottoman Empire to sign a white peace with the Karaman before the war turned against them.

As the Ottomans met with mixed success in Anatolia, the Roman Empire mourned the loss of their greatest leader, Konstantinos XI, who had restored the Empire, and solidified their rule in the lower Balkans, against all odds. Rumors surrounded Konstantinos’ death, going as far to as to accuse Andreas of poisoning the loved Emperor. Though accounts vary, most historians agree that one of his potential heirs indeed poisoned his drink as he met with the Serbian Rigas to discuss support against Hungary, who had declared war on Serbia only a month earlier. However with Konstantinos’ death, Thomas rose to the throne.

To say Thomas was the lesser Emperor to Konstantinos would not be unfair, but many do the man a great injustice, especially considering all that he accomplished in his rule. Thomas indeed was an accomplished Emperor, who expanded the Empires borders greatly during his reign, taking much of Anatolia, and dealing the Ottoman Empire a defeat they would never recover from.

Thomas, unlike the more moderate and cool headed Konstantinos, was a very ambitious man. Though the Roman Empire had grown strong since its victory over the Ottoman Empire, he knew that to truly end the threat the Turks posed to Constantinople, he would need to consolidate Roman power in Anatolia, and eventually secure all of the western provinces, thus putting a firm barrier between the Turks and the Queen of Cities.

Though many in the Imperial Court wished the Empire to remain as it was, and focus on maintaining the Empire they had, the Autocrator felt that the entire reason they were in such a desperate situation before was because of a reluctance to reclaim Anatolia, due to the Imperial families conflict with the noble families of the Empire. Though this had guaranteed that the nobility would not grow too powerful, in the end, it nearly destroyed the Empire.

The Imperial Courts reasons were similar, but with the centralization efforts of Konstantinos, the Autocrators word was final. The Roman Empire was now able to raise an army of around 40,000, enough, Thomas believed, to stand against the threat of the Ottoman Empire. By the time Thomas had come to power, it looked as it the Ottoman Empire would overwhelm the other Turkish tribes in Anatolia, and if that happened, the Balkans wouldn’t be far behind.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 3 - The third Ottoman War, Princeton’s history of the Roman Empire, 1437 - 1920

Despite their catastrophic defeat by Karaman, in 1448, by 1454, the Ottoman Empire was back on the offensive against their neighbor, and had quickly gained the advantage against the Karaman tribe. A year prior, upon ascending the Throne, the Roman Empire had guaranteed Karaman’s independence, and went as far to warn the Ottomans not to engage any tribe in war, lest they incur their wrath as well. The Sultan Mehmed II simply scoffed at this, still seeing his Empire as vastly superior to that of the Romans, and in February of 1454 declared war on the Karaman Tribe.

Keeping their word to their Karaman allies, and with Thomas eager to expand in the Ottoman lands, the Roman Empire declared war on the Ottoman Empire. An army of nearly 45,000 was raised to combat the Ottoman threat. By now, the Roman Army had become far more professional than it had been in wars past, with far stricter training, a lower rate of conscription and a military doctrine more suited to offensive campaigns thanks to the reforms of Konstantinos, the army was in far better shape than it had been in recent years.

Dispatching a small division of 5,000 men under one of his more trusted Strategos, Thomas ordered that the undefended region of Dobrudja be taken quickly, while the main army moved on Anatolia itself. The bulk of the Ottoman army was still being held in place by Karaman, unable to penetrate deeper into their territory, but Karaman being unable to force the Ottomans out of their northern territories.

Thomas’ army of 40,000 men, 30,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry, crossed from Thrace into Anatolia, were they met with a defending army of only 15,000 men. The Roman army quickly overwhelmed the meager defenses of the provinces, and laid siege to the Ottoman capital of Edirne. Fearing the loss of their capital, the main Ottoman army of 35,000, with Sultan Mehmed II himself at its head, quickly began a march towards the capital in hopes of lifting the siege quickly.

However, to his utter surprise, as he attempted to withdraw from Karaman territory, his army was ambushed by a Karaman army of only 20,000, and completely routed into Angora. Despite the low moral of his army after that humiliating defeat, he ordered them to immediately march on Edirne as soon as they arrived at Angora. Their numbers reduced to 30,000, and their moral low, the army was quickly routed by the Romans.

Though the exact reason for their defeat at the hands of Karaman is widely debated among historians, most agree that it was this defeat that lost them the over all war. Had he been able to defeat Karaman and safely reach Edirne, many believe he could have driven the Romans back across the sea. Soon after their second defeat, Edirne fell, their capital now in Roman hands. Fortunately for them, the Sultan had been with the main army, and was spared a humiliating capture. A united Karaman/Roman assault on Angora broke through the Sultans defenses, driving him even further back. Fearing the Karamans may claim the region instead of the Romans, he ordered a direct assault on the fortress guarding it. Despite initial fears of high casualties, they managed to breach the fortress easily and enter the city.

Karaman, feeling somewhat cheated out of a potential territorial gain, withdrew their troops, and signed a peace treaty with the Sultan, awarding them a modest amount of war indemnities. This ’betrayal’, as the Romans would come to call it, harmed Karaman-Roman relations, which would eventually prove fatal to one of the two nations. Pushing deeper into Ottoman territory, the Roman Empire’s luck continued to grow when the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian territories revolted, causing chaos in its few remaining provinces, which the Romans were happy to exploit. However, Mehmed had chosen wisely in making his last stand in Trabizon, the bitter Komnenos family choosing to harbor their conquerors, fearing their own execution should the Romans reclaim the region.

For almost a year, Thomas would attempt to break through Mehmed’s well planned defenses, and fail each time, being it from the land or sea. However, another twist of fate would throw a wrench into Mehmed’s plans, when the revolter’s in Armenia captured (or liberated depending who you ask.) the Ottomans eastern provinces, and turned to march on Trabizon. The two armies clashed, and seeing an opportunity, Thomas quickly lead his army into Trabizon. The Ottoman army repelled the Rebels, but was severely depleted by the attack, as well as demoralized. The Roman Army sprang their attack then, and overwhelmed the Ottoman army, causing it to break and scatter into disorganized bands that posed no threat to the main Roman army.

Unfortunately, Mehmed II had managed to retreat into Trapzon, were he was hidden away by the Komnenos family. However, they could not hold out for long, Thomas, too impatient to have his long deserved victory denied any longer, called the entire Roman army to him, and lead a direct assault on the fortress guarding Trapzon. Though suffering many casualties in the process they eventually broke through, and took the city, capturing Sultan Mehmed II, as well as chief members of the treacherous Komnenos family. With all of their Anatolian provinces, as well as the Sultan, in Roman hands, and their two remaining provinces in rebel hands, the government of the Ottoman Empire utterly collapsed. The Romans gained the portion of the Ottoman’s territory, while the southern most declared themselves the independent Kingdom of Inerti, much to Georgia’s dismay.

Sultan Mehmed II, having been captured, was taken back to Constantinople, and forced to officially sign all of his lands, with the exception of Edirne and the immediate lands surrounding it, over to the Empire of the Romans. A broken man, he reluctantly signed the agreement. With this defeat, the situation of the Ottoman and Roman Empire’s had been completely reversed. The Ottoman Empire, once the bane of Christianity in Anatolia and the Balkans, was now but a petty Turkish tribe. This would be further enforced by their final destruction…

With this amazing, and total victory over the Ottoman Empire, Thomas was hailed as a great hero by the people of Constantinople, as the previous Autocrators before him had been. The flow of gold into the Imperial treasury was now immense, their Anatolian territories bringing new found riches into the Empire.

As for the Komnenos family, despite their treason against the Empire, Thomas knew that to execute them would cause great unrest in a war weary Empire, and chose to spare them of their fates. Future Emperors however, would be made to pay for this one mistake.



-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 4 - Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Roman-Candar war, Princeton’s history of the Roman Empire, 1437 - 1920

Mehmed II, though released after his defeat, constantly feared for his Empire. Unable to stomach his defeat by the Romans, he quickly drew up plans for a new invasion of Karaman, who though larger, had a fairly large disadvantage in technology when compared to the Ottomans. He believed that with the collapse of their good relations with the Roman Empire, their would be no interference. However, so concentrated was he on his future war with Karaman, that he did not see his true enemy, right behind him.

Surprising most of Anatolia and the Balkans, the Beylik of Candar declared war on the Ottoman Empire. At first, Emperor Thomas feared that this seemingly foolish action by Candar would be a free excuse for the Ottoman Empire to expand its territory once more. Debates among the royal court broke out on rather to give their support to Candar or remain completely neutral in the conflict. In the end though, growing hostilities between the Empire and Venice would force them to stay out of the war.

Though it seemed that the war was at a complete stalemate, neither side being able to gain any ground against the other, Candar eventually managed to score a decisive victory against the Ottoman Empire, completely annihilating their army, sending the survivors fleeing into Roman and Karaman territories to escape capture or worse.

Though the loyal soldiers under Sultan Mehmed II tried their best to hold them off, Candar breached the walls of Edirne. Though his soldiers begged him to retreat, Mehmed II refused, and lead his troops into a final stand against Candar in the streets of Edirne, though he finally gave way to their overwhelming numbers. (Heh, guess what I mirrored there. ;)) Candar wasted no time, annexing the Ottomans and taking Edirne. The once mighty Ottoman Empire had ended.

Seeing the utter defeat of the Ottoman Turks shocked all of Europe and the middle east. Though it was excellent news for many. Thousands of citizens flooded into Constantinople, swelling the city to over 100,000. The streets of the Queen of Cities was once again filled with hundreds of loyal Roman citizens, the lands around Thrace growing in wealth as well, as eager citizens cultivate the land. The Ottoman Empire was no more, and Constantinople once again stood as one of the mightiest cities in Europe!

Though in the short term this was good for the Roman Empire, Thomas knew Candar had to be subdued before they became too powerful. Also, there was the fact that Roman lands in central Anatolia were separated from the rest of the Empire, limiting migration and trade by land greatly. The Empire had everything to gain from a war with Candar as Thomas saw it, and they certainly had the right. In 1461, Thomas, claiming that recent Turkish bandit raids on the outskirts of Smyrna were funded by Candar, used this as an excuse for war.

Though they had seemingly won a great victory against the Ottomans, Candar only had the ability to raise an army of around 30,000. Impressive for a nation of its size, but no match for nearly 70,000 well trained, and better equipped Roman soldiers. With an advantage both on land, and on the sea, the war with Candar was brutal and quick. Thomas, at the head of the 40,000 man army of Constantinople easily defeated Candar’s small army of 22,000 men, which had been sent to defend the region against the impending invasion. While this happened, however, 30,000 men had invaded Kastamonu from the sea, crushing the meager 8,000 man army defending it, and capturing the routers from Smyrna when they arrived. With one fatal swoop, the Romans had defeated mighty Candar, and after only six months of being besieged by the Roman army, both cities had fallen.

While in their initial victory negotiations, Thomas had planned to allow Candar a moderate independence, only taking Smyrna from them and demanding a small tribute, the small Principality had chosen to simply submit to the Romans, giving up their capital and all of their land to their conquerors. Naturally Thomas was not too upset by this. With the Roman Empire now connected by land, and the portion of Anatolia in their hands, Thomas knew that their complete domination of the region was at hand. More importantly, this victory finally secured Constantinople’s completely invulnerability. Now with now hostile nations territory bordering it, the glorious capital of the Roman Empire could now be considered truly safe.

Thomas, being the impatient man he was, could not bare to wait for his victory, and immediately ordered his Megas Domestikos to draw up a strategy for the invasion of southern Anatolia, in an effort to wrest it from the Karaman Tribe. However, before his plan could be put in action, Thomas would lay dead in the streets of Constantinople.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 5 - The rise of Andreas Palaeologus, Princeton’s history of the Roman Empire, 1437 - 1920

The following information is from the secret journal of Imperial Court historian Alexius Lascaris (No relation to the royal Laskarid bloodline.)

Andreas had always been impatient waiting for the death of his father Thomas Palaeologus, and his ascension to the Throne. Modern Historians believe this points to him as the primary suspect in Konstantinos’ murder 13 years prior, as he wished to quickly put his father upon the Throne, in order to speed his own rise to power. Though Thomas had always been wary of Andreas’ plots against him, with the birth of his second son Andronicus V, he became more lax, filled with joy at his sons birth. Andreas, fearing that his father would name his new son after him became increasingly worried about his future in the Empire.

On December 25th, 1464, Thomas announced that Andronicus V would be his heir when he passed away, just as Andreas feared. Enraged by this, he began making plans to murder his father, and his new born son. Thomas, since the birth of Andronicus V, had began having late night walks with his wife and son, with a sufficient number of Imperial Guard present of course. On march 13th of 1465, Andreas’ bribed the guards he knew would be escorting the Autocrator. As they made their way down the quiet midnight streets of Constantinople, Andreas’ assassins struck down the unarmed Emperor and his wife, and finally, his child. The Imperial Guard simply turned the other way, and made no attempt to save the man they swore to protect.

Andreas Palaeologus ascended the throne shortly after. To assure the same would not happen to him, he ordered the entire Imperial Guard to be executed for the crime of treason against the Emperor. While Andreas thought this would assure his safety, all it truly did was make him more enemies, especially in the Imperial Court that had loyally served his father before him. Hearing of his fathers planned invasion of Karaman, he chose to continue with it, and in 1466, the Roman Empire invaded the lands long held by the Karaman Tribe. As with Candar before it, Karaman had a large disadvantage against recent Roman innovations in military technology.

Though the Empire was suspected of being able to raise an army of well over 80,000, Andreas deemed this far too expensive for dealing with a meager Barbarian tribe in the south. Instead, he ordered that no more than 30,000 soldiers would be available to his generals. Though the Megas Domestikos and his staff were enraged at such a restriction, they had no choice but to make due with what they were given.

With that, the invasion of Karaman began.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is just part of the post. I decided to split them, since I hear people hate really long posts. And you’ve waited more than long enough.
 
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SeanB

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As I work on the next part of this post, please tell me if you liked the "Modern day" classroom part, or if you feel it took the immersion from the story. Feel free to tell me what you enjoy and do not, that’s what really counts after all. ;)
 

unmerged(33638)

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Great update, nice work with the Turks and a fairly BB free result!
Take out the greedy merchants of Venice when you get a chance
 

SeanB

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Ahem, I know Karaman was not a Sultanate, but as they grew beyond their historical boarders, I am figuring that Tuj Ad-dun Imbarhim II would have attempted reorganize the Tribe into a functioning bureaucracy.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Karaman had been an Anatolian power since the Ottoman Empire’s defeat by Tamerlan in the early 15th century. After the Ghazi Tribe had been weakened by their war with the Roman Empire, they seized the opportunity and conquered what lands remained, expanding their small empire greatly. Throughout most of the 15th century no one had been able to conquer the principality, as they boasted a strong, well trained army, and were masters of their land, able to easily use it against their enemies.

Even when faced with powerful foes such as the once mighty Ottoman Empire, they held their ground, and were the entire reason the Roman Empire won the second Ottoman War so easily, as their devastating defeat of the Ottoman’s 1st Army at the battle of Konya utterly devastated the core of their military, and destroyed the previously invincible reputation of their hero Mehmed.

Tuj Ad-dun Imbrahim II, the Sultan of the newfound Sultanate of Karaman, knew his chances for survival were slim at best against the Roman Empire. Though Karaman was stronger than it had ever been, against the sheer weight of the Roman Army, he knew he was outmatched, to put it mildly. However, he was the last bastion of Muslim strength in southern and central Anatolia. He knew that should Karaman fall, Anatolia would be at the mercy of the Christians, and if history should repeat itself, his brothers will suffer the mass murder that befell his ancestors.

He would fight to keep this last bastion for his brothers in Islam, and die if necessary. It seemed he would be getting his wish. On April 19th, 1468, A Roman army of 20,000, 15,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry, began their march on Konya from the once Ottoman Capital of Bursa, while 8,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry set off from Smyrna, hoping to break the 2nd Army of Karaman at Antalya, while the larger force under Megas Domestikos Theopilas Botaniates crushed resistance from the north. Once this was done, both armies could then move on the Karaman Sultanate’s capital of Larende, thus bringing the war to a close with a minimum loss of Roman life.

Clearly, despite having less troops than he would have liked, Theopilas was confident that their superiorly trained and equipped soldiers could easily overpower the armies of the savage Turks. Theopilas was a fairly accomplished general in his own right, being skilled at judging the relative strength of his enemies armies, as well as his own. Though he had asked Autocrator Andreas originally for 45,000 men, he felt he had distributed what he had quite efficiently.

The over all strength of Karaman’s army was reported to be around 35,000. They were prepared for the Roman invasion, clearly. The fall of the last Turkish power in Anatolia would be bloody, and the impact of its defeat would have far reaching affects. Though the army of the Karaman Sultanate outnumbered the Roman Army, it had advanced little since the First Ottoman War. In contrast, the Roman Army’s innovations with gunpowder and ship building had grown be leaps and bounds since the second Ottoman war, as they were able to concentrate on improving other aspects of their nation, rather than keeping a treasury made for a war with a major power. All of these innovations gave them the decisive advantage over Karaman and their slight numerical advantage.

No declaration of war was ever sent, but Imbrahim knew the Roman Empire was coming. Knowing that his defeat was almost assured, he had ordered the Beys in the capital of Larende to attempt to flee into Mameluk territory before the cities impending fall. Though he knew he faced almost certain defeat, he himself refused to give in. His envoy asking the Mameluks for assistance had failed, and he was on his own.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Megas Domestikos Theopilas Botaniates, feeling his soldiers invincible had simply ordered them to march into their fortified enemy, through a hail of arrows and whatever else may await them. He was confident that they could break their position easily with their canon fire. The Karaman had never faced proper canon, and would likely be frightened by the sheer destructive power behind them.

Some miles away, Strategos Eudaemon Maleinus and his 10,000 man strong army marched towards Antalya, planning to liberate it from the clutches of the Turks for a second, and final time. Imbrahim had distributed his forces poorly, leaving only 5,000 men to guard his western front, while his main force of 30,000 stood firmly awaiting Theopilas’ main army.

The second battle of Antalya was a massacre just as the first had been. Out numbering the Turks two to one, and armed with 10 canon, the Romans tore through their ranks with hardly any losses being suffered. Not long after, the city of Antalya had been surrounded and besieged by the Roman Army. Eudaemon however, eager to join the Imperial army in Konya and grab a piece of the glory, ordered an assault on the city. With the aid of their canon, they easily breached the cities walls, and for the second time, the double eagle was hoisted over the ramparts of Antalya, there to stay.


Theopilas in the meantime had began his attack against the 1st army of Karaman. Though they outnumbered the Romans comfortably, the withering fire brought forth by the Roman canon caused chaos and confusion among the enemies ranks. Soldiers struggled to see through the smoke, horses were panicked and frightened and brave nobles, some who had been trained for war since childhood, were cut down alongside raw peasants.

When the canon fire finally ceased and the smoke began to clear, the bewildered Turks were met with the thunderous charge of the Roman Kataphractoi. With their battle line broken from the previous attack and their moral already in tatters, the Turkish infantry quickly broke in the face of the Dynatoi‘s onslaught, the Beys still unable to calm their horses in order to relieve the infantry. As the rest of the Roman army began to advance on the Turkish line, the General in charge of the Turkish army, realizing the hopelessness of the situation, ordered a retreat back to Taurus, where they, and any surviving soldiers from the western army could hopefully mount an effective defense against the Romans.

Eager to secure a great victory for the Empire, and gain Andreas favor, Theopilas ordered an assault on Konya. With no proper defense against the powerful gunpowder weapons of the Romans, the Turkish garrison at Konya surrendered without a fight. Theopilas wasted no time in claiming the city for the Αυτοκρατορία των Ρωμαίων. The first two steps of the campaign against Karaman had been completed, and in less than a month, at that. They would be marching home within two weeks should all go according to plan.

Though his soldiers wished to loot the rich city of Konya, Theopilas knew Autocrator Andreas would never allow such a thing, wishing the riches of the settlement to go to the Αυτοκρατορικό Υπουργείο Οικονομικών. The next stage of his plan would be a coordinated attack between the main northern army, and the western force. Both would close on Taurus, and upon defeating the remnants of Karaman’s army, he would lead a glorious assault on their capital of Larende. The thought of the praise and glory he would receive by defeating Karaman so quickly spurred him onwards. There was no time to lose, victory would be his before the month was over.

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Upon his throne in Larende the Sultan of Karaman sat, Tuj Ad-dun Imbrahim II. In only two weeks, he had lost almost everything, his glorious Empire crumbling to dust as he watched helpless to stop it. The royal court sat silent, the city housing less than 2,000 people after he instructed his noble families to flee. The Beys had not only taken themselves, but also their servants and their servants families, leaving the city desolate and silent.

The final battle would soon be at hand, and though he was no General, he would fight and die along side the loyal soldiers that remained. Though they had begged him to flee, to escape to Mameluk territory in hopes that he might one day return to free them, he knew that dreams such as this were those of a child.

As he mounted his horse, and began to make his way down the street of his once glorious capital, he watched as soldiers poured into the city through the gates. The Romans had defeated them in Taurus, and now were marching directly on the city itself. It would not be long before the last bastion of Islam in southern and central Anatolia disappeared…

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The Roman Army, now united into a force of 21,000 men, 7,000 cavalry and 26 canon marched on the city of Larende. The soldiers were all confident in victory. They knew that nothing the Turks had could stop them, and Theopilas, in command of the entire army, knew that glory awaited him behind those walls. With the order to commence the assault given, the canon of the Roman Army opened fire on the walls of the once proud city of Larende.

Pieces of the cities wall were shattered instantly by the powerful blasts of the canon, unable to withstand the amazing force and explosive power contained within them. Soldiers died were stood, as the rock under their feet was blasted apart, a large hole being created in the wall by the concentrated canon fire. Ordering the canon to cease their bombardment, Theopilas sent the infantry into the breach.

The Turks were waiting for them, but were poorly equipped to handle the Romans sheer numbers, the weight of their advance pushing the Turks back bit by bit, and yet the Turks refused to surrender, continuing to fight as their brothers fell around them. Imbarhim and his soldiers were eventually forced back to the palace itself, were brutal hand to hand fighting would decide the outcome among its many corridors and rooms.

Though they fought valiantly to the end, they could not hold out against the sheer power of the Army of the Romans. By the end of the day, the palace had been taken, and Imbarhim lay dead in the Throne Room. With his 12 year old heir being sent into Mameluk territory along with the beys, the Roman Empire dissolved the Karaman government and occupied their territory. They had now recovered the greatest portion of Anatolia from the Turkish Usurpers, however the Memeluks still held part of the south east, while the Ak Koyunlu held all of the southernmost provinces of central Asia.


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The Mameluks had long been one of the more feared Arab nations in the Middle East, their empire spanning from southeastern Anatolia down to the holy city of Mecca. They controlled all of Egypt, from where they broke the Mongol Hordes hold on the area under the leadership of Saif ad-din Qutuz, and helped to restored Islamic rule to the middle east.

Though initially, as the Ottoman Empire grew to be a grave threat to Anatolia as they saw it, they had proclaimed their support for the Roman Empire, hoping to prevent the Turks from completely engulfing the region, fearing they would be next on their list of conquests. However, as they watched the Romans take their old territory back bit by bit, relations with the Empire began to break down.

It was no secret that Andreas, the current Roman Emperor had his eye on the Mameluk’s Anatolian territory, however, with their recent and indecisive war with the Mughal Empire draining their resources they were ill prepared to face the Romans in open combat. Recent years had also shown the west’s rapid growth in gunpowder technology. In the past 20 years the Mameluks had watched as they fell further and further behind the Christian nations, both Catholic and Orthodox. Though they could survive losing the small slice of Anatolia that they held, many feared it would only be the first step towards a Roman reconquest of the middle east, including the holy city of Judea. Such a thought sent chills up the spines of many, and was thought a worse fate than death by the lower classes, though the Beys eyes were more focused on the riches the city held.

Indeed, Andreas had ordered plans be drawn up for expelling the Mameluks from Anatolia, and quickly at that. He feared that the newly risen Mughal Empire would lay claim to Azerbaijan, which would make claiming it for the Empire all the more grueling of a task. Andreas wished to expand the Empires eastern boarders all the way to the Caspian sea, the rich lands of Azerbaijan would bring insurmountable wealth to Constantinople, wealth that could then be turned upon the petty lords of the Balkans.

Megas Domestikos Theopilas had grown in popularity after his victory over Karaman, and had shown himself to be a capable Strategos in the field, thus he was selected by the Emperor to break the Mameluk’s hold on Anatolia. Andreas, seeing that the Mameluk’s were a far greater threat than a simple Turkish tribe such as Karaman, granted his Megas Domestikos 50,000 men to aid him in defeating the Arabs. Armed with a large and powerful army, Theopilas marched on Aleppo, preparing to return it to the Empire it had so wrongfully been taken from.

The Mameluk’s border guard numbered only around a total of 10,000 for both Adana and Aleppo. Though they knew the attack was coming soon, they could not afford to raise more troops from the area, which had been ravaged by their war with the Mughal Empire. Currently, they were raising more soldiers in Egypt, but Theopilas knew that if they struck quickly, they would be unable to assist their northern forces, and they could secure a quick victory against the Arabs.

Armed with canon and superior numbers, the Roman Army marched on Adana. Theopilas, realizing the farmland around Alexandreta was not enough to support his large army, he chose to split them into two forces of 30 and 20,000, sending the latter to Aleppo under the command of Strategos Eudaemon Maleinus, who had proved himself to be a valuable General in the war with Karaman.

While Theopilas launched his assault on Adana, Eudaemon Maleinus moved on Aleppo, taking the high rout through friendly territory to avoid attrition. Determined to push into Syria quickly in order to secure decisive victory, Theopilas ordered both fortresses assaulted. As with Karaman, the Mameluk’s outdated defenses proved ineffective against the canon of the Roman Empire. With the fall of their two Anatolia settlements, Theopilas wasted no time moving on to Lebanon and Syria.

With the Mameluk Sultanates army only starting to move out of Egypt, Theopilas quickly launched his second wave of assaults on the provinces of Syria and Lebanon, ripping them from the arms of their Memeluk defenders. With this quick and great victory over the Mameluk Sultanate, Theopilas was prepared to press onward, into Judea, the holy land…however, Andreas, who had been informed of his progress felt it wise not to overextend themselves at the moment, and sent emissaries to negotiate with the Mameluk Sultan.

With the unbearable risk of losing Judea should the war continue, they quickly agreed to turn over their Anatolian territories to the Roman Empire. The entire war with the Mameluk’s had lasted roughly six months, and ended in victory for the Empire. Anatolia was almost secure, only the Ak Koyunlu stood in the way of a complete victory in the east. Andreas knew, however, it would not be long before they to would fall before him.

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Since the rise of Autocrator Andreas Paleaologus in March of 1466, the Roman Empire had claimed all of Anatolia, restoring it to the condition it was in prior to the battle of Mazikert which had set in motion the steady decline of the Roman Empire. And yet he was not satisfied with his conquests in the east. He wished to expand the Empires boarders all the way to the Caspian Sea. But in order to do this, he need to subdue one last tribe of Turks.

The Ak Koyunlu had risen as a Middle Eastern power under the rule of Uzun Hasan, both an accomplished ruler and general. He had thrown off the shackles of the Timurid Empire, and defeated their Kara Koyunlu rivals, expanding into central Anatolia at one point. Though the Ottoman Empire had began to slowly push them out of central Anatolia, it hurt them little. The nail in the coffin of the Ak Koyunlu was when they lost the Persian Gulf to the expansionist Mughal Empire. And though they still existed as a Tribal Confederacy in the time of Andreas, they had been left with hardly an empire.

However, they still controlled the wealth of Azerbaijan, and this was exactly what Andreas had his eye on, and no filthy Turks would stand in the way of him and the wealth of the Caspian Trade Market. Feeling that the Ak Koyunlu posed a minor threat to the Roman Army, he sent Strategos Eudaemon Maleinus with a force of 25,000 men, 20,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry, as well as 10 canon, to conquer the lands under the dieing empire that Uzun Hasan built.

Eudaemon was highly enamored by the fact that Autocrator Andreas directly requested that he take command of the army that would invade the last near eastern Turkish Empire. He felt this was his chance to steal the title of Megas Domestikos from Theopilas Botaniates’ and gain favor with the Emperor. However, Andreas had reasons of his own for appointing Eudaemon. Theopilas had grown ambitious as of late, the Botaniates’ had long been close advisors to the Palaeologids, and served within the Imperial Court. Theopilas however believed that his family deserved the purple, that he deserved to be the Autocrator of the Romans, and was not afraid to start a civil war if need be.

Andreas knew it would be suicide to put even a modest army under the command of such an ambitious man, and chose instead Eudaemon, who he knew had ambitious of his own - albeit at a more healthy altitude. Eudaemon carried out his assigned task with great fervor, systematically conquering the major settlements of the White Sheep tribe, ambitiously taking their capital at the onset of the war. The Turks army provided little resistance against the battle hardened Roman veterans, gradually being pushed back with each defeat. Finally, Eudaemon defeated the Ak Koyunlu in the battle of Azerbaijan, capturing the valued city. Rather than futilely attempting to save his shattered tribe, Uzun Hasan chose to submit to the Roman Empire, converting to a Christian monk, in honor of a God who seemed to favor the Hristiyan heresy of the Romans over his own beliefs.

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With all of Central Asia in his grasp, Andreas turned to more domestic issues, mainly the Megas Domestikos. Using Eudaemon’s victory over the weakened Ak Koyunlu as an excuse, he proclaimed him Megas Domestikos, demoting Theopilas to a mere Strategos Doux. Unable to stand Andreas’ betrayal, Theopilas raised an army comprised mostly of veteran soldiers still loyal to him. With Autocrator Andreas’ and the rest of the Imperial Armies backing, Megas Domestikos Eudaemon Maleinus marched against Theopilas’ army of 35,000 with a force of over 60,000 men. The two leaders met in Bulgaria to determine the fate of the royal bloodline.

Though Eudaemon’s army had large numerical advantage against Theopilas, Theopilas’ army was comprised of veteran soldiers from the Karaman and Memeluk campaigns. These seasoned warriors were not to be underestimated. As the two armies met, Theopilas and his veteran soldiers seemed to have the upper hand, cutting through the green recruits fielded by Eudaemon. However, as the day wore on, the superior numbers of Eudaemon’s army began to wear on Theopilas and his loyal soldiers. Even as they would hack through them, more fresh men would simply arrive. Moral in Eudaemon’s army, though strained, was kept from disintegrating, mainly due to the fact that if Theopilas was to rise to the throne, he would likely have all who stood against him killed, to guarantee there would not be a revolt against his rule.

Finally, the exhausted troops under Theopilas broke, most fleeing into Hungary to escape Andreas wrath, seeing as the battle was clearly hopeless. Theopilas was captured and brought to Constantinople, where he was beheaded for the crime of treason. Though Andreas had preserved his rule, the battle of Bulgaria had cost the Roman army roughly 32,000 casualties, both sides being comprised of Roman Soldiers. Andreas ambitions for the Balkans would need to be put on hold, until the army had time to heal itself.
 
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SeanB

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Ack, sorry for double posting, but I thought editing rose it back to the top. I won't be doing any more place holders. :p

This is the second part of the three part post...going from 1444 - 1514 takes a lot of writing...
 

SeanB

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Throughout my many games as Byz, I figured out one thing - don't fight wars on very fast or higher. Sieges, battles, and assaults all take longer, and battle calculations do not seem to always behave properly, leading to weird stuff like 8,000 peasant rebels defeating 30,000 highly trained infantry.
 

Mettermrck

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SeanB said:
Throughout my many games as Byz, I figured out one thing - don't fight wars on very fast or higher. Sieges, battles, and assaults all take longer, and battle calculations do not seem to always behave properly, leading to weird stuff like 8,000 peasant rebels defeating 30,000 highly trained infantry.
I don't know, I still get major peasant victories even on normal or fast. :(
 

unmerged(33638)

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Well the people united will never be defeated! :p

Excellent, I have done alright as Bzy, but this is really great progress, will you fund conversions?
 

SeanB

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BBBD said:
Well the people united will never be defeated! :p

Excellent, I have done alright as Bzy, but this is really great progress, will you fund conversions?
Nah, I'm going for religious tolerance, much cheaper.
 

SeanB

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lol, Why is everybody saying that? :p I haven't even taken the Balkans yet.