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    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

Valens Bellator

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The Grand and Illustrious Maldivian Empire


I've long been a follower of the AAR's here on the forums and, for some years now, planned on doing one myself. Given that EU IV is in the works now and people will soon be moving on, it seemed like a good time to get going on an AAR before it's too late. The nation I selected, and for quite some time have been planning to do, is the tiny island nation of the Maldives.


Basic Information:
-Version: Divine Wind, no mods
-1399 start date
-Difficulty is on Normal
-All other options are the default selection
-Lucky Nations is historical


House Rules:
-I will not reload and shall simply play it through (though I may be forced to do so in the first year or so for the first update). Should some strange circumstance make it worthwhile to reload I will state that I did so in the following update.
-I shall avoid running my badboy up beyond the limit.
-I will remain a Sunni state.
-I will not look at Europe or the rest of the unknown world until such portions of the map are revealed to me in-game. As the nation is located south of India I cannot see Europe even at the loading screen so long as I do not scroll, and I think the mystery of just what to expect from that continent will be fun. :)
-The province of Maldives shall remain my Capitol throughout the game.


Structure, Goals and Intentions:
Long ago I played as the Maldives and was eventually able to conquer nearly the entirety of Asia, and ever since I've wanted to make an AAR for the island nation. Since then, though, Divine Winds has come out, and I fear the position of the Vijayanagar has been rather strengthened. Still, they tend to focus their initial expansion on the nation of Deccan to their north and, with this little window of time, I hope to sufficiently establish myself so as to be able to fend off the inevitable invasion.

As for the presentation of the AAR itself, I plan on relating the events through various "historical documents" written by the participants. In addition to that, I shall include the occasional transcript of conversations between key individuals, and when I speak out of character I will do so using the (()) convention. I should note, though, that I plan for this to be a rather silly AAR infused with a good deal of humor as, in my experience, it makes the narrative more fun to both write and read.

This will not be an interactive AAR (at least initially), but you're free to offer suggestions as I move forward which I will consider. My plan is for the foreign policy and such of Maldives to reflect the personalities of its leaders and advisers which, in turn, will be derived from their in-game attributes. As such, do not be surprised if my actions seem entirely illogical at times. ;)


The goals I have set for myself are listed below:
1. Don't die
2. Maintain the Hilaalee Dynasty: While this may be out of my hands, keeping my prestige and legitimacy high whilst forming as many royal marriages as possible should help to keep the dynasty going.
3. Expand north into India
4. Convert India to Sunni Islam
5. Form Hindustan: This goal involves simply meeting the requirements as I plan on remaining "Maldives" for the duration of the game.


That's about it, then. I do not have a planned timeline for updates and they may be sporadic but, having been a long time reader of AAR's myself, I know how frustrating it can be to constantly check in on a seemingly dead AAR. As such, I'll do what I can to keep anyone interested up to date on what I'm up to and when they can expect the next update.

Finally, I should share that while I feel I'm fairly well versed in much of human history, there is perhaps no region about which I know less than the Maldives. Aside from some early involvement by the Portuguese and Dutch, the majority of their political history is unknown to me. I'll therefore be referencing some fairly general and unreliable histories of the region (predominantly Wikipedia I imagine), so if I get something wrong feel free to inform me.

I've already begun to work on the first update, and I hope to release it soon.​
 

Valens Bellator

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Episode 1: But Why is the Rum Gone!?






His Majesty engaged in one of his favorite activities


From the personal journal of 'Ali Nasir, an adviser of Sultan Hussan Hilaalee I early in his reign:

On behalf of whomsoever this may one day concern, kindly allow me to introduce myself properly. I am 'Ali Nasir, Chief Consul of His Eminence and Majesty, Sultan Hussan Hilaalee I, and I have decided to record the current state of the Maldivian Sultanate and the events which have recently transpired that, in time, lessons can be drawn from our experiences. I write to you now in the third year of His most glorious reign.




Our exceedingly capable Sultan



To begin with, it seems prudent to provide a full description of Sultan Hussan. He is a... simple man, with likewise simple tastes. Having lived the life of royalty without any of the usual responsibilities for many years as his brother held the throne, Hussan has long been accustomed to a lifestyle that some might consider a tad bit offensive to their Allah-given sensibilities. Initially passed up for the throne in favor of his nephew, Hussan immediately deposed said nephew so as to become Sultan himself and, in doing so, maintained his access to the Royal Treasury. He is otherwise entirely uninterested in the role (leaving me to fulfill all of his responsibilities) and, so long as he has his hammock, rum, and salsa, Hussan does not stress himself with the concerns of the Sultanate. As we will soon see it is precisely these desires which galvanizes our beloved Sultan into action, but it would be prudent to offer a full accounting of our nation prior to going forward.






Economy/Manpower


It would not be unfair to accuse our economy of being comparatively weak to those of our Indian neighbors. It is an economy based entirely on the collection and circulation of cowrie shells which, for a number of decades now, have served as our currency. Otherwise we've no natural resources and our only two industries are fishing and hammock weaving. We are thus always struggling to make ends meet as, aside from the weak state of our economy, we must simultaneously find a way to fund the import of Rum and Salsa from nearby Ceylon, the spices and sugar which both require not being native to the Maldives.




Starting Top left, Clockwise: 1. Our Currency; 2. The Royal Mint in action; 3. Our standing among nations; 4. The source of our Sultan's happiness





As for our demographics, all of our native citizens practice the Sunni faith and share Malayalam ancestry. Our population is excessively low, with around 1,500 working-age men residing within our capitol city. Again, though, the problem was exacerbated by His Eminence, Sultan Hussan I, as he was forced to come to terms with his approximately 700 illegitimate sons a few months ago. For a couple of decades now the former-Prince-now-Sultan has insisted that every son of his born out of wedlock carry his name so as to ensure that his name is spoken in every household, but, while doing so, has also refused to recognize them as legitimate descendants in all but two cases, they being legitimized later in life on account of their exceptional talents for Handball. Tired of being overlooked and wanting a piece of their inheritance, the illegitimate sons kidnapped his most beloved chef. Feeling desperate after going three days without any salsa dip, the Sultan acquiesced and offered them exemption from taxes and military service, while also promising 100 cowrie shells to each upon his death. While the Sultan did indeed get his chef back, the latter promise may have been ill-advised; the attempts on his life since this agreement number in the low hundreds.









Given the low population (of which much is now tax exempt), then, our armed forces are quite small, maintaining a single militia unit whilst possessing no ships of any sort. Our manpower is stretched incredibly thin as well, and only 13 men come of military age on average per month. This, then, was the state of affairs prior to the crisis.






The Crisis
This aforementioned crisis began in the third year of Sultan Hussan's reign, and I can think of no better means of explanation than the transcript of my discussion with the Sultan himself which I have included below.

Hassan: "Nasir!? Where is Nasir?"

Nasir: "I am here, Your Eminence, how may I be of assistance?"

Hassan: "I'm told we've run out of both salsa and rum! Why is this?"

Nasir: "As I mentioned a week ago, Your Excellency, Ceylon has stopped trading their sugar and spices."

Hassan: "....But why is the rum gone?!?"

Nasir: "Sugar is an essential ingredient in rum, my Illustrious Ma-"

Hassan: "Tell them to send more you twit!"

Nasir: "I certainly will, of course, but I doubt they'll oblige us."

Hassan: "What's this now? I am Sultan! They do as I say!"

Nasir: "...You are Sultan of the Maldivians."

Hassan: "That's precisely what I said! I rule this world however I see fit."

Nasir: "You are not Sultan of the world, you are Sultan of the Maldivians."

Hassan: "...You speak in riddles. One is synonymous with the other!"

Nasir: "No, sir, it's not. There is a world outside of the Maldives."

Hassan: "Nonsense! Ceylon is one of the many Maldivian islands!"

Nasir: "It is indeed an island, your majesty, but not Maldivian."

Hassan: "Do you mean to tell me that I don't own Ceylon?"

Nasir: "Yes sir."

Hassan: "That there are Maldivians over which I do not rule?"

Nasir: "Well they're called 'people', my Sultan, and yes."

Hassan: "So you've knowingly allowed the safety of my rum and salsa supply to remain in the hands of these... PEOPLE, for all this time?"

Nasir: "Spices and sugar are not native to our lands, Great One, and we are too few to take it by for-"

Hassan: "EXCUSES! Construct me a fleet, we set sail immediately! I'll have to come up with a particularly inventive punishment for you..."

*End of Transcript*








'Ali Nasir's Account Continued

A few days later, as I recovered from the injuries caused by the Snapper-Turtle-Nipple-Clamps that I had been forced to wear as penance for my incompetence, it occurred to me that I may have missed a few fairly obvious signs of my Master's inaccurate understanding of world geography, such as the globe he had crafted himself in his most recent Art class. Putting such things out of my mind, though, I immediately set about allocating our entire workforce to the acquisition of cowrie shells and subsequent construction of a ship designed by The Sultan Himself. Throughout this period the Sultan, having never gone long enough without alcohol to have experienced a hangover, grew increasingly unsettled, though eventually he somehow succeeded in fermenting bamboo; where on earth he got bamboo, though, I haven't the slightest idea.




The known world on the left and the Royal Cog on the right, both designed by Hassan the Magnificent.




Finally, though, we completed the ship the following April. Gathering together 1,000 men hand-picked for their meaty, shieldy qualities, Sultan Hassan and I boarded the newly constructed vessel and, at this very moment, we sail to Ceylon to introduce them to their new leader.





((Coming Soon: "Episode 2: The Glorious, Holy, Totally Justified Rum and Salsa War"))
 
Last edited:

MrQwerty

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The Sultan sets sail on his royal cog! :rofl:

Good luck!
 

Valens Bellator

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Subscribed!! I love OPM AAR's
Thanks, and I'm the same way. I was quite a fan of your Ryukyu AAR!

Thanks to everyone else, as well. Just offering an update here as I have indeed played through the content that is within "Episode 2" and, I'm happy to report, Sultan Hussan hasn't been killed yet. There is, however, a rather serious cowrie shell inflation issue, but the continued survival of the Most Excellent and Illustrious Maldivian Empire necessitates that we keep pumping more into our economy... Serious ramifications are surely soon to follow. On the bright side, though, I received the always-wonderful "Gift to the state" event, and those 100 cowrie shells proved quite important in the funding of the Glorious, Holy, Totally Justified Rum and Salsa War.

To the north, I am quite dismayed to discover that my fellow Islamic states have gotten their collective butts handed to them over these 2 or so years... Enough, in fact, that I may be forced to intervene in any future wars, lest I allow Vijayanagar become an insurmountable obstacle in India (which it almost is already, btw). I hope to get the next update posted at some point today.
 

il_loco

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Judging by your first update I can tell that you should have started an AAR earlier in time. :)
 

Valens Bellator

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Judging by your first update I can tell that you should have started an AAR earlier in time. :)
Hah how so?

Also, sorry about the delay here, I tend to be a bit OCD and can't stop thinking up new things I'd like to add. I downloaded photoshop a couple weeks ago as well, so I've been having some fun practicing with that as well. Obviously most updates won't be quite so long for such a short period of time that is covered going forward, but these first couple of decades are rather exciting so I thought I'd put a bit more work into them.

Either way, I'm about done... expect the next update shortly.
 

Valens Bellator

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Episode 2: The Glorious, Holy, Totally Justified Rum and Salsa War






The Royal Cog setting off for Ceylon, renamed by the Sultan prior to their departure.





Preface:
There are two surviving primary sources which deal specifically with the first decade of the 15th century, those of Admiral Kilegfan and Court Historian Ibrahim Maha Radun. It is Kilegfan who described the "Glorious, Holy, Totally Justified Rum and Salsa War" in great detail, so it is his account that I've decided to translate. Have no fear; Radun's writings become more relevant in the coming years.



From the personal journal of Danna Mohammed Kilegfan, Admiral of the Bamboo Armada:

I must begin by requesting that this journal be delivered immediately to my son, should it be found, as it is for his benefit that I have decided to record all that happens. I am Danna Mohammed Kilegfan, former Minister under the current Sultan's brother. I have worked along side the Hilaalee family since prior to their ascendancy and, though I retired many years ago, I have found myself thrust back into the affairs of the state. I certainly did not seek to become involved in such matters but, when the Sultan requests your assistance, one is duty-bound to oblige no matter how crude or foolish the man himself may be. I owe it, at the very least, to his more capable ancestors.

It would seem that I have been elevated to a more important role as a result of the "unfortunate" death of the Sultan's former Chief Consul and Minister, 'Ali Nasir who, according to Sultan Hussan, fell from his horse and died. This is strange, though, as we were at sea at the time. A transcript of their final conversation does exist, and I've included it below; take from it what you will.





*Start of Transcript*
Hussan: Why haven't we landed in Ceylon yet?

Nasir: We've been scouting, your grace, and they outnumber us three to one.

Hussan: What does that matter? Have you not yet informed them of the Maldivian nature of Ceylon? Of my rightful ownership of this island?

Nasir: I have, my Sultan, but they have not yet seen the wisdom and righteousness of your claim.

Hussan: No matter, bring me ashore that I might educate them in person.

Nasir: Forgive me, Your Eminence, but I don't think that would be wise.

Hussan: And why not?

Nasir: Can you see those pyres in the distance?

Hussan: Of course.

Nasir: Those are effigies of yourself they are burning.

Hussan: What? How can you know this? We're a mile off coast!

Nasir: Well, eh, this one washed up alongside our boat.








Hussan: ...How dare they?!? Have this damn thing burned immediately!

Nasir: I believe that was their intention to begin with, sir.

Hussan: I grow weary of your incompetence, Nasir. Go home and raise an army large enough to match their own!

Nasir: We simply haven't the funds for that, sir.

Hussan: Well coax the nobility into shelling out some... shells, for the cause!

Nasir: There are no nobles.

Hussan: What on earth do you mean?

Nasir: As I've told you many times before, there are four classes among the Maldivians. First, of course, are your illegitimate children, exempt from taxation and largest of the demographics. Second, then, are your personal concubines, comprising of approximately a full third our nation's women and who are, as you know, supported by the state. Then there are the common folk who, I remind you, have already been charged with acquiring as many shells as possible. Finally, then, there is you yourself, being only one in number but possessing the wealth of the rest combined.

Hussan: I see... Nasir, is that your hammock there? The one with multiple layers of finely-woven silk?

Nasir: Yes, your Eminence, I purchased it just recently.

Hussan: Hrrmm, yes, indeed- It is of quite fine craftsmanship... A thought occurs, Nasir. I don't believe you yourself fit into any of the classes you've just described. For one, you're old as sin and therefore the only Maldivian I can be certain is not one of my own. You're also, and no offense is meant here, far too... male, to be one of my concubines. You're clearly not a commoner, as no commoner I've ever seen owns silk hammocks and his own private island. Finally, then, I'm pretty sure you're not me. Would you agree with this assessment, Nasir?

Nasir: ...I suppose I would, my Sultan.

Hussan: In fact, it would seem to me that, being the second wealthiest man in the Maldives while also having the ear of the Sultan himself, calling you a "noble" would not be unfair.

Nasir: I guess so, when viewed from that perspective... but be aware that even should I donate all but what I need for living expenses we would still be shy of what is required to raise an army.

Hussan: Ah, is that so? Still shy with all but your living expenses, you say...?

Nasir: ...Yes, your Eminence.

Hussan: Interesting.

*End of Transcript*



Approximately five minutes later, moments after adjusting his will so as to leave all of his wealth to the state, Nasir suffered his "tragic" fall from some horse which, given we're on a boat hardly larger than one of his Majesty's handball courts, it strikes me as odd to have still not seen at some point. This is what prompted me to write this on your behalf, my son, as I am old and may not return from these campaigns. You, on the other hand, will likely enter the service of the state one day (it being woefully bereft of competent people of any sort), and I hope to offer here a guide for how to succeed in all things, from managing forces to remaining on your Sultan's good side, no matter how erratic his behavior may be. Poor Nasir should be lesson one: Always be standing next to someone wealthier than yourself.





The Maldivian Province of Ceylon








Lesson 2: Raising an Army and Scouting the Enemy



Following Nasir's death I, probably because the Sultan had by now eliminated anyone of competence willing to work for him, was declared "Admiral", Chief Consul, Minister of the State, and Royal Food Tester, though I graciously declined the honor of the last title, the average lifespan upon being appointed hovering around two hours. Put in charge of the invasion of Ceylon, I immediately went about my work scouting the enemy. Their army, stationed always in the capitol province of Korales, numbered some 3000 strong (three times more than we had brought along with us), and their navy was superior as well, possessing two ships of such size that we had no hope of destroying them. The province of Jaffna, however, was unfortified, something I felt I could exploit with the proper plan in place. Note, then, that most of the work involved in proper invasions is in the research and other preparations so that, once done, the execution is a foregone conclusion.

Having completed my scouting I hurried back to Male' to raise the force necessary to take Ceylon. Utilizing the 100 cowrie shells so generously left by Nasir to the state, I began the construction of 3 more transport ships. As for our land forces, I was able to convince His Eminence of the necessity of enlisting his vast army of illegitimate sons, training them over a number of months in the difficult practice of horse archery, a form of combat our people had not used since leaving India for the Maldives decades ago. Still, these forces would be insufficient for my plans and we were out of manpower, so I encouraged the Sultan to use many of our remaining cowrie shells to recruit some Indian mercenaries into our armies. It took a number of months, but eventually we had raised approximately 4,000 warriors and built the ships necessary to transport them. The key here, though, is to have everything prepared prior to hiring the mercenaries, as they are certainly the most expensive aspect of an invasion.







Left: His Majesty's Recruiting Efforts; Right: Travel and rum subsidies










Lesson 3: Diplomacy







While these preparations were underway the Sultan and I toured the "island" of India (never attempt to correct him on such things), investigating the political landscape of the mainland. What immediately became clear is that our collective fates would be tied directly with the politics of the Indians, as our most direct neighbor, Vijayanagar, controls all of southern India and is zealously anti-Islam. I suggested to the Sultan that we needed to befriend our fellow Sunni states to protect ourselves from the Hindu nations, but His Eminence seemed confused by this concept, muttering some nonsense about the words "Sunni", "Islam", "Faith", and "Religion" all being exclusively synonymous and mistaking the "Kannada Hindi" for the name of a Fraternity. Again, rather than attempting to correct the man, I simply contented myself to engaging in the Stateman's most useful craft: lying.

Acting as the liaison between the Sultan and foreign dignitaries, I was able to achieve Royal Marriages with Deccan, Bengal, and Delhi, though the latter required some rather surprising on-the-spot ingenuity by our Noble Sultan. The Royal family of Delhi, you see, had only men eligible for said marriage, while the Sultan himself had never bothered to legitimize a daughter. Thinking quickly, the Sultan summoned Hussan Jr. CDLXXIV (he being the fairest looking of the Sultan's legitimized sons), commissioned him a wig and, once completed, shoved him off the boat.




Princess Hussan Leeloo of Delhi




From there we continued moving north until we reached the lands of the Timurids where, having run out of our provisions of Sweet Cakes, the Sultan tired of his quest to circumnavigate the island of India. The Royal Marriages, then, are simply laying the groundwork for possible alliances in the future, as we are too small for such an arrangement to interest any other nations. As a side note, the Sultan did take a liking to the Timurids prior to our leaving, and he asked me to deliver them an invitation to visit us back in the Maldives; a letter that I, once the Sultan was out of sight, promptly spit on, smeared the lettering of, crumpled up, tossed into a fire, quickly retrieved the scraps of when I saw the Sultan returning, and threw said remnants overboard into the ocean. We can only pray that I've done enough to ensure that the message does not reach them.







The remnants of His Majesty's correspondence resting upon Timurid's desk.





Lesson 4: The Glorious, Holy, Totally Justified Rum and Salsa War


First, let me state that this name was chosen by the Sultan himself. Having clarified that, let's move on to the invasion itself. Having gathered our forces onto our ships and reached the coast of Ceylon, it was finally time to put my nearly two years of planning into action. The key to our victory was to rest on two unfortified provinces: their province of Jaffna, and our many Maldivian islands. One would think that an undefended capitol would put us at a sincere disadvantage, but Ceylon had been delivering rum and salsa to our islands for years, so they were perfectly aware of this fact. Knowing this, I surmised that their first move would be to load their troops onto their superior navy (of which they could fit approximately 2000) and make straight for our capitol, thus ending the war in a few weeks. As you can see, knowledge of one's own disadvantages and allowing the enemy to pursue them can, in itself, be advantageous, just so long as you plan around their doing so... if that makes a lick of sense.

I therefore positioned our ships and troops to the north of the island and, once the Sultan had offered an official declaration of war in the form of a coordinated mooning of the Ceylonese people by he and his army of illegitimate sons, I immediately sent our troops ashore, a process which took about a week. When word reached the Ceylonese capital of what had happened they immediately, as expected, began boarding their ships so as to go capture the Maldives which, to be frank (whoever he is), they could do without raising a spear were they to actually reach the islands.













The maneuver on which my entire plan depended, then, is as follows. Having disembarked the men, they entered an empty and unfortified Jaffna, capturing it immediately. From there I had coaxed from the Sultan the idea that his best course of action would be to make for the capital with all due haste (so as to secure the rum supply), as it is better when he thinks the idea was his. I, on the other hand, recognized that the most important battle was to take place at sea, and so remained on the ships and took command of the fleet.













We sailed immediately for the Ceylonese fleet off the coast of Korales which had just finished being boarded but had yet to leave for the Maldives. Their error in this judgement was in thinking that I would not commit to a naval battle with their clearly superior forces, as they rightfully surmised that I could not hope to win. I had no intention of winning, though, but rather hoped simply to stall them. You see, in boarding half of their army for the invasion of the Maldives they had left their remaining forces in the Capitol suddenly outnumbered two to one. With such odds even the Sultan himself could hardly hope to fail and, after just two battles, Ceylon had no armed forces that were not otherwise battling at sea.







The Great Battle of the Ceylon Sea






Unfortunately, the Sultan did not work quickly when it came to the siege of the capitol itself. From what I understand he spent the better part of three months throwing wave after wave of soldiers at the enemy's defenses, sacrificing countless lives in the process as he gorged himself on his long-awaited rum and salsa, until said supplies ran dangerously low and he recalled my advice regarding the flammable nature of wood. Once he did, though, he set fire to the palisade, stormed the remaining defenders, and captured the capitol. Having secured the remaining rum supplies and the Ceylonese palace, His Majesty began the block party promised to his mercenaries in earnest. Thankfully, the Sultan remembered to impose terms on the Ceylonese a few days later, officially ending the war. The conditions imposed upon them were the official annexation of their island into the Sultan's domain while also providing us with one of their mighty ships of war which, when it was finally within his possession, the Sultan immediately relocated his block party to.








Top: End of the war; Bottom: Maldivian victory at sea






Lesson 5: The Economy and International Politics




The "victorious" Maldivian navy heads home.





Thus, it was by these means that we were able to overcome a nation superior both militarily and economically. As you can see, the underdog must be rather crafty to emerge the victor at times and, though I'm sorry to say it, I fear this is a lesson you'll need to take to heart for the coming decades. That aside, there was no time to rest following the cessation of hostilities as we were out of money, dealing with inflation, and owed a lot of people a lot of shells. Of course, part of this problem was alleviated to a degree when the Sultan elected to abandon the mercenary forces on "The Island of Useless People" (so named by Hussan himself), an island known primarily as the living quarters of his five former wives. The mercenaries had indeed served him well, but it became obvious that they failed to live up to the four to one concubine-to-warrior ratio that he had demanded of them, placing the male population far above the 20% mark that the Sultan was more comfortable with.











Having ridden ourselves of the upkeep costs of said mercenaries, inflation was mostly brought under control for a time. With the immediate threats dealt with, it was time to turn my attention to the single most important pursuit a small, disadvantaged nation can engage in: International Politics. As it stands currently there's not a nation on the mainland with which we could compete militarily that would not immediately be assisted by more powerful allies. You see, there is currently a larger conflict between the Hindi and Islamic states, with the Hindus fighting desperately to expel their Islamic overlords. Unfortunately for us, though, they are actually succeeding in this endeavor, and those Islamic states which remain on the continent are all one lost war from irrelevancy. The causes for this are twofold: First, the natives are far more willing to cooperate with the Hindu states as they share a faith and culture; Secondly, the network of alliances between the Hindus is very much superior to our own.







Both: LAME





I've done what I can to address this issue, establishing an alliance with Deccan just recently, and I shall explain why we are almost certainly doomed should they be destroyed. To begin with, the nation of Vijayanagar is our most immediate threat, being just off our coast and controlling the entirety of Southern India either directly or via the vassals of Mysore and Travanacore. They are entirely focused on expansion and zealously anti-Islam, claiming to be fighting on behalf of "Religious Liberation". Deccan to their north is now the sole remaining Islamic state with which they share a border, as they otherwise have the friendly Hindu nations of Orissa and Bihar to their northeast, or Rajputana north of Deccan, all linked via their network of alliances. They have already defeated Deccan once, stealing a few key provinces from them in the process, and while Deccan succeeded in annexing Gondwana, they are suffering from high war exhaustion and the instability that comes with it. Finally, there is only a single Deccan province separating Vijayanagar from their Rajputana allies; should this be seized their armies will be able to work in unison, a prospect which haunts my dreams nightly.





As for potential alliances with the Islamic states, the prognosis is not good. First, the damned Timurids have succeeded only in seriously destabilizing Delhi and Sind, two Islamic nations that may have otherwise provided a counter to Rajputana and Vijayanagar. Because of this, though, Rajputana was able to annex Gujurat and wrest control of Kutch from Sind, leaving them bloated and powerful. To the east, meanwhile, Bengal is currently overrun and occupied by the forces of Assam, Bihar, and Orissa, so any potential for establishing a counter to those Hindu powers in the east now seems hopeless. Delhi, as I mentioned, is struggling with revolts, constantly warring with the neighboring hordes, staving off incursions from Tibet, and has now had war declared on it by the Rajputana-Vijayanagar alliance, so they're looking about as doomed as Bengal.









Diplomatic landscape of India







Now you understand the predicament that we're in, and also why our survival is linked to that of Deccan. Only they possess an army sufficient to challenge Vijiyanagar, but they would definitely lose without assistance from a third party, a loss which would prove fatal to our standing in the region. It is only a matter of time until Vijayanagar and Rajputana finish in Delhi, and they will undoubtedly turn their sights on Deccan the moment they do. Still, they are fighting in Delhi, a large nation with excessively inhospitable terrain, and their people will begin to tire of war. Given that Rajputana is the nation through which Vijiyanagar is linked to the other Hindu states, and that waiting around will inevitably lead to our demise, I fear we may have to force the issue by attacking one of Vijayanagar's vassals... It may be the only chance we get to challenge their hegemony in the south.

I feel that I have failed you, son, having led us into a situation as dire as this, but if you're to take any of my lessons to heart let it be this one:
Timidity dooms the underdog.




((Coming Soon: "Episode 3: The Sick Man of India; The Deccan Question"))
 
Last edited:

Ashantai

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This was a lot of fun! Great work!
 

Valens Bellator

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Not as much as Timuridity though. Odd that Sind still seems to be at starting size.
Indeed... and the combination of the two is always fatal!

As for Sind, I checked again and it does seem that they still maintain their original borders which, I might add, I'm both surprised by and excited about. Sind has that alliance with Deccan, after all, and should Rajputana insist on involving itself in the war Deccan and I will inevitably have with Vijiyanagar, Sind might draw Rajputana's forces north.

I'm glad to see people are enjoying it, though. I actually haven't played past that july 1403 yet as the AAR took quite some time, so I don't know how it will go yet. The issue is that I must engage Vijiyanagar soon, but I must also do what I can to limit the support they receive from other Hindu nations, ensure that at LEAST Deccan is willing to join, and then so debilitate them in this war that a second is not needed for many years, as I suspect the coming war will really drive up my inflation.

Once I've played through this section I'll come back here and offer an estimate as to when to expect the next update.

*EDIT*Sind lost Kutch but still remains strong enough to distract Rajputana. Sorry for the confusion.
 
Last edited:

aniuby

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I commend you on your choice of playing as a non-Western OPM - and surviving long enough to war Ceylon. I've always had the impression that Maldives was basically a free expansion once Vijay's AI figured out it had a navy.

I must also say how much I like your art, diagrams, and choice of pictures. I certainly can't believe that you are new to Photoshop at all!
 

yequr

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Speaking of VJ, I find it very odd that they always seem to annex the Maldives (seemingly without CB), but never Ceylon, who is much richer, but equally easy prey for them. Sure, their relations with sunni Maldives will be worse than with buddhist Ceylon, but...
 

Concrete

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Great updates so far.

My experience with The Maldives was a similar stomping of Ceylon, but then I couldn't seem to expand anywhere else and eventually Vijay did its thing.
Hoping for a diversion from my timeline here.

Aside from the gameplay; I'm quite enjoying the style.
As aniuby said; your use of Photoshop is fine and fitting.

Good luck in progressing.