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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Hunter Wesley

First Lieutenant
May 4, 2005
280
0
Hello my friends, and welcome to perhaps the last of the EUII AARs. (I'm sure there will be more, but don't wait for them.) This is the culmination of an idea I posted a while ago at this thread. In that fascinating time, wherein our community was in large part a EUII one (it was a glorious time), a brave volunteer arose to accept my challenge, and attempt WORLD VASSALIZATION with the Byzantine empire.

However noble this attempt, it was a flawed one. For one thing, some kind of modification was used (probably one of those ACGEEP flavours). I'm not sure if the changes were more than cosmetic. For another thing, the authaar was not above modifying the game to suit his purposes. Well, people were excited, but I was cringing at the derailment of the concept. But surely the greatest shortcoming is that the AAR was abandoned after a month.

Those days are gone, and the community has atrophied into various outlets like EUIII (apparently there's going to be an EUIV? Whatever...) and For The Glory. I've written a bit about FTG and why it frustrates me so. To summarise, I love EUII, and I support fixing bugs and even adding a small feature or two. That is wonderful, but FTG makes a bunch of stylistic changes like the GUI and the music and even beyond that. The game plays like EUII but isn't as immersive and looks worse. No one really cares what I think, so we'll speak no more of it.

The world VASSALIZATION concept laid dormant in me for some time, when I finally, playing EUII, decided I would "sketch it out" in a game. That is pretty much what we're going to see here. While I fancy myself a sophisticated author, the doing of it is a task that I fear, the time, the struggle, and the control (brevity one moment, verbosity the next). So I'm not really going to attempt a novel here. Many of my comments are going to be, well, notes sketched out as I play.

One issue that I have struggled with in the past with my previous AAR was images. To be frank, I spent far more time trying to edit images and host them than I spent doing the writing or any other arrangement besides playing the game. It was frustrating, tiring, complicated...I absolutely hated deciding what part of the image to keep and calculating pixels (yes, I made each picture dimensionally equal).

So I'm not doing that. I'm not "deciding" either. No sophisticated operation, this! I've looked at resizing whole images and then sharpening them, I've looked at showing snippets...it all sucks. I would have to do hundreds of them, because, let me tell you, there are hundreds of screenshots coming your way. What can I say, scroll if you must, and I'll carriage return the crap out of the text to keep it on the page. That's as good as I get, haha!

Let us commence.

We will be playing, as we suggested, the Ottoman Empire (not The Kaliphate Kaliphate). Note that we do not wish to conquer the world, we wish to VASSALISE it. Therefore, in order to properly distinguish what we are doing from a world conquest, we will only take national provinces and none other on a permanant basis.

One reason we have selected the Ottoman Empire for this task is their large number of national provinces. Another is their numerous useful cultures to be paired with those provinces. The first part of the game will be rather standard, as we acquire our land. We are not going to colonise free territory in keeping with the spirit of our task - there are plenty of provinces which could belong to other nations as soon as they are occupied, and the point of this excercise is to dominate other nations without compromising their independence. To enslave, if you will, their economies to our task of VASSALISING more nations. We hope that as a result of this process, we will be richer and more able to VASSALISE subsequent nations as time passes.

We will not keep any alliances, because they tend to fight each other. As mentioned, this excercise is not the first of its kind, and previous attempts have revealed the very significant problems of stability and relationships to VASSALS when they fight other VASSALS. We care not who rules the various lands outside of our dominion, as long as they all pay their proper tribute.

We would like to try some interesting domestic policies which we frequently haven't considered. We will now describe our policies in some detail.

PLUTOCRACY.
Eventually we would like to move here, chiefly for production efficiency.

CENTRALISATION.
Again, a play for production efficiency. We will need every ducat to extend our reach across the world.

INNOVATIVENESS.
Generally, we would keep this as high as we can whilst still receiving missionaries. Colonists are irrelevant.

MERCANTILISM.
There is absolutely no reason to favour free trade, as monopolies offer one extra merchant each.

OFFENSIVE DOCTRINE.
Defensive doctrine is atypical. We recently played such a game, and so we'll return to offensive doctrine for the extra shock bonus.

LAND.
We've considered that a powerful navy would serve our Kaliphate well in subduing distant disobedient VASSALS, however, we greatly desire cheaper soldiers and additional production efficiency.

QUALITY.
There is something within us which wants to try quantity, but, betwixt attrition and rebels these days, we're picking a fire phase bonus over quantity.

FREE SUBJECTS.
We know that stability costs being 50% higher is difficult, but with additional production efficiency and a happier realm, we think this is a good choice.

We begin, of course with the traditional Ottoman advantages of many provinces, many men, and many casus belli. We even have a lot of money in our treasury, the better to devour the Roman empire with.


(Yes the cropped images are beautiful, yadda yadda yadda, I'm not doing another 650 of these, but I did a few)

We're in this diverse part of the world. For the time being, we tolerate ourselves and the Greek Christians, but verily the day shall come that we must tolerate still others.



January, 1419.
We change the imperial policy to land by 1. We are declaring war on Byzantium - their numerous transgressions reveal themselves to be naught but a corrupt, heretical state. Trebizond dishonours her alliance with the Romans. A clever move for Trebizond, but a vain one indeed.

The Ottoman Empire begins with 60,000 men in the field - and a support limit of 28,000. *sigh*
At least we get to decide against whose walls these men will die.

June, 1419.
We must dispose of these armies quickly (or diminish them, rather) if they are not to be wasted. Therefore, we are declaring war on Wallachia. Either the province shall be ours, or we shall expend our huge hosts in the process.

The ally of Wallachia, Moldavia, has joined them in battle.

October, 1420.
We've split the armies to control attrition (certainly, we don't want to waste the men). Moldavia has sent an envoy to begin negotiation. What Moldavia has sent not is a reason for us to want peace. Our armies force us to act.

Moldavia has begun a siege of their own in Dobrudja, but when Byzantium (and its auxiliary province of Morea) have been subdued, Moldavia will be an inconsequential opponent for us.



January, 1421.
As our armies push forward this new Kaliphate, we learn more about the pagan world. Henceforth, we can appoint tax collectors.

As one can see, we have finally captured Constantinople, and Morea. However, we have been fighting the Greeks' own considerably sized army intermittently. They captured Bulgaria quickly. If we can take the fortress there back, Byzantium will have few options besides our preferences.



Wallachia has fallen as we knew it would. We will annex it immediately!



February, 1421.
As we planned, Bulgaria has been recovered before the Romans could take Macedonia. They will be forced to accept our demands of 100 ducats and the province of Morea.



May, 1421.
Our new sultan (and kaliph) Murad II has risen! Long live the sultan!



November, 1421.
We can now place merchants. As pictured, the war against Byzantium's ally continues, and we are close to crushing their petty state. However, they besieging Rumelia, which might fall before the Moldavian kingdom does. We have been, of course, fighting them, but our armies are rather worn down and occupied with the sieging.



December, 1421.
Utterly defeated, Moldavia has accepted the same terms as Byzantium; 50 ducats, and Bujak. A new age dawns.



On this occasion, we will appoint tax collectors.

August, 1422.
Might as well declare war on Trebizond. They aren't getting any less allied.

September, 1423.
With the siege of Trabzon ended, we are annexing Trebizond!



Ak Koyunlu has requested a royal marriage. Well, why not?



 
Last edited:

Hunter Wesley

First Lieutenant
May 4, 2005
280
0
I don't know why that is. Some vassals never say a thing for centuries, while others can't go twenty years without a fight. It doesn't seem to correlate to relations, or religions, or anything. It's like the AI falling asleep in the market; or something. As for the colonial powers, all that matters is that we can get enough European war score to drag the colonial empire into vassalage. Plus, vassals give military access by default and may make access to various provinces simpler.

- - -

December, 1423.
We plan next to attack the state of Karaman, which is allied currently to Teke. However, we are waiting for stability in our realm to increase, because these states are Sunni.



January, 1424.
Our tax revenue after our tax collectors' promotions was 59 ducats. Fifty nine ducats goes far in the 1420s.

April, 1424.
Tariffs ahoy! Our stability has nearly increased. Behold, the region:



May, 1424.
Our realm's stability having increased, we have declared war on the Sheikdom of Karaman. Teke, their ally, has joined them in battle. We expect a rousing, if futile struggle in which Karaman is humiliated and Teke annihilated.

August, 1424.
Karaman's army has fared poorly, being quickly outmaneuvered, and then vainly attempting to regain a defensive post in the mountains. As of this month, they have disbanded. Teke is just sitting around, perhaps in an attempt to appease us and Karaman. Nevertheless, they have a way of angering us by occupying Asia minor.



December, 1424.
Taurus has fallen, just as a blanket of snow fell. Our Kaliph and Sultan Murad II is rushing to battle with Teke, to escape the bitter cold.



May, 1425.
We have decided, on this occasion, to refuse to appoint a Sheikh ul-Islam. For some reason, we suspect we're dodging a spear.

Teke's fortified men quickly routed Murad II, but he is returning for even more battle.



July, 1425.
For reasons which are difficult for us to understand, Ak Koyunlu is inviting us to their alliance with Dulkadir. We feel, currently, that we could use some extra defence, and so we will accept.

Murad II has met Teke in battle, but was not victorious. Teke grows weaker, however. In the war on Karaman, only Adana has not fallen. The siege has dragged on for over a year, now. The Roman emperor Konstantinos is greedily surveying land we have conquered in Konya.

Our Sultan Murad II will collect his forces and make a new assault on Teke.



August, 1425.
The greedy Emperor of Rome has pillaged our province of Konya! and the war with Karaman continues. In neighbouring Angora, recent development coinciding with our military campaign has improved the province.



April, 1426.
After two years, the fortress of Adana has fallen to our great army. Karaman will yield Konya, Adana, and fifty ducats, which will probably be more valuable than the provinces themselves. We can promote a tax collector! Teke is feeling the heat of the Sultan just now.



October, 1426.
Now Teke's time has come. Konstantinos was coincidentally at war with them too, and his army helped in the siege.



February, 1427.
Konstantinos is currently busy wrecking Karaman. We think this is the proper time to declare war on Byzantium.

July, 1428.
After Konstantinos took an unexpected turn for Macedonia, we met him in battle and laid him to rest. Thrace is ours.



Constantinople will be our great new capital, of course. Unfortunately, the Greek nobles have allied with Ak Koyunlu! That is pretty lame. Pretty freaking lame.



We have decided to be tactful with the Greek church, and quickly, before there arises a "political crisis" or some more nobles come out of the woodwork and ally with some other country!



August, 1428.
Good things are happening to our great Kaliphate; historic things. We will betray the Italians and open a centre of trade, in Thrace! 800 ducats gives us great power in 1428, but we cannot refuse the long term income of a centre of trade.



 

Hunter Wesley

First Lieutenant
May 4, 2005
280
0

January, 1429.
Tax revenue this year was 80 ducats. We can do all sorts of things with that kind of money.

February, 1429.
We have decided! the time for war with Serbia has come, who lacks an ally.

July, 1429.
Ak Koyunlu is asking for war with the Qara Koyunlu. Indeed, the Qura Koyunlu occupy Azerbaijan, which really ought to belong to the Grand Kaliphate. Dulkadir won't be joining us, which is just as well, for Sivas too should be included in our empire.



Exceptional!

I'm sure Ak Koyunlu will be glad to fight on our behalf.



December, 1429.
Serbia has fallen to our host. They will yield unto us Kosovo and 125 ducats, which we shall share with Ak Koyunlu to convince them of our glorious destiny. Serbia besieging Wallachia, but our trusty Sultan Mehmed II knows how to sap a fortress faster.



December, 1430.
Ak Koyunlu has struggled with the Qara Koyunlu for the past year, but the time has come for true leadership of the siege at Azerbaijan. Mehmed II has assumed command there. The Qara Koyunlu have fallen on hard times. Their army is trapped in Ak Koyunlu, and rebels are seizing the opportunity to retaliate against the capital.



January, 1431.
Things are working well, here. The empire is thriving, and our enemies are scattered.



June, 1431.
Rebels have captured Tabriz! The end is near.



March, 1432.
The government of Qara Koyunlu collapsed. Azerbaijan is ours, now and forever!



May, 1432.
With the empire again at peace, now is the perfect time to reform the army.



August, 1432.
Our heels are cooling, and our enemies are growing not any weaker. We have large armies doing nothing. We are therefore declaring war on The Knights. They must never be allowed to pillage our capital. Venice, Ragusa, Cyprus, and Georgia will join The Knights in battle!

February, 1433.
Ak Koyunlu has decided their former ally's time has come; Dulkadir. How hypocritical would we be to decline them this vengeance?



- - -

How am I doing?