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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

tamius23

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An interesting one, I would got my OCD kick in loong ago. You just go with the flow, no power gaming. Or even reloading saves. Kudos for that. :D
Also, if you would like to be able to create and empire at some point, you can always mod it in. Removing empire's often BS cultural/religious requirements is not a huge crime I reckon.

It's the only way I've ever played. I find CK2 much less receptive to power-gaming than, say, EU3.

I don't have enough land for the empire, so I'm not worried about that at the moment.

All hail the Finnish overlords of the steppes, brutal to their enemies, fatal to their vassals!

Indeed!

My only advice on the Empire matter is to not make a second kingdom until you have the gold and land necessary to make the empire you want. You can check now all the conditions for making empires so at least you have something to move for.

I can't make a first kingdom, let alone a second :)

Chapter 7



murom66.jpg


Gregarious, kind, ambitious, brave, diligent and temperate, oh my! I have high hopes for Varaka II.

murom67.jpg


A posthumous sister.

murom68.png


The family tree.

murom69.jpg


An independence faction thinks it can beat me with its 900 men.

murom70.jpg


It couldn't.

murom71.jpg


Varaka turns 16 and marries a strong woman from darkest Siberia.

murom72.jpg


Another independence faction, who think they can beat me with half the troops I have.

murom73.jpg
murom74.jpg


They manage to recruit the Jomsvikings to do their independence-ing for them, but fortunately I catch them before they are too powerful.

murom75.jpg


More fortunately, I capture the faction leader and end the war, replacing Norsemen with Mordvins where I can.

murom76.jpg


The countess of Kerzhenets accepts reincorporation into Cheremisa after 30 years' independence.

murom77.jpg


A possessed homosexual Norseman is coming my way… I don't see this ending well for me or for him.

murom78.jpg


Varaka is stressed already, and now he has fallen ill.

murom79.jpg


The Shi'as are carving out a kingdom from the Abbasid Empire… that's not going to be easy for them.

murom80.jpg


Varaka is more resilient than his predecessors - hopefully he'll live longer than 41 (the oldest chieftain yet).
 
Last edited:

mike the knight

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They have not learnt that only death can take down your family ! Interesting events occur meanwhile
 

tamius23

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Chapter 8



murom81.jpg


Norway is weakened from a revolt, and I take that as an opportunity to boot the Vikings from Finland

… well, some of them, anyway. Fear the Swedes.

murom82.jpg


And as soon as that happens, that possessed homosexual attacks.

murom83.jpg


Can't you see I'm busy?

murom84.jpg


That gets Sigtrygg out of the way. Somehow he had mustered 12,000 men.

murom85.jpg


Bulgaria's army isn't even as big as Sigtrygg's host.

murom86.jpg


The death of this priest increases Suomenusko moral authority by 5%, since he held one of the holy sites. At the time of his death, he was the oldest man in the world.

murom87.jpg


The Bulgarians had their land in the steppes of the Ukraine occupied so they surrendered, paying me even more money.

murom88.jpg


The Norwegians have been evicted and my vassals have been hard at work subjugating various minor powers around my realm.

The white in Crimea is a Viking adventurer called Kol.

murom89.jpg


The chief of Vitebsk leads an independence faction and gets another 4500 free troops by event.

murom90.jpg


That Kol mentioned earlier has carved out a kingdom for himself.

murom91.jpg


The opportunistic peasants defeated, the rebellion was crushed a bit later.

murom92.jpg


Could Varaka finally produce an heir? His wife is 41… I hope this child is male.

murom93.jpg


A girl. Having a female heir is not viewed favourably by my vassals.

murom94.jpg


This Bulgar is completely unlike that homosexual possessed Viking from before. He is ambitious and strong.

It's a good thing I keep stockpiles of money around for assassins.

murom95.jpg


Varaka II falls sick and dies. His daughter is 4.
 

Athalcor

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Well, the impression that the game is trying to defeat you is getting stronger and stronger.
 

tamius23

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It gets much, much worse around 1000 AD. Just to warn you.

Chapter 9



murom96.jpg


The Christians are coming. Since the Catholics are currently nothing to worry about, I've imprisoned him.

murom97.jpg

murom98.jpg


Two factions: one for independence, one to install my aunt.

murom99.jpg


The rebels form a swathe across my realm.

murom100.jpg


These should help. Let's see what they can do.

murom101.jpg


Oh.

Fortunately after this the rebellious counts all split up.

I then imprisoned an Orthodox bishop from Bulgaria, since the Bulgarians were pretty weak when I fought them. If they ever get more powerful, I might consider following their god.

murom102.jpg
murom103.jpg


I'll take the titles of the foreigners and the ambitious ones. The rest can learn their lesson in the dungeon.

Also, inviting nobles to court is expensive.

murom104.jpg


My husband (matri-married) has a claim on Estonia, and now that the realm's more or less peaceful I've pressed his claim. With only 3 provinces, there wasn't even a noteworthy battle.

murom105.jpg


Well, that's an interesting nickname.

murom106.jpg


Let's pray this child will be male.

murom107.jpg


Maybe not. Tikshayka does have a few years of fertility left in her, though.

murom108.jpg


Leave me alone.
 

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Girlie war! Will you fight in mud?
 

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It's almost comical how reliably pagans will revolt usually within less than a year of being conquered. "Look, I know I JUST finished losing a war against you, but I'm so much better off now and CLEARLY this is going to be awesome!"
 

Avindian

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I feel your pain; the same thing happens to me all the time with TOG as pagans. Can you reform yet? That should help a lot.
 

tamius23

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Girlie war! Will you fight in mud?

It's possible...

It's almost comical how reliably pagans will revolt usually within less than a year of being conquered. "Look, I know I JUST finished losing a war against you, but I'm so much better off now and CLEARLY this is going to be awesome!"

Sometimes the revolt AI can be maddeningly moronic, like when they revolt when on the edge of your realm next to some angry Fatimids or something. Suicide.

I feel your pain; the same thing happens to me all the time with TOG as pagans. Can you reform yet? That should help a lot.

The third holy site - Saaremaa or Käkisalmi - is within my reach, but the moral authority is far too low for me to reform, unless I take all five, which would involve attacking the Komi in Perm. I don't particularly want to upset them.

Chapter 10


murom109.jpg


Another daughter…

murom110.jpg


And another. It seems to be justifying the "the Bewitched" nickname.

Unfortunately I forgot to take any pictures of the war against Bulgaria. I won. I think.

murom111.jpg


The Merya have lived long enough. I've given them a hundred years.

murom112.jpg


The Merya had two provinces. Here's how the high chiefdom of Cheremisa looks after they are subjugated.

murom113.jpg


Ah, finally, a son. The succession has been guaranteed. He'll inherit both Cheremisa and Estonia when the time comes.

murom115.jpg


Let's hope this Seljuk chooses to bother the Abbasids and the Byzantines rather than me.

Time for an interlude:

The World in 1001​

murom116.jpg


The Seljuks have decided to devour the steppes, making war on Perm, swallowing Cumania and fighting Bulgaria.

My son has been betrothed to the queen of the Chudes.

Taurica formed, ruled by Miaphysite Armenians.

murom117.jpg


Aquitaine, France and England are all ruled by the de Toulouse family, who are Occitans. The British Isles are almost exclusively Christian, save the Norse king of Bedford.

Poland is currently in a civil war between pagan Poles and the recently-Christianised Bohemian king.

murom118.jpg


In North Africa, the Abyssinians are the most powerful force in the region, under their bastard Queen.

The Abbasids are strongest on the map and have been bashing Byzantium for decades, whilst colonising the Persian highlands with Bedouin Arabs.

Ascalon is ruled by Borkvard, a Norse Sunni king.

murom119.jpg


The Umayyads are far stronger than the little Spanish kingdoms, but they haven't gobbled them up yet. Mali has been in perpetual civil war for years; I don't think they've had a king who died a king since before 900.

murom120.jpg


There's the ledger.

murom121.jpg


And Seljuk wants my land in Volga-Bulgaria. I won't give it up easily.
 

Athalcor

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From my experience the Seljuks always go for the Rus and its surroundings - a pet hate of mine :p.
 

tamius23

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Chapter 11​

murom122.jpg


Seljuk sends his forces and meets the majority of mine in the capital. I barely dent him.

murom123.jpg


Mordvin forces retreat to Moskva, where the retinue takes a chomp out of Seljuk but still get destroyed.

murom124.jpg


They give chase, and crush the remaining soldiers. I hired the Victual Brothers as an emergency measure.

murom125.jpg


The Victual Brothers were not worth the money at all!

murom126.jpg


A little later, the Seljuks kill every last man from the levies, mercenaries and retinue all together. Now would be a good time to surrender, given that they have 20,000 men left, and I don't want them galavanting around in Murom and capturing the queen.

murom128.jpg


He thankfully accepts without wanting to occupy more land.

murom127.jpg


I allow the followers of Allah to preach in Murom, since I want to keep on the Turks' good side.

murom129.jpg


Tikshayka finally gives up the ghost after a 65-year reign. Power passes to her only son.

murom130.jpg


Tikshayka's elderly husband follows her to the grave and Cheremisa and Estonia are united.

murom131.jpg


I allow the believers in his god into my country, and now he wants to have the kingdom of Ruthenia?

How ungrateful!

murom132.jpg


The first battle in the second war against Seljuk. A victory, though only over a minority of his men.

murom133.jpg


This is his main stack. My force contains a lot of mercenaries, as you can see by the horse-archer content.

murom134.jpg


A fitting nickname for the destroyer of the Turkish hordes!

murom135.jpg


Seljuk surrenders!

Victory is mine!

murom136.jpg


Then Andyamo the Great falls sick…

murom137.jpg


And continues the tradition of dying in his thirties.

He has two sons, but his eldest son Orunza gets the lion's share of the inheritance, along with already being the king of the Chudes.
 
Last edited:

Athalcor

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The most hardcore survival AAR ever :D
 

BogMod

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Great work against the Seljuks!
 

tamius23

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The most hardcore survival AAR ever :D

Thanks!

Great work against the Seljuks!

Thank you! A bit later (~1020s) they got squished by the Shia Faravids in an invasion and they now own about 8 disconnected counties.

Chapter 12


murom138.jpg


Orunza's wife is pregnant. She's a princess of Perm.

She later gives birth to girl, Tikshayka.

murom139.jpg


Orunza chooses to embrace the faith of the Seljuk Turks, and converts to Sunni Islam. The conversion comes with a name change from High Chief to Duke.

murom140.jpg


murom141.jpg


He asks many of his vassals to convert, then leaves for Mecca.

murom142.jpg


He's quite respected, and the majority of the counts he asked convert to the new religion.

murom143.jpg


The pagan backlash is short-lived, as its leader dies.

murom144.jpg


Orunza chooses to name his son after the founder of his faith.

murom145.jpg


Having a son and heir allows him to pick the ambition to lower his decadence - which is over 90%.

murom146.jpg


Islam gains new followers in Cheremisa…

murom147.jpg


though the conversion is not going nearly as well as it did under the old gods.

murom148.jpg


Orunza's only son dies, making his heir his nephew who's in charge of Estonia.

murom149.jpg


It also makes Orunza his nephew's heir, so I have him killed. I may be a kinslayer, but Muslims don't care so I don't gain the trait.

murom150.jpg


That wasn't the best idea I've had… let's hope one of Orunza's four wives has a child. A son, too; daughters are ineligible.

murom151.jpg


A princess of the Seljuk Turks falls pregnant…

murom152.jpg


… and it's a boy!

I named him after the current caliph, which coincidentally is the name of his first dead son.

murom153.jpg


And yet while in his childhood, he dies too! Perhaps Muhammad is an unlucky name for the Mordvins.

I had my wife executed for the crime.

murom154.jpg


I manage to lower decadence to 53% by holy-warring some Vikings away.

murom155.jpg


And Orunza dies at 43. All his titles pass to his eldest living son Is'mail (also named after a caliph) who is, unfortunately, an ambitious Russian.
 

Athalcor

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Wow, I almost thought you lost :O.

(as you did not mention the birth of Ismail)
 

mike the knight

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it os a pity that you converted but a Muslim future Russia seems terribly interesting
 

tamius23

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I'm a bit late with the update, but still, here's chapter 13.

Wow, I almost thought you lost :O.

(as you did not mention the birth of Ismail)

Orunza started having so many children that it stopped being noteworthy when one was born.

it os a pity that you converted but a Muslim future Russia seems terribly interesting

I like to do things from a role-play perspective and I imagined Orunza found the Muslims a threat so he decided to convert. Besides, the succession crises were horrible.

The plot thickens!

There's nothing like a healthy dose of plot-thickener for an AAR!

Chapter 13


murom156.jpg


Again: a new ruler, a new independence faction. They are miles from being powerful enough to break free.

murom157.jpg


Is'mail comes of age after destroying the factions and has become a mastermind theologian, which helps very much with the new tech system.

emperor.jpg


After a short (read: caused the death of tens of thousands of men thanks to attrition) holy war, Is'mail creates two kingdoms and an empire on the same day.

Not only does this net him piles of prestige, he also gets a new hat and the title Tsar.

murom158.jpg


These scheming Muslim wives…

murom159.jpg


Muslims can divorce their wives for a small (~300) sum of money. It's not like I have any other uses for the money I have. She was 45, and Is'mail's re-married a younger bride.

murom160.jpg


My second son, with the apparently-cursed name Muhammad. He is appointed Steward to help with the decadence management.

murom161.jpg


Now those Swedes have a proper religion along with 100,000 men… they're really quite a danger to me.

murom162.jpg


In 1090, the Pope calls a crusade for England. The Christians win with little resistance from the Norse queen of Mercia and return the land to the rightful queen of England - the Occitan queen of Aquitaine.

murom163.jpg


The same year, the Tsar Is'mail manages to reach 10,000 prestige…

murom164.jpg


and the high chief of Perm converts to Islam, almost certainly persuaded by the Seljuks. I had my own court imam there, too.

murom165.jpg


And after having many - but not quite enough - children, the first emperor of Russia dies unexpectedly.
 

BogMod

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I liked your old hat..
 

tamius23

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Chapter 14

murom166.jpg


Emperor Muhammad I is a Mordvin with 7 children already by the age of 30.

His eldest son is called Nuyaksha, after a particularly bad king of the Muromians.

murom167.jpg


Whilst on Hajj Muhammad falls victim to a storm and shares the food evenly among the survivors. This gets him an ironic nickname:

murom168.jpg


murom169.jpg


The Fylkir calls the pagan equivalent of a crusade.

murom170.jpg


With Sweden the power that it is, the Fylkir himself wins the kingdom, though he doesn't personally gain the title. Scotland is exiled to Northumberland and Devon.

murom171.jpg

murom172.jpg


My sons are causing decadence to rise quite quickly, so I hit on the idea of using them as missionaries and sending them to what few pagan counties there are left, since I can't imprison and execute my own sons.

murom173.jpg


Well, that's… unfortunate.

murom174.jpg


As a Sunni, I get Holy War CBs on Shi'ites, unlike the Catholic/Orthodox relationship. This means I can take Sarkel, a particularly rich duchy. I'm trying to use the Holy War CB to reduce decadence, and I've also assigned my sons as commanders, so they get maimed or killed.

murom175.jpg


With the levies I have, it's a very easy war. Especially when Sarkel is rebelling against the Shia Caliphate. Decadence falls by 10% which is undone in under a year.

murom176.jpg


Despite my child-imprisoning tactics decadence shoots up to 100% in no time.

murom177.jpg


And a young Mordvin brings thousands of warriors to usurp my titles.

murom178.jpg


Let's hope the caliph sends some troops to help me.

I'm hiring all the mercenaries available and parking them and my retinue in Murom, the capital.

murom179.jpg


Strangely, all the revolt leader's courtiers were happy to aid me in a plot to have him killed, and the revolt ends anticlimactically.

murom180.jpg


I lose 50% decadence from the beginning of the revolt, but there's no stopping its reaching 100 again.

murom181.jpg


The genius Fylkir attacks! How do the armies compare?

murom182.jpg


Oh.