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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Sybot

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Hello and welcome to my first DW AAR! This AAR is played with Miscmods v0.71 (credit to Brainmeats), Colony Name Change Mod. patch 5.1 (an older version) and minor graphical mods to improve performance.

There are a few house rules I play with to keep the game from getting boring as a result of getting too powerful:
-No 'excessive' conquests. The definition of excessive is up to me of course, but generally it means only taking what I have an in-character reason to take.
-No force-releasing of same-culture group minors from enemies.
-No deliberate slaughter of natives.
-Use appropriate CB for reason for war.

The Pharaohs Return: An Alexandrian AAR
Prologue: The Peace of God


The Holy Land, 1399

Pope Gregory VII made a surprising decree in his ascension to the Papacy in the 11th Century, demanding the total removal of Muslims from the Holy Land and shaping the aim of Rome entirely in that direction. From that moment onwards, religious fervour began to engulf Europe as Catholics rose to the banner of the Crusade. Later Popes, selected by an increasingly aggressive college of cardinals, continued the policy whole-heartedly. Hundreds of thousands of Christian warriors descended upon Jerusalem over the centuries and through blood and sweat forged a lasting kingdom to forever hold the holiest of cities. With the Muslims defeated, calm fell over the lands of the eastern Mediterranean and the Pope declared that a true Peace of God had been won. Deus Vult!


The Cathar Heresy

Not all was at peace however. With all the eyes of European clergy and nobility aimed eastwards, the Cathars of southern France were able to rise in the undercurrent of resentment towards the cost in money and lives that the Crusades had taken. And once the Peace had been declared the kings of Europe once again began to squabble amongst themselves as if the undertaking had never occurred. The Pope’s brief glory was being overshadowed by the usual manner of politics and there was nothing he could do about it as Papal resources were still focused on the conquered Muslim lands.


The Kingdom of Alexandria

The Catholics were not the only ones to take part the Crusades. Seeing the successes and wanting his own piece of the victory, the Byzantine Emperor ordered General Komnenos to Egypt to claim the land of the Pharaohs for Constantinople. The General did far more than that however, as the moment he seized the city of Alexandria he declared himself the successor of Ptolemy and founded the Kingdom of Alexandria. He even went so far as to name himself after the ancient ruler. From the city Alexandrian armies marched out and seized the lands of the Muslim tribes still reeling from their losses to the other Crusaders and soon all of northern Egypt was under their control.

The Emperor could do little to prevent the breakaway and eventually accepted it and the kingdom, as new conflicts were already beginning to erupt with Crusaders lacking direction following the success of the Crusades. Enormous armies travelling through the land on the way back to Europe were devastating the economy and an alliance of Knights had seized control of many Greek cities on the Anatolian coast to ‘protect pilgrims and trade’.

Alexandria enters the 15th Century with an uncertain future ahead of it. The upstart kingdom remains in the graces of the Emperor for the moment, but if that alliance should ever fail then the Alexandrians could find themselves isolated and under attack by forces eager to rule the valuable city. On top of that, the Greek nobility rules over a large population of Arabs who, mostly converted by force following the conquest, may yet seek their own self rule. What will come next is unclear, but Ptolemy is determined to see the land of Pharaohs rise to prominence once more

To be continued…
 
Last edited:

Sybot

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Last edited:

Franconian

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Johhog

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And mine too!
 

Vladislav

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Very interesting. Can't wait to read more.
 

Sybot

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Thanks to everyone who’s posted so far. I’ve got a very short update to get started, mostly because I’m getting back into the swing of writing AARs again.

The Pharaohs Return: An Alexandrian AAR
Chapter One: Securing Egypt



For all his success so far, many of the Muslim tribes refused to acknowledge Ptolemy as ruler of Egypt and continued to cling to independence in the sparsely populated lands to the south. Dealing with these was the top priority of the Kingdom. There were also rumours of an isolated Christian kingdom further south beyond the Muslim lands. Perhaps the legendary Prestor John was real? Whatever the case, the Mamluk remnants lay between him and the truth.



After all the effort it took to seize Alexandria and the lands of Lower Egypt, the task force was incredibly depleted and now numbered only a few thousand men. Perhaps he had been too hasty in splitting from Constantinople, but what was done was done. Ptolemy immediately began to remedy the situation with an official reorganisation of the Kingdom’s army. New forces were raised from the Arab inhabitants, while the Greeks left over form the invasion became an elite cadre of officers that would drill them into a proper fighting force worthy of Byzantine heritage.



Diplomatically, Ptolemy worked to secure his legitimacy as a proper Orthodox kingdom by securing marriages with many of the others in the region.



Before he could even begin planning a campaign in the south however, war caught up to Alexandria. A conflict between Constantinople and Venice over the disputed islands of Naxos had finally turned into all-out war, and the Emperor seemed interested to know how the fledgling kingdom would react to it. Naturally Ptolemy stood by his ally and offered support. The fleet was dispatched to link up with the Byzantine Navy and assist it in patrolling the seas.



Meanwhile, the army left to aid Armenia by striking at the Jalayirids through neutral Jerusalem. This did no go to plan, as the Mongols knew about the invasion somehow and took advantage of Ptolemy’s unfamiliarity with the terrain to drive his armies off. Shortly afterwards they accepted a ceasefire without even mounting a proper invasion of their target. It may have just been an attempt to garner support by beating a Greek army on the field or something else caught their attention but in either case the armies were free to return to the original plan.



In the name of God, the Mamluks would be brought into the fold.



It was over without any effort at all. Without proper fortifications there was nothing stopping the Alexandrian army from marching through and taking territory unopposed. Of course, while the army was down south the other Muslim that had rushed to the Mamluks’ aid were on the move. They and the remaining tribesmen hiding in the Sinai would have to be cleared out before victory could be completed.



Once they were driven from the peninsula and it was back in the hands of Jerusalem, the lands were officially absorbed into Ptolemy’s domain. All of Egypt was once again reunited as a single kingdom. The other Muslim powers were bought off with minor cash payments, as they weren’t too eager to fight to the death over some backwater tribes.



Almost immediately the problem became clear. Muslim Arabs weren’t content to be ruled by Orthodox Greeks, and unlike the north of the kingdom there were no forts and outposts from which to strike at them with safety. The pacification was far from complete, and a lot more lives and money would have to be spent on the land before it joined to kingdom properly.

To be continued…
 
Last edited:

Enewald

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How did Mameluks come to existence? Caucasian slave guard?
 

Eber

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How did Mameluks come to existence? Caucasian slave guard?
They were slaves brought into Egypt which meant they had no specific loyalty to any of the major groups in Arab politics. Because of this, these slaves were trained to become the elite bodyguards of the Pharaohs. They were considered very loyal only to the Pharaoh due to being imported. However, eventually they would rebel and due to their elite training were able to take control. There is much more, obviously, but that is the very quick version.

Sybot, interesting AAR. I'll be watching. :)
 

Tallfellow

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I'll be following this AAR for sure. And good luck!!
 

Mico94

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will be following, good luck
 

Sybot

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Enewald: Do you mean historically or in this timeline? Historically it’s been answered but I’m not as sure about this timeline. I guess they are the not really the ‘Mamluks’ of history but rather way to represent the scattered Muslims left in Egypt without adding yet another tag.

Thanks to everyone else who replied! This is a fairly rapid update since it’s just started and it’s the weekend, but it won’t keep up this same pace. Expect them every other day starting next week.

The Pharaohs Return: An Alexandrian AAR
Chapter Two: Battles Within and Without



Peace was not yet won as the war with Venice continued. However the battle between the trading empire and the literal empire had turned into a stalemate. Venice did not have the manpower to land in Greece and free Corfu and Naxos, while the Byzantines had suffered a major naval defeat during an attempted invasion of Crete so had no way to reach more distant Venetian holdings.



Ptolemy took this lull in the fighting as a chance to clear up the last vestiges of Mamluk control in the south, but this turned out to be his mistake.



While he was away, the Venetians took advantage and landed in Libya with a force larger than the Kingdom’s entire standing army. New forces had to be immediately rallied to hold the key cities of the north while the king returned. It wasn’t clear why they had not gone straight for the throat. Perhaps they intended to gain a foothold before marching on the tougher targets. In any case it backfired, as they found the deserts of Libya incredibly inhospitable and hard to secure depleting their forces while giving Ptolemy time to return his army.



In the middle of this crisis, very surprising news reached the Alexandrian court. Jerusalem now swore fealty to Ptolemy. From what he could gather, the crusaders had found themselves under increasing pressure from their Arab neighbours and revolting Muslims on the Syrian coast and Sinai. With the death of the king in one of these many battles and no clear candidate for heir, an alliance of nobility conspired to put what was considered to be a more effective leader on the throne rather than let their holy kingdom collapse in squabbling over the throne and fall piecemeal to Muslims.

(Brackets are OOC notes. I’ll try to avoid them unless explaining something that’s different from vanilla DW, but this is too much not to comment on. It really surprised me as well and I think getting a PU with Byz would be the only luckier thing that could happen. Any thoughts on whether I should let this continue considering how gamey it is?)



Meanwhile to the south, Alexandrian patrols were still figuring out the exact extent of the Kingdom’s territory when they came across a village claiming to belong to the Ethiopian Empire. Not long after, official contact was established. It quickly became clear this wasn’t the legendary kingdom, but nonetheless the existence of an Orthodox Christian kingdom beyond the lands of the Muslims was uplifting to the faithful from Alexandria to Novgorod.

(The mod changes Ethiopia from a Tribal to a proper Monarchy, although they still have African tech.)



Ptolemy marched on the Venetian forces with renewed vigour, but that was not enough as despite their losses to attrition they still outnumbered him and had command of the terrain they had spent the past year in. They began to march on Alexandria itself shortly after and it seemed as though the fate of the Kingdom hung in the balance.



Or it would have, if the Venetians had not devoted so much. They had far more enemies than just the Greeks and one of those took advantage of the Venetian army mostly being in Egypt to launch a war of its own. Needing its army back in the Italy, the Venetians agreed to retreat on even terms. It irritated Ptolemy that his kingdom was saved by happenstance, but such was the way in the early days of the life of a new nation.

Milan went on to win the war decisively, forcing Venice to give up its control of Crete and dominance over the islands of Corfu and Naxos as well as cede some of its Italian lands. The Venetian Mediterranean Empire was effectively at an end and a new power was rising in Italy.



Peace finally reigned in Alexandria and the pacification of the south could finally get underway. After mopping up more restless tribes, Ptolemy settled down into the defence of the construction of a series of forts first along the Nile and then east towards the coast. The expense was heavy, but with the wealth flowing into the markets of Alexandria it wasn’t crippling.



New neighbours made their appearance as Castille continued its Reconquista into North Africa. It didn’t make much sense for them to come so far east, but it was probably an effort to spite the Pope’s own advance, who had been meddling in Iberian affairs regarding the Cathars of northern Aragon. A whole stretch of the Pyrenees had been taken by the Papal Inquisition who claimed that not enough was being done against the heretics.



The Emperor requested Ptolemy’s aid in reigning in some of the states that had slipped from Byzantine control over the years. Despite his attempts to build up better relations with the other Greek states, the alliance with Byzantium was the highest priority so he could only accept and ignore any protests from his court. With the fortification effort still ongoing the navy was all that was dispatched.



Building forts was one thing, but winning over the population was another. The cost was going to have to be spread out over years, but the generosity of a devout nobleman turned out to cover the immediate costs nicely. A decree that only Greek noblemen and clergy could read to Bible was also sent out to ensure it was interpreted the correct Orthodox way.



Such discrimination did not go down well with the minorities of the nation and there was general resistance to further power being taken into the capital that kept the army busy with a multitude of uprisings instead of heading to Anatolia to help the Empire.



Not that such help was needed, as the Emperor was more than capable of handling himself against his enemies. Bulgaria had already been forced to give up a swathe of territory and Trezibond and Georgia were both on the retreat.



Relations with Ethiopia had been ongoing throughout these events. Now they claimed to have defeated a Somali kingdom further along the African coast and were eager to expand their political influence into other areas with help of their newfound allies from Europe.



Continuing his religious policies, Ptolemy declared that all citizens must attend church one day a week. Of course, he would have to build some proper Greek Orthodox churches to go with this policy, as much to the social infrastructure of the kingdom was still not fully rebuilt. So much money had gone into fighting both on the field and from the pulpit that this area had gone neglected. The initial battles were won; Alexandria was secure for the moment. Now it was time to build it into a land worthy of history.

The year is now 1413.

To be continued…
 
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General_BT

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It's not evil Roman Imperialism. Its "The Way Things Ought to Be." :D

Looks interesting... if you inherit Jerusalem, you're by far the most powerful Christian state in the area outside Byzantium. Where do you turn?
 

unmerged(218414)

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You have my attention with this. I'll be following.

Also, would you consider releasing this mod? I'd like to maybe try it.

EDIT: Nevermind. Just found it. >.>
 
Last edited:

morningSIDEr

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Very glad to see you back on the forum with a new AAR. The choice of country seems very good, promising as it does potential enemies on all sides and hopefully future meddling by the Byzantine Empire. You have had a good start with regards to Venice's idiocy in their amphibious landing (rather brings to question why they were considered a strong naval power of the time!) and the personal union with Jerusalem, long may this good luck continue. Of course consider me subscribed.
 

UnionRail

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Can't wait for more!!!