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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
Aug 26, 2006
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Welcome would-be readers!

I've been prowling the forums for a while now, reading many AARs, and I think it is time I gave it a shot. Here is some basic info:

I'm using the following patches/mods/addons:

- 1.5 patch
- 1.5 improvement pack 2
- SMACK
- BOPACK
- Gratianus's COA pack
- Custom COAs for Duchy of Dalmatia and Kingdom of Croatia, also made by Gratianus

The game settings are Hard/Normal.

I’ve already played out all that I intend to write about. I played a decade or so onward as well, but I didn’t notice I was running out of disk space somehow, so no screenshots were created (and the screenshots are my notes, I didn’t write anything). I was already getting bored with the game anyway. I will keep the last save, in case I want to continue, in which case I would write the missing bits from memory. But anyway, I’ve got a lot of material to work with up to that moment, so…

The game starts with the Duchy of Dalmatia (previously known as Zara). My main goals were to get Zadar back from Venice and get the crown of Croatia from the Hungarians. And then whatever :)

Seeing how the original ruler of that province is Mirko of Split, and considering how I dislike the fact that the randomly generated “of Split” courtier would be a member of my family, I've decided to create my own dynasty. I kept the stats and the trait (yes, he has only the tough soldier trait), and made him a bit younger, and gave him my name and surname, of course. I didn't mod in any other family members, so attracting new courtiers might be a bit difficult in the beginning.

Comments or suggestions, expressions of absolute disgust or adoration… they are all welcome! ;)

Here goes nothing...


EDIT: I've now made the following index so that navigating is easier if you only want to read the updates and not the comments. Each chapter has a link to the next one at its end.



The Rise of Dalmatians



Part I: Duke Goran the Unlucky

Chapter I: Of Beginnings
Chapter II: Of Matters Of Goverment
Chapter III: Of The Geopolitical Situation
Chapter IV: Of The Start Of The Cuman War
Chapter V: Of A March And A Duel
Chapter VI: Of Camps And Homecomings
Chapter VII: Of The Siege Of Turnu
Chapter VIII: Of The War For Lecce
Chapter IX: Of The Siege Of Lecce
Chapter X: Of The End Of The Siege
Chapter XI: Of The Second Siege Of Lecce


Part II: The Regency Of Duchess Adelaide

Chapter I: Of Debts And Illnesses
Chapter II: Of Wars Of Faith
Chapter III: Of Refugees And Healings
Chapter IV: Of The Last Years Of The Regency


Part III: Duke Domagoj the Faithful

Chapter I: Of The Duke's Wedding
Chapter II: Of Deaths And Births
Chapter III: Of The Economic Recovery
Chapter IV: Of More Marriages And A Birth
Chapter V: Of King Andras The Generous
Chapter VI: Of The Situation After The Conquest
Chapter VII: Of A Thief And A Rebellion
Chapter VIII: Of The Mongol Attack
Chapter IX: Of The Bolgar War
Chapter X: Of The Duke's Wives + Maps
Chapter XI: Of An Alliance
Chapter XII: Of The End Of The Bolgar War
Chapter XIII: Of Domagoj's Faithfulness
Chapter XIV: Of The Duke's Family
Chapter XV: Of Domagoj's Demise


Part IV: Duke Josip the Treacherous

Chapter I: Of The Battle Of Split
Chapter II: Of Many More Battles
Chapter III: Of Courtiers and Allies
Chapter IV: Of Wise Sheiks And Silly Beys
Chapter V: Of Questionable Loyalties
Chapter VI: Of Heresy And Lunacy
Chapter VII: Of The War Preparations
Chapter VIII: Of The First Venetian War
Chapter IX: Of The War's Aftermath
Chapter X: Of Lots Of Things
Chapter XI: Of The Military Infrastructure
Chapter XII: Of Josip's Affair
Chapter XIII: Of A New Crusade
Chapter XIV: Of Josip Crusading
Chapter XV: Of Homecoming
Chapter XVI: Of Three Weddings And No Funerals
Chapter XVII: Of The Split Resettlement
Chapter XVIII: Of Josip's Death


Part V: King Galasso the Mad

Chapter I: Of The Second Capture Of Jerusalem + Maps
Chapter II: Of Many Weddings
Chapter III: Of The Conquest Of Tripolitania
Chapter IV: Of Granted Titles And The Mongols
Chapter V: Of The First Polish War + Geneaology
Chapter VI: Of Pope Ulf
Chapter VII: Of The War For Croatia
Chapter VIII: Of Croatia Reborn
Chapter IX: Of Galasso's Foresight And Stress
Chapter X: Of Divine Intervention


Part VI: The Regency Period

Chapter I: Of The Sinai War
Chapter II: Of Mongols Ad Portas
Chapter III: Of The Second Venetian War
Chapter IV: Of Minor Wars


Part VII: King Torquato the Great

Chapter I: Of Three Sisters
Chapter II: Of The Hungarian Crown
Chapter III: Of The First Horde War - Year 1275
Chapter IV: Of The First Horde War - Jan to Sep 1276
Chapter V: Of The First Horde War - Late 1276
Chapter VI: Of The First Horde War - Early 1277






 
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Aug 26, 2006
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Of Beginnings

The Rise of Dalmatians
(not the dogs)​

Part I: Duke Goran the Unlucky
Chapter I: Of Beginnings



Our tale begins in the year 1187, with this man, Goran Marinovic, count of Split and duke of Dalmatia.

1101.jpg



The duke traced lineage from a minor noble family from the islands off the coast of Dalmatia. He was in fact its sole surviving member, his parents having died of a nasty cold while he was but 10 years old. Fostered at the court of Nikalitza of Zalachumia, a friend of his father, he was instructed in the ways of nobility, with special attention given to his training in arms.

1102.jpg



After distinguishing himself in various tourneys, he was taken under the wing of Bela Arpad, the king of Hungary, who gave him a position in the army. Upon serving faithfully for several years, Goran was awarded the dukedom by the king. He had proven himself to be an able commander, and the king hoped he would prove to be at least as capable as an administrator.

1103.jpg



Split was, by all measures, a very poor province. The land was not very fertile, and although it was in a good position for the development of trade, it was not, in fact, well developed at all. Upon taking charge of his holdings, the duke was surprised to find that the monthly income was… well it was not an income at all, it was a monthly deficit.

1105.jpg



The citizens of the capital of the province, the city of Split, were mostly made up of the descendants of the old Roman populace of the city of Salonae, which was burned and pillaged by Croats and Avars when they first came to the area in the 7th century. Split was built in and around the majestic palace of Emperor Diocletian, who built it at the turn of the 3rd and 4th century, and came to live in it in the year 305, upon retiring from rule. The countryside was populated by Croats, but due to the cities, the predominant culture in the province was Latin, or Italian, seeing how the peasants weren’t too cultured.

Upon establishing his court in a small palace in Split, while waiting for the power-hungry local nobles to flock to him in search of profitable appointments, the duke undertook the writing of a letter to Thibault, the count of Blois, asking for the hand in marriage of his daughter Adelaide.

1106.jpg



He had already met the countess of Blois, Alix Capet, and her sons and daughters at the court in Pest, when she was visiting her sister Marguerite Capet, the queen of Hungary. Indeed, the count answered affirmatively, for this match making was the work of the queen, and soon he arrived in Split to see Goran and Adelaide wed, bringing with him a substantial dowry, as befitted the niece of the king of France.

1107.jpg



Satisfied with the fact that such a match brought him more respect in the eyes of the populace, and the other nobles of the realm, who considered him an upstart worthy of contempt, he set about the ordering of the business of his demesne.


 
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unmerged(48100)

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Aug 30, 2005
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Bloody Hungarians stealing more money from you than you get! But maybe you just need a steward?

And I personally would continue from the last point you have a screenshot from. If comments or anything you want to add has influence on the game I consider it as good, and making up the missing part usually doesn't really work.
 
Aug 26, 2006
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Well, I did want to play the game and write the AAR simultenously, but I got so hooked on the game that I couldn't stop playing. So now I have a lot of material until that last screenshot. I won't play at all until I catch up. Then we'll see...

And yeah, that's the "income" without the steward. The appointing of councillors is up next...
 

Veldmaarschalk

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I thought at last, an AAR about 101 white dogs with black spots :)


But, seriously a nice start of the AAR and it is always nice to see an AAR about the 1187 scenario, which are rather rare

Good luck
 

Janus Rook

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This looks good so far Shuma, I will keep up on this one.

he set about the ordering of the business of his demesne.

Like getting an heir.... ;) :D

Well, I did want to play the game and write the AAR simultenously, but I got so hooked on the game that I couldn't stop playing. So now I have a lot of material until that last screenshot. I won't play at all until I catch up. Then we'll see...

That's why I haven't played the game in my AAR for weeks. Better to consider that part "work" so you don't ruin a pristine storyline. ;)
 

stnylan

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Good to see you join the AAR crowd. Good solid start.
 
Aug 26, 2006
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Veldmaarschalk: Hehe, yeah no dogs. So far. Will think about putting them in. ;) I chose the 1187 scenario because I was able to play Dalmatia, unlike the other scenarios, and me being from Split, I wanted to play it. Also, the setting is suitably challenging, starting with a single poor province and all...

Janus Rook: :rofl: ...an heir will come soon, much to my relief. Two previous times I started this game, I ran out of heirs at some point. The last time being... right away. I'm hoping writing the AAR with this no-playing-until-I-catch-up rule will make me spend less time on CK, and more on some other stuff, like... oh, I don't know, passing some exams and finnaly graduating?

stnylan: Yeah, I've been reading and commenting for too long, about time I wrote something myself. I'm not sure how it will all turn out, I'm realy rusty at writing. I'm writing this one just to see how it all goes, hopefully once I'm done with the process I'll be able to make the next ones better!

Well, it's too early to judge anything yet, so here comes an update...
 
Aug 26, 2006
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Of Matters Of Goverment

The Rise of Dalmatians

Part I: Duke Goran the Unlucky
Chapter II: Of Matters Of Goverment



The first order of business for the duke was the appointment of advisors to serve on his council. From a number of minor nobles that joined his court, duke Goran appointed the following:

The position of chancellor, to advise on matters of diplomacy, was given to Stjepan de Cippico, an honest man, unable to hold a grudge for long, who possessed some skills required of a good diplomat.

1201.jpg



Another member of the de Cippico family, Slavac, was appointed to the position of spymaster, to serve as the duke's eyes and ears, and to take care of other delicate business should the need arise. Although trained in the ways of diplomacy, his deceitfulness and his tendency not to forget any slight done to him or his liege, made him far more suited for the job he was given.

1202.jpg



On monetary issues, both of his court and his demesne, the Duke heeded the advice of his wife, Adelaide de Blois, who through her extensive studies in a French monastery, was well educated in all aspects of government. She would indeed serve on other positions in the future.

1204.jpg



The duke was satisfied with all these advisors. But, in addition to there being no suitable person for giving counsel on matters of religion, a position for which he failed to find a capable enough person was the position of marshal. In the end, for lack of a better option, he gave the job to one Stjepan Kotromanic. This was a very interesting man. Although he thought himself to be a master of intrigue, he was more susceptible to other people’s machinations than he was able to put into effect any scheme of his. Still, he had received some training in arms, and the duke needed someone to help him with the future instruction of his troops, that would be levied once the economic situation was improved. Any advice that Stjepan gave on military matters was to be completely ignored.

1203.jpg



Once he was sure of the fact that various matters of day to day government were being dealt with by more or less capable people, duke Goran devoted his time to proscribing laws, taxes, and giving appropriate funding for various avenues of research. In order to be able to better control all that went on in his province, the duke proclaimed he was the ultimate authority in all matters of state, as well as having the final say in all the doings of the clergy. All the various taxes were raised, and the church donations lowered, but care was given to the happiness of his populace, so as not to overly upset any part of it. Attention was given to the development of better types of leather armor, to the research of mining technologies and the finding of ore in the surrounding mountains, and ideas for improvement of the local educational system were being gathered.

Having thus increased his influence in the province, and ensuring that there was at least some monthly income for the court, it was now time for the duke to assess the situation in the wider world.


 
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Aug 26, 2006
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Hmm, it seems to me these updates are rather short, but it seemed a natural way of dividing events. Probably they will get bigger as things get going.
 

stnylan

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They seem to be a good length from where I am sitting. These things tend to find a natural rhythm.
 
Aug 26, 2006
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Of The Geopolitical Situation

The Rise of Dalmatians

Part I: Duke Goran the Unlucky
Chapter III: Of The Geopolitical Situation






On the onset of the rule of duke Goran, his duchy was surrounded by the following:


1301.jpg


To the northwest, bordering Split were the lands of the bishop Gabriele of Zadar. Historically, Zadar was a part of the Duchy of Dalmatia, and the duke decided he would keep a close eye on the developments there. However, at that time, the bishopric was part of the Republic of Venice, and it was unlikely any expansion was possible in that direction, especially since the duke lacked any serious claim to the area, as well as the ability to find a believable one in the near future.

North of Split lay the County of Zalachlumia, ruled by Nikalitza, the duke's foster parent. The count's liege was Branimir of Zagreb, the duke of Croatia and count of Zagreb, who also had the Subics in Senj, Frangepans in Veglia, and the family of Usora as his vassals. Good relations were immediately established with that area, with the duke Goran accepting marriage offers for three female courtiers without employment. Nikalitza married Neda of Split, Branimir of Zagreb asked and received the hand of Marija de Cippico, and Agata Kotromanic left for the court in Senj, where she married the count's chancellor.

To the east was the County of Ragusa, part of the lands of Stefan Nemanjic, the King of Serbia. Just north of Ragusa was the small Kingdom of Bosnia, ruled by the Kulinic family. Powers to watch in the Balkans were also the Kingdom of Bulgaria, and the enduring Empire of Byzantium. Across the Adriatic sea, in addition to the Papal state and various independent republics, lay the Kingdom of Sicily, ruled by the de Hautevilles, and the Kingdom of Italy ruled by the son and heir of the king of Germany and Burgundy.



Hungary itself also bordered the kingdoms of Germany and Poland, while in the east lay the small Tribe of Wlachs, as well as the tribes of Birlad, Severin and Turnu, who were part of the Tribe of Cuman, but were cut off from them by the lands of the Principality of Galich. These tribes were in a particularly delicate position, and looked to be ripe for plucking.


1302.jpg


Indeed, the Cuman War was to begin that very year.


 
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Aug 26, 2006
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I'm not sure how well people know the 1187 scenario, so I decided on the description of the setting. It wouldn't do for me to start describing wars with people not knowing what I was talking about.

As I am moving this weekend, I'm not sure if I'll be able to write another update, but maybe I'll find time tonight or in the morning. Luckily, I already have an internet connection waiting for me in the new apartment, so it won't be too big a delay :)
 

stnylan

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It is usually wise to give people something of an overview, as even in relatively well known openings there could be details that some will overlook. Especially those of us who play CK alot more rarely than we would like. So - thank you! :D
 
Aug 26, 2006
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stnylan said:
It is usually wise to give people something of an overview, as even in relatively well known openings there could be details that some will overlook. Especially those of us who play CK alot more rarely than we would like. So - thank you! :D

Well, you're welcome. And some of you realy should find some time to play CK more, and give us all another chronicle to look forward to! ;)
 
Aug 26, 2006
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CSK said:
I guess apart from Cuman, Serbia is your main target?

Well, the Cuman war wasn't started by me. And I didn't get much out of it. Seeing how a duke of one province with no vassals has the prestige of a wet sponge, and with the game difficulty being hard (so that a claim on the poorest province is 300-400 at the lowest) attacking Serbia was never on my mind. As mentioned in the opening post, Zadar and the crown of Croatia were my goals. But how I went about that is another matter.

But wait, all shall be revealed :)

I decided not to go out tonight, so I'll probably go work on an update. Hopefully I'll have it up in the next few hours.

edit: Well I did work on the AAR, but instead of making the next update, I ended up writing the concept for the whole reign of Goran. Maybe I'll have time to work on the update in the morning, but I doubt it. So probably the next update will be on Sunday or Monday
 
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Aug 26, 2006
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Of The Start Of The Cuman War

The Rise of Dalmatians

Part I: Duke Goran the Unlucky
Chapter IV: Of The Start Of The Cuman War




The first few months of the year 1187 of our Lord went by peacefully. Duke Goran busied himself with the governance of his demesne, and word spread amongst the populace of how just he was in his rulings. He spent most of his free time with his wife, for whom he had started to care dearly. Even more so when, in July, the duchess's doctor informed him that Adelaide was with child.

Tidings of great importance came to Split during this time. In late April, the Pope called for the start of the third crusade, imploring the mighty of the Christian world to take Alexandria out of the hands of Egypt. Most surprisingly, the first to take up the cross were the people of Genoa.

In July, the Kingdom of Sicily sent word to their ally Bela, the king of Hungary, that Salah ad-Din Ayyubid, the ruler of Egypt, had declared his intent to capture Malta. Guillaume de Hauteville vowed to defend his vassal, and so the Abassid, Salah ad-Din's allies, declared war on Sicily as well. However, Bela decided not to intervene. He responded that he still had infidels on his own borders, and until such a time as that threat was removed, he would not venture into any other conflict, be it the defense of Sicily, or the conquest of Alexandria, a cause to which at this time France had also pledged. And so, in September, by the declaration of war on the Chiefdom of Severin, king of Hungary Bela Arpad started the Cuman War.

Very shortly after that, duke Goran received a request to place himself and the troops of his province at the king’s disposal. Immediately he set about mobilizing his men, and sent a note of acceptance to Pest. However, no order for marching came, and the duke camped his army just outside Split, while he returned to the palace to await messengers, and make plans for the governing in his absence.

In November the duke's investments in the search for ways to attract scholars to him finally bore fruit, when plans for the construction of a library were added to the ones for a school and a monastery, which had already been completed before his arrival. He, rather foolishly considering the wealth of the province, dreamed that Split would one day be a great center of learning and have a university of its own, so he ordered that plans be made in that direction as well.

Christmas of 1187 came, and still no word, other then to keep the soldiers ready, arrived from the king. The next day, December 26, saw the arrival of a traveler from Rome, who brought news that pope Urban was dead, and that a certain Paolo has been chosen as his successor. It was also rumored that the duke's father-in-law, count Thibault de Blois, had great influence on the new head of the Catholic Church.

In April the duke was still in Split, so he was there on the 17th to witness the birth of his first child, his son and heir Domagoj. The duke ordered celebrations to be held, and extra food and drink rations were given to the troops, who were getting restless in their camp.

1401.jpg



But things were set to take a turn for the dramatic, when in June Cuman ships were spotted in the Adriatic Sea, and an emissary arrived with a formal declaration of war from Sircan, the High Chief of Cuman.

1402.jpg


 
Last edited:

Veldmaarschalk

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I am reading it correctly and are your troops under the command of your AI-king ?

That is not good a good prospect, with those Cumans declaring war on you.
 
Aug 26, 2006
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You are reading it correctly. ;)