• Crusader Kings II Expansion Subscription

    Subscribe to the CK II Expansion and enjoy unlimited access to 13 major expansions and more!


  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    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

generalolaf

welfare state fanboy
50 Badges
Jul 29, 2011
2.136
551
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Prison Architect
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • 500k Club
  • War of the Roses
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • Victoria 2
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
generalolaf: Welcome aboard! You should most definitely get the game, it's fun!
Haha, yeah. AARs are just my way of tiding myself over until I get a comp that can run it smoothly :p :D
This is definitely looking like a top quality AAR too :)
 

LordTempest

You mother baka
61 Badges
May 14, 2009
7.756
3.285
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • March of the Eagles
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Pride of Nations
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Cities in Motion
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
Thanks for the comments everyone, I'll have an update ready tomorrow.

Scott: I hope you will continue to find this AAR interesting, welcome aboard!

Nate: My first CKII game was as Leinster, so I know what you mean. Welcome aboard and thanks for following!

generalolaf: Why thank you, I hope the subsequent chapters are of a similar if not higher quality. :)
 

LordTempest

You mother baka
61 Badges
May 14, 2009
7.756
3.285
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • March of the Eagles
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Pride of Nations
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Cities in Motion
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
Update time! This one focuses solely on the battle for Wales, the next will focus on the rest of Britain, and on Bleddyn's family (which is extensive and mostly unmarried at the game's start, so you can expect a fair bit of diplomatic manoeuvering next update ;))

Scott1964: No, fortunately he's survived the war with his head intact, whether or not its in good order is up for debate however. :)

Ares96: Thank you very much! Welcome aboard. :)
 

LordTempest

You mother baka
61 Badges
May 14, 2009
7.756
3.285
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • March of the Eagles
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Pride of Nations
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Cities in Motion
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
Chapter I: The Unification of "Wales"

Duke Bleddyn awoke early that morning, his head still aching slightly from the incident the day before. His sons Madog and Hunydd (his second) were eager to return to the hunt, as they had planned. They must have had little idea on what their father had in store for them. At the breakfast table Bleddyn announced that he had thought it over, and after much deliberation decided to cancel the day's hunt and instead invade the Briton lands to the south. Those present must have brought up their breakfast in shock, and surely one or two must have assumed that the Duke's injury had gone to his head, figuratively as well as literally. The Duke spoke of what had happened to him in the forest that day, the white stag, hearing Grufydd's voice and of Avalon. In doing so he removed all doubt. However mad he may have sounded to those present Bleddyn was still the Duke, and when the Duke says his late brother came to him in the guise of a deer in a forest and told him to wage war against the three lords of Southern Wales, you better believe him, or be prepared to suffer the consequences.

The Duke's council was duly summoned, given a quick brief of the situation and then given their tasks. The Marshal, Bleddyn's fifth son Maredudd, was charged with raising the levies for the coming war while the Mayor of Radnor would raise taxes to fund the war effort. The Bishop Asa was to use his church connections to gain information on those murderous Saxons while The Bishop Cadog headed for the Church archives, his task to study the ancient Briton texts and to try to interpret Bleddyn's epiphany. The most important task lay to the Duke's most trusted advisor, the Chancellor. He was to search for Avalon, the quest for which would soon become something of an obsession for Blynedd. The Chancellor advised that there was an island to the north-west of Ynys Môn, and that he would “investigate” further once there.

court1066.png

Members of the Duke of Gwynedd's Loyal Council

The realm prepared for war: men were levied, arms were made and armour polished. Being the sort of man he was, Bleddyn insisted on leading the armies from the front, a risky practice but also one bound to earn him the respect of his troops. On the way to the march, the men were told stories of Arthur and the great Britons of old to keep their morale high, in many respects this was to be more of a crusade then a war, Bleddyn certainly saw it that way. To the other lords on campaign, Bleddyn's sons and brothers, plus his brother-in-law the Earl of Perfeddwlad, Bleddyn's proclamations must have sounded like the words of a madman. To add to their concerns, Bleddyn had opted to take on all three of the southern lords at once, rather than picking them off one by one, a much more sensible option.[1]

The three southern lords quickly got wind of Bleddyn's march and formed a loose coalition, led by the Earl of Dyfed, to combat the Gwyneddian threat. Despite the strength of three Earldoms, the alliance was outnumbered by the combined forces of Bleddyn's personal guard and Earl Edwyn of Perfeddwlad's levies.

wales1.png


The Duke's forces assembled with Rhiwallon's levies in Powys and Edwyn's troops from the north. Scouts reported that the Earl of Dyfed's men were marching on the capital, the other two Earls staying put for the time being. Bleddyn led his entire army westward to Dyfed, giving the Earls of Glamorgan and Gwent their chance to strike. Both Earls moved on the now open province of Powys, the Earl of Dyfed led his troops in a forced march and was able to reach Gwynedd before Bleddyn could catch them, meeting up with his allies who marched from Powys. Bleddyn pressed onwards to Dyfed, besieging the Earl's castle and seat of power. The war descended into a race to see who could take a capital first: whether Bleddyn could take Dyfed before the coalition could take Gwynedd. The alliance, upon realising the true strength of the forces of Gwynedd, pressed all the forces at their disposal: private armies of barons, town mayors and even bishops. The coalition forces were now almost at parity with their enemies (in fact the coalition was short by only ten). Bleddyn refused to comply, not wanting to risk the ire of his lesser vassals[2]. The reinforcements did the trick, and Bleddyn's castle at Aberffrraw was the first to give way.[3]

battle1.png


It was not long after – in fact only about three hours after – that the walls of Dinefwy Castle were breached by Bleddyn and his troops.

battle2.png


The defenders at Dinefyr fled to the Church of St. David where, no doubt inspired by the religious significance of the place, put up an inspired defence. The defenders sallied no less than twice, frustrating the efforts of Bleddyn and his allies. The defenders of St David's Church were defeated, but they were able to buy enough time for the Earl of Dyfed to lead a crucial breakthrough at Caernarfon, Gwynedd province's last line of defence. Gwynedd was now theirs.

battle3.png


Rather than press their advantage, the Earl of Dyfed made a crucial mistake and stayed in Gwynedd. Three days later Bleddyn's men broke through Carmarthen, Dyfed's last line of defence, and began the march northward back to Gwynedd, the scene was set for a decisive battle. It was here once again that intelligence played a vital role in deciding the fate of the war. The Duke's spymaster, Bishop Asa, spread a rumour among the alliance that upon having got word of the defeat at Gwynedd, Bleddyn had raised his baronial reserves in Powys and Perfeddwlad as the three Earls had done, and was planning to march his combined forces on Gwynedd. The coalition would have no hope of winning such a battle, but if they could intercept the reserves before they could reach Gwynedd, they would' have slaughtered the reserves and dealt a decisive blow against Duke Bleddyn, who without his phantom reserves would have to split his numerically superior army into two, thus giving the coalition the upper hand.

The three earls hurried their troops to Perfeddwlad and Powys, leaving Caernarfon and Aberffrraw defended with only a skeleton crew. When they arrived they naturally found no marching armies, only men behind castle wars. By this time Duke Bleddyn had returned to Gwynedd and was laying siege to his own castles, the skeleton crew bring no match for his forces. Crucially, the Earl of Dyfed had left his wife behind in Caernarfon who was duly take hostage by the Gwyneddian forces. With his advantage lost, his homeland occupied and his wife in enemy hands, the Earl of Dyfed was forced to submit. On the 13th of August 1066, the alliance had lost their leader and greatest asset in the space of one afternoon's carelessness.

battle4.png


The lost of the Earl of Dyfed cut the alliance's total strength by about a third. Bleddyn pressed on to Glamorgan, the weakest of the three Earls, while the alliance, now led by the Earl of Gwent, reformed at Powys and marched to retake Dyfed. The war once again descended into a race, but this time Duke Bleddyn had the advantage both of time and of the knowledge Dyfed had a sufficiently large garrison, half the size of the alliance's remaining force. This time St. David was on Bleddyn's side, and the alliance failed to make any leeway in Dyfed, not even passing the first obstacle at Dinefwy. By this time the Earl of Glamorgan had had enough, and seeing which way the wind was blowing, submitted to Bleddyn before he could take Cardiff, sparing his subjects there the slaughter[4]. The Earl of Gwent was now on his own.

battle5.png


The coalition's forces were now exhausted, and excluding garrisons only numbered a paltry 42 men. Sensing victory, Bleddyn split his army into two: Rhiwallon leading the bulk, would besiege Gwent while he himself would chase after the Earl of Gwent and his tiny band of soldiers. The game was up, the Earl finally figured out that his head would be better off in exile than impaled on a pole and with his forty-two men in tow, surrendered to Duke Bleddyn on the 17th of November, 1069. The Battle for the Britons had been won, but the Battle for Britain was only just beginning...

battleend.png




Notes:

[1] Just to explain for those who don't have the game yet, you can't declare war in CKII without a CB, or claim. You gain an automatic CB against infidels and heretics, but in order to declare war on fellow Catholics you either need Papal Permission (like the kind William received to invade England) which costs 200 Piety per king/dukedom(to contrast, an average ruler gets about 0.75 a month, Bleddyn gets only a third of this per month) or a territorial claim (or core). Like in the older versions of EUIII claims can be manufactured, but unlike EUIII they aren't manufactured instantaneously. Instead, core generation works the same way as missionaries do, you send your Chancellor to the province you wish to claim, and have a percentage chance per year (the percentage depending on how skilled your chancellor is) of developing a claim. Like missionaries, there theoretically is a chance you can play through an entire game without developing a claim. Unlike missionaries, you only have one Chancellor at at time and hence, can only claim one province at a time. As you might guess, an invasion of a measly three provinces could easily take half a century and was why I was forced to cheat in order to speed up the story. I still felt uneasy about cheating, so I decided to level the playing field a little by declaring war on all three lords at once, not that it helped much.

[2] If you raise vassal or county levies for too long (only about a week or two), your vassals will grow to dislike you (at a rate of one relations point per day).

[3] Unlike other Paradox games, in CKII you actually need to assault a castle several times to seize a province.

[4] Enemies are far more likely to submit to annexation in CKII than in other Paradox games. At this point I had only taken Swansea (meaning I would have to successfully assault Glamorgan twice in order to seize it) and my warscore was only 92%.
 

morningSIDEr

General
15 Badges
Mar 31, 2008
2.362
0
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
Exhilerating stuff. The siege race seemed very near things, thankfully the Dyfed led coalition's blunder in believing Asa's lies allowing for a seemingly narrow victory. Now with Wales unified, I assume the Kingdom can be created. With this, on to the rest of Britain. Considering how difficult conquering Britain is likely to prove, I can only hope the Chancellor is successful in his bid to find Avalon, enlisting King Arthur's aid could prove useful!
 

Axe27

Captain
61 Badges
May 6, 2010
486
1
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Divine Wind
  • Deus Vult
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Victoria 2
  • Stellaris
  • Achtung Panzer
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Prison Architect
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
Yeah, you need to attack every castle/city/bishopric in a province. In the frozen reaches of Finland/Sweden/Norway, there's only a castle there, meaning one siege/assault will do, but in the more populated areas of Germany, you will need several assaults.
 
Feb 18, 2012
3
0
I stumbled across this game while browsing Gamespot, Thought it may be a little too complicated for me but this AAR alone is making me want to buy
 

LordTempest

You mother baka
61 Badges
May 14, 2009
7.756
3.285
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • March of the Eagles
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Pride of Nations
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Cities in Motion
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
MorningSIDEr: In order to claim a title you also need 50% of the land that title has sovereignty over, plus a certain amount of Gold and Piety (for Kingdoms). Wales has 6 demesnes and Gwynedd starts with 3, so If I had 389 gold and 200 Piety I could have formed it at the start of the game. I don't so I couldn't. :) Right now Harold is actually winning the war against William, I've never seen this happen before.

Loki: Welcome aboard! I do hope it will be fascinating, I'm sure I'll be able to pull it off once I get enough Piety. :)

Kamatsu: Welcome! I know, but if I said that I'd have to start a lengthy explanation on the types of demesnes. I actually thought I said "fort" not castle there...

Axe: Welcome to you too! I've never played a game in Scandinavia, so thanks for sharing that info. :)

Rhaegal: I assure you, the game is well worth the price. I thought the same thing about CKI, and to be honest I never really took the time to learn the game and it's intricacies. My loss. CKII does look very daunting, but it comes with an in-depth tutorial which helps you learn the ropes and once you do the game is very, very, very addictive. :) Thank you very much for the compliment, I hope you'll take the plunge and give CKII a try.
 
Feb 18, 2012
3
0
Rhaegal: I assure you, the game is well worth the price. I thought the same thing about CKI, and to be honest I never really took the time to learn the game and it's intricacies. My loss. CKII does look very daunting, but it comes with an in-depth tutorial which helps you learn the ropes and once you do the game is very, very, very addictive. :) Thank you very much for the compliment, I hope you'll take the plunge and give CKII a try.

Yes bought it will be downloaded and ready for when i finish work, played demo the tutorials seem a little hit and miss so may jump right in. For a newbie game do you suggest starting as a count or duke with small land holdings as oppose to a king or ruler?
 

CptDrake

Private
60 Badges
Jul 4, 2009
22
0
  • Semper Fi
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • 500k Club
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Supreme Ruler 2020
  • Victoria 2
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
A very intriguing AAR; interestingly written with an unusual Arthurian/Britanic/Celtic angle.
In short - a damn good read.

Why was I attracted to this AAR? Well, my first game of CK2 was as Duke of Gwynedd. I was able to create a King of Wales (after a changes of leader) and ended with Queen Angharad I of Wales! However, it ended there as there were no offspring, and her syphalitic condition did nothing to aid the continuation of the dynasty.

I'm wondering if the Isle of Man will be the "True Avalon"...

Well done and all the best from 'the real Perfeddwlad'.
 

LordTempest

You mother baka
61 Badges
May 14, 2009
7.756
3.285
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • March of the Eagles
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Pride of Nations
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Cities in Motion
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
Update Time! Thanks for all the comments everyone, next update will deal with Bleddyn and his family. This one is solely devoted to the Battle for England.

FinnishFish: Welcome! I hope this AAR continues to be interesting. :)

Rhaegal: I hope you'll enjoy it. :) It really depends on your style of play: many people would suggest playing a King first but personally, I would recommend a well-positioned Duke. My first game was as Leinster, a not-so-well-positioned Irish count, but you might like to try one of the Irish dukes, and set yourself the goal of forming the Kingdom of Ireland.

CptDrake: Thank you very much and welcome aboard! I can tell you right now that Man won't be Avalon, for if it were I'd (erm... Bleddyn) would have no justification to invade Ireland! Right now (as you'll see next update) Bleddyn has no shortage of heirs; hopefully the line of Mathrafal will continue for some time to come.

Sergei Meranov: Welcome! The next update is devoted to what's been happening in England, so you'll see how insane it is... (not very actually, though the Duke's holdings in Normandy are another story...)
 

LordTempest

You mother baka
61 Badges
May 14, 2009
7.756
3.285
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • March of the Eagles
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Pride of Nations
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Cities in Motion
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
Chapter II: The Battle for England

Edward of the House of Wessex, commonly known as “the Confessor” died without issue. Edward had been carelessly aloof about naming a successor; had he taken more interest in his succession and actually named an heir the Battle for England might never have occurred. He didn't however, leaving the succession to the English throne open to all sorts of claimants. The three major contenders for the throne were the Saxon, Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, the Norman William of Normandy (referred to pejoratively as “the Bastard”) and the viking King Harald III of Norway, posthumously known as Harald Hardrada.

Of the three, Harold Godwinson was perhaps the best poised to press his claim. Harold was not only one of the wealthiest men in Britain, he had a reputation as a great warrior – like many Saxon (and Briton) generals he led from the front – and as a man for whom friendship paid. Harold richly rewarded his allies and friends, making him exceedingly popular with nobles and soldiers, even amongst the Fyrd, the Saxon rank-and-file. For a medieval monarch of his day such popularity from all walks of life was most unusual. Harold didn't lack support from the nobles either, he had the full backing of the Witenagemot, the Saxon parliament. In fact the only English noble who didn't back Harold was none other than his own brother, Tostig.

Tostig had been the Earl of Northumbria, and unlike his brother was never particularly popular with his subjects. Some were so disillusioned with him that in 1065 they invited the Thanes of Yorkshire – who were set on rebellion anyways – to depose Tostig! Edward had never much liked Tostig to begin with, but it was Harold's suggestion to placate the rebels which was the clincher. Tostig's own brother had him outlawed and, feeling naturally angry and dismayed, Tostig fled the country, eventually finding refuge with King Malcom of Scotland. It was here that he began to plot his revenge. His chance came when on the 6th of January 1066, Harold Godwinson crowned himself King of England. This unilateral declaration infuriated Duke William, who claimed that he had saved Harold from a shipwreck some years earlier, and in a gesture of thanks Harold promised to back William's own claim to the throne. Tostig saw his chance for revenge and took it, offering his aid to William's cause. Wisely, William paid no heed; Tostig would have been more of a liability to William than an asset. Tostig was forced to look elsewhere, or more specifically across the North Sea, to Norway.

King Harald had shown no designs on England before Tostig, and if he had designs, he didn't express them. His claim to the English throne was a very weak one, based solely on a promise one of Edward's predecessors had made to the then King of Denmark some decades ago. Nevertheless Harald was taken in by Tostig's pleas and agreed to take up his flimsy claim and invade England. Fighting two enemies at once might have been disastrous for Harold, naturally he'd be the top target for both Harald and William. But fortunately for Harold he happened to have a very powerful ally on his side, God himself.

William had planned his invasion ever since Harold crowned himself King, raising not only his own troops in Normandy, but purchasing mercenaries from Breton, Flanders, Southern France, even some from as far away as Southern Italy. He even went to the trouble of getting Papal permission for the invasion. This however won him no favours with the Almighty. For eight whole months the weather remained unsuitable for a maritime invasion of Southern England, giving Harold more than enough time to raise enough men from all across England, including his own highly loyal and professional soldiers, the Huscarls.

While William waited in Normandy, Harald and Tostig prepared for war in Norway. The weather conditions there and in the north-east of England were much more favourable for a maritime invasion, but Harald and Tostig started their preparations much later than William did. God had given Harold exactly enough time – none more, none less – to defeat Harald and Tostig and then William individually – but only if he acted fast enough.

The first move would be made by Harald and Tostig, most appropriately their target was to be Tostig's old enemies in Yorkshire. The English in Fulford were caught by surprise: most Saxons, including Harold, thought that the real threat to their rule would be William of Normandy and positioned their armies appropriately, in the South of England. Harald and Tostig stormed the unsuspecting Yorkshiremen at the Battle of Fulford. Reluctantly, Harold wheeled his forces around, and marched northwards to engage the Vikings in Yorkshire. Harold led his troops northwards in a forced march, he hoped that if he caught up with Harald fast enough he'd be able to catch them unawares and pull off a resounding victory. At Stamford Bridge, Harold would have his resounding victory.

Harald and especially Tostig were in a very buoyant mood after Fulford, and so were their men. Both commanders assumed correctly that Harold was busy waiting for the Normans in the south, both assumed incorrectly that even if Harold had received word of Fulford yet it would take him almost a week for his army to arrive at their position. Harald and Tostig thus took their time in extracting as much plunder – and in Tostig's case, revenge – as they could from the local Saxons. The vikings were so confident of the Saxon's position they even took off their armour during their plunders, assuming that at closest Harold's army was six days away. In fact, they were only three days away.

When Harold and his men arrived at Stamford Bridge, they couldn't have believed their luck. The vikings were having a picnic, their forces split on two banks, divided by a river. The only way of crossing between the two banks being a narrow stone bridge, the battle's namesake. The vikings were almost without exception unarmoured, barely armed and unprepared for the battle which confronted them. Harold's men, who unlike their enemies were clad in full armour, slaughtered the unarmoured vikings, running through them like a hot knife through butter. Some vikings tried to flee across the bridge to their comrades on the other side of the bank. Legend has it that a particularly large Viking held the bridge single-handedly, buying some vikings who fled enough time to rally their compatriots. It is said he killed no less than 40 of Harold's men before a rather ingenious Saxon floated under the bridge in a barrel, and with his spear, impaled the large viking by stabbing right through his genitals.

Saxon troops began to pour onto the other side of the river. The vikings had enough time to form a shield wall – a favoured tactic of both them and the Saxons – and the reformed Saxons formed a shiled wall of their own. The two forces clashed, but without their armour or all their weapons, the vikings quickly lost ground to the more prepared Saxons. Viking morale took a hit when the great Harald Hardrada fell, and Tostig was hacked to pieces soon after; a death most befitting a traitor. Harold and the Saxons had not only won a resounding victory, they had done so easily and with few casualties. Furthermore, in one battle he had killed Harald, his claim to England dying with him. The Norwegians were forced to make peace with Harold, who, with one enemy pacified, marched his troops back southward to engage William of Normandy. He was right to hurry, for William had already arrived on England's shores.

stamfordbridge.png

The battle of Stamford Bridge was a decisive victory for Harold Godwinson and the Saxons. Symbolically, it helped signal the end of the Dark Ages and the age of the Vikings.

The weather had improved significantly since Harald had landed in England, giving William the chance to invade England he had waited nine months for. The Normans came expecting heavy resistance, but faced very little if any at all. William's men began to plunder and pillage, hoping to draw the Saxons out into a decisive battle. Harold had no choice but to comply; he had no time to rest and regain his strength. Less than a week after the Battle of Stamford Bridge, the two armies met on the field of battle, outside Hastings. The Battle of Hastings had begun.

Both armies were evenly matched in terms of numbers and equipment, save for William's secret weapon; his knights. The Saxons fought almost exclusively on foot. To compensate, Harold had the advantage of terrain: his troops were positioned on a hill. Fighting uphill not only put the Normans at a disadvantage, it severely mitigated the effectiveness of their knights and archers. Nevertheless, they were well-rested, unlike their Saxon enemies, who had fought and marched hard for the past fortnight. The two sides were evenly balanced, most fitting conditions for a stalemate.

William was well-schooled in modern medieval European warfare, and began the battle in a most orthodox fashion: with his archers. William had hoped that a barrage of arrows would soften up the Saxons. Harold too proceeded with orthodox tactics, Saxon tactics. Like at Stamford Bridge, they relied on the Saxon Shield Wall. The Norman archers were ill-trained compared to their Briton counterparts, and mostly due to the hilly terrain made almost no impact. The arrows flew over the Saxon's heads or right into the Shield Wall. William was convinced that the barrage would have at least done something – possibly one of the first but definitely not the last commander to make this mistake – and ordered his infantry to charge up the hill. The Saxons responded with a barrage of their own, throwing hatchets, spears, javelins and whatever other projectiles they could lay their hands on. The high ground, coupled with a shorter distance than that of the archers made this barrage far more effective than that of the Norman archers. The Norman infantry clashed with the Saxon Shield Wall. The Saxons held firm, the veteran Huscarls bearing the brunt of the Norman assault. Here the terrain once more played into the hands of the Saxons: the Normans did all the work while all the Huscarls needed to do was hold firm. William now played his trump card. He ordered his knights to charge uphill, but they too failed to breach the Shield Wall; the horses refused to charge through such a firm body of men. The battle soon descended into a stalemate of hard fighting. After hours of tiring and bloody hand-to-hand fighting some of the mercenaries William had hired began to lose heart and flee. The Saxons instinctively began pursuit, breaking ranks with their allies. Harold was fighting on the other side, and therefore powerless to stop his men from pursuing. Fortunately Harold caught sight of the routing mercenaries, and seizing his advantage, ordered a charge. Had he not caught sight of them, William could have easily exploited this chink in the Shield Wall, and perhaps won a decisive victory.

Charging downhill, the momentum was now with Harold. William needed to take drastic action. He ordered his reserves forward, thinking that advancing troops would “convince” some of his faltering men to think twice about fleeing and stand and fight instead. Now that the Saxons had moved from their starting position, William ordered his archers to fire once more. This time, they made an impact. The heavily-armoured Huscarls had dealt with the brunt of the first barrage, and now led the Saxon charge. The more lightly-armoured Fyrdmen followed behind, and it was these men who bore the brunt of the second barrage. Unlike the Huscarls they were unable to cope, and suffered heavy casualties. It was at this point in the battle that Harold was struck in the eye with an arrow. In true Saxon fashion, he kept on fighting until nightfall.

battleofhastings.png

The Battle of Hastings continued until sunset, after which it became too dark to see and both sides were forced to withdrew. The Battle of Hastings would rightfully earn it's place as one of the bloodiest stalemates in British military history.

The War between Harold of the Saxons and William of the Normans continued for three long years. By the time Bleddyn had united Wales, William had conquered much of Southern England, including London and was slowly inching his way forward to Oxford, Anglia and the South-West. Harold kept on fighting however, relocating his capital to York and waging a bitter guerrilla campaign from Central England and the Midlands. Harold even struck at William's rear, launching an amphibious assault on Normandy. The war too had devolved into a stalemate: Briton intervention in the Battle for England could prove to be decisive..

Untitled.png

Norman and Saxon occupied territories shortly after the Unification of “Wales”

 

Serek000

Major
8 Badges
Feb 15, 2009
547
0
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
Good AAR so far! Any plans to make friends with the more rebellious (at least in CK1 it seems that the Saxons were a bit more pugnacious and up for throwing off royal shackles) northern English counties?

Also, I see Welsh names are still as formidable as ever. I'll be damned if I can pronounce any of them correctly.