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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Murmurandus

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Who cares? It's yours now isn't it?:confused::D
 

Farquharson

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Enewald: If the sheik is actually a Christian he's still lying, because as you'll see his data window says "Arab Muslim". On the other hand, it also shows him as being Deceitful - hmm...

stnylan: Yes, I definitely blame Anonymous Commander's incompetence.

Kanil: That would also be a very convincing explanation, except that since when was the AI that clever? :p

J.Passepartout: I believe Humphrey the Bastard is still sunning himself in Darum, presumably hoping his liege the King of Norwy won't be requiring his presence in Scandinavia any time soon. :D

jordarkelf: Nope, I checked the history log and I definitely got a message saying we had liberated the province. However, here's the complete story:
  • Siracusa belongs to Murabitids
  • Siracusa gets rebels who take it over
  • A new independent Sheikdom of Siracusa is formed and declares war on Murabitids, but it is still rebel-controlled (thus begins the weird bit, right?)
  • I declare war on the Sheikdom, invade and liberate it from the rebels, but don't get a claim
  • I offer the Sheik vassalization and he accepts
So probably it has to do with liberating it from rebels rather than the Sheik?

Mumurandus: Well, the problem is that my new vassal Sheik Asim is still at war with the Murabitids, who can raise an army of about 70000 men at this point. He may not be my vassal for long... :( Whereas if I could have taken the province myself that war would be over.
 

jordarkelf

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So probably it has to do with liberating it from rebels rather than the Sheik?
That must be it. Rebels are internally treated as Catholic 'Norse' (all CK games have one rebel character, 'king' of the REBE tag, who has that culture and religion), so they count as Christians. As the actual owners at the time of your conquest, you would not have gotten a claim.

Mumurandus: Well, the problem is that my new vassal Sheik Asim is still at war with the Murabitids, who can raise an army of about 70000 men at this point. He may not be my vassal for long... :( Whereas if I could have taken the province myself that war would be over.
I hate this bug (vassal at war, liege at peace) so much I added an event for it in DVIP... Just drop in any event file ;)

Code:
character_event = { # Bugfix - Peace for AI vassals if liege is at peace
	id = 23254
	picture = "event_chancellor"
	trigger = {
		condition = { type = ai }
		condition = { type = ruler }
		condition = { type = is_vassal }
		condition = { type = atwar }
		condition = { type = not value = { type = liege condition = { type = atwar } } }
	}
	mean_time_to_happen = { months = 1 }
	action_a = { #
		effect = { type = peace }
	}
}
character_event = { # Bugfix - Release AI vassals at war with liege
	id = 23255
	picture = "event_chancellor"
	trigger = {
		condition = { type = ai }
		condition = { type = ruler }
		condition = { type = is_vassal }
		condition = { type = atwar }
		condition = { type = liege
			condition = { type = atwar }
			condition = { type = any_enemy
				condition = { type = is_receiver }
			}
		}
	}
	mean_time_to_happen = { months = 1 }
	action_a = {
		effect = { type = independence }
		effect = { type = loyalty value = 1.0 }
		effect = { type = remove_trait for = this value = loyalist }
		effect = { type = remove_trait for = this value = rebellious }
	}
}
 
Aug 3, 2008
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Apart from your writing still being very funny, you've also got a truly interesting game going! The Bohemian crown, the Tirol-pledging, the bastard's foothold in the Holy Land and the conquest of southern Italy are all really nice little stories in themselves. :)
 

Farquharson

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jordarkelf: Thanks for the explanation - makes sense now. And I have to say I also sometimes get annoyed by vassals being at war when I'm at peace so I was tempted by the event script. However, I've kind of got used to it. To me it acts as a check to stop it being too easy to mop up breakaway vassals of neighbouring rulers. You have to grab a claim and take the title off them to do the job properly, which gives quite a BB hit for one measly province.

The_Guicard: Thanks! What I find fascinating about CK is that there are literally hundreds of little stories happening all over the place at any given time - most of which could be written up into something interesting with a bit of imagination. Sometimes I spend hours reloading old savegames to follow the trail of exactly what happened to produce some odd result that I've only just noticed.

gabor: Hey, what's to fear about being Italianicized? Is that a word anyway, or should it be Italicized?? Anyway, a German family with Italian culture and a Bohemian crown - all in a day's work for a CK dynasty, surely! :p
 

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Chapter 13

Chapter 13 (1131-37)

Bohemia gets Bigger

We must begin this chapter with the story of Hartmann von Jülichgau Count of Schwyz. He was one of the many stray vassals who had broken away from France and Germany and inexplicably pledged allegiance to the monstrously abusive Duke of Tyrol, Ludwig von Glarus. For five long years the Count had put up with his liege's merciless barrage of insults about himself, his appearance, his cowardice, his parentage, his wife's infidelity, etc, etc. In 1129 the Count finally died, leaving no son to succeed him. Neither of his brothers had actually got married, a fact from which Duke Ludwig had naturally drawn the most defamatory conclusions. He did however have a sister, Brunhilde, and she did have a son, as it happened - she was the mother of the Emperor Albrecht.


And so Schwyz switched once again back into the Kingdom of Germany. In 1131 the next up and coming von Hohenstaufen graduated from his Martial Education as a Brilliant Strategist. This was young Eckhard, the only surviving child of Arnulf's cousin Otto. He was lustful, lazy, indulgent and suicidal. King Arnulf immediately appointed him as his new Marshal.


Later that year there was less happy news when the Queen Mother, Duchess Alberanda of Lombardia, died at the grand old age of 62. She had certainly had a "good innings" as nobody in particular would have said in the twelfth century. Soon after this Arnulf granted her titles to his bedridden cousin Otto, in recognition of his past service as Marshal, the very post that Otto's son Eckhard had now just been appointed to.

Marshal Eckhard's first mission was to liberate the province of Brandenburg from the evil clutches of the pagan Chieftess Tekçe. A large swathe of northeast Germany had for some years been ruled by the Tribe of Cuman, but Brandenburg had recently broken away. After he had made the long march from Tirol, grumbling all the way, the lazy Marshal Eckhard made short work of subjugating the pagan chieftess. The good Christians of Brandenburg welcomed their liberator with open arms, then promptly celebrated in an orgy of thieving, smuggling and highway robbery.


What King Arnulf needed was someone who could take the Brandenburgers in hand, an energetic type who wouldn't stand for any nonsense. Fortunately just at that moment his son the mischievous blackguard Cornelio was ready for a wife and some lands. He married the daughter of the Duke of Toulouse and went off to become the Count of Brandenburg.


In that same year, 1133, the Emperor Albrecht died and was succeeded by his son Ulrich. While Ulrich was an excellent diplomat, his intrigue skills were non-existent. Most of his many vassals were happy with their new liege, however one who recklessly refused to pledge allegiance was Stefan van Leuven, Duke of Carinthia. It was particularly reckless because his lands were on King Arnulf's borders and once he had recklessly refused a generous vassalization offer, King Arnulf launched the customary Plan B. While Marshal Eckhard headed for Krain with the Tirol Regiment, Arnulf took the Verona Regiment to Istria.


And sure enough, once the Marshal arrived he did cheer up, in fact during the Battle of Krain he permanently stopped being depressed altogether. He was still lazy though, so it was just as well his forces outnumbered Duke Stefan's six to one. By September total victory had been achieved and the Duke agreed to become King Arnulf's vassal, Istria being granted to an opportunistic claim-holder called Manfred who had crawled out of the woodwork during the war.

Also during the war the Emperor Ulrich sent an envoy to King Arnulf proposing an alliance. Arnulf quickly accepted. The following year when the Count of Ansbach broke away from Germany it was Arnulf who invaded his lands and vassalized him again. A few months later the Emperor Ulrich finally got around to doing the same and Ansbach returned to Germany. Nevertheless, Arnulf now had a claim on the title at least.

King Arnulf was now in his forties, which meant that he could of course drop dead of old age at any moment. At this stage his immediate heir was his second son Meinhard, the Pawn of the Barons. The King went north to Brandenburg to pay his third son Cornelio a visit.


King Arnulf: Hey son, how's it going? You're looking well.

Cornelio: Hey Dad - well it's going OK. Bit of a cesspit though.

King Arnulf: Eh, what?

Cornelio: Brandenburg - the place is crawling with thieves and bandits. Not a pagan in sight though, more's the pity.

King Arnulf: Oh no, son, that's good! You don't want pagans in your province.

Cornelio: Not even to torture?

King Arnulf: Er… well why don't you torture the thieves and bandits?

Cornelio: Hey, great idea Dad! Why didn't I think of that?

King Arnulf: Right, well anyway, I was just coming to grant you a couple more titles.

Cornelio: Hey cool!

King Arnulf: Thing is, son, I think you ought to be King after me. I mean, Albrecht and Meinhard are nice young lads and everything but… well, you know…

Cornelio: They stink. Yes, I'd noticed.

King Arnulf: Now Cornelio, don't be nasty. They don't stink at all, well at least not more than anyone else in twelfth century Europe. But you know, they're just not the stuff of Kings.

Cornelio: You can say that again. So - what titles am I getting then?

King Arnulf: Well, for a start I thought you could be Duke of Calabria…

Cornelio: Calabria? But Dad - Calabria is nowhere near Brandenburg!

King Arnulf: And the Count of Geneve.

Cornelio: What? But Geneve isn't near Brandenburg or Calabria!

King Arnulf: Yes well, I thought you were supposed to be the energetic type? You can use up all that energy running back and forth between here, Calabria and Geneve.

Cornelio: Sheesh! I'll need to get myself a touring wagon. Come to think of it, I could get a team of convicted criminals to pull it around for me. Hmm, yes that could be fun.

King Arnulf: Er - right. Well, take it easy, son. I don't want to here any stories about a ruler committing an act of cruelty or anything.

Cornelio: Relax Dad, I'll spin it as "promoting Law and Order" - the people will love me!



A few months later another sign came along that Cornelio might be the best bet for Arnulf's successor when a son was born to Cornelio and his wife Elienòr. Little Fortunato was the King's first grandson. He might one day become King of Bohemia, but what's more he was also second in line to inherit the Duchy of Toulouse, the first in line being a sickly infant named Bernard, only son of the Duke of Toulouse.

Later in 1135 Arnulf found that he was the Papal Controller. This didn't seem to mean much however, since the Pope had so little prestige. Still he got to wear an enormous cross everywhere he went, so that was pretty cool.

We must now return to the story of Bretislav Premyslid, the crazed heretic whose crown Arnulf had taken. Bretislav was still styling himself the Duke of Bohemia and occupying most of the lands that obviously should be ruled by King Arnulf, but he had recently been excommunicated. This was not Arnulf's doing, it has to be said, but since most of the Duke's vassals were rapidly becoming very disloyal, Arnulf was very pleased about it.

The first to break away from the Duchy was the Count of Hradec Kralove. Arnulf quickly grabbed a claim, invaded, and took the province for himself. He immediately made it his new capital - at last the King of Bohemia was actually ruling from somewhere in Bohemia. Meanwhile, just next door the Countess of Ostrava had decided that anything was better than having Duke Bretislav as her liege and had broken away too.


The plan seemed to have worked well with Hradec Kralove, so Arnulf set to work to do exactly the same thing with Ostrava. No doubt the plan would have gone perfectly smoothly if it hadn't been for this man.


Why exactly the Bishop of Padua was an enemy of King Arnulf was not clear, but enemy he was, and when he saw the Bohemian King embarking on yet another war of unjustified aggression, he decided that someone had to stop him. If nobody else would do it, he would do it himself. Well, perhaps with a little help from his friends…


A more manly monarch than King Arnulf would have reacted fearlessly and valiantly to such a challenge. Poor, shy, cowardly King Arnulf could only cringe in terror. He quickly summoned Marshal Eckhard to seek some desperately needed advice.


King Arnulf: Look at this, Eck lad - we're at war with the Emperor, the Duke of Toscana, the Duke of Bosnia and the Bishop of Padua! What on earth are we going to do?

Eckhard: Hmm, well that's a tricky one Sire. I think this may be a case for the Nuclear Button.

King Arnulf: The Nuclear Button? What on earth is that?

Eckhard: We learned about it in Army School, Sire. It's only you who has access to it.

King Arnulf: But I don't remember seeing anything called a "Nuclear Button".

Eckhard: Ah no, that's because it's cleverly disguised for security reasons. It's actually labeled "Grand Mobilization".

King Arnulf: Oh, that thing? I always wondered what it was for.

Eckhard: Just press it Sire, and suddenly you'll have an army of 65,000 men at your command.

King Arnulf: Gosh, that's quite a lot!

Eckhard: More than enough to deal with that upstart Ulrich von Franken, I can assure you.

King Arnulf: You think so?

Eckhard: Oh, no doubt about it. He's already at war with the King of France, isn't he? And as for the Duke of Toscana, well, he's only a Duke. And you know what you can do with Dukes.

King Arnulf: You mean… vassalize him?

Eckhard: You wait, Sire - in a few months he'll be begging you!


King Arnulf was quite scared by the warning on the Nuclear Button about his vassals' loyalty, but he could see no alternative. In great trepidation he pressed the button. To his amazement, every single one of his vassals answered the call, and before long he did indeed find himself in command of 65,000 men. Fortunately the royal coffers were bursting at the seams so paying the troops was not a problem.

King Arnulf himself was of course already besieging Ostrava, but once this minor task had been seen to he then led his army northwest towards Ansbach. Some of his troops were sent to the lands of the Duke of Bosnia, and a few were sent to Jülich, the Emperor's capital, but by far the bulk of them headed south to invade the demesne of the Duke of Toscana.

During the war many battles were fought, and many brave men died. On the other hand, not very many cowardly men died. This was usually because they were hiding in ditches or thickets or running away. To their credit, cowards do tend to live longer. King Arnulf himself tended to stay well away from the fighting, but his excuse was that he was shy - he didn't like being in a crowd, especially if they were all screaming insanely and swinging swords and maces around. Also of course he was modest and didn't want to appear to be seeking battlefield glory for himself. And so he stayed well back and issued orders to his brave generals. Nevertheless it was during the Battle of Plzen that he sustained his Severe Injury, a nasty parchment cut on his left pinkie which he got while handing some orders to one of his aides.


Alas, claimed King Arnulf, the parchment cut somehow got infected, and never healed properly. He kept his hand bandaged, announcing that he would probably never be able to take the field again.

He did however continue to lead his army to a victorious siege of Ansbach, while the rest of his troops stormed into the Duke of Toscana's Italian territories or fought against the Emperor's forces in the west. The Duke of Bosnia soon offered a White Peace when he saw the size of the armies coming towards him. It took just five months to bring all of the Duke of Toscana's lands under Bohemian control, whereupon he was stripped of his Toscana title and made to swear allegiance to King Arnulf. After this, Arnulf was also able to declare himself Duke of Ancona and Sardinia.

One of the brave men who had died in the war was the Emperor Ulrich himself, killed in battle aged just 23. So much for bravery, thought King Arnulf. His son Philipp, aged 5 was now the new Emperor. By this time all of his personal demesne was occupied, either by the King of France or by King Arnulf. All that King Arnulf demanded of him was the return of the County of Ansbach, which the young Emperor Philipp readily agreed to. For such magnanimity, King Arnulf's prestige suddenly became enormous. On the other hand, his reputation was now rather bad. Clearly it was time to start distributing titles.


 
Last edited:

stnylan

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Now that is what I call marvellous - a paper cut is clearly more serious than an amputation. Sorry - parchment cut :D
 

Kurt_Steiner

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France is asking for a beating... Once you have settled the titles' question, indeed.
 

unmerged(90806)

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a paper cut is clearly more serious...
hm... hm... don't underestimate the danger; at my work i do a lot of photocopying and at numerous occasions i suffered from a paper cut, next time i think i'll throw a sickie ;)
i sympathise with Arnulf :)
 

Tommy4ever

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You really must sort out your horrifically ugly borders.
 

stnylan

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hm... hm... don't underestimate the danger; at my work i do a lot of photocopying and at numerous occasions i suffered from a paper cut, next time i think i'll throw a sickie ;)
i sympathise with Arnulf :)
I'm not. A papercut really is more serious - I'm the victim of many a vicious and cruel piece of paper :)
 

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Maybe you could rename your realm into 'Octopussy' or something... :D
 

dublish

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France is asking for a beating... Once you have settled the titles' question, indeed.
Whereas Poland is looking like my Big Uncle Jim before the Thanksgiving feast. What say we try to avoid a two front war, eh?
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Whereas Poland is looking like my Big Uncle Jim before the Thanksgiving feast. What say we try to avoid a two front war, eh?
True... "The more, the merrier" is not always true in a war, indeed.:D
 

Farquharson

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First of all a very Happy Christmas to one and all!

stnylan: If this AAR has done nothing else, I hope at the very least it has drawn the world's attention to the potential dangers of paper- and parchment-related injuries! :D

Kurt_Steiner: Oh, you know - everyone around Bohemia seems to be asking for a beating...

gabor: What do you mean "throw a sickie"? I think you should get yourself admitted to hospital immediately!

Tommy4ever: Well I would, but in my CK experience, trying to sort out ugly borders usually just makes them even uglier! :(

Enewald: Seriously? I usually feel the need to distribute titles mainly in order to improve my reputation.

J.Passepartout: Yes, the Empire is almost history...

jordarkelf: Well, I'll see what I can do about the German brown - and the Polish green, and the French blue and the... *sigh* Are they ever happy?

Murmurandus: Or how about the Holy Roman Octopus? :D

dublish: You're right, it's Poland who are the only real threat to my realm at this stage. We'll see what they have in store for us in the next chapter... :eek:

Kurt_Steiner: Except if "more" applies to friendly armies, of course...

And now for the next and final chapter of this AAR. Yes, that's right, I'm sorry to say that I am winding this AAR up, for the simple reason that the game has reached the stage that I am starting to lose interest. I think this always happens sooner or later for me in CK, and generally at the time when it starts to become too easy to continue expanding, adding more and more King titles. Yes, I know that there's always the challenge of your Kingdom potentially falling apart due to a mad/excommunicated/totally inept monarch, but I don't enjoy this nearly as much as the cut and thrust of working my way up from Count to King in the earlier part of the game. I would always much rather start a new game from scratch - which I no doubt will, and I even have an idea for another AAR - we'll see if it comes to anything.

So with thanks as always to all readAARs, particularly those who've posted as well, here comes the last instalment!