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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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hjarg

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Hello all and welcome!

Portugal has been my favorite country to play though EU series. The joy of discovery, control of the new continents, power of the trade. Nothing like the thrill of that.

So, with the release of Dharma, i got an itch for some more of de Avis awesomeness. Once again, it is time to sail for the new world and make Portugal rich and powerful beyond dreams!

Threadmark instead of index
 
Last edited:
Introduction

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Introduction

The emblem of the Order of the Christ came into full display as the breeze filled the sails. Maltese Cross, with red outlines and white interior, strangely looking like the Templar Cross. Proudly, the three-masted beast of a ship started picking up pace, using the breeze and morning tides to steer itself out of the harbour. “Sao Fransisco de Assis” was written in the aft of the deck.

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Sao Fransisco de Assis, sailing off

Two smaller caravels, dwarfed by the majestic wooden fortress of around 150 tons of displacement, scurried to follow the beast. Two-masted ships were much nimbler then the beast, soon reaching the ship and passing it.

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Smaller caravels in tow

The riggings of the ships were full of sailors, trying to get a last glance and the city and their loved ones. Waving frantically and crowd filling the quays to the brim filled back. There were cheers, there were blessings shouted, there were beggars asking for mercy. The noise in the harbor was close to insufferable.

That did not seem to bother two persons standing on the quay. Though the harbor was crowded, these two stood in solitude. Partially due to fully armed and armored squad surrounding them, but everyone seemed to give them ample space anyway.

One of them was a boy. Way on his way into manhood, though his smooth jaw and short height gave an indication that there was still ways to go before he would be grown up. There was something about him though. Not just his expensive clothes, filled with jewels and gold, nor his exquisite sword hanging from the hilt. More then that, his posture told a story of a proud and powerful man, though currently hiding in the body of a boy.

The boy turned to old man standing next to him. “Uncle,” he said in voice that was apparently in the process of breaking. “Are you sure this is a good idea? After all, these ships are expensive...”

There was a glint in the old man’s eye as he replied. “Are you afraid the ship will fall over the edge of the world, Your Majesty?”

“One priest I spoke to said that the expedition is doomed”, the boy replied.

The older man just shrugged. “Flat earthers. They are wrong, you know. I’m sure that there will not be a soul left who believes that hogwash in a century of so.”

“But what will they find?” the boy enquired.

“They are sailing into unknown,” the old man replied. “We do not know.” He smiled. “That’s the beauty of it though.”
The boy just nodded. “Wish I could sail with them....” his voice was trailing off as his mind wandered the distant wonderous lands and strange people and exciting adventures.

Old man replied, with a sigh. “Me too, my boy, me too.”

Alfonso V, King of Portugal, and his uncle, Prince Henrique the Navigator, Grand Master of the Order of the Christ, just kept watching in silence as the ships grew smaller and smaller and then, disappeared.

Then, they turned away and went back to their daily life.

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Alfonso V, King of Portugal

Meanwhile, another man stood at the forecastle of “Sao Fransisco de Assis”. He was youngish, in his twenties. Already an accomplished sailor though, he was gazing forward, to the horizon. Not wasting a single glance back, towards the Lisboa, disappearing slowly out of sight. Instead, he kept his head firmly forward, waiting for the moment when known waters turn into unknown.

Then, realizing his folly, he just laughed, yelled “Few more weeks until we reach Madeira, lads!” and went on doing whatever the admirals do.

This man was Diego Gomes. As he and his small fleet sailed south, little did he or anyone else know what awaits the nation of Portugal and house de Avis.

But, as they say, journey of a thousand leagues begins with good wind, sturdy ship and a fine crew.
 

stnylan

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Portugal is a favourite of mine, back from the EU2 days.

Mind you, I also like @hjarg AARs

What a happy circumstance one can enjoy both at once.
 

Nikolai

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A new hjarg AAR, that's a happy news item! :)
 

Alex Borhild

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I've recently discovered the fun of Portugal in EU4 for myself, so it'll be interesting to follow this.
 
Humble Beginnings

hjarg

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Humble Beginnings

In 1444, Portugal was the most westernmost nation of the known world. Well, at least, if you happen to be an European. Beyond Portugal, there was an ocean, the Atlantic. Currently shown on maps like “Here be dragons”. What lies beyond these vast waters, not a soul knows.

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Lots of dragons in here

Though the Portuguese had pierced the veil a bit already. Previous expeditions had revealed Azores and Madeira islands. Now, both of them are cities, stretching Portugal further then any other nation in Europe. With the notable exception of Castile, who owns Canary Islands, even further south.

What lies beyond these two islands though? Is there truly a country ruled by the legendary priest-king John, where the streets are paved with gold and that is surrounded by hostile pagans? It is pretty certain that more then one Portuguese had altruistic dreams about introducing them to the advantages of using a stone pavement instead. Oh, and of course, to defend fellow Christians against the pagans. Right. That’s the most important part!

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Map showing off Prester John and his legendary Kingdom somewhere

Or, the legendary city of Timbuktu, where the streets are once again paved with gold. Common feature of far-away lands, it seems. This time though, apparently, the roofs were also made of gold. The stories of Mansa Musa and his famous pilgrimage to Mecca, where he spent more gold then there was in Europe at the time (citation needed), were sure to make many a Portuguese dream about reconstruction works of the violent kind.

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Picture of Mansa Musa of Mali. Notice the gold!

Plus, the spices. The lucrative trade of these extremely rare commodities rakes in a fortune for the Italians. Plus, Italians are just an end of a long trade chain. Each adding a bit, or rather a lot, to the price, until you are forced to pay your weight in gold to enjoy some pork vindaloo. Not that pork vindaloo was invented yet, but the idea of cutting off all the middleman, bringing the spices from the source and taking all the profits to themselves made more mercantile Portuguese giddy with joy.

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The spices. The treasure.

In short, there are a lot of reasons why there the Portuguese turn to sea. The most important one though...

Diplomacy

There is one other factor to the Portuguese rush towards the unknown. Castile. Several times the size of Portugal, this kingdom engulfs the Portugal proper, making an expansion in the mainland quite impossible to pull off. David versus Goliath, though in this case, David had already kicked the Goliath some.

But, as Infante Pedro, another uncle of Alfonso V and regent of Portugal, put it several times: “There is no other country that is as big of a threat as Castile. They are bigger then us, they are richer then us, they have more soldiers then us. Most importantly, we compete over the same resources. The trade in our home node. The Castilians dominate this. They are always a threat that can hit us in the back when we are busy elsewhere. Plus, they also speak of the expansion beyond the ocean.”

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Overview of the Iberian Peninsula

Alfonso listened. Intently. Then, he pointed out one thing: “You know, Castile is in about the same situation as us.”

Pedro raised an eyebrow. “Whatever you mean?”

“The peninsula”, Alfonso replied. “It cuts Castile off from the rest of the world as much as us. They have us and Aragon as neighbours. Well, and Granada.”

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Juan II de Trastámara, King of Castile

“The latter, not for long,” Pedro agreed.

“Then, there are Pyrenees. And then there’s France. And England. Most likely, only France soon. That’s that. Castile is almost in as great of isolation as we are...”

“So, what do you propose?”

“Get close to Aragon and France. Isolate Castile, so they are surrounded by enemies only. No matter how big they are, they cannot survive for long if there is us.”

“Shrewd, Your Majesty,” Pedro smiled. “But why would Aragon and France join forces?”

“Aragon has same concerns then us. Castile is a threat to them. Quite an aggressive threat as well. As for France, by allying us, they can guarantee that all three countries in Iberian peninsula will keep squabbling amongst themselves and are too busy to march across the Pyrenees and stab the French in the back.”

“You are growing up well, Your Majesty,” Pedro bowed.

Besides Castile, there is a question of Morocco. Ceuta, conquered in 1415, stands as the sole beachhead of Europe in the southern coast of the Mediterranean. Single Christian province in the sea of Muslims. Morocco, being about the same size as Portugal, would also make a good target for further expansion. Plus, the Tangiers, one of the natural harbors of Seville node, makes a juicy target.

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Morocco, the berber nation
In short, Portugal started approaching Aragon, Tlemcen and France. Meanwhile, they openly declared Castile, Morocco and Granada their enemies.

Economy and Military

Portugal is not one of the richest countries in the world. On the other hand, they cannot be described as dirt poor as well, for they are not really that. Just, the costs tend to be higher then the income. Three castles to maintain. One in Ceuta, one in Evora and one in Lisboa. 13 000 soldiers. 3 carracks, 10 cogs and 5 caravels. Most income coming from taxes, trade and production being secondary. Agricultural provinces, providing fish, grain, cattle and wine. The sugar-producing island of Madeira is only one providing good income. Two states, Beiras and Alejento. Beira being actually better-developed then Alejento, where Lisboa is.

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Court and Economy. Not the richest country, not the poorest. Struggling, though.

In short, Portuguese recruited yet another 2000 soldiers, started building a caravel and cut spending on military and forts to as low as possible, making a small surplus and even being able to afford the recruitment of Lourenco Martins de Mascarenchas, a theologian of some skill, with sole task to lure the subjects of Portugal into complacency.

As Diego Gomes sailed southwards, the Portuguese continued their everyday life, preparing for coming of age of the King. And of course, that would mean a special surprise for the special event.
 

hjarg

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I must say, this is the luckiest start i have ever got with Portugal.
It are the initial rivalries that make or break a Portuguese game imho. Unless you want to snug up to Castile, then this don't matter, but as said, i think the Castile is the historical fiend, not historical friend of Portugal. Long story short, Aragon doesn't hate me. France doesn't hate me. Both of them hate Castile. Also, they do not hate each other. Morocco hates Tlemcen and Tunis hates Morocco. Meaning no alliance from either of them- and i can fight Morocco, but i cannot fight Morocco, Tlemcen and Tunis. At least not this early.

Portugal is a favourite of mine, back from the EU2 days.

Mind you, I also like @hjarg AARs

What a happy circumstance one can enjoy both at once.

Wow, thank you! I am truly honoured and i hope i can make the combination of me and Portugal to work :)

One of my favourite Eu4 nations, the great portuguese explorers, i hope you survive the tricky Castillians and the Moors :D

Nothing like starting as a small nation and ending up with an Empire that has land on every continent. Plus, the riches of trade. Mmm!
And we shall see, but i would feel sorry for the Castilians and Moors if I were you :p

A new hjarg AAR, that's a happy news item! :)

What can i say, Nikolai, but that i'm glad that you're glad! :)

I've recently discovered the fun of Portugal in EU4 for myself, so it'll be interesting to follow this.

Painting the world green. With emphasis on the world. One year, you're fighting in Europe, the next, in India, then in Americas and then in China. An Empire where the Fun Never Stops! :p
Welcome aboard!
 

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Well if you can get them both on side taking down Castile and Morocco should be - well, not necessarily easy, but much simpler than otherwise might be the case.
 

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I must say, this is the luckiest start i have ever got with Portugal.
It are the initial rivalries that make or break a Portuguese game imho. Unless you want to snug up to Castile, then this don't matter, but as said, i think the Castile is the historical fiend, not historical friend of Portugal. Long story short, Aragon doesn't hate me. France doesn't hate me. Both of them hate Castile. Also, they do not hate each other. Morocco hates Tlemcen and Tunis hates Morocco. Meaning no alliance from either of them- and i can fight Morocco, but i cannot fight Morocco, Tlemcen and Tunis. At least not this early.
Wonderful. :)
 

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I'm certainly not going to miss an opportunity to get in on a hjarg AAR early :)

Rivaling Castile seems like a bit of a gamble, at least if my knowledge of EU3 carries over to EU4 -- you might get a good chance to poach the Canary Islands and cripple their colonization efforts, but you might also get bad luck with Aragon and Castile uniting into a hostile Spain and throwing a wrench in the works. Let's hope you don't get hit with the latter before you get a solid footing...
 
The First and Second Expedition of Diego Gomes

hjarg

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The First and Second Expedition of Diego Gomes

What was more horrible? Was it the heat or the constant rainfall, flooding the ship, finding you even in the deepest parts of the ship and making you soaking wet? Or was it yet another day of the same salted meat, each day feeling more and more unpleasant, until you had to force it in. The worst was Carlos though. Captain of “São Fransisco de Assis” and his tendency to tell the same jokes over and over again. Not fun in everyday life, but even less fun if you have to share the cabin for month.

Diego solved the latter problem by occasionally hoppin onto “N. Sra. da Madre de Deus” or “Almas Santas”, two of the smaller caravels. Though for the most of the time, the ships ships stayed together, the smaller ones occasionally broke away from carrack, to scout ahead, to check something out. Or to land and hunt some fresh food and grab fresh water.

Of course, to meet the natives as well, for Africa was anything but empty. Rather, it was quite inhabited and quite hostile.

The first expedition, lasting about half a year, resulted in mapping of the waters. He reached quite far. Far enough that in order to follow the shoreline, he had to turn east. Nowadays we know that he reached Gulf of Guinea. Unfortunately, Diego Gomes did not have a luxury of hindsight, so he kind of assumed that a bit more east and he will reach India. Boy, was he wrong. But with the supplies and sailors running low, he had to turn back.

He reached Madeira in May 1445. Resuppy and repairing the ships and recruitment of new sailors and off he went again. In what became the standard modus operandi of Portuguese explorers. First, chart the waters and shoreline. Then, return. Report the findings. Get praised. Repair. Then, head back, go deeper into land. Try to find more about adjacent provinces. Report back for more praise and glory. Twice the amount of glory for a single expedition!

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Mapping the coast of Africa

During the second expedition, Diego Gomes found something. First, he found Jolof. A small kingdom of four provinces. An Islamic kingdom. While, it can be terrifying to see the enemies of Christendom reach that far south, there are also some benefits. Like, you can get by with Arabic. And there were plenty of Portuguese who spoke that language. The communication was easy. Unfortunately, the communication was not the most friendly. Tensions rose between locals and Portuguese and just the power of cannons of “São Fransisco de Assis” made the locals leave the Portuguese alive.

Located mostly on shores of Senegal river. A rich and advanced society, dealing mostly with slaves and salt. Freshly islamic, though the majority of the provinces still follow the old fetishist beliefs. Hostile towards Christians.

The, there was Mali. The land of legendary riches. As Diego Gomes himself wrote: “The roofs were made of straw and streets were paved with mud. It must be kept in mind that Gabu is a border province though. There might be more gold and less mud in the capital province, called Joma”.

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Discovery of Jolof and Mali

Further south, there was no states anymore. Just tribes, one more hostile then the other. Usual situation was that Portuguese ships came close to shore. Then, small vessels of the locals, filled with armed men, appeared out of nowhere. They looked anything but friendly, but scattered after the ships fired off some cannons. Going ashore was becoming more and more risky business though.

In the end, Diego Gomes discovered a host of provinces from the African west coast, reaching up to Ivory coast. Might not seem much, but this was the furthest any European had travelled to date. By the end of August 1445, he was done, exploring the shoreline of Africa, discovering two African kingdoms, one set of uninhabited islands that he named Cabo Verde Islands and five provinces of the tribal kind.

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The furthest point of Africa, known to Europeans, 1445

Elsewhere

English, who had promised France the province of Maine, refused to give up the land. Instead, they decided it is time to once again to fight a Hundred Year War, refusing to accept that the tides have been turned and France is now actually stronger and they are ruled by a monarch who is not.. That great. Fortunately, they did not invite Portugal to their folly.

Royal marriage between Portugal and Aragon was arranged in December 1444, starting the friendship between two nations. Followed by ascension of Joan II de Trastamara to the throne of Aragon. He was as much a friend of Portugal as he hates his Trastamara cousins of Castile. And he had a son, newborn, also called Joan. The succession of Aragon was safe. And most importantly, male.

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Joan II of Trastamara of Aragon looking out of the window. Not to be confused with Joan II Trastamara of Castile

The relation was finally solidified in July 1446 when Aragon and Portugal declared to be allies. Though it was not mentioned publically, it was clear to the rest of the world that the sole point of this alliance was to curb Castile. Few month later, in August 1446, Portugal officially dissolved their alliance with England.

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Aragon. The Mediterranean power.

The religious differences between Christians and Muslims can seem to be insurmountable sometimes. Crusades, killing each other, trying to conquer each other and so on. Average religious debate end up with both sides drawing swords during the first minute. Well, you get the picture. But sometimes, the differences are not that great. Or there is something more common more important then the religion. Like, for an example, the fact that Sultan Abdalhaqq II Marinid of Morocco hates both Alfonso de Avis of Portugal and Ahmad II Zayyanid of Tlemcen. And both Alfonso and Ahmad really dislike Abdalhaqq before it. Meaning there is one very important lesson hidden here- personal hatred is a force stronger then religion-based hatred.

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Tlemcen, in all her glory

Alliance between Tlemcen and Portugal was cemented in September 1445. Morocco, having both of the other two major berber nations as their rivals, must feel pretty lonesome.

Meanwhile, Portugal built a single caravel, bringing their force limit to the maximum. During the time, they also recruited one company of infantry and one of cavalry and in late 1446, hired two mercenary companies. The nation was ready.

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Two missions, completed

Coming of Age of Alfonso

Coming of Age of Alfonso was a lavish even. Lavish enough that Portugal debased it’s currency to keep the county afloat.

The celebrations lasted for days. It started with procession of Alfonso to the Sé de Lisboa, the city’s cathedral. There, he was anointed as a King and there, Infante Pedro gave up his regency. More or less willingly. Then, there was party for days. Wine flowed, food was plentiful, alms were numerous. Everyone was happy, drunk and full.

King Alfonso V de Avis took the throne in 16th January 1447. His current heir was his brother, Pedro. Just 15 years old, the lad had grown up well. He was a decent military commander, though he had one special skill that made him invaluable. He knew them trebuchets, he loved them trebuchets. He knew how to aim them to make the walls of the castle crumble. He loved surrounding the city and hitting them hard enough to make them surrender. And he also inspired people to go to colonies. Must have been his shining personality to make people want to be thousands of kilometers away from him.
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The Military and the Court. Give +2 admin to Alfonso though!

Most importantly, the last years of education of Alfonso was overseen by the theologian employed by the Portuguese Kingdom, Lourenco Martins de Mascarenchas. The man did an extremely good job, raising the King. The administrative skill of Alfonso was increased about twofold, making him one of the best administrators around.

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Good administration is just what Portugal needs. Desperately.

Finally, after the celebrations, the King did not do the usual tour of the country. Instead, he jumped on a ship and sailed to Ceuta, where 17 000 Portuguese, led by Earl of Avarances, were waiting for him.

It was 23rd January of 1447. Portugal was about to embark on a journey to greatness.
 

hjarg

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Here we go. One set of exploration, done. Preparations made. King all grown up. Time for the first war of Portugal! Stay tuned!

Well if you can get them both on side taking down Castile and Morocco should be - well, not necessarily easy, but much simpler than otherwise might be the case.

For Morocco, i only need peace and quiet and other berber nations staying out of it. For Castile, yes, every bit counts.

Wonderful. :)

Yes, lucky lucky start! :)

I'm certainly not going to miss an opportunity to get in on a hjarg AAR early :)

Rivaling Castile seems like a bit of a gamble, at least if my knowledge of EU3 carries over to EU4 -- you might get a good chance to poach the Canary Islands and cripple their colonization efforts, but you might also get bad luck with Aragon and Castile uniting into a hostile Spain and throwing a wrench in the works. Let's hope you don't get hit with the latter before you get a solid footing...

Welcome aboard!
And yes, that is still a gamble. But a gamble worth it. And if it fails, then taking both Aragon and Castile out is even more fun. Though i'd prefer not to. Well, at least, Aragon has a male heir and Castile has the worst male heir ever, so if things do not go horribly wrong, there is no Iberian Wedding just cause there aren't any females.
 

stnylan

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Time to do the Lord's work, as it were.
 

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The race for India is on. Diego Gomes may not be a name that will go down in history books -- his place will almost certainly be overshadowed by the first to round the Cape, and then the first to actually reach the Subcontinent -- but already his expeditions have opened up new frontiers for Portugal to exploit (and have probably gotten Gomes himself quite a few perks, too -- "royalties," if you will.)

An alliance with Tlemcen... Realpolitik certainly makes for strange bedfellows.

Afonso may perhaps never be an exceptional king in the big picture, but he certainly seems to be a solid military commander on the field. And he's already gearing up for his first campaign -- eager for his first chance to gain a bit of imperial glory, perhaps?
 

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So it is war. Morocco better watch out.
 
Revenge

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Revenge
The waiting was the worst part, thought Alfonso V. He and his thousand man stood around the walls of Tangiers and just waited. The city was more or less quiet, as a city under siege is. Just piercing cries of muezzins as they called the religious folk to prayer pierced the silence. The city was cut off, more or less. As much as you could do with a thousand man. And in the sea, you can see the Portuguese ships, staying well out of range of the city, patrolling. Garrison not daring to march out though, willing to risk everything on a single battle.

Portuguese had done just that. The war had just begun. Whole Portuguese army had marched to Tangiers. Then, the news arrived that Moroccan troops are marching towards Ceuta. The Portuguese had left Alfonso and a token force to guard the city and marched to meet them in battle.

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Siege of Tangiers

If the Moroccans would win, Alfonso and his soldiers still had a slight chance to board the ships and get out alive, but the chances were not so good. It was a gamble, but it was a gamble worth taking. Just, now Alfonso had to wait for the result, feeling powerless.

It was dusk. Alfonso was just about to retire to his tent and get some sleep, as he heard the cheering. Lots of it. And galloping. Around 10 horseman, riding in at full gallop, chanting “Vitória! Vitória!”, and all of the small detachment Alfonso commanded, following them, all of them starting to chant “Vitória!” as well.

The riders stopped in front of the royal tent, jumped off the horse, kneeled before their king and their leader said: “My king! A complete victory! Moroccan army is no more!”

It was a decade ago when Portugal tried the very same. Take Tangiers. Portugal was ruled by Alfonso’s father, Duarte, at the time. And it was a complete and utter disaster. Portuguese did not manage to take the city. Instead, the Moroccans managed to surround them, starve them into submission and finally let them go, only after the Portuguese promised to give back the city of Ceuta. That they did and left brother of Duarte, uncle of Alfonso, Prince Fernando, as hostage. In the end, Ceuta was not returned and Fernando died in captivity 5 years ago. Truly a devastating defeat.

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Rare portrait of Prince Ferdinand

That victory made Moroccans to underestimate Portuguese. Seriously underestimate. They marched to Ceuta, laid siege of the city, did not even bother with scouts and were completely caught off guard when Portuguese army arrived. The heathens did not anticipate that the Portuguese would move so quickly and were caught with their pants down. The Portuguese assaulted the confused Moroccans. Cut straight into their lines even before the Moroccans really understood what was going on. Then, the city gates opened and the small garrison of Ceuta hit them in their back. This was enough for Moroccans. The ones not being killed turned tail and run. The Moroccan army was no more.

It was 10th March 1447. The war had lasted for less then 2 month when the Portuguese made an entire Moroccan military force disappear in one decisive battle. Things were looking up.

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This is what i'd call an excellent start of the war

Outside World

The Portuguese fought alone. Aragon refused to help, and Tlemcen just got into war with Tunis. As Alfonso himself put it though: “Better that way. They are too busy fighting amongst themselves to even think of interfering.”

There was still Granada, trusted ally of Morocco. Diego Gomes and every ship in Portugal stood on guard to keep them interfering and sending their troops across the shore. Until in May 1448, Castile finally declared war on Granada. It had some unexpected consequences though. The Granadans marched away from superior Castilian army and to everyone’s surprise, set siege to Lisboa. Just, there were not enough troops for them to siege the city. After much debate, it was decided to leave them be and rely on Castilians to take care of this little problem.

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Granada's army thinking the best idea is to siege Lisbon when Castile is busy occupying your home provinces

The most important event was October 1447 though. Portugal signed an royal marriage with France. And not just any royal marriage. Alfonso V married Jeanne de Valois, daughter of King Charles VII de Valois himself. This brought the two countries much closer together. Of course, since Alfonso V was currently busy with war in Morocco, the marriage was signed in absentia. And since Charles VII was busy with war with England, he also have his daughter away in absentia. The celebration in Lisboa was grand though and then, the young bride started to wait for his husband to come home, to finally have a proper wedding night. No, that was not done in absentia.

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Welcome, Queen Jeanne

Jeanne was young, pretty, pretty cultured for a French person and overall, quite a catch. A few years older then Alfonso, but still in her prime, sure to produce plenty of heirs to de Avis dynasty. This was the also beginning of a beautiful friendship of the two countries. Beautiful unless you happened to be in the path of combined wrath of Portugal and France. Then, it was the most vile and treacherous friendship, of course.

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Queen Jeanne

Devastation Continues

If would be a long wait, for Tangiers fell in December 1447, after 322 days of siege, but the war was far from over. The Portuguese showed leniency, leaving the future subjects of the kingdom alive and not robbing them dirt poor. And as a test for our still 15-year old King, he really knew his siege engines. He did considerable damage to city walls, he did cut off all the routes for the extra supplies and he kept the enemy demoralized and hungry, until the city fold had demanded surrender from the garrison.

This also meant that the Moroccan fleet, hidden in there, was forced out to the sea. Where Diego Gomes was waiting for them. In the beginning of the war, Diego had managed to kill off the Moroccan light ships, but this was so much better. Moroccan 3 carracks and 8 cogs versus Portuguese 3 carracks, 6 caravels and 10 cogs. The Portuguese won, though the Moroccans actually managed to sink “São Fransisco de Assis”, his flagship. Losing a carrack is... expensive.

The Moroccan fleet run into Gharb. Followed by Portuguese amy, who took control of the province, and forced them to sea again. The Moroccans lost another carrack and 2 cogs, including one captured by the Portuguese. From there, they fled to Melilla, Portuguese hot in their tails and captured yet another cog. Now, the Moroccan fleet fled to where the Portuguese could not follow, but with considerably less ships.

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Fall of Tangiers and Portuguese hitting the Moroccan fleet

Now, the Portuguese turned their attention to Fez, the capital of Morocco. On a lucky strike, Alfonso found a weak spot in the impressive fortress, using mountainous terrain as advantage, and managed to get a breach right away. One that could not be repaired by the enemies. The Portuguese dared not to risk an assault though and continued the siege.

It was over a year in siege, in July 1448, when the Portuguese spotted Moroccan troops. 9000 soldiers, marching towards Gharb. Again, the Portuguese left Alfonso and 1000 man to cover the siege and marched to meet them as soon as possible. They caught up with them on Tangiers and in September 1448, annihilated the infantry-only army. Followed by another army of 9000, consisting of 8000 infantry and 1000 cavalry. The Portuguese annihilated that army as well.

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The devastation continues. First army spotted and both armies being annihilated by the Portuguese

Most likely, it was still the question of Moroccans underestimating the Portuguese. Instead of joining the forces before marching to Tangiers, the Moroccans split up their armies in order to meet outside Tangiers. Not expecting the Portuguese to react so quickly. As a result, the Moroccans suffered not one, but three devastating defeats at the hands of Portugal.

The castle in Fez was much better build, much more sturdy and filled with defenders with more steady hearts. It was only in October 1449, after 532 days of siege, the city fell. Meanwhile, there were some serious changes rest of the Morocco.

The three devastating defeats at the hands of Portugal meant that Morocco was low on both soldiers and manpower. And as usual, there were people who would not hesitate to take advantage of this. In case of Morocco, this was Muhammad ibn Yahya Wattasid. Your country is in trouble? The Portuguese are knocking at the gates? It looks like the defeat is inevitable. What do you do? What else? You start a rebellion to overthrow the Marinid dynasty and dethrone and dispose of Abdalhaqq II.

Muhammad ibn Yahya was correct though. There is no better time to start a rebellion then during the time of great distress. Else, it would likely to be your head on a pike, not the one of current beloved ruler, Abdalhaqq II Marinid. The rebellion started in South Morocco. By the time Fez fell, they had taken over the last remaining castle in Marrakesh, had around 17 000 soldiers under they command and controlled most of the southern territories. And reached up to Gharb, took it from Portuguese, and then turned back South, avoiding contact with Portuguese forces.

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The Moroccan Rebels, enjoying free run of the country.

This really suited the Portuguese as well. What is better then to let the enemy fight amongst themselves? This saves the Portuguese from the need to take Marrakesh, stops Abdalhaqq II from getting any reinforcements and is basically a really grand event.

Meaning, while Muhammad ibn Yahya keeps Abdalhaqq II busy, there Portuguese will embark on a grand adventure.
 

hjarg

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This went... exceedingly well, i must say.
Apart from losing a carrack, things were as pretty as they could be. Three perfect victories plus a successful rebellion. Life is good!

Time to do the Lord's work, as it were.

With how this played out i'm pretty sure i got plenty of divine intervention

The race for India is on. Diego Gomes may not be a name that will go down in history books -- his place will almost certainly be overshadowed by the first to round the Cape, and then the first to actually reach the Subcontinent -- but already his expeditions have opened up new frontiers for Portugal to exploit (and have probably gotten Gomes himself quite a few perks, too -- "royalties," if you will.)

An alliance with Tlemcen... Realpolitik certainly makes for strange bedfellows.

Afonso may perhaps never be an exceptional king in the big picture, but he certainly seems to be a solid military commander on the field. And he's already gearing up for his first campaign -- eager for his first chance to gain a bit of imperial glory, perhaps?

Ahh, but you are assuming he does not live that long to actually reach the Cape? This was just his first expedition! I'm doubtful if he will reach India though, but he still has a few expeditions coming his way. Hopefully. Recruiting the new one is expensive- i have much more use for DIP.
And "royalities" indeed! :p

Well, nothing unites people like hatred!
As as for Alfonso, until Earl of Avarances lives, his chances of finding imperial glory are a bit slim. He will always be the one left behind to keep the siege happening.

So it is war. Morocco better watch out.

It seems like Moroccans did quite the opposite :p
 

stnylan

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Now that is what a call a successful war. When the worst thing that has happened is the loss of a carrack you know you are doing well.
 

Specialist290

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RIP to the “São Fransisco de Assis” and the brave sailors who went down with her*. Your sacrifice in the service of King and Country will not be forgotten. o7

That was a nice old-fashioned romp of the war. I suppose in other circumstances I'd feel sorry for the victim, but after the humiliation they subjected the Portuguese to in the last war, they're probably due for their turn at the bottom of Fortune's wheel. I can picture Alfonso whispering a silent prayer for his late Uncle Fernando once the peace becomes official.

* Yes, even ships with male names take the feminine pronoun in English. It's exactly as jarring as you'd think for us, too.