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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Kapt Torbjorn

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omg its been an entire day since the last update Im going to die :wacko:

P.S. thats not a good dying smilee(?) what about :(

It's on hold silly man!

Dammit!

This was by far my favorite AAR.

What am I supposed to do with my free time now, work a job?!

Hehe, more time for playing EU3 now? It'll be back by the end of July, so it's not too long of a wait!

Oh well, good luck then! It will be much more interesting reading this AAR if it makes a dramatic return!

Yes, maybe have the Transylvanian artillery demolish the Great Pyramids? That would be quite fitting I think.

Nooooooooooooooooo!!!!! :(

:(
 

wolfcity

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oh sorry i don't read things under the line sooo

------
I wouldn't be reading this right now and also there is no reason for you to be reading this because I have nothing to say. Why are you still reading LOOK AWAY
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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oh sorry i don't read things under the line sooo

I just use those to separate entirely different parts of the post so nobody gets confused, but it seems that has failed haha.

----

Oh and if anyone is voting in the AARland Choice awards then this AAR falls under the 'history book' style, despite all the nonsensical charades the 1st Banat gets itself into. Anyways, head over and vote, even if it's not for this particular AAR :)
 
Last edited:

unmerged(88283)

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Torbjorn, do you REALLY expect us not to vote for you? :D
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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Stranger things have happened! :p
 

randakar

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Wow, just dropping out of lurker mode to say I've just read through the whole AAR and it's fantastic! Thanks for sharing it with us :cool:

Seconded :)
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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Thanks guys :D
 

Sqwerlpunk

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I demand this AAR be continued immediately :(

Love the history book style of it all (and The Last Loyalists is excellent as well)
 

wolfcity

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I would say that The Last Loyilests (should we call it LL or TLL?) is better written but its not much of a aar being a narrative not an actual game...
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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I demand this AAR be continued immediately :(

Love the history book style of it all (and The Last Loyalists is excellent as well)

Actually, you may be in luck there. The flow of work has started to slow down a bit, so I may be able to sneak it a couple updates between now and the end of July.

I would say that The Last Loyilests (should we call it LL or TLL?) is better written but its not much of a aar being a narrative not an actual game...

Hm, maybe. Last Loyalists has the good fortune of being set in a fairly constrained time period, so you can get a bit more in depth into that world than Triumph's, since it's going through a whole grand campaign pretty much.
 

Sqwerlpunk

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Actually, you may be in luck there. The flow of work has started to slow down a bit, so I may be able to sneak it a couple updates between now and the end of July.



Hm, maybe. Last Loyalists has the good fortune of being set in a fairly constrained time period, so you can get a bit more in depth into that world than Triumph's, since it's going through a whole grand campaign pretty much.

I'm VERY excited to see something new here.

Bring it on.
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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9Vb5p.gif

This Chapter’s Mood Music

“To be fair, they’ve fought well enough, sir.” Lieutenant Colonel Levi Dinófs stood staring at the retreating Spanish columns; beside him stood Marshal Dömötör Zabanius.

“Unfortunately, yes. The bastards just won’t die. If the God damn navy would give me ships I could land troops behind them and squish the life out of them like a little bug,” the Marshal pressed his thumb and index finger together for the added emphasis.

“The navy won’t leave Constantinople, sir?”

“Constantinople! Ha! They’re not even in Constantinople. They pissed themselves scared when a Spanish man-o-war sailed up the Bosporus, so they scuttled away to Budjak. Useless cowards.”

“Why won’t they move though, sir?”

“Not enough ships! We have the grandest army in the entire world, but our fleet is a pile of rubbish. They’re using bloody galleys that out great great grandfathers could’ve used for all we know.”

It was a sad thought. Without ships, the Transylvanian army would have to lumber slowly onwards while the Spaniards kept withdrawing, and if the Spanish army kept their discipline, it was unlikely that the Transylvanians would ever catch up to finish the job. Dinófs turned his head and glanced back at the neat rows of cannon lined up as if on parade; they were the reason for the slow advance, and Zabanius had pleaded with the Emperor to be allowed to abandon the cumbersome things, but had been denied.

“I have a plan though.”

Dinófs returned his attention to the Marshal and waited. The silence stretched out an uncomfortably long time before the Colonel broke it.

“A plan, sir?”

Marshal Zabanius relaxed slightly, eyeing the Spanish columns marching away in the distance. The Transylvanian army had bloodied them in Gaza, but they were keeping their composure, and marching to their next position near Suez.

“It’s crazy, I hope you should know that.”

“And I assume you need a commander who is crazy enough to follow it, sir?”

“See, that’s why I like you Levi. I’m surrounded by imbeciles who think war is just some sort of game; some glorious expedition for the rich and important. You and I, however, know exactly what war is. It’s a bloody mess, and it takes brave and crazy men to bring order to that mess.”

Dinófs looked at the Marshal, whose face showed that he was deep in thought.

“Yes, brave and crazy men. Ha! There are two Spanish armies marching away from us, Colonel, there’s that one,” Marshal Zabanius pointed a thick finger at the Spanish columns marching away in the distance, “and there’s another somewhere East. They’re both going to Suez to block our advance into Egypt. Obviously they’ll fail, since they’re Spaniards and we’re Transylvanians, but I would very much like to stop them from reaching Cairo, and for that I need boats.”

“But you said the navy wouldn’t leave port, sir?”

“Bugger the navy, we’ll steal fishing boats.”

Dinófs couldn’t help but blurt out a laugh, “fishing boats, sir?”

Marshal Zabanius chuckled in response, his overly-large belly shaking with mirth, “fishing boats, Colonel! We’ll steal some poor peasant’s fishing boats, and ferry men across the Red Sea. And that’s where you come in.”

“You want me to stop the Spaniards from getting to Cairo, sir?” Dinófs asked, before hastily adding more, “We won’t be able to get many men across if we’re using fishing boats.”

Zabanius beamed with delight, “Correct! We can probably find enough boats for three regiments, I’m sure the Spaniards have told the villagers to destroy their boats but the peasants just punch holes in them and fill ‘em with rocks, then float them back up after the war’s done. But yes, three regiments, you can choose which ones you’d like.”

Dinófs didn’t hesitate a second before naming the regiments he’d like, “The 1st Banat, the 9th of Burgas, and the 6th of Carpathia, sir.”

“Ah. My best regiments. Very well, I’ll see that they’re informed of their duties. Thank you, Levi.”

“Glad to be of assistance, Marhsal.” Levi saluted and then started walking back to the army’s camp.

“By the way, Lieutenant Colonel, if you pull this off you can add a few more stripes to your badge there.”

Dinófs smiled and saluted back, “Thank you, sir.”

----------​

The Army de Stiboricz, Koloszvár, and Mihály advanced in good order, meeting the combined Spanish army at Suez on the 30th of October, 1576. Both sides were evenly matched in numbers, but the Spaniards had been withdrawing from their lands in the Levant, and so their morale was frayed. The cannons of the Transylvanian trinity army shot roundshot and canister into the Spanish rank, and the eagle banners went forward.

To be fair, the Spaniards fought valiantly, but they were no match for the professionalism and iron discipline of the Transylvanian army. They broke after 3 hours of harsh fighting, and the Transylvanian cavalry complicated matters further by splitting the combined Spanish army in two. One marched West, hoping to find refuge in Cairo, and the other headed South for the port city of Tor, where they hoped a Spanish fleet would extricate them from the rapidly closing hand of the Transylvanian Empire.

And in the dead of night, 3,000 men were ferried across the Red Sea. They marched so hard that by the end of it most of their boots were ratty and torn, the soles held together by string. But they arrived in time, and on the road that led to Cairo, they waited.

It was the only road that the Spaniards had built that could handle the weight of a large army, with cannons in tow. It snaked its way Cairo all the way up the Jerusalem, but the road that Spain had so laboriously built would now become the grave marker for an army.


-----------​

It was December, closing on Christmas, but in Egypt the heat was still an uncomfortable feeling that made Lieutenant Colonel Levi Dinófs yearn for the biting cold of a Dacian winter. He was in command of three regiments, the 1st Banat – the Battered Bastards of Banat, a nickname they had earned for their defiant stand at the Citadel of Tarten; the 9th of Burgas, the Wild Bulgars; and the 6th of Carpathia, who for some odd reason which they refused to explain were nicknamed the Dozers.

Dinófs ran his gaze over them. Their ratty coats and dirt stained faces made them look more like beggars and tramps than soldiers, but their muskets were clean, their pikes sharpened, and their bayonets polished. He knew that they may look like beggars, but they’d fight like devils. Which, judging by the size of the Spanish army that was advancing down the road towards him, they would need to do very soon.

Captain Hinrik Johannsson walked up beside Dinófs and stared at the advancing Spanish skirmishers as well.

“Quite a few of them, eh sir?”

Dinófs grunted, “Zabanius wasn’t lying when he said this was bloody crazy. How many Spaniards do you think are on this road coming towards us?”

“Twenty five thousand? I don’t know…does it really matter, sir?”

“No. Heh, I suppose it doesn’t,” Dinófs raised his voice so the men closest to him could hear, “The might of Spain has come to get their balls kicked in by the scum of Transylvania!” They laughed at Dinófs’ jest. It had taken only a couple days for the soldiers from the other regiments to warm to their new commander. He was a happy man, but they also knew he was one of the few officers who fought in the frontline, and so subsequently they were happy; the brave led by the brave.

“Get them orderly, Sergeants! Let’s show these Spaniards how war is fought in Transylvania!” Dinófs shouted, for the Spanish skirmishers were coming closer. Skirmishers from the three regiments assembled went forward to meet them.

“How long do you think we can hold, sir?” Hinrik asked quietly, so they couldn’t be overheard.

“Four hours? Maybe five. Depends how much value the Spanish general puts on his men, and if we can buy some time with ceasefires so they can get their wounded.”

“And Zabanius, sir? How close is he?”

“Close.” For all Dinófs knew, Zabanius could still be sitting around near Suez, but he needed to exhume the calm confidence of an officer who knew exactly was about to happen, but in truth he was scared shitless. 3,000 men against at least 8 times their number, who had cavalry and cannon; it was a situation nobody would want to see themselves in.

The drums were starting now, and in the distance Dinófs thought he could hear the jingling and bumping of cannon being brought up. His right flank was anchored on the side of a small cliff, but his left was wide open, facing an open plain. He just hoped that no Spanish cavalry would threaten that flank, or else he’d have to maneuver the 9th of Burgas into a pike square, which would undoubtedly then get ripped apart by Spanish muskets of cannonshot.

The crack of muskets was sounding a short ways ahead, the first strings plucked to start the fast approaching symphony of death, signaling that the Transylvanian skirmishers were having their duel with their Spanish counterparts. Behind the Spanish skirmishing line marched four columns of infantry, their flags impotent as the air seemed to be void of any sort of breeze.

The Transylvanian skirmishers retreated back to the line and took their positions at the front of their battalions, having been overwhelmed by the sheer number of Spanish skirmishers; that cloud advanced, the muskets of their frontline cracking and sending the lead balls towards the waiting Transylvanians. Occasionally, when a few Spaniards got too close a company would spit out a volley that sent them skittering backwards, but the Transylvanian regiments simply waited, taking the annoying Spaniards’ musketballs in silence.

A bugle called the Spanish skirmishers back to their columns, who swung around to form a crude line that advanced towards the waiting three regiments with muskets at the front and pikes behind. The line would envelop Dinófs’ left flank, but there was nothing he could do about that, as he lacked the manpower to counter-attack.

A cannon banged in the distance, sending a cannonball skittering over the heads of the Spanish and into the Transylvanian line, sending three men to their graves instantly. The Spanish were almost in range, so Dinófs spurred his horse to the flank of the 1st Banat. There was little else for him to do but offer encouragement to the men – the captains and sergeants would take over soon enough.

“Muskets present!” The shout was going all the way down the Transylvanian line, shouted by Captains and Majors.

The Spanish marched solidly onwards. They outnumbered these Transylvanians easily, and was Spain not God’s country? They sang as they marched towards the maelstrom of death that was about to descend upon this tiny corner of Egypt.

“Fire!”

The line was shrouded in smoke as muskets banged and cracked, pounding into shoulder’s and spitting powder onto cheeks. They didn’t even wait for the smoke to clear to see what damage they had done, but were biting into cartridges and going through the motions of reloading their clumsy muskets. To these soldiers of Transylvania, it was as ingrained into them as walking – they were the best.

The Spanish line had faltered as the volley had ripped apart their front ranks, but sergeants shouted for them to keep moving forward while officers smacked at them with the flats of their swords. They let out a ragged cheer as they advanced again, “Santiago!”

“Fire by companies!” Dinófs shouted over the din, and the message was relayed along the line. The three Transylvanian regiments present had an odd structure, emphasizing the firepower of the muskets over the traditional pike, and furthermore was split down into smaller companies that had individual leaders. It was a forward thinking idea that Zabanius had proposed, and it showed its promise now.

The muskets kicked back again, the rippling company volleys that left only a handful of seconds between them. The Spaniards would now have to advance into a never-ending volley. Instead they stopped, and refused to move despite the shouts by their officers. Nobody could advance into that hailstorm, and so they stood and attempted to out fire the Transylvanian line.

The Transylvanian regiments were better, but the Spaniards had more men. It was an even match, and the faces of soldiers from both sides soon turned black from the scraps of power that flew out onto their cheeks when the musket fired. Their mouths had been long ago robbed of any saliva, the saltpeter in the charges that they bit into caking their lips and leaving them to yearn for a drop of water.

Both sides stubbornly refused to give ground, but Dinófs’ knew he could not keep up this bitter duel for very long.

“Fix bayonets! Pikes to the front!”

An odd silence descended upon the battle as the Transylvanian line paused to snap bayonets onto the ends of their muskets, and the pikemen who had been waiting behind moved forward. The Spaniards knew what was coming, and their fire took on a frantic tone; the order that they had advanced with was gone.

“Forward! And play me some music!” Dinófs forced himself to laugh, to show his men he did not fear the Spaniards, and they cheered as they went forward.

The Spanish fled. They didn’t want to face the sharpened bayonets and polished pikes of these madmen who stood defiantly against an army, they wanted to reach Cairo and get drunk, and forget about the Transylvanian army advancing behind them. And so the Transylvanian line emerged from the smoke that drifted in front of their line to see the Spanish withdrawing, they whooped and taunted the retreating Spanish, and Dinófs ordered them back to their positions.


----------​

The Spanish didn’t negotiate a ceasefire. They left their wounded to die, and instead sent forward their cavalry to threaten the Transylvanian left flank. The 9th hastily formed into a square with pikes outsretched, followed by the 1st and then the 6th as the Spanish cavalry rode across the Transylvanian line just out of range, looking for a weakspot. They turned back disgustedly as the stared at the squares that bristled with pikes.

And then the cannons started firing. Colonel Dinófs cursed as he realized that he couldn’t pull his men out of square or else the cavalry would swoop in and carve a bloody path through his regiments, but the square was a gunner’s dream – men tightly packed against one another. A single roundshot could kill or wound a dozen men, and they started doing just that. Roundshot and canister flayed the ranks of Dinófs’ regiments apart, and even he narrowly escaped death as a roundshot skittered across and slammed into his horse’s front legs. He drew his pistol and put the horse out of its misery.

“Could be worse lads!” he shouted over the din, “We could be freezing to death in Lithuania!”

There was nothing to do but wait. The cannonade showed no sign of halting, and the Spanish cavalry kept moving in and probing the strength of the squares, only to be turned back by the angry snap of musket fire.

For two hours it kept up. The world had been reduced to this tiny strip of land, and life or death had become a lottery. Roundshots bounced just inches over heads, only to roll into someone’s leg and leave them screaming on the ground. The bandsmen had long ago stopped playing and were now fighting alongside the others, and the squares had shrunk to half their size, but the Transylvanian regiments held. The flagpole of the 6th of Carpathia had been struck by a roundshot, so instead the flag was mounted on a dead man’s pike.

Drums sounded again in the distance, and Dinófs felt a sense of dread; the Spanish infantry was coming to swipe aside the crippled Transylvanian regiments. They came eagerly, fresh regiments who hadn’t seen fighting in Gaza, and were eager to make a name for themselves. Dinófs had to make a decision, he could stay in square and be protected against the Spanish cavalry, but he’d be ripped apart by Spanish musketfire and cannon; or he could reform into line and take his chances with the cavalry.

The Spanish drums were getting closer, and their flags stood above the uniforms of Spain.

“Tell the 1st and 6th to form line! The 9th will form column!” An aide ran off to carry his message. It was a gamble, but he was hoping his left flank could hold off the cavalry long enough for his centre and right to deal with the advancing Spaniards. He doubted they could, but the alternative was to sit still and die.

He walked forward of the 1st' square that was swinging open to form line and stood rigid to face the oncoming Spaniards, his sword gripped tightly in his right hand. The Spanish cavalry was reforming on his far left – they had seen his centre and right unfolding into line, and were likely whooping with glee.

Captain Hinrik Johannsson called to Dinófs to come back to the line, but the Colonel waved him down. He was dangerously exposed, and the musketballs of Spanish skirmishers whipped by him, seeing the gold braids and fine lace of his uniform.

He turned around and looked at the ragged mess of soldiers he commanded. They were bloody, bruised, blackened, and weary, but they were his, and more importantly, they were Transylvanians.

“Battalions will advance!”

They looked at him, dumbstruck for the faintest moment before they grinned and marched forward.

“If I’m to die I’m taking those bastards with me to the grave!” He shouted angrily at his men, gesturing towards the fast approaching Spanish line. The 9th was advancing in column on the left now, having heard his order. An aide came forward and gave Dinófs one of their last horses, which he mounted with gusto.

“Bandsmen! Play me some God damn music!”

The drums were picked up again, and the trumpets blared, peeling out the Curse of Transylvania.

“Sing! Let them hear how soldiers meet death!”

They cheered as they bellowed out the words, bayonets, pikes, and swords gleaming as they went forward to their death.

“At sunrise we will all be in our graves,
So raise up your sword and take another swing,
The curse of Transylvania, has led us to this fate!
So have no fear and don’t look back,
The afterlife awaits!”

The Spanish cavalry was trotting forward now, and the Spanish line had halted, muskets at their shoulders. Levi Dinófs trotted forward at the front of the line, his sword raised high as the men sang behind him.

“Charge!”

All order was gone, the Transylvanian army has some of the best disciplined troops in the world, but this was not a battle for discipline, this was the last defiant charge of men who had no hope of surviving, of men who wanted nothing more than to take as many of their enemies to the grave with them – to do a last dying duty to their Empire.

A cannon sounded dully off in the distance, but they paid no heed. They were sprinting forward now, their momentum snapping the flags of their regiments and Empire around. A mad cry was peeled from the lips of the mass of men, the warcry of the hopeless. Zabanius was late, and these regiments must die.

“Saint István!” They cried as they charged forward, and the Spanish line erupted in smoke, throwing back the front line of the advancing Transylvanian line, but they kept charging, climbing over the dead, and at their front was Lieutenant Colonel Levi Dinófs, blood running down his breeches and his chin. He had lost his sword, but he drew a spare that hung from the saddle. Holes riddled his shirt where they had punched through the skin, but he screamed in defiance of death as he led his men onwards. His left flank was holding barely against the Spanish cavalry, the men of the 9th, the Wild Bulgars, were stabbing upward with pikes and pulling Spanish riders from their horses.

iP4oh.jpg

The Charge of the Dinófs Brigade

A salvo of cannons boomed in the distance, and a roundshot slashed through the Spanish line from behind as the wild charge hit home. Pikes were thrust forward and a wounded Dinófs barreled into the waiting Spaniards, his horse skittering them aside. His vision was blackening, but he swung with the desperate strength of a man who knew he was dying.

Another boom of cannonfire sounded in the distance, and roundshot pummeled through the Spanish line, flaying it open. Dinófs looked up in confusion and gave one last cheer, spilling more blood down his chin before his strength gave way and he toppled from the saddle. Zabanius had arrived.

Words didn’t even need to be spoken between the charging Transylvanian men. The message passed across them – their Colonel was dead. If the Transylvanians had seemed like demons to the Spaniards before, then the Spanish troops suddenly found themselves faced against an army of Satans. They screamed for their slain colonel and hacked apart the Spanish line, even the Spanish cavalry broke and ran, seen off by a half strength battalion of infantry that hadn’t even been in square. They surged forward into the Spanish army, just over a thousand men attacking an army that was now over ten times their size, but Transylvanian cavalry was pouring onto the field from Zabanius’ army.

Zabanius had abandoned his cumbersome cannon, the Emperor be damned, in an attempt to reach Colonel Dinófs in time, but his scouts had reported the sounds of the battle to him and he had known he would never reach the beleaguered Transylvanian regiments in time with his entire army. So he had gambled, and had sent forward every last horseman he could find. They had rode hard towards the sound of the distant cannonade, and seen the destruction that was being wrought on the Transylvanian battalions.

They had charged. Like Dinófs’ mad charge, there was no order. A handful took the Spanish guns and turned them on the Spanish line waiting to meet the advancing infantry, but the others had flooded forward, taking the Spanish army almost entirely by surprise. For a moment it had almost ended in disaster as a handful of Spanish regiments managed to form crude pike squares the repel the oncoming cavalry, but then the survivors of the 1st Banat, 9th of Burgas, and 6th of Carpathia had surged forward again and broken apart the square with their steel and warcries, and so the cavalry spurred onward and carved apart the fleeing Spanish army.

By the end of the day, more than 20,000 Spaniards lay dead on the field. On paper, it was a stunning victory, but to Zabanius it felt like a defeat. His three best battalions had been crippled and would likely need to sit out the rest of the war, and more importantly, he had lost one of his good friends. A message came a few weeks later and told of another victory at Tor, where 16,000 Spanish troops had surrendered. Egypt, and by extension all of North Africa, was now void of any sizeable Spanish resistance, but the price of that victory had been steep.

Lieutenant Colonel Levi Dinófs’ body would be carried back to Transylvania and laid to rest within the Citadel of Tarten, to lay beside the bodies of Transylvania’s other great heroes and kings. A year after his death, a statue would be builted outside the Citadel, alongside the statue of King István and Count Miklós Csáki.

eLHH0.jpg

The Statue of Lieutenant Colonel Levi Dinófs outside of the Citadel of Tarten

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The Egyptian Campaign
 
Last edited:

dinofs

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A fitting end. :cool:
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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unmerged(59077)

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So, I like the map, I like the cameos, and I like the name Domotor with three umlauts.

Which means that by the time you resume writing I will hopefully catch up.
 

wolfcity

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defeat in victory "sigh" that is war
 

unmerged(88283)

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For Dinofs!