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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
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Ofaloaf

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Forgive me, this may have been brought up prior in the thread, but why is Soissons a king-level title in the first place? Under Aegidius it was run a bit more properly Roman-like, but I thought Penny MacGeorge demonstrated fairly well that under Syagrius the whole enterprise devolved into little more than a warlord's fiefdom, best illustrated by the domain-ending Battle of Soissons in 486-- a proper state can at least scramble for successors and maintain some administration when a battle is lost, have pretenders flee abroad, have a bureaucracy, etc., but when a warlord starts to lose, his domain disintegrates rapidly.

Now, I recognize that Soissons was often called a kingdom, but it's also entirely possible to grant any title any other title's tier with a simple "name_tier = [count/duke/king/emperor]" line in the appropriate entry in landed_titles. Given how quickly Soissons fell, I would advocate making Syagrius holder of a ducal-level Soissons that merely is named a kingdom in landed_titles. A ducal Soissons would disintegrate more rapidly, better reflect the challenges of just keeping such a state together with what meager administrative power Syagrius had at his disposal, and this could all be done using mechanics already in CK2 and so would not have to rely on special events or CBs for the Franks to beat the crap out of it, if that's how the AI chose to roll. A proper king-level Kingdom of Soissons (titular) could serve as an update if Syagrius just survives the initial deluge, if it's felt necessary.


edit: Also!

Julius Nepos had a wife.
 
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Ofaloaf

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I made Syagrius a king for mostly game-play reasons, for dukes better represented the Romano-Gallic aristocracy that considered him to be a weak leader. Also as a king he can control crown authority, so he is not dependent on the whims of Barbarian kings who own the kingdoms Soissons has parts in.
I assumed that no barbarian held a de jure title over northern France (Neustria? No idea what the de jure setup is here) at game start. Figured that if it got to the point where barbarians controlled a majority of de jure land and were able to set their own laws there, then Syagrius & company would be probably screwed regardless of whether he was a king or duke and the issue of crown authority would rapidly become moot anyway.
 

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Actually by the mid-5th century the Rhineland Franks of the Lower Rhine would have dejure claims to Flanders, Brabant, and Holland. The Romans had ceded those territories to them generations ago. Koln and the Lorraine provinces are a bit fuzzier - technically they still belonged to the Empire, but the empire didn't seem to exist in the West after 476 until Theodoric, and he never attempted to reclaim northern Gaul.
What's that translate to in terms of game mechanics, though? The Frankish Kingdom is, I imagine, a titular tribal(?) title, and having 'FRANKS' down on the de jure kingdom map just doesn't seem right (what if they're wholly displaced by Thuringians or someone?), so that's all a big ??? in terms of de jure territories.
 

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Yeah, and I see no reason at all to demote Syagrius. He was called "King of the Romans" by his neighbors and Gregory of Tours.
Is Ambrosius Aurelianus going to hold a king-level title too, since Gildas called him 'King of the Britons'? What about Riothamus, who was also around in the late 5th century and who Jordanes called 'King of the Britons'? Just because one or two historical sources called a person a king does not necessarily merit granting a king-tier title. Even basegame CK2 has ducal-level petty kingdoms in it.
 

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I don´t know enough about Ambrosius to say anything. Riothamus is not even in the game (I think) since he was active around 470, ten years before this mod starts
Floruit 470 doesn't necessary mean that he died in 471-- nothing's really said about his death.
 

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Okay, Syagrius is going to remain a king, it looks nicer, makes the nobility's strength more realistic, and can become dejure.
Alrighty.
Yeah, and the more I read about Ambrosius, the more convinced I become about making him a king too. He was described as the "king among all kings of the British nations". I interpret it that he should be a king, not just another duke
Hopefully not a de jure king, at least. Even though Ambrosius was called such by some writers, as best anyone can tell, Sub-Roman Brythonic Britain was fairly fragmented. A de jure king of Britain, sharing the same culture and religion as a bunch of petty dukes, will fairly easily swallow them all through de jure wars and occasionally demands for vassalization.
 

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I don´t recall suggesting that he would be a dejure king? I just said that he would be a king.
Nor did I mean to imply that you said such a thing! I just wanted to warn against it in case the idea what floated from any quarter.
As having been explained before: No there is not a released version of it and there hasn´t even been a closed alpha yet.
That should be in big, bold, red letters in the OP.
 

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Is Massalia= Marseille in roman/english?
The Romans used the Greek name for the city, but then again they used Greek names for a lot of cities-- like Ancona, which was colonized even more recently by the Greeks than Marseilles and yet certainly was not Greek by the 6th century AD.
 

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Honestly, it's just that there seems to be a little too much 'looking back' with the mod at the moment-- there's a lot of stuff that happened after 480 AD which really ought to be implemented and sorted out before revivals of Diadochi Bactria and Greek colonization of Europe are looked into. The Avars, the Slavic migrations and the Rise of Islam are Big Things of the Early Middle Ages (Islam's rise even sometimes being used to mark the final end of Antiquity) and seeing them done and sorted out would be quite comforting, as someone interested in the period and in this mod.
 

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The looking back is only a paranthese and there are a lot of discussion regarding the Rise Of Islam and Slavic Migration already.
Really? What pages are those discussions on? I confess, I only read back through about 10 pages before beginning to post; tearing through the reams of discussions is usually not the most productive use of time, as I've found while going through other 100+ page threads.

Hopefully Islam's rise is a big shock to the world and the treatment of the Prophet is tastefully done-- a big game-changing event two centuries into the game is a perfect fit (compare to the Mongol invasions) and depicting Mohammad respectfully is just a courteous thing to do. Heck, if need be, just mention Mohammad in the invasion-warning events (compare to the rumors of the Mongols events) and then present the rise of Islam as starting a little later with the Rashidun caliphs.

Likewise, I hope the Slavs appear and make a big splash more often than not. A mix of culture-conversion events and emerging states could be a good way of following their progress-- a massed tribal invasion under one or two titles wouldn't properly reflect all that, but those other mechanics would do a decentish job at it.
What I think think the focuse should be know is: , as stated before, the possibilty to have things that happened historically close to the start date being able to happen, while keeping it dynamic, model the trasition between feudalization and centralization and how cultures and melting pots will be handled. Personally I think that what happened with celts and christianity in Britain and the situation in France with the Franks and the schism and conversion of germanic pagans to christendom are also important events during this timeframe.
Watching the changes and displacement of (sub-)Roman peoples, such as the Gallo-Romans in Gaul and the transition in Britain from Romanized Celts to Britons (and then the Anglo-Saxons' subjugation of them) is highly appealing to be, and part of the reason why I'm so interested in this mod and the time period. It was an era of dramatic changes, migrations and upheaval-- judging from the discussions of events that I have read, it seems like the mod is endeavoring to do those changes justice.
 

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Firstly: You better read through the entire thread, just to be safe.
Will do!

Secondly: If you mean that Islam would be an ass-crushing Empire in every game, then that has already been discussed and rejected. In most games, Islam will proabably not create a huge empire. Think of it, it would take a human touch to create an empire that large with so few starting resoruces, and the most butterfly conditions you can find. Find the discussion regarding Islam for more info.
Butterflies shouldn't be that large of a factor, though-- vanilla CK2 allows you to start in 867, yet Tamerlane will still appear in the 1300s and that's a great thing. Those big invasions and other tumultuous events prevent the game from being a static slog of the same old, same old, and introduce a bit of history most players would otherwise never see (or have ever heard of, for some of them). Even CK2+, which made invasions more variable, still had Tamerlane appear more often than not.

The Rise of Islam likewise presents a downright perfect opportunity to shake up the game a century and a half in, and give a Middle Eastern player something more than just steady growth between (or as) two great powers. Heck, with the nature of Islam's rise it'd even be easy for them to convert, keep their territories and join the wave.
 

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Of course Mohammad will appear in the game frequently, but his destiny is different each time. The Muslims only got so much territory because they outmanouvered the battle-exhausted Byzantine and Persian Empires, that had just finished a 26 year long war. In the vast majority of games (atleast started before Rise of Islam), that war will never happen and Persia and Byzantium stops them before they go anywhere they shouldn´t go.
And the Mongols were only able to build the empire they did because China was split between the Jin and the Song, and only really began pushing west because of a dickish official in Khwarezm, and yet the Mongols are a constant presence in CK2.

And another thing, if the game just keeps to the historical way, then it WILL get boring in the end
Some basic historical points, like the Rise of Islam, can still give way to greatly varying outcomes. The alternative, to introduce Islam-like alternatives in an effort to cover for butterflies while still providing a game-changing opportunity two centuries in, is more likely to prompt a player to say "Oh, the not-Caliph of totally-not-Islam in Arabia/Egypt/Iceland has declared a not-jihad on me" rather than any intense thought on the part of the player regarding the fascinating structure and theological implications of whatever alternative is brought up, and so basically just would provide the same stuff Islam provides, but just stripped of any historicity and with a bunch of new titles the player won't recognize.
 

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Okay, do you mean implementing a similar series of events on another religion? Why?
No, I meant the opposite of that. Alternative religions meant to take on a similar role to Islam as part of a broader 'butterflies' policy should be something discounted from consideration, since odds are that they'll be transparent proxies for Islam anyways (unless a lot of time and thinking were thrown into working on hypothetical religions which won't even appear X% of the time), but with no historicity and meaningless names and titles.

Anyway, we have already decided to give Mohammed ca 20 000 guys when he rises or something and then just send him away and see what happens. In Enlil´s most recent playthrough, they have taken control of half of Persia and created something called the Hillahid Sultanate and lost Arabia, which I think is quite reasonable for a regular playthrough
That's something, at least. The vanilla Horde invasions field larger armies than that. Having some way to induce the Muslims to expand west into Egypt and Africa rather than just Mesopotamia and Persia would be pretty nifty, too. I gave a go at this sort of thing a while ago, and I swear Muslims conquered Constantinople more often than Cairo in the test games I ran.
Red herring. Stop pushing Mahomet.
♫ I'm yo' pusher-man ♫

But come on, anybody who studies the Early Middle Ages should appreciate that birth & rise of Islam was a key point in history and integral part of what made the Early Middle Ages the Early Middle Ages.
 

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Which is exactly my point! It would require human intuition, military briliance and insight to create that huge an Empire with so few resources, which is why in the vast majority of games, Islam will not create a huge ass-crushing Empire. Period, case and closed
It would require human intuition, military brilliance and insight to do a lot of things, like the Merovingian Empire, Justinian's conquests, Theodoric's takeover of Italy, or even, to go back to vanilla CK2, the birth and growth of the Mongol Empire, the rise of Tamerlane, the rise of the Seljuks, or even the Hashashin. And yet, they're there, in the game, and it's a good thing they're in there.

Concerns about butterflies and the capabilities of man should take a backseat to gameplay and world-building, which is how it's done in the vanilla game and how it tends to be expanded upon in various projects (the creation of Rum and the Bulgarian Empire revolts are great and really ought to be included in vanilla). Mechanics and events are meant to compensate for the AI's inability to be a brilliant mastermind, a great khan, etc.
 

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History should definetly not be hardcoded
History should be more probable than otherwise. It's what actually happened, after all. The probability of Hitler* actually surviving all the assassination attempts he had to deal with just between 1933 and 1945 shouldn't be all that high just considering the sheer quantity, and yet war games tend to not follow that stuff through, because removing Hitler removes a core part of what makes World War Two, World War Two, and carving out such a central part of that era just makes it less fun.

In much the same way, playing up the probabilities of Islam actually rising and making it much more likely that Islam doesn't succeed or even appear at all removes a key part of what on earth actually makes the Early Middle Ages the Early Middle Ages. This dynamism being promoted makes it less interesting by removing such an integral part of the era, and less fun by removing such a dynamic element from the Middle East.


*I'm not sure if this counts as an application of Godwin's Law.
 

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Firstly: I would not be against removing Hitler in the middle of WW2, it would be fun to have someone else as Emperor-Dictator. I would definetly not be against the idea that the entire Nazi government dies somehow and then Mussolini inherits Germany. And the history that happened in real life, IT IS JUST ONE OF AN INFINITE NUMBER OF POSSIBLE HISTORIES THAT COULD HAVE UNFOLDED. It was just random chance that we ended up in this universe. Think of it, what if the Japanese never bombed Pearl Harbor and whent after Australia instead? Would the US even have gotten involved in WW2 then?
Then the US either ends up entering the war a year later (and so essentially ends up with a similar outcome to what Pearl Harbor started anyways) or is isolationist (and what kind of fun is there in that?), so then either the game plays out near-historically anyways or nothing at all happens, and the latter option is no fun at all.

Secondly: Who ever suggested removing Islam? And do you really want an ass-crushing Empire everytime? How is that more dynamic and more fun? Where is the fun in playing a game which outcome is already determined? Unpredictable games are more dynamic and fun to play. Think of it: What if the ruler of Mecca actually decides to accept Mohammed and become a Muslim? Then he wouldn´t need 20 000 guys since he wouldn´t need to go and conquer the world for no reason.
Having Islam as a one-province thing in Mecca is essentially ending it prematurely and consigning it to barely a life at all. It'll maybe unite Hedjaz if it's lucky, and then Himyar will annex it or the Ghassanids will beat it to a pulp and it won't even be on the radar of an Egyptian or Syrian player. Weak affairs don't survive in CK2-- the Latin Empire gets beat to a pulp by the Byzantines even in a 1205 start, Livonia gets torn apart by pagans in post-Livonian Crusade starts, the Irish are conquered by England, and so forth. One-province non-expansionist Islamic Mecca would fare little better than that lot.

And what is the fun, unpredictability in that situation? Then there's just the ERE and Persia staring at each other and sporadically contesting Mesopotamia and Syria while Arabia just kind of quietly stews. Golly, what fun that will be!


And hell, if I was the ruler of Mecca and accepted Mohammed I still would want a 20000-man army anyways if I could.
 

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We´re not making them weaker, we´re making them realistic here.
But you won't extend that realism to Islam having a good chance at expanding. Okay.

18 000 was the size of the army that the Muslims invaded Mesopotamia with.
No-one has historically-sized armies. The Byzantines can raise 13000 troops in 1066 (varying each load with randomized traits impacting total levy numbers, of course)-- that number is nowhere near historically accurate. A lowball figure for Byzantine troops present at Manzikert in 1081 is 40000, and the high-end estimate is 70000-- both figures are far more than the Byzantines can raise, and those Manzikert figures are only for the troops present at one battle and not all the garrisons and field armies elsewhere in the empire. Heck, the 634 Battle of Firaz allegedly had the combined Persian-Byzantine forces field an army over one hundred thousand strong (and then lost that battle)-- are you going to try and realistically bring ERE and Persian levy numbers up to that number by the 7th century?

It's odd to stick with the historical number here and then eschew every other historical part of Islam's rise.
And honestly, we can´t know that Persia or the ERE remain powerful and stable for the rest of the game. Some other power might emerge and beat the crap out of them, or they might have rebelions and crack down to smaller things.
When have you ever seen Lotharingia or Frisia form in a post-Old Gods start in vanilla CK2? When does France ever break down? There are general trends in CK2 behavior that can be used to predict how things tend to turn out over the average of many games-- one of those trends is that large empires don't crack, and another is that new Big Powers don't tend to emerge without some sort of event prodding things along, like Crusades or decadence revolts.
And what is so bad with weak Islam? Why do they have to be a vital part of an alternate reality just because they have been one in this one?
Because Islam is, to echo the words of esteemed American VP Joe Biden, a big fucking deal.
 

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That would certainly be interesting. Increasing the levies overall to represent more historical armies, that would certainly be fun. If we do that, we´ll perhaps increase the Muslim event troops as well.
Be careful with that. It'd favor large empires even more than they already are. The aforementioned Battle of Firaz, wherein a joint Persian-Byzantine force allegedly fielded over 100,000 men, had that army square off against an Islamic army 15,000-strong-- and lose. Is there any way for such results to be replicated in CK2? Even with VIET-like battle events, that battle would end in defeat for the Muslims.

The "exhausted Byzantine and Persian Empires" were able to field massive armies in the 630s, armies which in CK2 would have won. Even in their weakened state, which has been argued was necessary for the Muslims to truly gain victory and expand outward, with CK2 mechanics they'd absolutely beat the crap out of the Islamic armies. If Islam can't succeed even in historical, optimum conditions with the current mechanics and setup, then something must change.
 

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Naturally large Empires are strong, I mean, why wouldn´t they be? And I think you´re forgetting something about that battle. The Romano-Persians had their backs to the Euphrates, with nowhere to go and the Arabs just pushed them down and killed them. I honestly don´t think that CK2 can replicate those conditions, its just not that battle-detailed of a game.
So then something must be done to compensate for that lack of detail, because otherwise that'd mean denying Islam expansion into Persia and the ERE even in the best of conditions, and that is just plain dumb. Enlil's idea regarding special tactics might help out there, happily.

I can add some high-martial tactics that can allow a mastermind general to overcome a massive army.
That might help. How are the characters being generated for those mid-game events, create_character = { [stuff] attributes = { martial = [high number] } trait = brilliant_strategist } or thereabouts, or are they totally random so that the Rashidun caliphs might end up being dribbling idiots?
 
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