Monthly Archives: September 2013
And hey, you now have a pretty cool event available! You can claim Constantinople!
As do I! And congratulations, you are now automatically the Sheikh of Constantinople, in addition to any other titles you may have held.
Well, the city has an ancient and grand tradition. On the other hand, Alexandria has been the capital of the Kalmen dynasty for 250 years, except for a few short years under Yahya I, son of the great Koraiur I, founder of the Kalmen dynasty. Yahya ruled from Makuria for one short generation before the capital was moved back to Alexandria upon his death.
Coolio. But there’s one strange thing…
Did you convert to Orthodox Christianity while I wasn’t looking?
Are you sure?
I only ask because, well…
Huh. I guess we found a bug. That event really needs to check the religion of the ruler in addition to the title held. Or make the Byzantine Empire title Orthodox only.
Speaking of the Byzantine Empire, they aren’t even Italy any more.
Lotharingia. Which would normally exist north of the Alps.
Your Greatness has even been recognized far beyond the (admittedly large) borders of your Sunni Caliphate! Powerful and learned men come to join your court.
That you are, Aksil!
Okay, we seriously need to finish securing Arabia and Mesopotamia so we can return to our main goal of taking Iberia.
Easy! The biggest trouble you have on your eastern border is that damned Sh’ia Caliphate, the hateful Itijid. They control much of Mesopotamia. Declare an invasion and take it from them! This will be a huge blow to their power, weakening them in future confrontations, but it will also tidy up your borders and give you the land that belongs to you.
I bet we’ll have Anatolians clamouring for independence as soon as we do…
Damn right! But so very worth it.
I do. Let’s get it done!
Four months into the war, and there is no sign of Itijid troops anywhere. OUr forces have mustered and march into Sh’ia lands with impunity.
Then, nearly a year into the invasion of Mesopotamia, the first combined army of the Itijid is spotted:
My thoughts exactly! What happened to the Itijids? I haven’t noticed any wars that would have weakened them. I have no idea where all their troops are. But it doesn’t really matter. Before that battle is even over, we’ve won.
Immediately following their hilarious defeat, the Itijid Caliphate collapse into warring factions. If ever it needed to be done, it would be now.
Because that was disgustingly easy!
NEXT TIME: Back on Track!
Well if it makes you feel any better…
But It’ij escaped again.
And once again, we bounce from one major war right into the next. An early battle is coming to a head north of Acre, and may prove decisive in these early days of this war.
Though victory comes to the Kalmen forces, these independence-seeking Anatolians refuse to give up. A long and gruelling war follows, with no more large battles to speak of.
Yes. Yes, it really is. Meanwhile, with the province of Kermanshah now declaring its independence from you, the Itijid are trying to take the province. This means they are hostile to you, and your armies, should they meet, will clash, but you are not technically at war.
Basically yes. You can attack their armies, but that will merely weaken you in the wars you are really fighting.
Also: Norse Vikings have seen these constant wars as a chance to raid Sicily and Tunisia.
It’s more likely than you think!
Well… Uh… That war is over!
I have no idea. It just sort of… ended. Sometimes wars do that when the leader dies, but that’s not what happened here. All of a sudden they just… stopped wanting independence?
Nor do I. Call it a freebie and move on?
Not that kind of ‘move on’!
But… But… You’re leaving behind fourteen pretenders, all of whom hate your son! You’re going to have succession wars out the wazoo!
… Shut up. Stop talking, you’re dead.
We’ll see how he performs under pressure.
You have a war to deal with.
What did you expect?
Well that was a freebie!
You’d be a damned fool not to.
Well let’s take a look at the map of Europe:
You see, the Byzantines don’t control much of the land that once made up the Empire.
You may also notice the DISGUSTING MESS that is Europe and its borders. That is seriously ugly. Not like the Caliphate! Oh no, those borders are cleaning up nicely!
Well okay, Hungary is still ugly as sin. But that’s in Europe, so it doesn’t count! It won’d be much longer until all of Arabia, Mesopotamia and the Levant: Basically the Mashriq region (plus Arabia).
I swear, if I see an Easy Button come up, I will find a way to have you assassinated.
The Usurp button? I don’t know, let’s find out!
NEXT TIME: Pressing That Button!
Perhaps. But we have more!
Well, we have a few more…
They are Christian – Orthodox, specifically (Monothellite to be even more specific) – and Greek. They don’t like an Egyptian Sunni Muslim ruling over them. There are also some Berber and Arab opportunists trying to ride the coat-tails of what they hope will be a successful rebellion.
I know! And it only gets worse, Hakam.
I know, right? Lucky for us, they are just as happy fighting each other as they are us.
There’s a lot going on here, but the gist of it is this: I have no idea who is going to win! We’ve made good progress in our first wars, but the Tunisian bid for the throne has put a huge dent in our numbers, and forced us into a two-front war. Never a good thing! A quick, hard strike against the Tunisians will get them out of the fight and allow us to focus on what really matters; that huge rebellion in Anatolia! Fleets are raised to transport one of our armies across the Mediterranean to Tunis.
Mission accomplished! (Mostly)
Adding to our accomplishments, a tiny little peasant revolt has been dealt with too!
I certainly hope so. It’s not much, but it’s something!
Speaking of something, uh… Emir Sadiq has died. Not sure how, or why, or when, but he did. And he was leading the independence faction.
It sure was! And honestly, the rest of our enemies fall with pitiful ease after that.
News from the east is not so wonderful. Our allies in the Seljuk Empire have lost control of their northern holdings and are embroiled in a civil war of their own. And the Sh’ia have made large gains in Persia and southern Arabia. It won’t be long until our two great nations clash once again.
We need to recoup, refresh our men and prepare to take Arabia from the unholy Sh’ia!
Don’t do exactly what you’re thinking of doing.
I hate this entire family.
Well… let’s start by raising and consolidating our troops. Lucky us, the Seljuks, despite their troubles, have agreed to join us in our war against the Sh’ia Itijid.
The war is harshest on the western shores of the Persian Gulf, where tens of thousands of men manoeuvre into position and destroy one another.
This may be the decisive battle of this war. That Itijid army was once thirty-thousand strong but was whittled down, and is led by Caliph It’ij himself. You, Caliph Hakam II, command the army coming up from the south.
As you join the battle, ten-thousand Sh’ia camel riders come from the east and ambush your reserves before fleeing back into the desert. It’ij escapes, but his eldest son is slain by your own son and heir, Prince Abil.
It’ij quickly leads his cavalry to meet with his marshal, and marches on your northern army with another force of twenty-thousand men. In your rush to reinforce the army of your nephew Basileos (a Greek boy), southern Arabia is left defenceless, and your armies there are crushed with ease.
But that army at the top of the screenshot is sieging the Sh’ia capital. If we can take the entire province, we might have the leverage to declare victory! Push, Hakam, push!
Ambush! Damn that wily It’ij!
With some quick manoeuvres and quick strikes, you regroup in Kalmen territory to make another push on the Itijid capital.
He is taking the bait! Should he engage the army in Kermanshah, your massive force in Baghdad will march to join in and crush this pretender Caliph once and for all!
NEXT TIME: The best laid plans…
Good luck, yo!
Good, because the rest of the world was not still while you were away.
Not for the Caliph! You have an Arabian Empire to unite!
Oh, ignore him! He hasn’t declared war yet…
While on campaign against some tiny lord, a bear attacked you!
It is! But don’t worry, you have a big strong man to save you!
But do you know what’s more dangerous than bears?
Last time we looked at Britain, it was a bit of a mess, with Norse Scots (called Skots, because they are Norse) and Danes tearing the Isles apart. In the last century it… has not changed much.
But let’s look at the religious map, too.
Yeah, I can see why the Pope would consider this problematic. At the games start in 867, the Catholics had pushed nearly all Norse from the Isles. Clearly they made a comeback, formed Skotland, which gained Norway (by inheritance) and Ireland (by conquest). Clearly they are not doing quite as well now; they’ve lost half of Ireland and all of Norway. But they have Pommerania!
Basically, the Pope is declaring a Crusade to fight a weakened Skotland and a powerfulish Denmark, which controls its own land, as well as parts of Finland. Neither one, nor both together, will stand up to the Holy Roman Empire should it join the Crusade. Because honestly? There really isn’t any other Christian nation. Western Europe looks like this:
Yes, that is Aquitaine and Toulouse fighting the Spanish for control of Northern Iberia, while the Muslim Balawids hunker down in the south.
Eastern Europe looks like this:
Poland in two parts, the Byzantine Empire in Croatia and Montenegro, and a big ol’ Rus on the upper right. Just right of the screenshot is the giant Seljuk empire, just sitting there.
And the religious map of Europe:
All that purpley-pink blotchyness in Anatolia and Greece is Orthodox Christianity. It’s so messy because I’m busily converting the Orthodox to Sunni Islam, one province at a time. Slow going.
Anyway, the Crusade!
Don’t worry. After a few minor skirmishes around Alexandria, Prince Zeyd is beaten and surrenders.
Please don’t say easy.
Yeah, I’ve never played as a character as powerful as a Caliph before. It has so far been nothing but plot discovered announcements and peasant revolts not even worth mentioning.
That said, the Sh’ia Caliph to the east has been growing quite rapidly!
With the Holy Roman Empire’s failure to commit to the Crusade, the Pope has no choice but to call it off.
Me neither, Hakam. Me neither.
The failure of this First Crusade for England has had far-reaching and monumental consequences. Western Europe is… Well, look at it!
You can say that again!
This is actually a good time to take back those Italian and Sicilian holdings we somehow lost somewhere along the way. The Holy Roman Empire is distracted and discordant, while we are stronger than ever! The Holy Roman Empire at full strength would certainly crush us, but as it is? Victory will be ours with little issue, I predict.
Lo and behold!
Don’t you dare.
I hate you so much right now.
Grump grump grump.
NEXT TIME: Grumpy McGrumperson grumps some more
Now that that is over with, let’s rebuild what your father has destroyed. Isn’t that right, Hakam Jr.?
I’ve been trying not to think about it.
Yeesh. We did the right thing, you an I. Your father, on the other hand, left us a massive clusterfuck. But, he left you with the Sunni Caliphate. Unfortunately, between the civil war, the Coalition war, and now another civil war, the Caliphate is nothing like what it once was. Arabia is lost to us, as is most of Mesopotamia, Abyssinia and Anatolia. Also, a peasant revolt. Your fathers taxes were exorbitant.
It’s not all bad news, though.
We can all breathe a little easier. Despite the huge setbacks, we might come out on top.
Thirty-five years after the start of the Coalition War, the Kalmen dynasty again knows peace. After all the wars, after all the killing and the hatred, the Kalmen Caliphate looks like this:
It’s also going in the absolute wrong direction! We want to be going west so we can colonize the Americas! Your father took us east!
Fine. But you’ve got a lot of little wars to deal with first.Some emirs are demanding independence, others demand lower Crown Authority. The web of allies the Kalmen dynasty has weaved in the past two centuries means you are receiving constant calls to arms.
The only war of any note is this one, with two Greek lords declaring independence:
As you can see, they have a lot of men in Anatolia and the Balkans. It won’t be difficult to defeat them, but trying to organize your now vast empire with any alacrity is a doomed ordeal. The rebels are making good progress while troops march north from Egypt and west from Mesopotamia.
While our armies march to meet the rebels, the rebels take huge swathes of the Balkans. Eventually, our armies gain the upper hand in Anatolia and bring hold after hold to its knees.
This war is taking a looooong time, but nothing interesting is happening. In fact, this was has lasted nearly five years. Egads! In that time, there have been three peasants revolts, another short-lived bid for independence in Italy, and now your brother-in-law, Lot, is after your throne.
Yeah, things are taking a turn of the worse. Again. But don’t worry; if your crazy father could do it, you can do it too!
Well, except for one incredibly problematic boy…
That’s… one way of putting it, I suppose. Let’s take a look at this Sh’ia boy’s army, shall we?
Yeah, that’s four-hundred-fifty thousand men in Kuwait.
Magic, I presume. I say we just leave them alone for now, let attrition thin their numbers while we pursue our five other current wars to a conclusion of sorts.
Oh, most certainly not. Not even close. Nope. Nuh-uh. Kalmen be done, yo. I mean, Lot still has thirty thousand men in Africa, invading your lands there too!
Wait. what? What did you do?
Well what was the result?
Yeah, me neither. No wait, there it is!
The Itijid boy took three provinces and formed his own, laughably miniscule ‘Caliphate’ there.
Yeah, I guess it was!