Monthly Archives: September 2013

Who Has Two Thumbs And A Birthday Today?

Millions of people. But among those millions is me!
Yes, I am now twenty-five years old. A quarter-century of life has passed me by. What have I accomplished, really?
Well, nothing worthwhile yet! But I’ve made good headway into life. Between the Canadian Military Reserve paying part of my tuition and my parents paying another part I’ve got no student debts. My career choices of music, theatre and writing are not going to make me much money, but at least it’s all my money!
Too bad I have some expensive hobbies.
Yes, most of my time is filled with creative work. Fulfilling, emotionally and intellectually. But it does not fill my wallet.
Thanks, Crusader Kings Forumites, for taking me up from 30 views a day to 300. Feels good bro, even if the comments sections remain perfectly devoid of conversation.
Here’s hoping I’m only a quarter of the way through my life. Some say the first person to live past 150 has already been born. Wouldn’t that be fuckin’ awesome?

Posted by on September 28, 2013 in Introductionary, Uncategorized



Dar al-Islam, Part Twenty-Six: Pressing That Button!

Ha ha! Loser can’t even call himself Emperor any more!


And hey, you now have a pretty cool event available! You can claim Constantinople!




Roman Caliph? I like the sound of that!


As do I! And congratulations, you are now automatically the Sheikh of Constantinople, in addition to any other titles you may have held.


Should I move my capital to Constantinople?


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.


I’ll stick with Alexandria.


Coolio. But there’s one strange thing…


Uh oh, what is it?


Did you convert to Orthodox Christianity while I wasn’t looking?


I don’t think so.


Are you sure?



I think I’d remember something like that.


I only ask because, well…





I’m Sunni Muslim, I swear!




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.





Well I am pretty awesome!


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.


How am I going to do that?


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.


Let’s do it!


I bet we’ll have Anatolians clamouring for independence as soon as we do…




This is going to be a tough one, I think!


Damn right! But so very worth it.


If you say so.


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!







Pfah! I do not fear Catholic horsemen! There wouldn’t be any pilgrims to Jerusalem if I didn’t allow it anyway, so what do I care?


NEXT TIME: Back on Track!

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Posted by on September 28, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)


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Dar al-Islam, Part Twenty-Five: Cleaning Up Arabia

It’ij has fallen for it! The battle in Kermanshah is not going to last long, but it will pin him in place long enough for you to catch him and finally, conclusively end the Sh’ia heresy!
It’ij lines his forces up on the east side of the Tigris river. Having crushed your nephew Basileos in short order, he had plenty of time to prepare, though he certainly could not escape.
And just in time for your upcoming victory against the false Caliph:

Seems so!


I am so sick of this shit! Every fucking time I do something, Anatolia rebels! I can’t even rule this Caliphate without people bitching and whining and chasing independence!

Well if it makes you feel any better…


But It’ij escaped again.

I give no fucks. I won.


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.

This is going to take a while.

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.

So they can hurt me, but I can’t hurt them?

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.

Viking raiders? In my Mediterranean?

It’s more likely than you think!


Well… Uh… That war is over!


What? Why?


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?


I don’t understand how this game works sometimes.


Nor do I. Call it a freebie and move on?




Not that kind of ‘move on’!


Too late. I’m dying and you can’t stop me!


But… But… You’re leaving behind fourteen pretenders, all of whom hate your son! You’re going to have succession wars out the wazoo!


That is where wars come from.


… Shut up. Stop talking, you’re dead.


Just be nice to Aksil.


We’ll see how he performs under pressure.


Hello Aksil!




You have a war to deal with.




What did you expect?






Well that was a freebie!


I’ll take it!


You’d be a damned fool not to.


So hey. I just inherited the rest of Greece from the Byzantine Empire. Which means I can usurp the Byzantine Empire from the Byzantine Empire or something? How is that possible?


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).


That’s cool and all, but I only asked so that I would know what I pressing this button did…


I swear, if I see an Easy Button come up, I will find a way to have you assassinated.



Nope. It’s this one:




The Usurp button? I don’t know, let’s find out!


Yes, let’s!


NEXT TIME: Pressing That Button!

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Posted by on September 25, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)


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Dar al-Islam, Part Twenty-Four: More Unity!

Unity is not palatable to your more ambitious vassals, who would rather be their own rulers.
That’s quite a few backers he’s got…

Perhaps. But we have more!

Well, we have a few more…


It’s nothing more than a bunch of malcontent Anatolian Greeks.

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.

Running an Empire is hard work!

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!


That’ll make things slightly easier!

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.


Well that was a freebie!

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!

I agree! Well, except for that recoup and rest part…

Please don’t.

Don’t what?

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.


Glorious deaths fighting the Sh’ia heretics! Allah shall judge them for their foolish behaviours in the next life.


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!

Sush you, I’m not giving birth!


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…

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Posted by on September 22, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)


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Dar al-Islam, Part Twenty-Three: Arabs Unite!

Well, with that insanity avoided for now, let’s get back to unifying the Arabian Empire, shall we?
There, that’s it. That’s all the petty wars of the last fifteen years, all dealt with.
I need a break. I’m going on a Hajj to Mecca!

Good luck, yo!


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Well that was nice.

Good, because the rest of the world was not still while you were away.


Is there no rest to be had in this world?

Not for the Caliph! You have an Arabian Empire to unite!

Right right. Let’s start with all these one-province lords in the Levant and Mesopotamia.

Yes, let’s!2013-09-12_00018

Oh, ignore him! He hasn’t declared war yet…

While on campaign against some tiny lord, a bear attacked you!

That’s unfortunate.

It is! But don’t worry, you have a big strong man to save you!


Mmmm, bears…

Oh my!

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!

Anyway, intrigue!


Anyway, war!



Don’t worry. After a few minor skirmishes around Alexandria, Prince Zeyd is beaten and surrenders.

Well that was-

Please don’t say easy.

Boring. I was going to say boring.

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.


I don’t know why they thought Jesus Christ would guide them to victory.

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!




That’s, uh… severe.


You can say that again!


That’s, uh-




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!





That was-


Don’t you dare.





I hate you so much right now.


You love it!


Grump grump grump.



See? You play tough, but you think I’m hilarious.




NEXT TIME: Grumpy McGrumperson grumps some more

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)


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Dar al-Islam, Part Twenty-Two: The Anticlimactic Caliphate

Let’s finish these Egyptian shitbirds! First, I need to split the MEGADEATHSTACK into two smaller DEATHSTACKS. One is going north, into Europe, to deal with the Hungarian rulers, the Abdullahid Dynasty, and their bid for independence from this great Sunny Caliphate.
With my army now numbering near a quarter-million, the Coalition of Losers surrenders. Egypt is whole again!



It’s… It’s… Beautiful. But up the coast, well…


What am I even looking at?


Oh. I’m looking at a blade. That’s what that feels like.

Fucking finally!

Now that that is over with, let’s rebuild what your father has destroyed. Isn’t that right, Hakam Jr.?


You were right. My father was dangerous and insane. I had to kill him. Do you know how many children he killed in the last decade?

I’ve been trying not to think about it.

Forty-two. Most of them were Kalmen children, in fact.

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.


Even from beyond the grave the ghost of my father haunts me.

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 glorious!

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!

We have three hundred fifty years left to get there. First, I want to reunite the whole Caliphate, including all those little bits that have broken away.

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.

Accept them, I suppose. Even though I have no intention of actually sending aid, at least I won’t take the prestige penalty for refusing an ally.

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.


Allah be merciful!

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…


My displeasure is infinite!

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.

WHAT!? How did they even get there without anyone noticing!?

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.

Will attrition be neough?

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?

Nothing! I have no idea! I received no peace offerings or demands, and sent none of my own. The war just… ended!

Well what was the result?

Uh… nothing? I can’t see anything that changed.

Yeah, me neither. No wait, there it is!


The Itijid boy took three provinces and formed his own, laughably miniscule ‘Caliphate’ there.

lolwut? Well that was a freebie.

Yeah, I guess it was!

NEXT TIME: Let’s not squander that opportunity, yes?

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Posted by on September 16, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)


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Dar al-Islam, Part Twenty-One: Bodies for the Meat Grinder

Are you talking to me yet?

Guess not. Does that mean I’m in charge of narrating this series?

Well let’s get started! The Kalmen Awesomate has suffered much against these traitorous losers. But with the great Hakam II at the head of the Kalmen armies, the lame n00bz are going down!


Here we see an unbiased screenshot crop, showing that we have sieged all the enemy holdings in Cyrenaica, Senoussi and Tobruk. We are marching on Benghazhi to do the same after one of my captains failed to hold the province and was destroyed. His incompetence earned him his fate.
And it looks like someone finally gets it!


I should be CALIPH! I’m sure the people of Egypt are behind me.


Oh yeah, they’ve totes got my back. The Muslim world is looking a little fractured, but Egypt is mine! Then the Caliphate. It’ll be awesome, and nothing can go wrong here! There is no context in which diving into the Caliphate’s civil war is a bad idea!


This is going to be, wait for it…


Awwwww yeah! I’m so witty.


The early battles of this war are confined mostly to the Levantine Coast. But I have a war to win in Egypt first! And that war is slowly turning around as I murder my way through about five more pre-pubescent kids, leaving the opposing armies leaderless and disordered as child after child, regency after regency, falls to my spies and assassins.
I love having a crazy high Intrigue score, not gonna lie. And the fact that my sister, who also has a ridiculous Intrigue, is my Spymaster. Combined, we are a baby-murdering machine! The Coalition of Losers continues to suffer losses, as do I. But I can replace my casualties much faster than they can, and with careful manoeuvring I am now winning this war of attrition. The war has lasted eight years, but finally it is looking my way! And hey, I captured one of the leaders of the Coalition!


Now guess who has an itchy sword hand? THIS GUY.


Hmm… All these executions have really been digging into my Piety (since Muslim rulers need to spend Piety in order to execute fellow Muslims). Whatever, this guy don’t even give a fuck!
The Abassid Caliph was killed in battle! Now the Zweirid dynasty has the Caliphate, but whatevs. It’ll be mine soon anyway.
Both sides in the war in Egypt began with twenty+ thousand men. How many men remain after a decade of constant warfare?


lol. That’s really it. That’s every single soldier that remains in Egypt, minus four hundred men I have stuck in Sicily. Two years later, though, and the war looks like this:


There remain a dozen or so holdings I need to siege before I can call myself the victor, but never mind that. I AM THE VICTOR! Speaking of AWESOME VICTORIES:


Know what that makes me? I’m the Caliph, bitch!
You know what? That’s… rather underwhelming. It also means I have inherited two new wars, because wading into a civil war and taking the throne didn’t solve every problem in the world. Who knew? Let’s raise some armies to deal with these other losers while I deal with the Egyptian losers!




Wait. Wait, hold on. I’m looking around at my brandspankingnew Caliphate armies, and what do I see? The most glorious sight I have ever witnessed. BEHOLD THE MEGADEATHSTACK






It even comes with a little skull. That means it is special AWESOME.


Oh wait, that just means it is suffering from losses due to lack of supplies. Which is understandable, because ONE-HUNDRED THOUSAND MEN.


NEXT TIME: War. War never changes. Unless you have a MEGADEATHSTACK. Then everything changes.

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Posted by on September 13, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)


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