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What’s Next? (Also, here’s the save-game export to EU IV)

Crusader Kings is done. And with it, Dar al-Islam comes to a close; next up is the Age of Islam series!
Here’s the rules I will be playing with:
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I’m actually a little leery having both AI bonuses and Lucky Nations stacking on one another. This can result in some very powerful Lucky Nations against me. I am also keeping the AI difficulty at Normal, because hard isn’t so much a better AI as it is a more annoying one.
The save-game export from CK II to EU IV is here, if you want to play my Kalmen Empire. Enjoy! WARNING: May be buggy
And now, without further ado; The Age of Islam begins today (EDIT: Scratch that! To celebrate, I’m going back to posting every two days (nope!), rather than every three. I’ve got enough of a backlog, and my workload is calming down.
EDIT: Yeah, that’s not happening. I had to do a clean reinstall of EU IV because no game I played would go beyond June 1, 1450. So there’s going to be a break between CK II and EU IV. Sorry!
 

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Dar al-Islam, Part Thirty: The Line of Kalmen says Good-Bye to Crusader Kings

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Oh! Well then… That was unexpected.
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Well then, Ajeddig.
Hello.

We should probably try to find the murderer. You may not be safe!

Oh, no worries. It was me.

It was you!?

Oh yeah, totally! I want to be Roman Emperor, and he was taking way too long. Besides, he was old anyway.

He was 59! Some members of your dynasty lived until they were 80!

Not Aksil lol!

God damn it… Fine. Whatever. You want to be Roman Emperor? All you need is Croatia.

Sure. No biggie. I’m Caliph of the most powerful Empire in the world. Even the Roman Empire at its full height could not claim the power I wield.

I don’t know if that’s true.

Shut up! I’m Caliph, I do what I want!

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Immediately we run into trouble in Aquileia, but equally immediately we have reinforcements on the way.

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But then, that’s how it goes when you control half of Iberia, all of Africa, all of the Middle East (sans northern Persia, which remains Seljuk), all of Anatolia, most of the Balkans, and Italy. The Kalmen armies are an infinite horde of well-equipped, experienced veterans fuelled by hate and faith.

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Though the battle is won, the Lotharingian army outmanoeuvres the Kalmen forces and gets into Northern Italy.

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But it doesn’t matter.

Of course it doesn’t! I’m just that awesome!

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So guess what?

What?

Guess

Roman Empire?

Damn straight!

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Are you ready for this? Are you ready to push that button?

ARE YOU MAN ENOUGH FOR THE MUSLIM ROMAN EMPIRE?

Yes?

Good.

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Well, okay. That description makes no sense, since it’s supposed to be available only to the Byzantine Empire. So allow me a moment to make up my own version…

Friends, Romans, Countrymen. People of the North and West: Even among the deserts of Arabia and Africa, the glories of the great and ancient Roman Empire are known. As Sultan of Alexandria, Rome, Constantinople and Jerusalem, Caliph Ajeddig has done what no Christian pretender has done; taken the lands of the former Empire by the might of his will. No one living can claim the same. By the Grace of Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), Caliph Ajeddig does hereby claim the lands of the former Empire of Rome for Islam.

There, I think that works much better!

I like it!

Now let’s take a look at our GLORIOUS EMPIRE!

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Dat imperial purple. I only wish it had changed our name to ‘Roman Empire’ or something similar.

So what’s next?

I have no idea. There’s not much left to do, honestly. We’ve steamrolled everything that got in our way, and I don’t really want to keep doing that on and on until the game ends and we own all of Europe. Time to transfer over?

Actually, it’s that steamrolling I take issue with. I need to remind myself of the original goal; colonize Texas as Muslim, because that’s just hilarious. I don’t want to just cakewalk my way through EU IV, so I’m going to nerf the Muslim Roman Empire. We have no use for Mali…

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… Abyssinia…

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… and Hungary.

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None of these are particularly important, so we aren’t losing much. Of course, it is precisely because they are unimportant that I want to rid of them – they are cruft I don’t want to deal with any longer.

So then. Let’s resign, shall we?

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Look on the right-hand side. The great leaders of the Kalmen Dynasty. Man, do I ever miss Koriaur. And Yahya. And Hakam. Those were some fucking great times.

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The leaders from Sultan Hakam onwards. Really goes to show just how bogged-down the game has become since taking over the Caliphate.

Also note the score. I beat the Crusader Kings II ‘high score’ marker, with three centuries left to go on the clock. Damn.

NEXT TIME: Playing This:

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Oh God, that is a really ugly version of Imperial Purple (and it’s even worse in-game). I think I’ll go back to the Arabian Green we had before…

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Ahhh… much easier on the eyes. Guess all that ‘Roman Empire’ stuff was for naught, eh? Oh well, I needed something to do to occupy my time.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)

 

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Dar al-Islam, Part Twenty-Nine: The War for Rome

Hey Aksil, how’s that invasion of Rome going? Have we taken the seat of Catholic law yet?
Yaaaarghble

Still sick, eh? That’s a shame.

Grump grump grump

Poor Aksil.

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The Papacy mustered a levy just in time for the retinue of ours to attack it. Then the Knights Hospitaller muster just north of the city.

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But that is of no matter to us. The City of Rome is ours!

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We still have six more holdings in the province before we can say we ‘own’ Rome, but we’re damn close!

Susa, a small Duchy just north of our Italian holdings, has joined on the side of the Papacy (duh). Is this just the beginning? Will Susa’s support snowball into the destruction of the Caliphate?

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Probably not, considering…

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Yeah, I can’t even claim this one as another ‘skin of my teeth’ thing. No one else wanted to help Rome defend its walls against the Muslim horde. No one cares about the Pope.

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Alexandria has served us well for centuries, but Rome will provide a far more central location for us to expand our growing Mediterranean empire. This does have one major downside though; the tech level in Rome sucks compared to the mighty technological marvels in Alexandria. We’re back a few levels of tech on everything. Which sucks, but with our genius councillors we can rocket ahead once again!

Wooo~~

Hey, that’s slightly more like a word!

I am feeling… slightly better.

After being stressed and ill for a year, it’s good to see you back on your feet!

Indeed. So. Am I Roman Emperor yet?

Not yet. There are two things you need:

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You need the Duchy of Croatia from the Lotharingians, and the Emirate of Sicily, which you recently gave away to your son.

So I should ask for it back?

He won’t like that, and neither will the rest of your vassals. But you could do that. Or you can die, let him inherit everything, and he’ll have the necessary parts (except Croatia, which you can take now, no problemo).

Yeah, let’s do that.

Well… we have a truce with the Lotharingians for another eight years. I kinda stole Venice from them, so we need to wait for that truce to end before we can take Croatia from them.

Also:

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But I’m not Orthodox!

I don’t think the game is checking for that. It only cares if you’re the Byzantine Emperor, which you are. This would make sense if I had edited the Mending of the Schism decision, but I haven’t! It’s not on the list of decisions you can make, but these events keep popping up anyway!

Weird.

I know!

While we wait for the truce with Lotharingia to expire, we can invade a few other places. Burgundy would be a good choice – a lot of good land across the Alps, in southern France and modern-day Switzerland.

Or?

Or we could go further into Iberia, taking land from Gascogne.

Wasn’t that the plan all along?

Yeah, I guess it was. Why would I want land in France? I feel like I’m conquering stuff for the sake of conquering stuff, just to have something to do. So let’s take Iberia; declare the Invasion of Andalusia!

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A naval invasion of Valencia is the last thing they expect, I’m sure. Yet here we go!

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The war progresses with stupefying ease. They [robably didn’t expect us to march along the coast and come at them from the North, from Italy. But we did.

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And just like that, Andalusia is ours, and our hold on southern Iberia is almost total.

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NEXT TIME: This is Getting Boring

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)

 

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Dar al-Islam, Part Twenty-Eight: A Change of Plans

Hey Aksil, take a look at this!
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What am I looking at?

This is the mapmode on which you assign your spymaster to steal technology.

And?

And it’s empty!

Yes. And?

And that means there is no one with any technology to steal! Alexandria is the most technologically advanced nation in Europe!

Cool!

Very cool! So I’ve been thinking…

That could be problematic…

Well, in addition to the titles of Caliph and Padishah, you are also the Byzantine Emperor, yes?

Correct.

And the Byzantine Empire is simply the eastern half of the Roman Empire – in fact, historically in this period, it was simply referred to as the Roman Empire, even if it didn’t control Rome itself.

Go on.

Well, we very nearly control the city of Rome.

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(Oh yeah, I forgot to mention… The Kalmen Caliphate inherited a bunch of Italian provinces, and the Lotharingians – former Byzantine Emperors – lost control of the rest, so I nabbed a bunch of small single-province nations in quick order.)

(Also: Would someone please deal with those damn Vikings!)

Oh my!

Yes indeed. And with only a small edit in some of the game files, I could make it so that you could, in fact, form the Roman Empire yourself. As a Muslim. Ahistorical? Yes. Awesome? VERY!

That’s… That is…

Awesome?

VERY!

I told you!

SO AWESOME! SOOOO AWESOME! I’M GOING FOR IT MAN!

Uh… calm down Aksil.

I’M GONNA BE THE ROMAN EMPEROR FUUUUCK YEAH!

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I think I burst a blood vessel.

I told you to calm down! Just take a break Aksil.

Yeah. Good plan.

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Sadly, all that stress has taken a brutal toll on your body.

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No matter how sick you might be, Aksil, the world carries on. Aquitaine is suffering from a brief civil war. They are going to win – of that there is little doubt. But while this war rages on, we can snag a chunk of Iberia for ourselves.

Bluuuuurgh.

I’ll take that as a yes.

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That’s a pretty hefty Piety hit. But we can take it (we have 1700)!

Bluuurp

Ew.

The war progresses nicely…

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But then…

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Stop stressing, man! Just take a few deep breaths.

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See? Nothing to worry about. We won! It was a little sketchy at the end there, when both Germany (which has replaced the Holy Roman Empire) and Lotharingia (Byzantium) joined to defend their brothers of the faith. But it was too late; other than a few skirmishes in Italy, Lotharingia contributed nothing to the war.

Huuuurghble

You might want to get that checked out by a doctor…

Since you remain stressed and infirm, I guess that means I’m in charge? Cool!

Let’s get some retinues into Italy, in preparation for the Holy War for the city of Rome. Because declaring that will bring in every Catholic in Europe against us, and even we cannot take all that. Not even close.

But it’ll be awesome, right?

Gurmple

I thought so!

Our armies prepare outside Rome…

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Yeah, that’s not suspicious. Don’t mind us, Pope Formosus! We’re just… here to observe. Nothing more!

Meanwhile…

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Pay us no mind, Pope!

No wait, I lied.

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Silly me.

Now I just need to take Rome before Lotharingia, Germany and Aquitaine (which is slowly patching itself back together) swarm me. Kalmen armies muster on the borders, just waiting for the chance to invade. They won’t win, but they will hopefully hold the Christians at bay long enough to take and hold Rome.

NEXT TIME: The War for Rome

P.S. This game has been a cakewalk ever since I accidentally inherited the Caliphate. There have been a few close calls, but now the game has devolved into ‘Kalmen Takes The World’.

The Kalmen Caliphate is unwieldy and an unfun. At any given moment, I have two or three peasant revolts, and Anatolia continues to be a disgruntled thorn, demanding independence every five to ten years.

The game itself has devolved into an endless chain of ‘click OK’ on a new message’ every few seconds, and it has slowed the game to a crawl. So many ‘important’ messages that I cannot skip or turn off, each one requiring a second or two of my time to make disappear – only to be followed up only moments later by another one. It’s getting incredibly frustrating to run an empire this large. I may just rush through forming the Roman Empire and taking Iberia, and export the game to EU IV early.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)

 

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Dar al-Islam, Part Twenty-Seven: Go West, Young Man (Also a Second Crusade)

With the Itijid and Byzantine empires both reeling from our recent military victories, it seems safe to call our borders secure. So let’s work at expanding those borders, yeah?
Yeah!

West we go! There’s nothing very interesting between us and Iberia, but once we get across the Straight of Gibraltar, hoo boy!

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Aquitaine is the most powerful nation in Europe at the moment, what with the Holy Roman Empire looking like this:

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Also:

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Well isn’t that grand? It’s always nice to have another body or two around, in case I need him.

So uh, hey. I just noticed something odd…

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Oh hey! Some of those random, unimportant marriages paid off!

Well that’s nice. Now we have a tiny little province in the middle of the Seljuk horde.

Good thing they’re our allies, huh?

You can say that again! Please don’t, by the way.

I would never do something so good thing they’re our allies, huh?

I hate you and everything you stand for.

You know, there were a few seemingly insignificant marriages made in the last, oh, three hundred years. One of them got me Mali!

WHAT!? When?

I dunno. Like, a few years ago?

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How did I not notice this?

*shrug*

I need to pay better attention…

Well, okay. That makes things much easier! Let’s start our westward march, and get ready to fight Aquitaine!

Wait, hold on.

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I fucking love books bro!

That’s… good to hear. How’s that moving west thing going?

It’s fine. Boring, but fine.

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I figured it would be. The Kalmen Caliphate totally dominates Africa, the Middle East and Greece. Nothing can stop us now.

Well, nothing but jealous wives.

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Aren’t dynastic politics fun?

Well that’s word you can use to describe the death of my wife…

I know, that’s why I used it!

Word has reached me that, somewhere in Europe, a man claiming right to the throne of Byzantium is mustering forces. You should prepare to fight off a potentially massive force. He will also have access to the newly-formed Knights Templar.

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How are you going to deal with all these new and sudden threats, Aksir?

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Sure yeah. Let’s go with that.

Well fine! If that’s not good enough for you…

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Please don’t tell me you’re diving in…

Fine. I won’t tell you.

God damn it, Aksil! That is not what I meant!!

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Good job. Important information gathered.

You never know what Hekebepet is going to do, that saucy bitch.

Please don’t speak.

It’s useful stuff!

I can see that.

I sense some bitterness in you. Are you bitter?

YES.

Oh. Sorry.

At least you improved your Intrigue. Which, granted, may have had something to do with this?

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When did you get the Varangian Guard on your side?

Emperor of Byzantium, remember?

Oh yeah. It’s easy to forget that one. Especially in moments of utter crisis.

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Oh they want Jerusalem do they? LET THEM COME!

What are you going to do?

Kill every single Christian who crosses my border!

Good plan. But I might have a better one…

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See that? That’s Rome. The brown stuff is Lotharingia, formerly Italy, formerly the Byzantine Empire. They are Orthodox, so they probably won’t join the Crusade for Jerusalem.

And that green? That’s us. Right on Rome’s borders. Raise a few fleet levies and ship a massive army into Italy and sack Vatican City! That’ll show ’em!

I like the way you think!

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Done and done! That was easy, what’s nex- holy shit Lotharingia actually did declare war on me!

Calm down, calm down! Maybe Lotharingia has changed rulers? I haven’t been paying attention, so maybe they are Catholic after all. But that’s not a problem. We got this, you and me!

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See? It’s all good!

Yeah, fuck your Crusade! One day, I’ll rule in Rome. Everything is awesome!

NEXT TIME: Is it really?

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)

 

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

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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!

 

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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…

 

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I’m Sunni Muslim, I swear!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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…

 

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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.

 

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Then, nearly a year into the invasion of Mesopotamia, the first combined army of the Itijid is spotted:

 

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Underwhelming.

 

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.

 

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Immediately following their hilarious defeat, the Itijid Caliphate collapse into warring factions. If ever it needed to be done, it would be now.

 

easy-button

 

 

Because that was disgustingly easy!

 

Meanwhile…

 

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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

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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.
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And just in time for your upcoming victory against the false Caliph:
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AUUUUUUGH REALLY?

Seems so!

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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…

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But It’ij escaped again.

I give no fucks. I won.

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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.

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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?

 

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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!

 

Yo!

 

You have a war to deal with.

 

Already?

 

What did you expect?

 

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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:

 

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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!

 

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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:

 

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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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