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Topic Subject:M2TW Spanish AAR
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SwampRat
M2TW Ladder Leader
posted 26 October 2013 16:03 EDT (US)         
A while ago I decided to set forth on a mod for M2TW, covering three areas
- Setting a random AI for each faction - this is complete and working
- Changing the map to prevent pathfinding issues - given this is just importing someone else's work it's easy on one hand but it's not complete as such since I want to rejig the settlement sizes, garrisons, types etc
- Changing units so that recruitment is tied in with the ability to make armour - half-done, ish


Rather than just never doing anything with it, I've decided to do an AAR for a campaign with the part that's working. A link is in my signature to the files to add to Retrofit, I'm using a slightly different version here with vanilla M2TW because I wanted to test it and also I prefer the AI army composition on vanilla compared with Retrofit.

Without further todo, here is my Spanish campaign. Campaign difficulty "Hard", Battle difficulty "Very Hard"

Dramatis personæ























FactionPlayer
SpainSwampRatA noble faction, the hero (or possibly villain) of our piece
PortugalsavageAISpain's neighbours and either a pet or a conquest
MoorsXCAI CAIDastardly contenders for the Iberian peninsular
EnglandMediMod 0.95A far off damp and miserable place/people
FranceMediMod 0.95Team bleu
HRELusted CAI
VeniceLusted CAIMerchants
SicilyMediMod 0.95The Italian mob
MilanXeryx CAI
ScotlandMediMod 0.5Damper and more miserable than the English
DenmarkUAI1.6Foreigners in funny hats
PolandUAI1.6A people best known for making shoes and metal shiny
HungaryXeryx CAIA poorly fed nation, with vampires
ByzantiumMediMod 0.75A proud nation but likely to be repossesed by the Germans
RussiaUAI1.6Ra Ra
TurksLusted CAIA delightful people
EgyptMediMod 0.5Famous pedestrians
MongolLustedAI
TimuridsUAI 1.6
AztecsLustedAI
The PopeNot randomly setDeus ex machina, a likely thorn in the side of our hero

Pretentious? Moi?


The (short term) plan


I aim to grab as much free land in Iberia as possible and bide my time against my neighbours, neither threatening them nor being overly nice. If neither of them missteps then the Moors will be targeted, otherwise their religion will cause issues.

I'd like to ally with HRE but it makes more sense to go with Milan, Denmark and Byzantium to give a nice wide alliance that's not too likely to come apart. I might flip my decision and go with HRE and Byzantium. Byzantium will need plenty of help to survive, I'll give
them as much cash as I can spare.

We'll see how things go with France, England and Scotland up that side.

I'll try to get all Spanish settlements to cities for trading purposes but that will wait until some castles are captured/developed in
non-core regions.
AuthorReplies:
SwampRat
M2TW Ladder Leader
posted 16 December 2013 14:39 EDT (US)     26 / 40       
The French aren't down and out yet not by the stage the write-up is at anyway and the Moors aren't overly happy either - but there was a surprise visitor to central Spain, so whether or not 'easier' I think I manage to make a meal of defending...

I've struggled a bit for time the last couple of weeks and need to do a moderate blitz on writing so I can get back to playing too. I've managed to get something like 17 turns behind and there are some good bits with few significant setbacks to come. And this general's speech:
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 17 December 2013 12:15 EDT (US)     27 / 40       
What an ass.

But at least he is your ass, and not someone intent on slaying your men. At least, not on purpose.

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Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
SwampRat
M2TW Ladder Leader
posted 23 December 2013 16:20 EDT (US)     28 / 40       
It's a horse, not an ass, silly viking

Just a small one for you now (said the bishop)


Two new delightful Spanish princesses popped off of the production line a short time ago and headed north to try and engage in some diplomacy - almost before they could get out of the door, chaps were asking for their hands. With aging generals and several active fronts, we can't be too choosy so let one randy begger get his way.


Demonstrating the active nature of the war, GG (now Prince GG, or just PG) dusts off some rebels on his way to Lisbon

In the north there's a bit of a scuffle which we're destined to lose

Four against one isn't overly fair but one has to do one's best
Ready:

Steady:

Gone:


Coming out evens in terms of losses wasn't a disaster from that starting position, troop quality plays some part. The way to do crush an inferior enemy was shown by Antonio in Egypt:


Pushing north


With French lands falling to the Germans
(as mentioned earlier (or was it later?) getting the time line right isn't entirely a priority here)
it's high time to sort them out - if only the blighters would stop having quite such large armies. Go and fight the Reich you muppets, shoo


Our placeholder force (if anyone has noticed, sending small forces against large invasions holds them off but makes it hard to build up a sizable army) led by the new son-in-law is attacked by a quite large army led by the King of France.

Not giving too much away, but this particular battlefield will get very used to what happened next. A big fight

Lots of French knights, with some (pre-cannon)cannon-fodder, start at the bottom of the hill, we start at the top. The French could sit back and pepper us with artillery, but wouldn't being rash (and led by the AI). Still, the Jinetes head around both sides to try and chip away at the French King, the mounted knights and the ballistas.


They didn't do a bad job, but there's not a whole heap they could do against the tide. Arias and the avumglahshsmsists flanked the infantry as much as possible but were overwhelmed mainly by the mercenary knights.

I told Arias to flee, leaving the last of his men to be chopped down, not a glorious moment.

Apparently a clear loss, but there didn't seem much in it at points

Just for a sting in the tail, Arias gained a dread trait for not paying for the prisoners even though he would have done had we any spare cash at the turn end.

He did pick up a nice anti-French trait though (+3 command I think)


Meanwhile in Jerwoosealum


He didn't get much press for it, but having married a rather pretty princess our crusader Arias has held things together quite nicely over in the east, racking up full chivalry and a commendable string of victories.



That last one was actually quite a close run thing due mainly to the terrain - an uphill battle against a foe with missile superiority including balistas. Flanking opportunities were minimal but the Jinetes once again saved the day by taking most of the missile units out of action. The uphill fight exhausted the Spanish and very few of Arias' bodyguard made it. For once he held out for a ransom rather than freeing the enemy.

The real prizes go to the vicious Antonio, with settlements falling easily before his blood caked sandals (assuming that one can ride in sandals).

The Egyptians of course aren't entirely amused, but when are they?
EnemyofJupitor
HG Alumnus Superbus
posted 23 December 2013 17:49 EDT (US)     29 / 40       
Just caught up. This is great, I love it

And I shall go Softly into the Night Taking my Dreams As will You
SwampRat
M2TW Ladder Leader
posted 30 December 2013 15:37 EDT (US)     30 / 40       

I've just noticed in the previous update I'd confused Areas (the new general in Spain married to a Spanish princess) with Arias (the noble chap in the holy lands married to a Spanish princess). Not a problem any more:


So, with Areas dead there shouldn't be any more confusion. See what I did there?

Areas Vs Evil King Louis - round 2



We have many more men, they have knights against our militia units. What could possibly go wrong?

What could possibly go wrong on this battlemap?

The enemy advanced up the hill, the Jinetes flanked and took out the pesky ballistas and the spears were supported against the mounted hordes.

... and then

Pish, that wasn't meant to happen.

Not all was lost, showing that the above was sort of a fluke. The Spanish men held their nerve, well, most of them most (some) of the time - getting revenge and sealing the deal


That comes out fairly much as a score draw, their king being replaced by his heir and our general being replaced by a lesser man (well a man not married to a Spanish princess)



Lisbon


GG's romp around Europe finally brings him to Lisbon, last non-Spanish area of Iberia


The walls quickly fell and the rebels held back their heavy cavalry at the town centre (including the general).

Whilst calvary is quite hampered inside settlements, it could have made quite a difference - the fights at the outset of battle were mainly infantry against infantry. The cavalry joined in, just in time to see a wall of spears with javelins being thrown over the top.

Victory and the complete set of settlements



Forehead slapping time


Sebastian, having just taken command of the Spanish army on the border of France, gets his first test - a stonking great French army, mainly with low quality troops, other than the core group of about six cavalry units.

Well, what could go wrong. On this £$%£^^ing map...


Underestimating our winesodden enemy isn't an issue, but I did make a schoolboy error.

We have the benefit of a hill, and a wood half-way up it. I have some spears, so do they, and they have quite a bit of cavalry. It would be nice therefore to fight their cavalry in the woods with my spearmen. Simple right?

My troops were nicely set up in the woods, ready to fight and take as many of the French out as possible.

Surprise surprise, the jinetes flanked and tried (and failed) to remove the enemy leader.


Then we come to the error in my plan - the lines meet, French infantry fighting uphill into the Spanish lines. The Jinetes charge into the rear and Sebastian has a merry dance trying to hold off the French knights that had been so winesodden that they'd accidentally missed my spearmen-in-the-trees and gone around the back.
The jinetes did a fine job, but their effectiveness was somewhat blunted by the fact they were charging uphill in woods. Deploying at the bottom-side of the trees might have worked...

The French infantry broke, and regrouped, and broke and regrouped - there were enough of them and few enough of the Spanish Jinetes that we couldn't keep them all on the run. Especially when:


This time there was no comeback, the French knights and remaining spearmen surrounded and crushed the Spanish spears.






A new Spanish son comes of age and is sent to the front immediately, his bloodthirst should serve us well.

His first stop is to repel a French incursion - Michel leads a formidable force

Terikel doesn't like his speech, but I do

The map on the otherhand is crazy - far too steep to do much planning. Our reinforcements come in from the very base of the mountain and are tired on arrival, the French appear on a high point opposite Bernardo


Give the man his wish and a chance to win his spurs - Bernado charged into the French general

What could go wrong?

Bernardo hacked Michel to pieces and then caught up with the rest of the French army

Technically he captured Michel, but fortunately the French refused to pay the ransom so didn't need to spend hours with the superglue to try and rebuild him.
Awesome Eagle
Spear of Mars
(id: awesomated88)
posted 30 December 2013 17:55 EDT (US)     31 / 40       
Wonderful update Swampy- Bit of bad luck losing two Generals but Bernardo managed to scrape it together!

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it- George Santayana
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are- David C. McCullough
Wars not make one great- Yoda
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 31 December 2013 05:03 EDT (US)     32 / 40       
What an interesting way to solve the double-names dilemma.

Well done!

A bit of a correction_ it is not that I do not approve of the general's speech. Verily I would say the same, mostly. It's that bit where he would slay anyone within reach- which could be interpreted to mean his own men as well, that makes me think him an ass.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
SwampRat
M2TW Ladder Leader
posted 26 May 2014 16:16 EDT (US)     33 / 40       
Terikel - he had the decency to ask his own men to keep clear, just in case...

Excuse the slight gap and break in form/style - having been a bit distracted with a few things this seemed the best way to get back on track. It's also a good example of why I don't try and write like this usually...


The morning after



Pain burned across Bernardo's head and his vision swam, the world unclear as his eyes fought to adjust to the stinging daylight. With a great effort Bernardo pulled himself to his feet using his worn sword to steady himself.

Surveying the castle before him, Bernardo saw the ground littered with the corpses of butchered Frenchmen and Spaniards slumped against the walls.

"¿Qué pasa? ¿Dónde está este lugar?"
"What's going on here? Actually, where is here?" he called gruffly to one of his retainers, Juan, skulking timidly into the vicinity.

Juan gawped like a panicked kipper, trying to think of something fitting to say to the renowned general. Bernardo prised off his dented helm, trying to assess whether his skull was intact; he looked sternly at Juan.

"En realidad, no puedo hablar a Inglés así que no puedo traducir esto"
"Well, out with it man!"

"Mi aerodeslizador está lleno de anguilas.
"This is Bordeaux, and, well you took it"

No voy a comprar esta estanco, está rayado"
"Was I injured Juan, why don't I even know what happened? My head really hurts"

Yo no quería ser un traductor
"Everyone knows you're not shy of spilling a little claret - but after you took the castle you and the men drank it instead"

¿Yo quería ser, un vampiro de leñador?
"I've turned into a vampire? Do we have bad memories?"

"No me esperaba una especie de Inquisición Española"
"No sir, the last stand of the French, such as it was, took place at the entrance to the wine cellar - so you and the men all got bladdered"

"NADIE ESPERA QUE LA Inquisición Española"
"Oh, shame, anyway, at least we've got the court historian with his infernal journal so we can find out what happened, I can't remember anything after that fight with Michel"

Juan slumped onto the floor with a defeated look. Bernardo was partly relieved to find his aversion to daylight had natural causes but read the obvious signs and let himself fall back against the wall

"Hubo un viejo vikingo con el pelo gris
Él fue asaltando a la cama a una feria de sirvienta
Pero las ganancias eran escasas
y la vista era tenue
así que terminó casada con un oso macho"

"The crown historian was, aha, diverted
some bright spark thought it would be a good idea for him to investigate the spread of the ancient Iceni across Europe
rather than using his time to record our, your, conquests.
Apparently they had a meteroic rise and took over much of Europe, from the north down to the border with the Spartan Empire"

One of the Spaniards who had been slumped against the walls provided a splash of colour by vomiting impressively, Bernardo's comrades had shared all too freely in the excesses of victory. Bernardo took little heed

"Roma dos fue bastante decepcionante, pero esperábamos realmente. Fue una pena que no sorprendió
Dicho esto, la 'línea de visión' cambios en el campo de batalla era bastante buena"

"That's rather tedious, although what stopped them - was it some sort of political in-fighting?"

Tal vez la próxima vez, si hay una próxima vez, van a poner en práctica un mecanismo de giro simultáneo. Ese tipo de pensamiento podría salvar la serie.
"No, nothing like that, they just got bored and disappeared from the annals of history. Quite strange. Anyway, a little bit of a whipping later and we have his services again"

Having had far too much space taken up by dialogue already, Bernardo sought as ever to do the honourable thing and set forth to turf the remaining French out of Spanish lands. It was almost cruel of the Spanish king not to have given Bernardo even a slight hint as to the geo-political landscape; the rest of the world saw Bernardo as a terrifying monster bent on invasion rather than a noble (albeit highly efficient) defender who just happened to be a bit lost.




Things will resume at turn 70 in the nearish future

[This message has been edited by SwampRat (edited 05-26-2014 @ 04:18 PM).]

Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 27 May 2014 12:31 EDT (US)     34 / 40       
Cute, Swampy.

Puedo hablar (y leer) el español. Ahora lo sabes, no?

Loved it!

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
SwampRat
M2TW Ladder Leader
posted 27 May 2014 15:01 EDT (US)     35 / 40       
If that's a genuine reading of Spanish rather than my 'use an online translator' approach, would you mind suggesting a better translation of my Viking based limerick?

'and his eyesight was dim' seemed to come out (based on English->Spanish->English) as 'it was dark', which doesn't rhyme quite as well.

Anyway, for those who don't mind spoilers the original version (well after giving up on ruder versions) was meant to be:
There once was a Viking with grey hair
who went raiding to bed a maid fair
but the pickings were slim
and his eyesight was dim
so he ended up wed to a male bear
SwampRat
M2TW Ladder Leader
posted 11 June 2014 01:41 EDT (US)     36 / 40       
Things had pootled along in the 'missing' ten or so turns that I have forgotten about and not written up. The main things of note are:
- Some English chaps pitch up on holiday (this might have been mentioned before but I'll give it more detail in a bit)
- Bernardo beat the French back and took Bordeaux
- We've got Marrakesh under siege, I'm not entirely sure why I hadn't just taken it so in the first couple of turns here I've just carried on starving them out, there might have been some logic to it
- Progress is being made in Egypt to cleanse the south, then the armies can role on up north
- The Mongols have arrived, I think up the Russian end

The English arriving was interesting, a fairly burly looking army arrived and sat on the north coast. I think they then made their way down to Toledo, which was at the time chronically under-defended. We beat them off (no sir, in your endo) thanks mainly to the crazy battle map, or awesome generalship, or me having got confused and having invented the entire thing. Anyway, either the English AI followed up with a sustained sea-based invasion or that first battle didn't happen because around turn 70 there was a smallish army besieging Toledo and a scary stack worrying me in central Spain:

The crazy terrain was definitely a possibility - here's the road into Toledo (which incidentally is now a city)
A single unit of peasant archers slaughtered much of the English army, the prisoners were released but that doesn't mean so much when you're far from home with the lure of the beach and welcoming señoritas. Oh, my mistake, they did retreat (to France) rather than deserting, presumably England still has some land on the continent then.


Still, the other stack has enough mounted knights to cause issues with the Spanish forces stretched to deal with France and the Moors


So, if there's a scary stack about what I'd probably have done, rather than defeating it in a stunning battle would be to throw a slightly rag-tag stack up against it in a semi-defensive position and end up leaving them all sat there until turn 70. That does sound plausible. Well a time for new beginnings is a time for coming off the bridge and attacking an army with more knights than my chaps would like to shake sticks at.


Aluar is a newbie in the Spanish family, I think, but even he agrees that the English are probably here to get out of the rain. Alas the battlemap is a dismal failure - I could take a loss but not when my troops can't move, so reloading it is

We'll fight another day in another place Harry.

Do you feel lucky Harry?

Add up the number of men on the Spanish side, that's it Harry, we're l33t
Well, Harry wasn't lucky - he was chopped into little pieces. Huzzah!

Unfortunately some of our chaps (perhaps those whose friends were impaled on lances) didn't realise that they should beat the English and legged it - Aluar tried to stem the tide but turned out not to be a particularly good general. As everything went wrong I didn't take a nice series of screenshots, if I had they might have shown:
positioning - Our men formed up on the fairly flat battlefield, the English would be advancing down from higher ground but shouldn't get any advantage from it in melee. We had a mild horseshoe shape (pointy bit forward) with crossbows in front of spears. Agosto was reinforcing from the rear of the English lines. Had the English not advanced we have missile superiority and a bit of hill wouldn't mess that up too much

1) The English rush forward, their archers quickly lining up in a position to die - a couple of volleys are exchanged before more English troops get in range. By that stage the English archers are fairly mangled and not a threat

2) Crossbow fire is redirected to melee units coming into range, one unit onto the general, the rest got one knight unit each I think - they're the main threat

3) The horseies didn't like that and they charge

4) How long can it take to reload a crossbow? Surely the lads on the right have oodles of time to fire a volley into the knights. No need to retreat them yet. At this range it will be devastating and then the spears will mop up the survivors.

5) Ooops, there go the crossbows from that side. The rout starts...

6) The rout continues, Aluar tries to help and rally his men, Agosto catches up with Henry

7) The routers on the right return to the fight, huzzah, trying to help deter the knights from chomping through the centre. Aluar goes round back to our left to try to return the favour to the English

8) Henry dies, more huzzah (in a respectful way)

9) Our routers re-rout and the remaining English bodyguard plus some spears stop Agosto flanking

10) Everyone gives up, forgetting that they can't run as fast as the horses they're scared of

11) The English kill about as many prisoners after the battle as they did fighting men during the battle



Oops.

The English will go on to besiege Toledo, but I think I'll do them the honour of trying to give them another field battle rather than slaughtering them on the walls, if I can get a new army together in time.



Milling about



Bernardo wanders about a bit in the area near Bordeaux / Toulouse.

He doesn't have anywhere near enough men to take the castle but cleans up an army foolish enough to face him


He'll get to have more fun later but for now just wanders off with a gently depleting force
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 12 June 2014 03:44 EDT (US)     37 / 40       
Even though the time-space fabric has been shredded to rags, I am still very much enjoying this.

Too bad about that English army. Maybe next time you will not launch a battle in the middle of siesta- that has a tendency to irk the locals.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
SwampRat
M2TW Ladder Leader
posted 29 September 2014 08:01 EDT (US)     38 / 40       
Not a proper update (although noting that the campaign and write-up aren't entirely dead, just very slow) but a question for any audience that cares to exist and comment.

Spain has been joined on the African side by Milan (taking Algiers) and Sicily taking whichever settlement is where Carthage should be. Work is ongoing in the south west and east cleaning up the Moors from Timbuktu and Egyptians from Antioch etc. Combined with the last French in France, Spanish armies are mostly tied up.

Spain has maintained alliances with a number of factions for the majority of the game. The largest of these, HRE, has just broken its alliance with another, Milan, while the Danes and Byzantines have been more or less off on one side.

The Byzantines were doing quite well, contrary to my expectations, until I let a Moorish jihadi army slip through and Constantinople fell. They contracted a bit and have since come back.

I can call a crusade and have been not doing so. Should I call one on Constantinople in the hope that the Moors' grip will be weakened and Byzantium rather than any other party will take hold of it - or indeed that I'll get around to liberating it - at the risk that either another Catholic faction will get the prize and/or the alliance block might be shattered? I'm tempted but wanted opinions.

I'd quite like to have a late-game fight with some well advanced factions so I'm not planning on causing maximum damage on my allies / getting them to fight each other.
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 03 October 2014 11:26 EDT (US)     39 / 40       
Try calling a crusade on someone who is pestering you but poses no late-game threat. That way you can eliminate them, tie up your foes doing that, and concentrate yourself on poising for that end-game campaign you are hoping for.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
SwampRat
M2TW Ladder Leader
posted 03 October 2014 16:28 EDT (US)     40 / 40       
I decided to stir things up a little and call a crusade against Poland, given they seem to have a decent holding in the north-east and weren't allied to me. Should spice things up a bit and push my allies into a bit more expansion

As soon as the crusade was called I saw two things:
1) there are about four Polish full stacks hanging around Krakov (the target)
2) Denmark had already fought Poland and Poland is now a Danish vasal

A lesson here - check the diplomacy screen before making daft moves.

Well, there's a chance Denmark will renege on its obligations and join the crusade, if not the alliance block will be really quite strained. Hopefully Denmark will drop the Poles so I could pitch in before the window closes

The Mongols are around in Russia too, which might be interesting.

In other news, Toulouse has finally fallen - France is now down to Renes (under siege by Bernardo) and Marseilles
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