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Topic Subject: M2TW Spanish AAR
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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 personĉ

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
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
TimuridsUAI 1.6
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.
posted 26 October 2013 16:06 EDT (US)     1 / 40  
I've tried Spain once or twice but never really seriously, I tend not to use much cavalry and their infantry selection is somewhat limited (no fun two-handers, just some pikes) - so I picked this faction as a bit of a change to make me try not just to use the standard 'spears plus crossbows' type combo.

Early moves

Our main army heads for Valencia to face the dastardly El Cid. If Zaragoza isn't besieged by the Portuguese then the army will swing north - but that's unlikely to happen.

The Spanish princesses head north and sell trade rights at a ludicrous price

As expected the Portuguese head straight for Zaragoza so we besiege El Cid on turn 2, hiring mercenary spearmen in case of a sally. The king heads out with a light force ready to pounce on Zaragoza if/when the siege fails.

Despite initial construction focusing on economic things (hardly surprising that there hasn't been time for it to help) the recruitment needed to make sieges likely to succeed pushes the purse a bit far and cash dwindles away.

By turn 5 the King has besieged Zaragoza and a small force of jinetes is ready to help with El Cid (taking a manjana approach to the attack). Some rebels usefully decide to pop up between the reinforcements and Valencia.

A few casualties taken but not many, I'm actually not too annoyed with jinetes (but still abhor horse archers proper)

With cash utterly drained it's not feasible to delay any sieges, so the king attacks with a fairly small but superior force at Zaragoza. It's a fairly easy victory, not least because the enemy immediately abandons the gate so the towers don't take their toll:

The only tricky element is a stand by the enemy captain, a town militia unit, with crossbowmen firing past at my mounted troops - a quick detour saw them routed with victory following

Whilst victory was sweet, it wasn't profitable enough (having chosen to occupy) to allow any mercenaries at Valencia - so one of the princesses sells some trade rights to France, allowing some mercenary crossbows to join the fun.

With that, the second attack of the turn:
El Cid has an experienced army with some vicious units - javelin men should stomp on spearmen in combat with better melee stats and with spears receiving a penalty against infantry (sort of daft to have either a bonus or penalty against everything, why not just use base stats for one or the other?). My plan is to surround the settlement so not all areas can be defended.

There's a bit of a wobble as the enemy jinetes pop out and they and the (horridly effective) towers whittle down my crossbows and the jinetes almost best a unit of spearmen before my general can reach them - but we hold and get inside. Fortunately El Cid and his knights hide in the centre until it's too late to help - my jinetes rip chunks out of them and the spearmen finish the job.

Victory satisfies a mission and I'm awarded with four units of mailed knights. Given I've got no immediate targets and they're 250 a turn upkeep I disband them all (there's gratitude for you) and also the knights that I had but didn't use at Valencia. 1,250 a turn is a large enough saving to recruit two(ish) fresh units so it'll pay off if they wouldn't be needed for a few turns, which is almost certainly the case.

Spain is looking a bit more comfortable with a solid chunk of land. Time to build up a bit and think about sorting out the Moors (if Portugal behaves in the meantime).

I've got a merchant pootling down south, so far he's picked up a few turns of different resources bringing in 14-16, which would take him a long time to pay for himself. He's level 1 and there are level 4-5 merchants about from Portugal and the Moors, which is a bit worrying for him (not at all unfair I'm sure).

[This message has been edited by SwampRat (edited 10-27-2013 @ 00:07 AM).]

posted 26 October 2013 22:07 EDT (US)     2 / 40  
Oooo. Looks great! I will be eager to see how your changes affect the campaign!

You have just got reader..
Good luck!

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
posted 27 October 2013 00:10 EDT (US)     3 / 40  
Thanks, I'll try to keep updates reasonably frequent even if minor although probably not regular. Any suggestions on the descriptions for the cast list (or on the campaign) always gratefully received.
posted 27 October 2013 10:06 EDT (US)     4 / 40  
This looks quite interesting!

Always one to follow AAR's- and new mods. And this one has both.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
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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
posted 28 October 2013 02:41 EDT (US)     5 / 40  

Peace in our time

The next few turns focus on housekeeping and diplomacy - something that even at it's best in Total War games the AI can't come close to a human level due to it's limited options, but hopefully will allow the different AI personalities to show through after a while.


Spain's a fair way back in the pack currently in most areas, unfortunately it's unlikely the big players will capitalise on their position but we'll see, maybe I'll be surprised.

Financially following the initial burst of conquest we're at a reasonably low ebb but everything should pick up again. One mistake I made early on was not going straight for mines at Toledo, they're get 360ish per turn in mining income. The current cashflow (wrongly title 'profit' in-game) is quite decent though with taxes covering upkeep quite hansomly. Anyone who read and can remember from my Sicily hotseat write-up might know that I like to have trade income covering upkeep, but here we're in the early stages.

It's a bit hard to see but the second picture above shows my merchant being bought-out by the Portuguese. He lost a moderate amount of money overall, but such is life.

I tried, and failed, to get our own back with merchant number two. Fortunately he survived the encounter although his competitor is now more skilled as a result.

Our princesses are making their way across Europe, one north through France the other east into Italy. They're picking up charm gradually, although one of them also gets the good old secret love. At some point I might get around to looking into princess traits and do a guide on how to use them best, it'd be nice to know.

Despite being a hotty, the only suitors offered (this is one of several) are old and frail, if generally quite good in other aspects. Eventually, skipping ahead, we get a young chap offered but one with active-disloyalty, which I don't like. So, just diplomacy for the time being ladies.

The diplomacy goes quite well and Milan is bagged, I get a large lump of cash upfront and pay them a decent sized stipend over a long period - letting me build as much as I can now and look like a nicer (or at least more valuable) ally in the future

Denmark shortly follows, accepting an alliance with slightly less silly terms, and France makes an intereting move and allies with the Moors. A dangerous game to be playing perhaps mon ami. I recruit a diplomat to have on hand in case I need to remove French trade rights, which would be costly to do without destroying relations but I'll not trade with the ally of an enemy (so if the Moors become enemies with me...)

Building continues apace and the start of turn report gives a nice summary of where we've got to - generally a way behind still in each category but well on our feet.

Some rebels pop up after Prince Rodders has just finished a loop putting up some watchtowers and getting some buildings going in Toledo, he's got an architect on hand so gets a 10% discount which is quite handy.

The rebels promptly disappear, but as anyone who has learnt how not to be seen would know, it's best not to hide somewhere with only a few trees. My original plan on seeing the number of units was to send Prince Rodders back to handle them, but a couple of jinetes from Toledo go to investigate the trees anyway - what's the worst that can happen?

Shockingly, the rebels turned out to be in the clump of trees and ambushed the jinetes - who handily crushed them, most casualties caused by the desert cavalry rather than spears or crossbowmen

Milan's alliance dowry paid for an experiment with some low-value mines, just 80 income (still worth it as I'll hold them for more than 23 turns (hopefully)) - the question, will there be any increase in trade income due to improved mines?

The answer- doesn't look like it.

Last battle I'll show this update, King Gonzo pops out to sort out some rebels. For reasons I've not yet covered (this is slightly out of order) it seemed wise to use the excess cash now on hand to bring in some mercenaries. Hardly a fair fight, earning the king a cruel trait (he's got something like a 3 chivalry trait and a 2 dread trait, giving a fairly pathetic overall position - I should give up trying to make him nice, leave that to the prince.

To rub it in, the battle concluded with the king charging the rebel town militia general head-on to demonstrate they shouldn't have bothered coming to play. He did lose a couple of his bodyguard but slaughtered the enemy (short)spears. I'm not trying to get him killed by the way, just mocking the enemy.

So, why would I want to start building up armed forces again?

Maybe that's a story for the next update...

edit - hmm, does everyone agree that those ranking pictures are too large at present?

[This message has been edited by SwampRat (edited 10-28-2013 @ 02:42 AM).]

posted 28 October 2013 18:32 EDT (US)     6 / 40  
Wonderful update. The initial part of a campaign is always my favourite, and it seems you are coming to grips well with Spain's poor position and finances.

I will be interested to know if you will be going against the Moors or Portugal first. I often change it up according to the situation in the game- if Portugal is attempting to invade France or something and leaves few units behind i might take them quickly to unite Christian Spain and make the 'crusade' against the moors somewhat easier.

Good luck though!

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
posted 29 October 2013 02:36 EDT (US)     7 / 40  
Looking good, Swamprat.

It is always wise to have one's own house in order before taking war to the neighbors.

|||||||||||||||| 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
posted 29 October 2013 07:53 EDT (US)     8 / 40  
I'm spoiling my own (fairly lame) attempt at a cliff-hanger but there was a little bit of tit-for-tat and brinksmanship going on I think:
(I'll turn this into a proper update at some point)

Already in the earlier update
(1) I allied with Milan, France's neighbour;
(2) right-back at you, France allies with the Moors, my neighbour;
(3) the more the merrier, I allied with Denmark (presumably of little consequence to France)

And then...
(3) Milan allied with HRE
(4) France allied with Portugal - hah, tu êtes encerclé

(5) Fine then be like that then, I allied with HRE, surrounding France

Hmm, looking at it 4 and 5 might sort of be the wrong-way around (the beauty of having screenshots), but why let facts get in the way

So we had sort of a triple entente thing going on, each allying in a way that binds the other in a web of awkwardness. At which point I thought beefing up the French border would be a wise plan.

There's an incidental alliance with Byzantium, as originally planned, with a two-way marriage alliance. This should make me look larger and scarier through having more friends. The first inter-faction war broke out between Venice and Byzantium meaning that I now won't trade with the Venetians.

And so I thought it might stay for a while, and was keeping my eye out to see if the Moors and Portuguese allied - that would have been quite an ominous thought.


Now the fun starts. Unfortunately diplomatic requests for my allies to attack France are listed as very demanding so I don't even try, hopefully their relations with France will deteriorate to the point they come to blows before Portugal and the Moors join in.

If the war doesn't spread at all, I'll tweak the diplomatic relations file a bit to make war with an ally a bit more significant - one major thing I've not been able to take account of in combining various AI mods is the tendency of people to make wider changes that feed into the AI thinking. For example if you change diplomacy to make it very hard to dislike people you'd probably have the AI set to be more attentive to small relations shifts - which goes up the wall if looked at in isolation. I digress a bit...

I don't intend to obliterate France (yet), I think if they push it I'll take their southern settlements and let them have peace, at the right price of course, especially if Portugal and/or the Moors volunteer themselves as targets instead
posted 06 November 2013 15:23 EDT (US)     9 / 40  
War with France, all quite interesting but not exactly action packed, at least to start with. Following an initial blockade it seemed all quiet on the northern front - let the phoney war commence.


What better to fill the time waiting for France (and perhaps Spanish recruitment to get a suitable invasion force) than messing around with religion.

It starts nice and innocuously, an imam visited Leon and, quite rightly decided that his religion was a load of nonsense. Alas rather than seeing the light he just starts gibbering nonsense about not needing to listen to those organising religion. So - simple, just pop a priest in and prosecute.

Oops, so two heretics - and a region quickly dropping away from 80-something-%. Well, another priest and a 33% chance to prosecute. Which of course fails, gaining the hapless priest the poor prosecutor trait and taking his chance of success further down - better than changing sides (marginally).
So, nothing left to do but send in the big guns. A Spanish cardinal and another successful priest have been tirelessly spreading the Lord's love and message of peace - and of course burning those who disagree at the stake (for their own good) - bringing up up the level of Catholicism across the nation. They march to Leon to save the day and en route there's a little promotion in the air, so two cardinals arrive.

Heretics dispatched and the cardinal team hangs around to restore order - then once it's back up to 80% (from a low of below 70%) it's time to thank the Moors for their interest and teach them a thing or two. Portugal seems to have had the same idea and once the Spanish cardinals join in there are three cardinals and two priests having a chat near Cordoba. As over half the population believe, the Spanish head on over to Granada to make sure the whole area is ripe for a regime change.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch

France sent a mighty force, well, mightyish, well a few knights, to bother the King Alfonzo. The Fonz used his hired heh3?lp to send them squealing away

Rather a sloppy battle all told and the mercenary crossbows took a battering because someone forgot to retreat or cover them. They'd have been expensive to keep anyway so no great loss...

Tracking the swine north shows a mildly garrisoned French settlement - to be fair not much worse off then the Spanish one the other side of the mountains.

The French move their army forth, but its unbalanced cavalry focus doesn't overly scare the Fonz. Still it takes a few turns for him to get bored of waiting and take the fight north on what appears to be very shiny ground

They put up a decent fight but ultimately an army without a general will always be at a disadvantage (perhaps useless generals aside)

El Distractionio

Bringing out my best Spanish for this

Deus ex machina - we're asked to pop over and sort out the Holy Land. That sounds like a nice simple job but means the Fonz will wait before sorting the French out. Not that they want a ceasefire of course.

Had there been any doubt about whether to send armies north or east, the pope tries to make his point clearer and forbids us from spilling French blood. They respond by joining the crusade

They seem to get a little carried away with being good boys and suggest I become their vassal. I toy with the idea of accepting in return for several settlements (showing as a good offer, but who knows) - but the Fonz bows to no man and certainly not one with such poor hygiene

I accept an (old but loyal) suitor for our remaining princess, she's getting a bit past it at 30ish herself, and he joins the crusade - half a stack of units to be supplemented with more crusade volunteers


We've been getting through merchants at a rate of knots, everywhere seemingly swimming in enemy merchants of greater skill and guile. Still, I'm not giving up throwing money at them. 'Why?' is a reasonable question, the answer is keeping your eyes on the prize - Denmark looks to be a decent spot to get to

Furthermore the constant training of merchants has secured a merchants guild for Leon - I expect we'll get the higher tiers as soon as the city grows large enough. Once the merchant wharf is complete trade should be blooming in Leon (if there's anyone left for me to trade with...)

One of my most promising merchants (4 or 5 skill) fluffs an acquisition attempt - out of curiosity I sent a spy in to see what traits the winning merchant had, who promptly perished. Pah.

Gaspode has a close call up in Belgium, failing dismally to acquire but not losing skill and keeping his wares. And then, finally, success as one of the boys finally gets to Denmark and sealed a deal - each time it works that pays back the price of a merchant (I think). The chances of success are affected by whose land you're on so I think Denmark was a better location than France from that perspective.

He works his way up north and is currently (a few turns on) raking in something around 200 a turn.

Elsewhere another merchant has a lucky escape from a vastly superior Moorish merchant - and pinched his assets - huzzah it's not just me. On the same AI turn the next merchant in line does better and takes over his assets. You win some, you lose some. Time for more merchant training...

Tisk tisk

Those naught knights are back, trying to win their king's favour by pestering the Fonz. Granted, Zargoza is still stupidly badly garrisoned but come on lads. Fortunately, French aggression combined with our efforts converting heathens seems to be a bad combination for them

The Fonz knows his personal superiority but summons some reinforcements anyway, just to save the knights from complete embarrassment and perhaps because town militia aren't well know for being much use at all

So far, after some intriguing politics the French have been a bit of a damp squib, too focused on attacking with just cavalry. If only they'd thought to bring a larger and more rounded army.

After blatting some rebels, a minor family member (Garcia) was going to go south and get busy with the Moors, but perhaps north might be prudent

Two or three turns away, could be tight

Following a mission, I blockade a French port - and my fleet is utterly destroyed by the French, who then besiege Zargoza - looks like Garcia might be a bit late.

This rolls into the next update, but there's more fun to be had with the Moors too
posted 08 November 2013 05:53 EDT (US)     10 / 40  
Great write-up, Swampy!

Very entertaining as well as informative. I am looking very much forward to your next installment. Long live the Fonz!

|||||||||||||||| 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
posted 08 November 2013 08:31 EDT (US)     11 / 40  
The Fonz who was, at the end of that update, under siege from a fairly large French army and unlikely to receive reinforcements? I'll second that, Long Live the Fonz!

Oh, and thank you

[This message has been edited by SwampRat (edited 11-08-2013 @ 08:31 AM).]

posted 08 November 2013 09:15 EDT (US)     12 / 40  
True, but they are French...

|||||||||||||||| 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
posted 08 November 2013 15:54 EDT (US)     13 / 40  
This AAR looks very interesting so far, with lots of battles and, my personal favourites, politics and religion I wonder what is the composition of that Jihad army, though....

Invincibility lies in defence, while the possibility of victory in the attack -Sun Tzu
Akouson me, pataxon de (hit me, but first listen to me)-Themistocles to Euribiadis prior to the battle of Salamis.
posted 16 November 2013 01:46 EDT (US)     14 / 40  

Izzy Wizzy Let's Get the Byz'ies

The Byzantines have come up in passing in this write-up; they're allied with Spain and could be seen high up in the rankings as well as getting into fisticuffs with Venice and others. I was pleased to see them expanding nicely against Venice as the Spanish crusaders sailed by- which of course was tempting fate - those pesky muslims decided to try and pinch The City

The Moors, seen at the close of the last episode with their jihadding stack were the first (that I noticed) joining in - but at the same time Venice capitulated and became a vassal of the Greeks so it's not all bad for the purple people

Egypt joined in, and who is that handsome faction also at war with Portugal and the Moors, ahh yes, huzzah for Spain.

Writing things up out of order, whilst sensible in some twisted way does leave one prone to spoilers. To continue with the story of Byzantium and the Jihad, we must cross paths with the Fonz at Zaragosa. So without further ado...

The crusade

Spain joined the crusade, way back in turn 27. Arias Teson (known more easily as the Teaboy) wooed the lovely Teresa despite being about 16 years her senior, possibly having something to do with being a loyal mate of the Fonz. There's got to be a joke about Spanish Fly or something in there somewhere, suggestions on a postcard to the usual address. Anyway, shortly later he was sent packing to the Holy Land.

Perhaps there's something to the Teaboy after all as he managed to hotfoot it over to the Middle East in just a few turns - the force is strong in this one. Rather than getting straight to it he plays around the area, teasing the Egyptians who seemed fairly reluctant to commit a force in defence.

After a short rest he dives in, the paltry resistance dashed so absolutely that it simply wasn't worth the effort of leading in person. Due to, ahem, slight budgetary pressures in Spain and these foreigners being frankly quite pesky there's a fair bit of looting to be had. The Egyptians it seems actually have quite a large force around, but couldn't tell our Arias from their elbows and were up at Antioch

A small force remains to man the castle and the Teaboy heads of to Jerusalem, no hurry as the army is free for now and no harm in pulling the AI crusading armies all over the place (assuming they're coming in vaguely the right way). So, what will Egypt do, ask me nicely for peace?

Oh help, please save us from getting all tired and dirty from hacking your armies to pieces, actually it's ok we'll keep going a bit longer if it's all the same as you.

We waited a while until a financially opportune time and dived in

We, obviously, came to do God's will - but the money is quite a nice bonus. Overall, a bit of a damp squib as crusades go, not particularly hard fought.

The continuing adventures of Teaboy

Whilst neither of the battles in the crusade could even be considered a fight, there were some Egyptians hanging around wanting to say they showed up but not wanting to lift a finger to help in defence - possibly because their forces were all smaller than mine (so not a disastrous decision by the AI although if they'd got inside the walls it'd have been a lot harder to beat them). Arias set about passifying the region, with churches and priests coming in to give the locals a proper education and romped off to shoo the Egyptian military away.

The battle saw us attacking up a fairly large hill, with an Egyptian peasant archer contingent that could have caused issues - had they been protected from the Jinetes a little better. It wasn't a walkover and the Jinetes did lose around half their number, but with the enemy disrupted and with large holes in (as well as being outnumbered) the Spanish infantry chewed through them quite happily and the fanatics were pleased not to have been shot full of arrows. One of the aspects I like the look of in R2TW is being shown the kills of each enemy unit, sometimes it would be quite nice to know

Being a decent chap, the Teaboy released the enemy prisoners

I separated off a force to run around and clear some other areas to allow Arias to keep Jerusalem in order, nothing much of note from the battles although the Egyptians do appear to have halberd militia which is reasonably advanced

They pop off down to Gaza, just in time to miss a passing Jihad army - I really do/did intend to help out the Byzantines but a combination of not wanting to face massed cavalry/horse archers, not being in quite the right position and the Greeks having a nice looking defence already made me let them slip past, leaving just a slightly dirty feeling that we ought to have helped out

My comeuppance arrived moments later when the expeditionary force rebelled

Unfortunately it turned out that Byzantines useless Iberian ally had let something through that penetrated what looked to be fairly thorough defences

Whoops, sorry lads.

With just one aging general in the Middle East and swarms of Egyptians still around Arias suggested a few adoptees

There's no way I'd accept a disloyal family member but the prospect of trying the dark-side isn't such a bad one and we accept a slightly ruthless general.
The Egyptians had cleaned up the last lot of rebels I left down at Gaza so naughty Antonio was left with a fairly straightforward conquest. Despite massively outnumber the enemy he didn't get the 'winning first' trait that would have furthered him down the dread line and foolishly I left him in the settlement on the first turn as a church was built, giving him a point of chivalry (after all no churchman could be anything other than squeeky clean)

I think that's enough for one instalment (although I'm not sure if I've satisfied my internal ruling that I needed to get the write-up up-to-date before getting past turn 50), so I'll leave the death of the Fonz as a surprise for the next post
posted 16 November 2013 03:48 EDT (US)     15 / 40  
Excellent installment.

Sorry, Byz, better luck next time.

What are your plans for Diego?
I'll leave the death of the Fonz as a surprise for the next post
Somehow I doubt this will be a big surprise....

|||||||||||||||| 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
posted 16 November 2013 14:32 EDT (US)     16 / 40  
Another interesting update, Swamprat I wonder though, what are your plans regarding the Moors?

Invincibility lies in defence, while the possibility of victory in the attack -Sun Tzu
Akouson me, pataxon de (hit me, but first listen to me)-Themistocles to Euribiadis prior to the battle of Salamis.
posted 29 November 2013 19:08 EDT (US)     17 / 40  
I like the idea of multiple AIs, not seen that anywhere before. I see you took to eliminating El Cid early on! Many times have I lost men to him, and more than once he counter-seduced the princesses I sent to lure him into my realm. Good riddance I say!

Enjoyed reading this one, giving me a hankering to fire up the old beast

A f t y


:: The Sun always rises in the East :: Flawless Crowns :: Dancing Days ::

"We kissed the Sun, and it smiled down upon us."
posted 30 November 2013 13:18 EDT (US)     18 / 40  
It's been a bit of a while since the last update so I'd better do another - it's not in a brilliant state and cuts off a bit suddenly, there will be more when I get around to writing it...

I've allowed myself to get a bit ahead of here

Battle of Zargoza

Battle came then to Zargoza, not the most balanced position in the world but we do have both walls and God on our side; no offence to the Almighty but the walls are probably most helpful of the two

There wasn't a whole lot in the way of scope for tactics on my part I think. Town militia were chosen to man the walls as I'm not sure if their penalty against infantry is as great as spearmen proper (one of my bugbears is that spears are penalised against infantry as well as boosted against cavalry so it's hard to know how they actually compare). Behind the gate the spearmen stand to one side with crossbows on the wall opposite to shoot at the backs of those making it through the gate, and to leave a clear path (as clear as possible in a settlement) for a charge by the general

At the end of the day we prevailed

The tell-tale sign is that of the 523 casualties inflicted on the enemy, only about 279 were from the Spanish troops and the remainder was from the walls. Any more substantial mod I do will involve updating the "descr_walls" file to reduce the tower damage and firing rate... The Jinetes played a reasonable part in that with charges into the ram team, delaying their work and generally playing with the heavy cavalry.

Most of my generals, the Fonz included, are nice lads and decline the option to continue battles to the bitter end and release prisoners. This approach helps maintain the Spanish reputation as all-round good guy and is good for getting chivalry points and traits too.

That leads on to another area of management technique that I've been dabbling with - for the most part I would usually keep taxes low in cities, boosting growth and building chivalry (itself excellent for growth and public order, not bad for a general either), but since looking at the detail of the trait systems a little I've been popping the tax rate up on the turn a building is due to complete. I don't recall the details (perhaps a bit more investigation and a guide is in order) but I think the chivalry point comes from having a third turn in a region at a low tax rate and the tax/incompetence traits are tested on a building completion. It's slowing down the chivalry points, I think, although they're still coming and some governors have positive taxing and management traits, but others are still quite poor, possibly because I've not been getting the rates changed at exactly the right point.

Anyway, back to the game.

The pope is a muppet, we'll not be cancelling our alliance thank you.

The Moors got a bit of a showing in passing earlier, here's where their jihadding army first showed up

Garcia Guiggliemo (let's call him GG to avoid my hideous lack of effort on spelling, probably offensive) stood, manly before the Moorish host. The Moors were a mixed bag, cavalry, spears and gazhis - whilst GG was, of course, up for it and we'd like to help out the Byzantines (there's a bit of hindsight that might have been useful) I didn't like the look of the cavalry numbers and relatively small size of GG's force. So he sat in their path without attacking, leaving the choice up to the Almighty in the short term and with reinforcements en route.

The AI helped out by running at double movement speed out of harm's way up towards France, leaving GG waving his fist - before turning around to head west.


The Portugese made the schoolgirl error of blockading a Spanish port. Not bad as part of a long-term strategy but a touch daft in isolation. So, let's see how it went for them.

Well, slowly to start with. Rebels presented more of an issue near Leon (again)
That battle was notable for the impressive valley - and the way that the AI decided to back its crossbows off its starting hill so they'd be easily slaughtered.

There must have been some fisticuffs with the Portuguese at some point, quite probably on the water, because the pope told me to knock it off (bossy boots)

Then in true style, the Portugese gave us a stinging defeat at sea and got themselves excommunicated. Oh dear Portugal.

The next big fight with them seemed to be at Toledo, I didn't do a good job with the screenshots here and/or my memory is poor - anyway it seems they attacked the castle, probably with a mixed force of a few knights and some other bits.

Hopefully the Portugese units were quite good or the loss ratio on our side was pathetic. That road taking a nice straight line up, rather than around, a very steep hill.

We picked up a new general, Pablo, from the engagement with the Portugese, who then helped knock off the rebels in the area.

So, time to take it to the enemy. Who better to head into the serpent's jaws than the Fonz, stick it to 'em lad.

So, just another battle, enemies routed and what's a chivalrous king to do but release those enemies sensible enough to surrender? Anyway, what's the worst that could happen, they've already run away at least once they'll do it again. Even when one of them is a family member...

So, the Fonz pushed the Portugese back, and took what modest reinforcements he could - not much. I can't recall the full story, but for some reason it was a really really good idea to have the almost defeated remains of a mercenary spear unit on its own nearby. A superb idea. Brilliant

Well, with a deal like that, the Fonz had to set about the Portugese with great vigour - the enemy army was heavy with knights, both on horse and foot, so again losses were not light but the Fonz gets the job done.

With the disrespect shown by attacking such a small unit, possibly just out for a picnic (if anyone has any better ideas on what they were up to...), the Fonz has only minor guilt in sending a ransom note back - and slightly more on chopping up his prisoners.

Still, plenty more where they came from...

[This message has been edited by SwampRat (edited 11-30-2013 @ 03:38 PM).]

posted 01 December 2013 05:17 EDT (US)     19 / 40  
I am simply loving the hell out of the humor in this. Excellent stuff!

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posted 01 December 2013 15:13 EDT (US)     20 / 40  
With the disrespect shown by attacking such a small unit, possibly just out for a picnic...
I LOLed at that one

Another excellent update! Keep them coming...

Invincibility lies in defence, while the possibility of victory in the attack -Sun Tzu
Akouson me, pataxon de (hit me, but first listen to me)-Themistocles to Euribiadis prior to the battle of Salamis.
posted 04 December 2013 15:43 EDT (US)     21 / 40  
Well thank you for the comments. A very brief one this time to close off a long running theme...

At this stage the Fonz is getting a bit low on troops, he's generally done quite nicely on the field but spear militia struggle a little to hold their footing

against knights and there's been a gradual attrition. It's a slightly poor time then to get all moralistic, but we choose not to take advantage of a stupid move

by Portugal - leaving Pamplona entirely undefended.

Instead, more units are sent in - unlike the famous four, a lone spear unit genuinely had a purpose (to reinforce the Fonz) and had the sense/ability to

retreat out of the way of the Portugese.

Eventually, with two reinforcing armies, the Fonz gives the Portugese the fight they seem to have been looking for.

The first unit into the fray is a bold group of spearmen - massively outnumbered and outclassed. Huddling in a shiltrom initially does them little good but

eventually clicks and the one group of mounted knights (arguably not the best thing the AI could have thrown at them) is routed - quite a lot of dead and dying

men and horses in a pretty little pattern on the ground.

The rest of the battle was a fairly standard fare with a unit of Jinetes and the Fonz handing out most damage and more spear militia earning their families a nice


Time to end the messing about with the combined force in place - to the walls at last.

In one final push, the Portugese are reinforced and try to lift the Fonz' siege.

If this is the battle I think it is then it's a shame there aren't more pictures as the small but high calibre Portugese armies had to be quickly overwhelmed

before they could join together. The Fonz, perhaps recklessly, was very much personally involved in the chopping, earning a heroic victory and a fortress.


And then he died in his bed. It looks like you can't win them all.

The Fonz is dead! Long live, err, the other chap[/url]

[This message has been edited by SwampRat (edited 12-05-2013 @ 07:30 AM).]

posted 04 December 2013 15:45 EDT (US)     22 / 40  
Hang-on, I mean:

He's dead Dave, they're all dead, everybody's dead Dave.
posted 05 December 2013 03:30 EDT (US)     23 / 40  
Man, people are just dropping liek flies in your campaign.

At least you got a city/castle out of it, and he did not die on French steel. That is some consolation, is it not?

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posted 13 December 2013 15:43 EDT (US)     24 / 40  
Back in the west, Portugal hovered on the border with a decent looking force, clad in the latest threads (not dull armour like our chaps wear)

GG had threaded his way back down and besieged Cordoba, this being back in the good old days when the Fonz was still in charge (chronological order is for the weak and/or organised). The city looked quite pretty in the sun

There was a brief wobble on the walls as our knights forgot to actually do anything other than stand and die - that's what the other side is meant to do

It wasn't an entirely uneven fight, with around 800 (judging by the body count) Moors hiding inside the walls - they should have had a chance - but the central square once again sees the final slaughter. Disturbingly familiar from the news really, other than in scale.

I don't like sacking settlements, but I do like pretending that I maintain a reasonable economy; it'll get there. Thieves guilds are ever popular, as is knocking them down.

GG hung around to establish order and build some churches - the area had been subject to heavy canvasing by a large number of Spanish and Portugese cardinals and priests, with Moorish imams staying a while to fight a losing battle. GG swept onwards and Grenada fell on turn 44.

The dismounted knights didn't have much luck here (a typo there almost left them hungry), their ram burned and they didn't get to do a whole lot.

Meanwhile, our crossbows took the walls with a perfect view of the castle centre - ah ha! prepare for a bolty rain of death Moorish dogs

Oh ho, bother - it turns out that the castle centre was bristling with balistae - possibly it pays to look at who you're fighting once in a while.

A swift alteration of the plan saw ground troops dash into action, and the day going to Spain

We were (still) a little short on cash so GG let the men plunder a bit - he's rolling in chivalry anyway these days.

The Moorish armies are very skewed, for the most part, towards cavalry and artillery which makes them a little tedious to fight against. As well as an AI, each faction has a general character setting that determines recruitment priorities and so on. Whilst I haven't checked, I expect the Moors are 'Napoleon' assuming that's one of the options. Something to go on the modding list might be making all factions into something more balanced.
This is a good example of a Moorish army

Which might be who GG fought in crazily foggy conditions - more fun than always waiting to see what you're doing and quite atmospheric.

The last bit of Iberian intrigue for this side of the big 5-0 is a message about Portugal:

Byebye chaps, it was interesting knowing you. It seems they ran out of generals, what with the few that the Fonz took with him. That leaves the penisular quite tame with just a large pile of rebels to tidy up.

Some time ago in places of various distance from Spain

So, what's everyone else been up to while I jiggled back and forth taking ages to tie up the few threads?

The main story of note is the stormy rise of the reich. Our allies have maintained an alliance block with no splintered in-fighting, as I feared they might surcome to and moved in force against the French. That could be one reason why the French attack on Spain never took sway, or perhaps Spain's destruction of French forces left them open to attack.

Admittedly that goes slightly into the future

The Danes did a little against France in the north, mainly just a small scuffle in the course of securing Belgium.

Turn 50 stats

All in all, it's been a bit of a ponderous start to the campaign, but Spain has been on the ascendancy, rising up to the challenge of our rivals. In places it's felt a little dirty with seemingly weak defences luring the AI into throwing its armies away.
Time to tidy up our little corner of the world soon - getting a nice slab of yellow where the Moors and Egyptians used to be will make it very hard for the other factions to catch or keep up (despite HRE doing a fine job so far).
posted 16 December 2013 04:29 EDT (US)     25 / 40  

And finally Iberia is Spanish. That should make defense a bit easier, eh? Once the rebs are dust, of course.

|||||||||||||||| 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
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