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Topic Subject: [Hotseat A] Sicily hotseat campaign
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posted 18 January 2009 13:40 EDT (US)   
This is where I'll document the progress of Sicily in the forum hotseat campaign. Given the game is over, all other players are welcome to read my write up now, such that it is.

My current plan is to play Sicily as a trade nation, intent not on crushing people but on being profitable.

Expansion will be first south and then east and maybe west - the small settlements north of Sicily (I'll add the names here later when I remember what they are / write them down) always seem to be a bit slow to develop every time I've come across them, still I may grab them if I can anyway.

I plan to ally with Venice and trade with EoJ's Spain. For now at least :0)

[This message has been edited by SwampRat (edited 01-18-2013 @ 01:28 PM).]

posted 06 September 2011 02:33 EDT (US)     76 / 93  
Turn 78

Turn 79

A horrendous turn for the Family - with both the faction leader and heir dying "of natural causes". They were both old and the greatest loss is probably their building discounts - as well as the leader being generally good at various things. They'll be sorely missed but I can't really blame anything but bad luck.

Fingers crossed for some reasonable new generals coming through soon.

The peace deal with the Turks should be done, if EoJ accepts in-game the terms he agreed to by email / the previous turn - the Turks paying 14k (ok he agreed 10k) in return for Thessalonica, Corinth and peace/trade. It's a shame to lose the two cities but really he ought to have been able to take them back reasonably easily - plus with lots of cities needing huge walls built, Sicily could use the short term cash boost.

more to follow...

How did I end up here anyway?
I've just noticed and re-read my original opening post about intending to play as a trade nation and avoid the fighting. It was a laudable aim I think, but an utter lack of trust by me (justified I think) of my neighbours led instead to build and maintain a military force far beyond what I'd envisaged.

This has had plus sides, such as when Venice combined being over-stretched with siding with the Turks, Sicily was able to respond quite nicely

Turn 80

These faster turns have made my write-up go to pot. Sicily's military is getting very bloated - once the threat of jihad is over there should be a few spare full stacks around to throw at someone.

The new faction heir is a disloyal git, he's a prime candidate to lead any expedition after the jihad. Currently he's making his way down to Libya to put up a watchtower or two in one of the few gaps in my coverage.

On the other end of the loyalty spectrum, a suitor for one of the ugly sisters (the two princesses I had, both with zero charm) has come along. His wife is a wretch but he's a decent enough chap - and now up to maximum loyalty (due to the honour of marrying such a err lovely royal lass). I've been in need of new generals - there was a mission to marry her to one of my existing generals, except he's done nothing wrong and I need generals more than I need 1000 florins...

That said, I've now sold Thessalonica/Corinth to the Turks, having cocked up the offer the previous turn. The return of the second Turkish army to the walls of Thessalonica prevented any intentional monkey business. Given than the region is now more than 80% Catholic, and that somebody smashed all of the order creating buildings in the settlement, it should be quite a mill-stone around the Turks' necks for the next few turns at least, tying down troops they could need for fighting England.

The Spanish could mess up the advance of England against the Turks - the English forces are massing on the Turkish border, but in France there's only a weak garrison and the Spanish are likely to attack there.

A question for me is - do I (a) try for peace to recover my financial position, finish upgrading settlements etc (b) attack the Turks, regardless of what England/Spain do (c) attack Spain in order to keep England onside against the Turks (only once the Spanish attack the English) (d) join Spain against England and ignore the Turks (e) join Spain against England and still attack the Turks (f) attack everyone I can find.

I do worry a bit that if I attack the Spanish then the player might actually drop out - which shouldn't be a consideration, but...

[This message has been edited by SwampRat (edited 09-20-2011 @ 03:58 PM).]

posted 20 September 2011 14:52 EDT (US)     77 / 93  
Whatever you do, be carefull and think about the consequences. Don't allow England or Spain to conquer the other one completely, but weakening themselfes might be handy. If someone has to fight the Turks, it 's you. A pity you lost Thessalonica and Corinth, otherwise you might have pushed them back to Turkey (not that they would ever let that happen...)

Couple of diplomatic options: a) Stay allied to Spain and get them to attack the Turks. However, wasn't the new Spanish player focusing on nearby matters instead of the Turks?
b) Stay allied to Spain and help them against England. Once your "spare stacks" are ready to blitz into France and Germany their main economic centre has to fall quickly. Preferably before England can throw it's armies at you. This might also unite the English and the Turks - not a great scenario.
c) Ally the Turks and backstab Spain? Risk of being betrayed by the Turks later, but it would add some spice to the campaing?
d) Ally the English against the Turks and Spain. They are probably more powerfull than the Spanish and with your help Spain won't stand a chance. Divide Spain between the two of you. (bribe the Turks not to intervene while you crush Spain)
posted 28 September 2011 02:26 EDT (US)     78 / 93  
Well, with the crusade coming up, who knows perhaps it'll be possible to push them back anyway. The army from Corinth will be kept within marching distance of the city (in the fort that the Turks kindly left me) and I think some artillery might make its way down in a ship to sit nearby...

The bulk of work there will hopefully be done by England. The Turks do have a lot of forces in the area, which hopefully means they're a bit thin elsewhere.

Turn 81

The deal with the Turks was made, EoJ demanded that I remove my priests and took a spy out of a settlement where there wasn't a spy. His justification was that if I wanted him to fight with the English then causing unrest and making him maintain a garrison is a poor idea.

Frankly, I don't mind hampering him against the English - but in the long run I want at least Corinth to remain with a relatively low garrison... I've started moving my priests back, but they should push Catholicism over 90% this turn, especially as somebody sabotaged the newly built Turkish mosques.

The English position in France looks awful, with settlements poorly garrisoned with town watch ?? and looking very open to Spanish invasion. In brighter news, a Polish settlement looks about to fall, freeing up another couple of English armies for the potential crusade.

Without wanting my allies to fight, obviously, I'm sort of encouraging England to throw everything into a crusade - using the argument that he'll have gains from sacking and savings from upkeep (plus potentially new settlements) and can use these to boost his buildings/army at home. From the Spanish perspective, it's also good to let England go on crusade because it ties his forces down (that's my argument - them being on the other side of the map already and needing a long long time to walk back might sort of be more of a barrier...). Hopefully if things kick off it'll be in a while.


The building queue is un-stalled! huzzah! The cash from selling Corinth has let the last couple of huge wall upgrades get going. In future turns things might be a bit tighter given the loss of income from those two settlements - we'll have to see what can be done there. There should still be a bit of a surplus to build with.

In the short term though, I think what is needed is - surprise surprise - more army, more fleet and more upkeep costs. I have plans in place to severely cut down my upkeep in the near future, which should be rather fun.

Comparison with old position

Much of my hopes have been pinned on increasing trade in and around Italy; I thought I'd have a look to see how that's gone. Here's the current overview of the region:

And here's ones from turn 77 and turn 59

Comparing back 20 turns, a lot of my settlements have increased income by around 500, or somewhat more in the case of the ones that were smaller (some up by 1,500). There's more of an improvement due in the next say 10 turns, assuming war doesn't prevent me building, as once the huge cities are ready (mostly in the next 4 turns) then we can start on dockyards (taking 6 turns) - the one that's under construction in Gelatolia is due to increase trade by another 700 or so shortly, meaning that settlement alone will be pumping out something like 3.something k in trade income.

If only I had Marsailles to complete that coastline... (although I'd then want the next settlement, and the next, I imagine)
posted 28 September 2011 03:13 EDT (US)     79 / 93  
Wow, things have turned to hell in a hand Basket since I left.. Been holding up well I see 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 07 October 2011 08:04 EDT (US)     80 / 93  
A couple of turns have popped by to confuse my write-up - I'll try and get up something for turns 82 and 83 over the weekend.

Nothing dramatic has happened, just more build-up and planning for some event that might happen in another couple of turns...

Turn 82-83



Spain has some formidable armies now, there's a small chance that they could come our way - which wouldn't be fun - but it seems more likely that he's off to conquer France and possibly beyond. Once the main Sicilian armies join the crusade (shhh) we'll recruit a pile more men - much the the dismay of the treasurers - and assuming the Turks take a lot of damage, they can bolster our border with Spain. There's still the option of turning on our ally - but not without the local balance of forces being a bit more favourable...


England's French border settlements don't exactly look well defended in the light of the Spanish armies. On the plus side, losing some poorly developed settlements might not be as much of a loss as if they'd been built up more.

Some of England's armies are retraining in Germany, they'd been earmarked for the second wave of a crusade (shhhh) but I'd not be surprised to see them wandering west rather than east.

A fairly unattractive English lass has been promised to the fairly pathetic Sicilian heir (disloyal twerp...); something to make him feel better about upcoming events perhaps (shhhh)


Given that all the major building projects were underway over these turns, there was enough spare cash to sink into a moderate enhancement to the navy (boom boom, see sink, navy, oh don't worry) in turn 83. That'll reduce the net income going forward until I can get some of it sunk - so not for long then...

There's another huge wall to build next turn, as well as some buildings for the just finished huge cities - so I can expect stalled building queues for a while again. Unless of course a large chunk of army and navy decide to work for no pay and/or charge off to get killed (shhhh)


Ok enough on the shhh-ing, it wasn't funny anyway. There should be around 5 armies ready to go, with a good bit of fleet to carry them. The question is over which generals to take, it's looking like faction leader and faction heir plus a couple of unlucky hangers on.

The Turks have some rather large fleets so even with my entire navy I could have troubles.

I favour taking a massive risk and sending everyone straight in though - since speed could be rather important. A possible varient is to drop a couple of armies off on-shore and consolidate the fleets at turn-end to make them more robust.

Running numbers makes the upkeep saving sound quite nice - something like 40 ships at 200 per turn plus 75 units (15 x 5 - sort of a guess it might be more but I'll recruit heavily straight-away) at something like 100-150 per turn - so about 17k saved each turn. A lot of that will feed back into recruitment but the rest can help clear the build queues again.

If of course anything happens and if the Spanish don't attack us etc

Turns 84 - 85

Just a picture dump for now. After turn 85 ended, Boorego announced he's out - fingers crossed that a replacement can be found and doesn't want to attack me.

The rankings don't show much illuminating, other than that I'm running out of cash and falling behind England/Turks in military...

A little bit of assassination in the Balkans, it's a constant struggle to find EoJ's agents and to keep mine restocked - but a worthwhile one.

The family tree has a few young faces on it, but especially once the crusade is launched generals will be at a premium for me - fingers crossed I get offered some marriages / man-of-the-hour, although any such lucky chap would find himself thrown forwards into what's probably a suicidal invasion, so maybe they'll not be too keen...

The Turks have quite a few reasonable fleets about, with good coverage of the area - our ships will have to run quite the gauntlet / smash through with local superiority.

With the Spanish poised on the English border, it's best to get things moving against the Turks before there's too much of a distraction. England is big enough to look after itself on two fronts - which is probably a worry to be had later on

Turn 86

This turn saw Sicily join the crusade. A spy opened the gates at Iraklion, ballistas opened the gates/walls at Corinth and two tiny towns in the Balkans. The blood-thirsty Prince thingy wanted to exterminate Iraklion - but I'm too greedy so went for sacking. Anything we get further east will be assumed unholdable and raised, nothing like a bit of slash and burn in the morning.

The spy at Thessalonica didn't manage to open the doors this time, so that'll have to fall next turn. To be honest, the army attacking would probably have lost anyway due to the defenders' bonuses.

Turn 87

Sicily's position has shot up in the world since joining the crusade - we're now top for military, or were before making a few military moves.

[This message has been edited by SwampRat (edited 12-19-2011 @ 01:34 AM).]

posted 09 January 2012 02:16 EDT (US)     81 / 93  
Hah, that'll teach me to just edit posts - it archived the thread. Pah. Anyway, a couple of turns to write-up and all eventful ones so I won't do it justice I imagine.

Turn 88


The financial position is improving thanks to the crusade, several trade building upgrades are completing too, giving a nice longer term boost.
Noone is particularly well off with the pope, but Sicily is comparatively favoured. England and Spain are both in a bit of bother there. I have a mission to blockade a port for the pope - unfortunately it's at the end of the Black Sea so that's unlikely to happen.

Crusade progress
Turn 87 saw Sicily with two full stack armies on large fleets at the edge of known waters - a Turkish fleet of unknown size was unaccounted for.

Fortunately, whether or not the Turks could have won a fight there, they didn't choose to try. The Turkish navy has docked down at Alexandria.

The two Scilian fleets headed down and unloaded their cargo at Alexandria, cleaning up a rebel army on the way (EoJ would have been losing quite a bit of trade income as the rebel army was on the road to the port). Those armies were joined by a third that had taken a slightly more southerly route. Facing the three Sicilian armies was a full stack of better quality troops inside the settlement, so whilst we have the greater numbers it'll be a close(ish) fight.

Rhodes was taken and exterminated

I suffered the first proper setback of the crusade with the assassination of the general I'd sent on the northern thrust.

I sent his army back to Thessalonica in the hopes (actually expectation, but see next turn) that they'd not desert that way.

The reasonably large and mobile Turkish army I've been following is still heading south

Financially, things are improving nicely, although upkeep is heading upwards, especially as the crusaders leave their fleets.

England and Spain are still battering each other merrily, causing the pope to get annoyed. They've probably both got 'make peace' missions.

EoJ has raised concern to the group of players that England is getting too powerful and whilst he's clearly trying to stir (and probably saying similar things about Sicily) he has a point..


Turn 89

The guild I want (a swordsmith at Zagreb) still isn't coming up, but then I've acquired a lot of settlements without guilds recently... I accept a merchants' guild at Corinth and will probably accept any guild offered in the new conquests just to increase my chances of the swordsmith coming up.

All went reasonably well between last turn and this, with the exception of Thessalonica, where the ex-crusaders all wandered off.

Which was rather a shame.

But hey ho, more men are being recruited and pushed east, albeit rather more slowly than the noble crusaders are running along (massacring the innocent in the name of God needs dedication...).

On the note of massacring, Alexandria fell in a bloody assault that cost many of our men their lives. This was of course paid for by the slaughter of as many residents as possible.

The Sicilian crusaders then pushed forwards and, for some reason, I changed my mind half way through and made a bit of a mess of things. I'd been planning to send one army off to Cairo with the rest moving further on. But I didn't, leaving the small Alexandria garrison to hold its own against the Turkish army in Cairo. Quite a stupid move and one that had immediate consequences (I lost Alexandria on the Turks' next turn). Oops.

On the plus side, the turn ended with Gaza, Acre and (the Turkish capital on Cyprus) under siege with a third army near Jerusalem.



Turn 90

Alexandria was lost, as sort of expected, last turn. A complete fluff up by me as I ought to have been able to have ended this turn with both Cairo and Alexandria had I been sensible.

Still, the money position and military strength has been going in the right direction.

A rather interesting development is that Spain has been excommunicated. That let's England off the lead and, should England end up taking much Spanish land, makes my border less secure.

The crusade

We had two victories (admittedly one wasn't a crusade victory) taking the settlement just north of Rhodes and also Acre.

The sieges of Gaza and the Turkish capital went horridly wrong though. Despite having a huge numerical advantage and being odds on victors (relatively narrowly to be fair to the games odds calculator), we suffered defeats and the crusading armies retreated. In the south that's not too much of an issue as the army is on a relatively save boat - however in the north the chaps are likely to be sunk.

In compensation, it seems that EoJ brought an army out of Jerusalem to try and brighten his outlook there, but having been defeated that army retreated next to the settlement. The pictures of the two or three battles that ensued are in the lump of battle pictures above, but broadly their men were slaughtered outside the walls, leaving a very small garrison under siege.

Their general had the right idea (before dying)


I don't seem to have any pictures of the cash position, this turn saw me spend an awful lot on recruitment, something like 30k and bring the upkeep level back up to pre-crusade levels. Let's hope those reinforcements are worthwhile and make it east on time...

[This message has been edited by SwampRat (edited 01-21-2012 @ 01:54 AM).]

posted 10 February 2012 16:39 EDT (US)     82 / 93  
Wow.. nice write up! Everything seems a bit precarious these days..

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 10 February 2012 17:40 EDT (US)     83 / 93  
Thank you; precarious doesn't really cover it. I'm two turns behind at the moment, the following turn I took Jeruselem, which EoJ immediately recaptured, killing the king.
Several other generals have been assassinated.

I've got a couple of nice armies ready to get stuck in though, with quite a lot of lower level troops pushing forward to reinforce and hopefully hold the lines.

England has bested Spain, diplomacy might save the day (for now) for Spain as Kilij has potentially agreed peace, if he keeps playing as Spain. Of course, there's a chance that England will try and push Spain into a fight with me - or just attack himself while I'm busy in the east. Fingers crossed that I can do a bit more damage to the Turks before that happens - or better still, I keep peace in the west/north.
posted 18 May 2012 10:52 EDT (US)     84 / 93  
Oh dear, rather a lot of updates to do in one batch. I'll set up a skeleton of what's been happening in turns 91-98 inclusive and write-up later turns more promptly as they happen. I'll hopefully pad things out here and add pictures (I have a pile saved and ready(ish)).

Turns 91-98

-general comments on progress to go here-


Sicily won! We captured Jerusalem on turn 91. Given large armies approaching from the north, I abandoned Acre and left the Sicilian king with a full(ish) army in Jerusalem, retreating the other generals south to have another stab at Gaza.


Post-Crusade Turks - Land

The Turks recaptured Jerusalem on turn 91 (i.e. immediately after I'd taken it), killing the Sicilian king. It goes without saying they'd also taken Acre on the way.

I think that spies had been used to open the gates and I think the massive autoresolve bonus (on Kingdoms/Retrofit) for defending a settlement is negated (partly or entirely) by spies opening the gates. Just a theory.

Assassins struck to kill the two retreating generals (I think it was two) which was a shame as one of them was quite reasonable and not intended to die. The armies bothered Gaza for a little while, sieging and blockading until being killed.

Post-Crusade Turks - Sea


Spain has been onto a loser from near the start on this one, thanks in particular to not capitalising on early gains or hitting quite hard and fast enough.

I've purchased, at quite a high cost (something like 15k per turn for 4 turns - admittedly offset by the 3k-4k income it has) Marseilles but otherwise stuck by my early promise to stay neutral.

Around turn 97-98 a ceasefire has been worked on, for some reason I chose to heed the begging from Spain and stuck my neck out to demand peace. A more sensible course would have been to invade Spain and grab what I could for myself - the east coast has been weakly guarded and would make a nice addition to the Sicilian empire.

As it is, England will take the last Spanish settlements in France and then at some point later turn on Spain once-more.


I'll have to check a few screenshots, but I think the constant comments about 'trade will improve soon' have in general come about. Trade income has gone up nicely over these last 8 turns, but there's not many more jumps due any time soon.

That said, I've finally bitten the bullet on New Outpostia on turn 98 and set it off converting to a city. It's been growing very slowly as a castle and is way behind the two northern castles. I could have boosted growth up to say 5% per turn using a decent general, perhaps a bit more, but it still needed to double its size before it could upgrade. As a city there's more income, more growth and generally a better position. It's a shame I'm abandoning the hope of somewhere else to gets swordsmen, as that's a weak spot generally, but should improve finances by a few k per turn. The main annoyance is that I didn't do this sooner.

Due to paying a tribute for Marseilles and having a lot of upgrading work to do, building queues have been stalling and I've generally been feeling quite hard up for the last few turns, despite income improvements. I've bumped up taxes as a result in a few places. The main restorative is potentially being the Turks - the fights on turn 98 (more detail available (when I get around to it) above) got me about 20k immediately as I forsook extermination for greed's sake plus trimmed upkeep.

England as a global superpower

[This message has been edited by SwampRat (edited 05-19-2012 @ 04:32 AM).]

posted 18 May 2012 18:06 EDT (US)     85 / 93  
*Dances in unarchived threat*
YAYAY!! Write ups!!

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 20 May 2012 01:43 EDT (US)     86 / 93  
Urgh, that'll teach me to be snap happy (and to use imageshack) -
You have 902 photos stored. Since you're over the 500 photo limit you'll need to upgrade to a Premium account or you'll only be able to keep 500 of your recent photos. Older photos will expire on the 1st of June.
From the tags added to the photos, there are just under 500 'Sicily' pictures, but there doesn't seem to be a 'delete everything other than these' option

Curses. Any recommendations for other image hosting sites?
posted 21 May 2012 03:15 EDT (US)     87 / 93  
I use Photobucket for my photos..x Besides that i am out of suggestions..

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 May 2012 14:54 EDT (US)     88 / 93  

Turn 99

In the background to this turn there have been discussions between Sicily and all three other factions. England is promising its intentions are peaceful towards me and that it is moving against Turkey - but to do so needs to march armies into my territories - and Spain and Turkey urging me to start fighting England.

Following my decisions last turn to take EoJ's bait, attacking Constantinople and what's now called 'MAD bait' (as the Turks harped on about continued Sicilian attacks leading to mutually assured destruction - but none the less made it very inviting to attack) I kept going in that theme. England's armies are very powerful castle grade stuff, I'd need a massive numeric advantage to defeat them and frankly that's not there currently. All I can do is recruit at full tilt, after a couple of turns of limited recruitment due to cash issues and hope.

In the meantime...

MAD Bait seems to have had a very lucky day, well ignoring the massive pillaging that went on when I took it. Turks stood to the right (besieging) and to the left (in support but not with a siege). Had the gates been opened by a spy, it would have been curtains for the garrison. As it is, the armies at Constansinople did their job and then were shipped over to clear the Turks out.

The first battle was won at a reasonably high cost to my best troops - the Turks are hard nuts to crack. Prisoners were duely executed and the numerous survivors retreated.

The second battle was also won, this time the prisoners were executed but as it turns out could have been ransomed or even released - the terrain meant there was nowhere to retreat to and the general and his army perished. A bigger blow to the Turks than I'd hoped.

The sacking of Constantinople raised 22k, of which surprisingly little was needed to clear building queues - so we must be getting financially back on track (see 'money' below). Had I known I'd hold it for more than a turn, the destruction of MAD Bait could have been avoided for higher income and better production - however it was a close enough call that I think I'm not too disappointed. It could still go in a few turns time.

Blockades have currently been lifted on the Turkish ports after a few scuffles; hopefully that'll make EoJ smile before the replacement Sicilian fleets arrive. I've assume he's not going to be churning out a lot of Black Sea fleets so the ships that had been diverted north will return - even if the men they once carried won't.

The Mongols are doing at least their share of work against the Turks.

The family

A few assassinations of foreign agents this turn, combined with the executions mentioned, led the theme of 'dread' this turn. The once chivalrous king is now mildly dreaded, making him next to useless for growing cities in the east - as had been his role. The disloyal general who captured Constantinople is now also a bit more feared, if not much more loyal.

We finally had a kiddie come of age, boosting the number of generals a little - alas he's the son of one of the old kings and so has a legacy of dread. Hopefully he'll either get that beaten out of him and go and help some settlements develop or will expand on it and be a military leader.


The treasury looks a lot better this turn than last, with the sacking and owing of Constantinople helping there. The surplus each turn of income over upkeep and wages is at an all-time high I think, possibly with an exception of the last crusade. I should be able to run at full recruitment in most settlements to get the military nice and bloated again; there are some major building works to come but not much in the next few turns.

The conversion of New Outpostia to a city will be complete next turn, for better or worse, leading to more income as well as a lot of building to do. The rather nifty general who has been starting off most buildings for us is over in that neck of the woods so might set the queue up ad save 10% or so of the costs. One of the generals with a possibility of chivalry will get assigned to that and the neighbouring cities to keep them growing and developing, hopefully picking up a building trait in the process. Getting paved roads there will help too as currently it's two turns between New Outpostia and any other settlement.

Corinth never seems to do as well from trade as I think it should; just an observation.

[This message has been edited by SwampRat (edited 06-04-2012 @ 01:57 AM).]

posted 27 June 2012 02:14 EDT (US)     89 / 93  

Turn 100

Turn 100 saw continuing fall-out from the peace deal with Spain and England; English forces walk towards Sicily (with the cover story of heading towards Turkey, away from Spain) and the Spanish rearm. It all sounds a little like Sicily is about to be turned on - so what can a leader do but spend around 40k on recruitment?

English armies are superior to mine but if I can match them locally with greater numbers, then all might be well.

My hopes of getting a swordsmith guild at Zagreb continue to be in vain, hopefully soon...

In the east, my invasion plans for the Turks continued (not sure if I've mentioned those earlier, so will expand). Two decent sized armies have been heading east by boat - for some reason I put catapults onboard, slowing movement down rather. Those separated off into a separate boat and the men headed onwards, with the lead boat destined to pick up some ballistas (not as good as catapults, but what the heck) at Irakilion before heading on to Egypt, or another area if I change my mind.

The Mongols asked for peace, but are still on the jihad - I accepted because I'd rather they never got around to finishing it

England is joining me pushing through the Black Sea at the Turks, something I'd been planning for a while before the opportunity to take Constanstinople etc popped up.

England has two full stacks going that way, I have just the one. Still that should be more than enough to do some serious damage if EoJ is focusing elsewhere, as he seems to be doing.

As mentioned above, I had a brief cash surplus this turn thanks to payments for Marseilles finishing and building queues finally clearing. I used the opportunity to recruit and bring my military strength (and unfortunately my military upkeep) back up the charts - England has promised to be a faithful ally still but I'd rather not give Selifator too much temptation to change his mind.

Turn 101

Spain has decided that, thinking about it, they'd rather not give up any land:
As you should know, I neither want to lose land nor do I want England to gain land. England hasn't made a move, and they may not even if we don't give them my land. I wouldn't risk having to fight two factions for only two settlements. I say we keep them and If England want's to fight us both, let them try. Spain already hardly has any land, to lose more would significantly weaken us, I would be willing to exchange the two French settlements for two of your own however. I would prefer to not share a border with England, and having land farther from them would be great.
Being offered the chance to buy continued peace for Spain with my settlements and/or risk war with England in Spain's name isn't really something that thrills me, especially given that there was no need to get involved and help them reach peace.

If I take some precarious Turkish settlements I might change my mind, otherwise the peace deal is dead in the water - if/when England decides to take over the French settlements it's entitled to. I'm hopeful that the English will see that as a much better use for their armies than attacking Sicily, although of course they might have been peacefully passing through to the Turks in any case...

My spending spree last turn has pushed me back up the rankings for military, not overtaking anyone but I think I was down at 80-something% of English power - 93% sounds somewhat better. Upkeep had also been around 30k and is now up at 40k again - oops.
Still, onwards with the recruitment. A few full stacks are being prepared and shipped north-west (away from where I'd like to send them really) to hopefully fend off any invasion (from whichever side tries it). Of course it might also cause a fight if Spain and/or England think I'm about to invade them. On balance I felt that smashing the treasury and arming up was the best choice on offer.

Besides, even if the Turkish ventures go well there will be losses and that'll smooth out the budget, with the downside of leaving my military a bit weighted to the side of the map that ought to be at peace...
posted 01 July 2012 17:59 EDT (US)     90 / 93  
Wow, great write up Swampy! looks like things are a bit everywhere.. I wish u good luck mate..

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 02 July 2012 02:06 EDT (US)     91 / 93  
Thanks, nice to know someone is reading/enjoying this - thinking things through again and reliving them a bit serves to make the game a bit more involving for me too.
looks like things are a bit everywhere..
You ain't seen nothing yet (b b b baby, etc).

Turn 102

The Turkish venture isn't going to go well...

In the north of the Med, Turkish ships are spotted in moderate numbers

On the plus side, those are just out of range of where the troop carriers will end on their invasion of Egypt.

On the minus side - there's an extra army in Egypt that will make a siege (assuming it pops back inside the city) very hard to pull off.

One turn later and that army might have moved off somewhere (where was it going?) and allowed me a nice easy victory. Doh.

England seems to have decided not to engage with the Spanish for now - it could easily be that he's being honest with me and is just going for the Turks, or it could be that he's going to jump on a few of my cities. The former is a possibility because the English taking Jerusalem and one or two other settlements at this point would give them a technical victory (45+ settlements, including Jerusalem).

My recruiting has slimmed down a bit again, possibly unfortunate if I now need to replace my eastern forces too. That said, if England is playing it straight then we'll have a full blown invasion of Turkey in about 10 turns. Or my troops could stay behind and take out Spain, that'd spice things up a bit.

Money feels tighter than perhaps it ought to; I should have about 29k-30k to spend each turn currently I think (trade balances out upkeep, mining and farming together cover wages - leaving taxes for spending). Most of that is going on buildings, whether or not that's wise, who knows. At least there is a bit spare in case I need to shelve building to get more troops quickly.

Spain seems to have a settlement with plague, fortunately we have an agent in the area who claims from time to time to be a doctor; being a kindly soul it seems right to send him in, check what the symptoms are and then visit other Spanish settlements to help them treat any infected residents...

Turn 103

[JPEG, (117.51 KB)]

Sicily has reached the top of the rankings charts - huzzah. It'll be short lived but heyho.

This turn we get three new generals - about time as we've been a bit light on them. Two by birth, one by marriage. Unfortunately, yet again the two by birth popped up in Timbuktu...

The English are still bemusing me, one army had been on a boat and is now stood on one of my islands, there are another couple of boats seemingly waiting to take another two English armies down (to Sicily / Turkey).

I've got one stack in a boat there, one good stack (including knights) on land and a few heavily garrisoned cities - so in a protracted fight I can swamp England if needed. One of their armies has catapults and I suspect there are spies about, so it could be that one or more city falls to surprise attacks. Let's hope not...

Alas, on our doctor's arrival at another Spanish city he found that the pestilence had spread. Those poor people, he'll have to do what he can for them.

Bordeaux has a sort of defensive garrison building - although some might argue that siege weaponry isn't the most defensive type possible.

Out of interest - it seems that PhotoBucket's thumbnails are slightly smaller than the ones at ImageShack, does anyone have a preference for small thumbs or fullsized images?

Enough buildings started this turn to stall the building queue, and a decent number look to be finishing. If Egypt had gone to plan then a nice bit of sacking would have kept everything running. Next time I need at least 3 armies, maybe 4...


As feared, the Turks plopped their army into Freedom City and there's no way I'll take it - on Kingdoms campaigns the autoresolve siege defence bonus means you need 2-1 (fair really) or more to have a chance and their chaps beat mine one on one.

So around turned my fleets and northwards they go...

Straight into a trap (possibly)

The fleets spotted last turn moved down to chase us, and were defeated by my fleets. Unfortunately, there's at least one other large fleet and probably reinforcements. The ships in blue will be stranded due to me having beaten them this turn (very unfair to EoJ, but game mechanics...)

I don't know where they'll go yet

I've got an army coming down from the Black Sea and could send some west by land if I get brave. That's a(nother) well defended area though.

It is fun and games though.

Unlike Libya where heretics have taken hold, my priests turn well before reaching them and just add to their numbers. Tricky...
posted 10 August 2012 09:02 EDT (US)     92 / 93  
A bit of a delayed update - the first two turns of which will have pictures shortly(ish) as I've uploaded them; the second two turns of which will have to have their pictures somewhat later as I've yet to put the right software on my new laptop to convert/edit them nicely.

Turn 104

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As predicted, the Turkish fleets hammered the Sicilian troop carrying vessels. As luck would have it though, we stayed afloat and not only that but washed up within range of Miracle City.
[JPEG, (356.49 KB)]
One army was carrying some artillery (two ballistas) and bang, the settlement fell this time. Miracles don't strike twice perhaps. The second army fled out of range of the Turkish ships.

The armoury at Zargreb will be finished next turn allowing sword and buckler men to be recruited - good with cheap upkeep.
[JPEG, (260.38 KB)]
The upkeep for buckler men (150) is a tiny bit more than for spear militia (125), but with much higher attack (against infantry) and possibly the same or better defence. Compared to men at arms and knights (both 225) they seem to be great, especially if you factor in armour piercing troops that erode the defensive advantage of the knights.

Given enough time, I'd get a decent stockpile of buckler men spread across all settlements. As it is, the main garrison where the English are walking past will be the usual militia grade 'ok' army. It's 'ok' as long as we have a decent numerical advantage but not so much otherwise...
The English seem to be light on spearmen (usually armies seem to be foot / mounted knights plus archers) so I should possibly carry a greater cavalry contingent than at present, just in case. The Turks on the otherhand have a good number of hashadim (nasty little 2HP sword chaps) but are mainly spear and halberd based. Against either foe a spear heavy army isn't ideal...

Turn 105

(I can't remember much in general terms until I see the pictures again unfortunately, sorry)


A mild 'priest bomb' is gathering, Rhodes had been churning the chaps out merrily, as had some more northern settlements, and it's about time that they went to teach the Turks' of God's love and compassion. Arguably it could be more the case that the armies (about 10 priests will travel in one stack, 5 or so will try to catch up with another) will slightly lack compasion, but conversion by the sword is conversion nonetheless.

The English are taking on the Turkish settlement below Trebiond (Caesarea?) and so my Black Sea army slopes off south to pick fights elsewhere. The Turkish army in question retreated next to a settlement - a bad idea (not that EoJ / Monty had any control) that resulted in quite a reduction in the garrison without any defence bonus from the walls...

That settlement will fall in turn 106 (said with hindsight). A couple of spies inside had a better than 80% chance of opening the gates, which is worth a shot. The Turks temporarily have naval dominance; if and when that ceases there's a full stack on Cyprus ready to join in the fun.

Turn 106

Gunpowder has been discovered; building queues get altered across the country, Bran will be the first Sicilian settlement to have a gunsmith for bombards and the like, Newer Carthage (Tripoli) and a couple of others will get dockyards (in 5 turns) for cannon-armed ships.

The English have a good number of armies on crusade now; for some reason I'm holding off joining them. If the English take Jerusalem, they win (as they already have 45+ settlements, compared to Sicily's 30ish). Our choices seem to be:
(a) help them win
(b) rush to take Jerusalem first and then prepare to hold it against them
(c) try to support the Turks in blunting the English assault
(d) storm Spain and try to get to 45 settlements + try and capture Jerusalem
(e) betray England and try to capture as many settlements as possible

(e) would be the most fun, I'm gently sliding towards (c) though, which could amount to (a) unfortunately. England's approach is currently a little slapdash, with armies looking like they'll arrive completely separately and so might be (to start with at least) held off by the Turks. England could have gathered its armies and the large fleets coming past Spain for an overpowering assault but chose speed instead. If we join the crusade too early, our armies could arrive with the English vanguard and bear the brunt of any fighting and either help the English win (as we're allied) or find it hard to resist them afterwards.
If we join too late then we'll not benefit as much from the free upkeep and could be too late to beat them to Jersusalem.

So, our fleets and armies head once more to Egypt, possibly stopping off to add an army to the crusade (only one seaborne army has a general currently). Other crusaders might catch up if they leave in a few turns. Having non-crusading armies gives more flexibility than last time where fear of desertion cost us dearly; it will cost more than crusading though, leaving less money for further recruitment...

Turn 107

The priest-bomb is doing it's job - the region is up to 60% Catholisism. Monty, still standing in for EoJ as the Turks, didn't take my kind offer of being allowed to retreat. That's quite a shame as that Turkish army could have held or slowed one or more English armies, plus instead it remains an obstacle for me.

He seems to have attacked one of my waiting armies, it had lost half of its men and retreated - fortunately due to the turn order it wasn't stranded (quite an unfair issue that, if only CA had set it so that all factions had their movement restored just before their own turn, rather than just after the Rebels'). Also, a second fort now stands between my southern army and the settlement.

The first fort fell without any issue and the spy entered the second fort - but despite more than a 60% chance of opening the gates (the same chance that failed last turn at the first fort) we couldn't attack instantly. The choice was thus to attack the settlement with one and a half armies, to have one or both spies leave the settlement to help open the fort gates and gamble with being able to take the settlement (but have 2.5 armies), or to wait an extra turn.

I decided against trusting my luck with spies and attacked impatiently. Had the Turks not been mostly outside of the settlement (with an unusually assassinateable general - 95% chance) I wouldn't have tried it but as it was, we won the first battle and the remaining Turks went into hiding in the settlement. With two spies and a >80% chance of opening the gates we were successful and took the settlement, sacking it to fund building/recruitment at home. I can live with slow growth at this frontier.

Now being able to spare some spies, the fort fell and the third army could pass through. Quite a lot of losses this turn, including the majority of our good troops (the dismounted knights now only have two full units and a few stragglers).

The English are pressing forward with their crusade, with one army now at Corinth (standing on shore to prevent drowning) and another halfway between there and Italy. A third crusading army is to the west of Sicily I think, with a couple on land north of Turkey too (one of which is besieging Caesarea still - lucky not to have had (much) desertion, another coming down from the eastern end of the Black Sea. They've got a couple of non-crusading armies coming from Italy too; I'll be glad when they're off my land but it's still a lot of army for the Turks to fight against - I'll probably need to join the Crusade in the next few turns and try to get Jerusalem first, hopefully the Turks can sink one or two of the incoming English fleets.

My armies heading East are 4-5 turns away from landing in Egypt. One new general from north Africa has joined the crusade and reached Newer Carthage (Tripoli) I've dropped some extra troops in for him and fingers cross they join the crusade, if not he'll be travelling quite light and relying on the English not having scooped up all the mercenaries. He should be able to land in Egypt at a similar time to the rest of the army, possibly one turn before (handy for launching a siege - if he has enough men) before needing to press onward to the Holy Lands.

We might need to cancel the alliance with England - unless of course everyone is happy to continue with the game irrespective of an English victory (which would take the rush out of things).

I doubt Spain will be willing to attack the English - does anyone (Awesomated, I'm looking at you as the main/only regular reader, no pressure) have any opinions on whether I should drop to the foul levels of conspiring against my English ally? If so should I ask the Spanish to join in (and risk having them tell England and attack me instead, given that England is likely to triumph from any war)?

Technically I have a military advantage (according to the charts) but the first English fleet has passed Gibraltar and is heading east, soon to be followed by others I believe - which could threaten my trading hub (now up to 51k per turn total trade income, mostly from around Italy), the English armies are mostly knight/swordsman based too which should cleanly win against my militia armies. Zagreb is now producing sword and buckler men but it'll be too soon for those to be numerous enough to swing things back in my favour - if I can sort out finances a bit (lots of expensive building and a lot of upkeep currently - some major battles / crusading in the east will solve that I suppose) then I can produce sustainably 2-3 good foot units per turn from Zagreb (men at arm's counting there despite poor morale, knights (1 every now and then) and buckler men (1 per turn) being straight out 'good').

I had an offer for a master swordsmans guild (it never rains but it pours) in Zargeb but couldn't afford it this turn.

Still, including both main castles, 4 good units per turn plus as much militia as I could afford wouldn't be a good long term bet against the English troop producing machine. The main chance would be if they're spread too thinly and/or if I can capture some of their good castles. Quite a risk; but also mixing things up a bit.

If I were to strike Spain instead (still an ally, but one I consider unreliable and tricky) then I could potentially gain a couple of castles, getting me more troop production, plus more income. I could offer them the chance to attack England with me and if they don't, just attack them instead.

I should probably have joined in with Spain against England back in the day when there was a decent sized Spanish force; shame they were so preemptive.
posted 18 January 2013 13:27 EDT (US)     93 / 93  
Turns 108 to 115 - completed but might not get written up, although I do have pictures so could perhaps work out what happened.

Anyway, Sicily wins, huzzah!
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