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Thread: The One True Christendom - A Byzantine AAR

  1. #1

    Default The One True Christendom - A Byzantine AAR

    Hello everyone! M2:TW player here. I wanted to make an After Action Report for a long time and now I finally found the inspiration to do it. It will be about the Byzantine Empire of Lusted's Lands To Conquer's gold edition, early campaign, M/M as I am sadly not a very good player. I plan not to get Empire: Total War before finishing this AAR through defeat or victory, or before the gold edition is released, whichever comes first.

    I hail from France and have therefore a French game, but with LTC Gold installed, the screenshots will be a mix of French and English; I will translate the French parts in the descriptions. Without further ado, here is my AAR!


    TURN 1 - YEAR 1080

    Year 1080 of our Lord. The ashes of the Eastern Roman Empire are weak, divided and surrounded by enemies. Many are those thinking the empire lives its final hour. One man, however, seeks to prove to all the known world that the embers have not ceased to burn, that the fire can be rekindled, and that the fire shall be rekindled.

    Alexius Komnenus is his name.

    The empire is threatened by the Turks to the East and by the Sicilians to the West, both powers vying with each other in ferocity. Its provinces are, with the exception of the mighty Constantinople, barely developped. Its coffers, almost empty. Its faith, scorned by its western neighbours.

    This shall not last.

    Alexius' ambitions were simple: restore the majesty of the empire, vanquish the corrupt church of Rome and spread the one true Chistianity from Lisbonne to Warsaw. But before focusing on Europe, he needed to secure the empire's eastern front. So he entrusted his only daughter, Anna Komnenus, with the very important mission to make peace with the Turks at any price.

    He focused next on the military. Fully expecting the Anatolian provinces to be handed to the Turks in exchange of peace, he sent Foteinos's fleet, making port near Thessalonica, towards Trebizond to bring Eleutherios Kamytzes to Durazzo, while he ordered Dragos' fleet, near Nicosia, to fetch Panagiotes Basilacius from Iraklion to bring him to Corinth.

    Sofia made a tempting target, so Alexius ordered his son, John Komnenus, to conquer Sofia. The prince left Corinth with two spearmen detachments and one of Trebizond archers, while three spearmen detachments left Nicaea to join him en route, along with another group from Durazzo. Spy Kyriakos Loukites and priest Gavriel Branas were sent towards Sofia to ease the invasion.

    The governor of Nicaea, Evangelos Exotrochos, would remain in Nicaea until it was surrendered to the Turks whereas Theotokios Olaskos stayed in Naples.

    Now he could focus on a pressing matter: the empire's economy.

    It was a disaster. Thus, Alexius ordered all the castles of the empire to be converted to towns, save for the well-developed castle of Corinth. It left his coffers empty, but the economy would hopefully be back on track soon enough. He also increased the taxes as much as possible without sparking discontent. Merchant Demetrios Calaphates started to trade silk near Nicaea.

    TURN 2

    Durazzo, Rhodes, Nicosia and Trebizond were now towns and Smyrna a village. Alexius immediately ordered it to be upgraded to the status of town. With what little money was left, he ordered the construction of a grain exchange in Thessalonica.

    The new towns could be heavily taxed, however, in spite of low taxes, the inhabitants of Naples were not happy but merely content. With the Italians so near, a spy could be the cause.

    Prince John reached Thessalonica, where he traded an unit of archers for the city's spearmen detachment, before continuing his march towards Sofia; the spearmen from Durazzo joined him at this moment. A spy managed to sneak into Sofia. The nobles were eager to see the land annexed.

    Admiral Dragos dropped off Panagiotes near Corinth and then sailed to Smyrna for the upcoming evacuation, whereas Foteinos reached Trebizond.

    TURN 3

    Alexius accepted, savouring the irony that the money the Papal States would get them would then be used against the pope. On the other hand, Venice and Hungary grew wary of the empire.

    Anna finally reached the Turks with her peace proposal.

    She made her father proud. The money from the agreement, during which she polished her diplomatic skills, added to the gold recuperated from destroying the town watch in Nicaea before its cession permitted the towns of Durazzo, Iraklion, Rhodes and Nicosia to start the building of a grain exchange each.

    West of the capital, Prince John and the spearmen from Nicaea got closer to Sofia while the forces drawn from the sold cities approached their destinations. One unit of peasants left Constantinople for Sofia to serve as garrison.

    TURN 4

    Alexius' suspicions were correct! The vile Italians had infiltrated his Italian foothold! Thankfully, the governor found them both and had them executed and from now on would be much more suspicious.

    A priest ended his religious education and left the capital for Sofia, ready to help a fellow man of the cloth.

    Foteinos's fleet finally neared Thessalonica and dropped off Evangelos as the new governor.

    John Komnenus reaches Sofia and join the reinforcements.The spy unfortunately did not manage to open the gates, so the prince besieged the wooden castle.

    TURN 5

    Denying their espionage, the Venetians come to Naples with trade in mind. The roman economy does not have the luxury of refusal and a deal is quickly made. Soon after, a Venetian fleet blocked the access to Constantinople...

    Anna found Acre and proposed trade agreements and an alliance, which are promptly approved by the new Sultan. She then turned on her heels, back towards the Turks, hoping to obtain an alliance which would secure the capital.

    Thessalonica finishes a grain exchange. The money from the deal with Egypt is reserved for later constructions.

    John assaults Sofia.


    The prince occupies the castle, succeeding the nobles' mission and proving himself fair in rule. Some money is spent to repair the ramparts and to build a mustering hall which will allow John's troops to be freed from garrison duty.

    The four dromons sent by the nobles sink the pirates near the capital's port before being disbanded to decrease imperial upkeep cost.

    TURN 6

    The grain exchanges are finally completed! The economy will not complain. Added to the money scraped from destroying the catholic church in Naples, this permits Constantinople to start the building of a market while having enough gold left to muster two units of peasants in Sofia.

    Admiral Dragos nears Bucharest, John's next target if the Hungarians do not outspeed him. Archers and spearmen are aboard, waiting for an attack on Palermo once Iasi, John's second target, is taken.

    To the East, the Turks welcomed Anna again and accepted an alliance, effectively securing the eastern front and ceasing hostilities between them and Egypt. Anna will most likely become an important diplomatic asset. Her next stop shall be the court of a fellow orthodox power, Russia.

    TURN 7

    The Hungarian princess comes to Naples asking for trade rights; the governor manages to make Hungary pay for it, for the glory and welfare of the empire.

    The nobles once again agree with Alexius' ambitions: those florins will be essential once Bucharest is captured. John leaves a now properly garrisoned Sofia to march towards the village.

    Spy Loukites successfully infiltrates the motte and bailey of Iasi. Hopefully he will manage to open the gates.

    Meanwhile, Dragos drops four detachments of Trebizond archers and two of spearmen near Bucharest before sailing towards Iasi. The latter will join John's forces whereas the former will be used to garrison the village while waiting for Sofia to train more peasants.

    Alexius orders small churches to be built in Naples and Iraklion to please the population and subsequently rise the taxes as high as possible once they are completed.

    Near Constantinople, Calaphates bankrupts a Milanese merchant.

    TURN 8

    On the other side of the world, the Sultan of the Moors dies.

    The princess of the Holy Roman Empire brings a proposal. This time, Olaskos could not get any money from the deal.

    Prince John invades Bucharest, beating the nearby Hungarians to the punch, and a swift victory is achieved. He immediately leaves the village for Iasi, leaving the archers behind to ensure the population does not rebel. The gold gained from occupying, achieving the nobles' mission and bankrupting a Venetian merchant allow Alexius to give vast construction orders: Durazzo, Rhodes and Nicosia start to build a town watch each to subdue corruption.

    TURN 9

    The lovely princess of France, Constance, brings trade agreements which are promptly accepted. In the meantime, a Polish force sent to conquer Iasi turns rebel in front of the settlement. John does not know whether this is a blessing or a curse.

    The nobles' council, pleased with Alexius' rule, offer him 1000 florins. Constructions are achieved while Olaskos' low taxes policy proves his fairness.

    The Polish revolt turns out to be a blessing. John attacks them in front of Iasi, and the garrison quits the motte to help them!

    They are crushed.

    John occupies the settlement and orders for a mustering hall to be built.

    TURN 10

    Anna will take a detour in the Polish lands before resuming her journey to Novgorod.

    Corruption decreases slightly. Meanwhile, Olaskos begins the building of a market in Naples and starts training a diplomat while peasants are recruited in Sofia and Iasi. The four groups from Sofia reach Bucharest, allowing the four archer detachments to leave the village and march towards Dragos' fleet. As usual, the coffers are left nigh empty after the construction and recruitment orders are given.

    TURN 11

    The empire's allies decided to ally each other. Alexius will not have to choose one side if a war breaks out anymore.

    A multilingual diplomat and a third priest finish their education in Naples and Constantinople respectively. This priest went to Sofia like his predecessors whereas the diplomat secured trade rights with Milanese princess Fiora Rossi.

    John and his spearmen leave Iasi under the care of two groups of peasants and nears Dragos' fleet, which already welcomed the Trebizond archers. Foteinos' fleet, for its part, fetched merchant Calaphates from his silk trade to bring him to Antioch.

    Alexius ordered a merchant's wharf in the capital.

    TURN 12

    Alexius wonders if an alliance with the Moors could be profitable.

    Anna reaches Polish wooden castle Halych and obtains 2000 florins in exchange of trade rights, which added to the 500 from the council, permits her father to launch land clearances around Sofia, Durazzo, Iraklion, Rhodes and Nicosia.

    John and his army finally embarked in Dragos' fleet and the ships sailed towards Constantinople whereas Foteinos sailed closer to Antioch.

    TURN 13

    Alexius Komnenus grew worried. While the crusade had not targeted directly any of his allies, Antioch was soon to fall in either Turkish or Egyptian hands. But either way, the crusading armies would most likely cross his lands before reaching his muslim allies. Letting them pass the detroit would be seen as a treason of the alliances whereas if he refused, his empire would suffer at the hands of the crusaders.

    Should he cancel the invasion of Sicily and bring all of John's troops to the mainlands? No, he decided. The invasion would go on and succeed while he personally confronted the pope's lapdogs at the gates of Constantinople. He would destroy the corrupt christians or die trying.

    To create a second army, powerful enough to fight off crusades after crusades, he needed to strengthen his economy firthermore and upgrade his castles. He ordered the erection of garrison quarters in Corinth and the establishment of roads around Thessalonica, which had just completed a market. All remaining gold was spent on spear militia in Naples and Constantinople.

    Dragos' fleet destroyed pirates blocking the detroit and went on towards the Italian peninsula while Foteinos' neared Antioch.

    TURN 14

    Olaskos immediately informed the emperor of this proposition. Alexius thought it over longly. The Holy Roman Empire was the pope's enemy, but they might launch a crusade themselves that will force the alliance to be broken. After much thinking, he sent a counter offer for Olaskos.

    He would never marry someone so ugly to his son, but took the risk of signing the alliance. Olaskos, true to himself, drawed off much gold from the proposition to the emperor's coffers. Profitable mines were to be built in Thessalonica.

    On the western front, Milan went at war with Sicily. It was unknown who was the attacker, but with a little luck the Milanese would take Cagliari, thus allowing John to crush Sicily once and for all when he took down Palermo.

    Calaphates disembarked near Antioch, which the muslim allies had not yet besieged for some reason, and started to trade sugar. The construction of a wooden palisade was started in Bucharest. All remaining money was once again being spent on militia in Naples and the capital.

    Meanwhile, Anna secured an alliance and trade rights with Russia at Smolensk.

    TURN 15

    Alexius already started to worry about the alliance. He had plans for Venice, plans involving their complete destruction. Even if he planned to betray the Holy Roman Empire once it outlived its usefulness, he felt wary.

    Antioch still remained independant. Maybe the Turkish and Egyptian sultans were smarter than the emperor expected. It happened that no country had yet joined the crusade, as well. Nevertheless, building his provinces militarily would not be a waste.

    Many works were completed this year.

    Alexius ordered roads in Bucharest, followed by the erection of a grain exchange, garrison quarters in Sofia, a drill square in Corinth and paved roads in Constantinople.

    TURN 16

    The motte and bailey of Iasi grew enough to need to be upgraded to the status of wooden castle. It required much gold, but Alexius could not afford an increasing squalor. He also called for roads in Durazzo.

    Loukites managed to infiltrate Palermo, sharpening his stealth skills, though he failed once again to open the gates. At sea, Dragos sailed to Naples, took the two spearmen detachments on board and brought them to John before blockading the port of Palermo.

    Meanwhile, the three priests in Sofia left for Bucharest.

    TURN 17

    Alexius swiftly allowed the merchants' guild to establish themselves in Constantinople.

    War broke out between Milan and Venice. Hopefully, it will weaken the latter enough for their lands to be conquered once Sicily was dealt with. On the other hand, trade partner France grew wary of the empire, without a doubt because of the siege of Palermo.

    Durazzo completed roads and Sofia garrison quarters while a merchant finished his training in Constantinople. Olaskos of Naples saw it fit to begin to build a market.

    Anna embarked on Foteinos' fleet, which then went to the capital to welcome the new merchant. He would be dropped off with his fellow man in Antioch, then the ships would sail towards the Moors for an alliance.

    John assaulted Palermo.

    Sicilian king Roger stood no chance. John simply overran the castle, winning easily. Honourable as he was, John released his few prisoners and occupied the castle, like he always did in the past.

    Unfortunately, the latest assault left him brutally scarred. But if did not slow him. He ordered the Trebizond archers to garrison Palermo and used what gold was left to order the reparation of the walls and the mustering of one group of peasants.

    Then he left the castle and charged right at the remaining Sicilian forces on the island. Again, he prevailed. And again, he proved his fairness and released the prisoners. That done, he and his men hopped in Dragos' ships. Destination, Cagliari, last stronghold of the Sicilian nation. Spy Loukites embarked as well.

    Alexius received news that Antioch was now under Egyptian rule. Worse, crusaders were sighted near Sofia!

    What Alexius feared had happened. He was not strong enough to stop the crusade, launched by his own ally! He chose to wait in Constantinople, praying a for a miracle...

    TURN 18

    The Eastern Roman Empire was once again the biggest and most advanced power of Europe! But it would soon become the most hated power of Europe as well, for emperor Alexius Komnenos left the capital to face the crusade before the southern detroit with no army other than all the mercenaries he could muster.

    Alexius' forces were outnumbered, but was constituted of professional soldiers whereas the crusaders were mostly militias and peasants.

    Nova Roma prevailed.

    And as foolish as it was, he released all the prisoners. The battle had inspired a man to bear Alexius' additional swords, but it also had inspired most of the western countries to hate him.

    Alexius hoped his muslim allies realised the sacrifice he consented for them.

    He disbanded all the mercenaries. He could not afford such an upkeep.

    TURN 19

    Despite their outrage at Alexius' attack on the crusaders, the Portugese came asking for trade agreements, which were accepted.

    The merchants' guild had a mission.

    Calaphates shall be brought from Antioch to his target by Foteinos' fleet once they reach Antioch and drop off a less skilled merchant. Hopefully he will reach the concurrent in time.

    As if the crusade was not enough, two astrologers convinced two governors to let them in their retinue.

    Some contructions were achieved. Next, a port shall be built in Thessalonica, a small church in Durazzo as well as in Palermo.

    John besieged Cagliari.

    TURN 20

    The duke of Milan died, no doubt in battle against the Venetians.

    Like Portugal, Spain seemed not to mind to trade with someone the pope hated. A deal was swiftly made.

    Iasi finally becomes a wooden castle. The next development shall be roads.

    The assault of Cagliari is a repeat of the one of Palermo. Attack, victory, prisoners released and castle occupied except this time...

    This time, Sicily is no more.

    Cagliari is to be converted to a town. However, it loses more money that it makes... if this does not change after the conversion, Alexius might need to select a new capital... Meanwhile, the current capital starts a fairground and Bucharest a small church to be able to increase the taxes.


    So, what do you think? Too many screenshots? Not enough? Too much description? Not enough? This is my first AAR ever, so criticism is welcome.

  2. #2
    Rampant psychopath Member Olaf Blackeyes's Avatar
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    Default Re: The One True Christendom - A Byzantine AAR

    If thats your first shot i can safely say that you will go far here.

    My own personal SLAVE BAND (insert super evil laugh here)
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    You're fighting against the AI... how do you NOT win?

  3. #3
    King Philippe of France Senior Member _Tristan_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: The One True Christendom - A Byzantine AAR

    Real nice AAR...

    And from a countryman... FRANCE FTW !!!
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  4. #4

    Default Re: The One True Christendom - A Byzantine AAR

    Thanks for the replies!

    Two notes about this update.

    Firstly, you may notice in the battle for Antioch that two of the screenshots depict a cloudy sky whereas all others depict a clear blue sky; this is because the pictures got corrupted and no matter how many times I replayed the battle, it remained cloudy. I am quite peeved because it kills the immersion.

    Secondly, I do know that the hunt for the heretic is an exploit, but I figured it was appropriate and in character considering the situation.

    TURN 21 - YEAR 1110

    On the plus side, the English came for trade agreements which were accepted. On the minus side, Cagliari's conversion to a town caused a riot. Even with low taxes, the population remained unhappy. It was time to move the capital. Sick in heart, Alexius chose Durazzo, of which governor had just recruited an architect [0121]. This quietened Cagliari and allowed Naples to increase taxes, but on the other hand Constantinople and Nicosia had to decrease taxes to please the population.

    Hungarians were spotted near the new capital...

    The survivors of the first crusade entered Roman lands once again, but too far away from Constantinople for Alexius to confront them with a new army of mercenaries... The emperor thus decided he would send troops to Antioch to help his allies to fight off the weakened crusaders, whereas the gold would be spent on developing the empire instead of on mercenaries.

    Constructions were achieved and others started, namely a small church in Cagliari to convert the population, a drill square in Palermo to prepare for an eventual invasion of the rest of the Italian peninsula, and a port in Corinth.

    TURN 22

    France declares war on the Holy Roman Empire! A welcome distraction.

    A small church is completed in Bucharest and Naples recruits a priest. Alexius decides to strengthen his faith furthermore: small chapels are to be built in Sofia and Iasi, small churches in Rhodes and Nicosia, and a church in Naples.

    Near Constantinople, Calaphates reaches and bankrupts his target, pleasing the merchants' guild [0128]. He then embarks Foteinos' fleet once again for Antioch.

    TURN 23

    The duke of Milan and king of England are dead. Thessalonica finishes a port and Cagliari a small church and then start to build another small church and a town watch respectively. An additional town watch is ordered in Bucharest. Remaining gold used to recruit two militia in Durazzo, Iraklion, Rhodes and Nicosia.

    Calaphates leaves once again the fleet as he spotted a German merchant heading for Constantinople. Princess Anna imitates him, but treads in Turkish lands instead in order to get to Antioch. The fleet then leaves and stops by Corinth, ready to ship some detachments to Antioch.

    The three priests in Bucharest leave for Iasi.

    TURN 24

    An ally leaves this earth.

    Small churches and small chapels are built; Iasi starts garrison quarters. More militias are recruited.

    The very talented merchant Calaphates bankrupts yet another merchant and now can be truly considered a robber baron.

    For the first time in ages, the Eastern Roman Empire has surplus gold.

    TURN 25

    Alexius' allies are besieged and there is nothing he can do to stop it. Antioch would soon be in the fake Romans's clutches, the garrison could not hope to prevail. He vowed he would personally free the city and hand it back to its legitimate owners, or die trying!

    The Danes proposed a trade agreement which was approved.

    Important works are finished all throughout the empire. The imperial coffers are emptied to begin the construction of a grain exchange in Cagliari, a town guard in Thessalonica, a small chapel in Corinth and a great marker in Constantinople. Militias are again formed in Durazzo, Bucharest and all the islands.

    TURN 26

    Spy Loukites perishes as pirates sink Dragos's fleet. John and his army are now stranded in Cagliari.

    Antioch has fallen.

    Naples completes a church and Iasi garrison quarters; the latters launches land clearance, imitated by Bucharest. Corinth starts the training of four detachments of dismounted Roman lancers while Alexius leaves Constantinople for Foteinos' fleet.

    TURN 27

    The merchants' guild is pleased with Constantinople.

    Corinth completes a small chapel before immediately starting the works to convert it into a bigger chapel while Palermo finishes a drill square. With the recruitment of four units of foot lancers and three dromons, the coffers are once again nigh-empty.

    Foteinos sails to Corinth and takes the foot lancers, then to Iraklion where he takes two units of Trebizond archers and one of spearmen.

    Meanwhile, the new fleet hailing from Palermo brings the Trebizond archers serving a garrison to Cagliari, then brings John and his depleted army in front of Palermo.

    TURN 28

    The duke of Milan and the Kaiser allied themselves while the former stopped hostilities with Venice. This could go badly for the empire.

    A grain exchange is built in Cagliari. John reaches Palermo and proceeds to build a chapel and to retrain his spearmen.

    Foteinos sailed to Rhodes where one unit of spearmen and one of Trebizond archers embarked, whereas Ermanes went to Naples and brought its five priests to Cagliari.

    Money is spared for the upcoming growth of Naples into a minor city.

    TURN 29

    Alexius' second son finally comes of age in Durazzo. To his father's regret, he is a poor builder; he might never govern a settlement in his life...

    Lands around Bucharest and Iasi are cleared while Thessalonica finishes a town guard [0146], in which militia spearmen will be trained.

    Foteinos passes by Nicosia and takes another unit of spearmen and a second of archers before sailing towards its destination.

    The battle for Antioch will soon begin.

    TURN 30

    One less ally of the fake Romans.

    Nothing happened but the retraining of John's spearmen and the recruitment of spear militia in Thessalonica.

    Alexius besieges Antioch.

    TURN 31

    A born conqueror finally comes of age.

    War broke out between Egypt and Portugal.

    A foolish German merchant comes to Sofia, doubtlessly dreaming about Roman silk. He does not last long.

    Constantinoples finishes its great market and Corinth its chapel; the former starts an ikoner's studio and the latter a land clearance.

    In the holy lands reigns war.

    On one side, Alexius Komnenus, roman emperor.

    On the other side, Thorsten, crusader general.

    On one side, professional and disciplined troops.

    On the other side, peasants and militia.

    Alexius is disappointed. Nevertheless, the city will be taken.

    The battle for Antioch can begin.

    The foot lancers shall assault the walls while the spearmen will attack the gate with the ram, ready to swarm into the city once they break through. Alexius, too old for combat, will merely order and watch from the rear, with the archers. These will not be needed in this battle.

    The soldiers begin to march...

    ...and soon reach the walls. The defenders wait anxiously as the foot lancers climb the siege towers and the spearmen attack the gate...


    The peasant archers on the left wall are annihilated by Roman steel!

    The general advances towards the spearmen like a sheep... and suffers the logical consequences.

    The walls' defender rout!

    The rest of the battle is a massacre.

    Alexius occupies the city and muses about his latest experiences. His daughter gives the city back to its original owners before embarking with her father and his army for the return to the empire.

    Suddenly, he remembered the diplomat gadding about near Milan. He sent him to Innsbruck to strike a ceasefire with the enemy.

    The Kaiser accepts to pay a tribute for some time in exchange of peace.

    To the South, John Komnenus watches warily Venetian troops landing near Cagliari...

    Will they help their allies even after the war has ended?

    TURN 32

    They do.

    Lethal mistake.

    John immediately embarks on Ermanes' ships and goes relieve the siege of Cagliari. He chooses to attack by night so that the garrison does not suffer any loss. Predictably, he wins and releases the prisoners. The battle taught him a few things and even attracted a mighty follower; the second one in little time; he had already recruited an architect in Palermo.

    Florence would be his next target.

    On the civilian side, Naples was now populated enough to become a minor city; with all the priests recruited there, Olaskos hoped his settlement would catch the theologians' guild's attention.

    Alexius was pleased to learn his empire was considered the wealthiest and most advanced one in the known world.

    The goal of a completely orthodox Europe comes closer as a chapel is finished in Palermo and yet another priest in Naples. The latter begins the education of an additional priest and a dromon while Evangelos Exotrochos starts the erection of a church in Thessalonica.

    The towns of Cagliari, Durazzo, Bucharest, Iraklion, Rhodes and Nicosia, plus Thessalonica, are put on low taxes to incite the population to make more children.

    TURN 33

    Alexius Komnenus passes away, with only his daughter at his side. In addition to this tragedy, previous enemy Holy Roman Empire has now outmatched Nova Roma in technology , and Portugal in economy.

    Foteinos goes to Corinth and drops the army to be retrained, before sailing towards Tripoli to debark princess Anna there so that she can propose an alliance to the Moors.

    Byzantion is swarmed by foreign merchants; Calaphates bankrupts a Venetian one before tracking another one from the same nation.

    Another Venetian army is spotted, just at the gates of Naples. Newly crowned emperor John embarks to relieve the city of the upcoming siege.

    Faction heir Andronicus and his brother Isaac embark on Naples' recently built dromon with either their older brother John's army or Cagliari for destination.

    The three priests in Iasi leave to convert Hungarian lands.

    TURN 34

    The empire is considered the most powerful nation of all! In Western Europe, France gains two more enemies.

    Corinth finishes to clear the nearby lands and lauches communal farming while four priests leave Naples for Rome. The three priests near Bran decide to go back to Sofia as less than half the population is orthodox anymore thanks to Hungarian meddlings!

    The Venetians left Naples alone but debarked near Cagliari once again! John loses no time and returns to the island to attack them, followed by his two brothers.

    TURN 35

    John is outraged! His fleet was utterly destroyed by the Venetians, preventing him to relieve Naples from a siege! Once again, these bad news do not come alone; a priest dies in Bulgaria and another turns heretic under John's very eyes.

    John attacks and crushes the Venetians. He almost executes the prisoners out of rage, but figures the people of Naples may suffer the consequences once it is taken and thus releases them. He waits for Corinth to built a fleet of dromons with Andronicus and appoints Isaac governor of Cagliari.

    Sick at heart, he orders his diplomat to enter negotiations with Venice. Surprisingly, they want peace and are ready to pay for it. The diplomat scores trade agreements with Venice as well.

    Naples is saved.

    The agent recruited in said city tries to spy on a papal cardinal and fails miserably. Olaskos the Honest actually welcomes these news and orders the training of another spy, one who would solely scout ahead.

    Near Cagliari, John's army scours the countryside and hunts down the heretic; he dies swiftly.

    TURN 36

    Olaskos, disappointed, still accepted the offer; another city would have to attract the theologians' guild. Perhaps Rome itself if it is conquered.

    Some buildings are completed. Constantinople moved on to a church, Naples on to a merchant's wharf and Palermo on communal farming.

    Anna secures trade rights with the Moors, but they absolutely refuse an alliance. The princess leave the North African coast aboard her fleet.

    The new fleet from Palermo goes to Cagliari. One ship takes solely the emperor to bring him back to Constantinople while the two remaining ships take his army and his brother close to Florence. A fleet from Corinth heads towards the Italian peninsula while transporting the retrained army from the battle for Antioch.

    Naples's new spy scouts ahead, between Rome and Florence.

    TURN 37

    Pirates have the abysmal idea to intercept the emperor's ship, which had been reinforced by his sister's fleet. They are promptly vanquished.

    Andronicus, supported by his brother's spearmen, decides to besiege Florence in retaliation of Venice's sieges, effectively crushing the alliance signed so little time ago.

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the peninsula, late Alexius' army attacks the Venetians who had besieged Naples and wins. The dismounted lancer serving as a captain sees it fit to ransom the prisoners; Venice accepts.

    The two dromons that transported Andronicus and his army retreats to Palermo's port to avoid Venetian retaliation. In the meantime, spy Athanasios discovers Milan is in a very bad position.

    Near Constantinople, robber baron Calaphates bankrupts yet another merchant before trading the resource his victim controlled; silk of Constantinople.

    Three groups of foot lancers start their training at Palermo; they shall be used either as shock troops or garrison if Florence and Bologna are taken and turned into castles.

    TURN 38

    Corinth finishes communal farming and starts roads.

    Prince Andronicus assaults Florence and easily overwhelms the doge's forces before sacking the town; his brother and emperor may prefer to spare the population but Andronicus is much more pragmatic. Sadly, Florence was populated enough to be converted to a large town... before the sack.

    Andronicus regrets nothing.

    His first battle has shown to all his skill and style.

    He orders the buildings damaged in the siege to be repaired; and discovers with malicious glee that the town has a ballista maker. Once repaired, it would prove most useful. He also orders a small church to be built to convert the survivors. He remains in the town, waiting for the companies from the battle of Antioch to garrison the settlement.

    The two priests who accompanied late bishop Gavriel Branas in Bulgaria deem the region orthodox enough and return to the Hungarian lands surrounding Bran.

    TURN 39

    Egypt is now the most powerful country in the known world. Emperor John wishes it had been the case when the German crusaders attacked Antioch.

    Roads now surround Corinth; governor Panagiotes briefly wonders whether to build an expensive leather tanner... then decides his castle is too far away from imperial boundaries to need such an investment.

    The army of Antioch is surrounded! They divide their forces and each half goes after the closest enemies.


    The emperor and his sister finally get back to Constantinople; John orders for the fleet to be recrewed.

    Diplomat Slavos Paxenos secures trade agreements with Scotland.

    TURN 40

    Building ends in a few settlements. Then, Constantinople starts a shipwright, Naples a fairground and Palermo mines while it is decided the lands around Thessalonica will be cleared.

    Andronicus leaves Florence to besiege Bologna with the help of the spearmen from Antioch; the rest of the army, foot lancers and Trebizond archers, stand their ground near the large town, ready to garrison it. Florence is garrisoned by the four foot lancers detachments from Palermo, which trained another four detachments of dismounted lancers. Peasants debark near the besieged settlement, ready to garrison the next conquests.

    Fifty images maximum? I will have to limit my screenshots.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The One True Christendom - A Byzantine AAR

    Here is the ranking. I had planned to do one every twenty turns, I may have to abandon next rankings though...


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