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Thread: The Spanish Chronicles

  1. #1
    Voice Crying in the Wilderness Member Bullethead's Avatar
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    Aug 2002
    Wakefield, LA

    Default The Spanish Chronicles

    Immitation is the sincerest form of flattery. <S> Beefeater.

    This is an H-HV short campaign as the Spanish. My objectives are to occupy 15 provinces and out-live both the Portugese and the Moors.

    The Spanish Chronicles, Book I
    In the year 1080 of Our Lord's Passion, Alfonso el Valiente, a man both smart and eager, and still in the prime of life, by the Grace of God ascended to the throne of Spain. Inspired by the pious teachings of his Grace, the Cardinal Domingo Franco, the new king was moved in his very soul, so that he vowed perpetual annuities to the Holy Church if the Lord would deliver all of Iberia into his hand, that he might lead all its peoples into the embrace of the True Faith. And so did King Alfonso muster his knights and squires and freemen, and did treat with the kings of both France and Portugal to assist him in his Holy cause, to drive the Moors with fire and sword from Spanish soil, and to expunge the last trace of their blasphemous presence from the hearts of the people. Amen.

    The Setting
    South of the Pyrenees, Iberia is divided into 8 provinces with a peculiar arrangement. The NW corner is Leon, with a large town as the Spanish capital. The center of the peninsula is controlled by the Spanish castle of Toledo, but that province reaches north to a small frontage on the Bay of Biscay east of Leon. The province of Lisboa, held by the Portugese, occupies most of the west coast south of Leon. The border area along the Pyrenese is divided into 2 small provinces, Portugese Pamplona (a castle) to the NW and independent Zaragosa (a small town) to the SE, both of which border Toledo. Centered on the east coast, bordering Toledo and Zaragose, is the small castled province of Valencia, home of El Cid. The southern 1/3 of Iberia is held by the Moors and mostly consists of the large province of Cordoba (minor city), which borders Lisboa, Toledo, and Valencia, and touches both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Finally, the SE corner of Iberia is ruled from the wooden castle at Grenada, this province being completely surrounded by Cordoba and facing the Mediterranean.

    Iberia is fairly well isolated from the rest of Europe, thanks to the limited passes of the Pyrenees Mountains. Only France and rebels are immediately on the other side, while on the near side Pamplona and Zaragosa initially form a buffer zone should France turn hostile. However, the Straits of Gibralter are no obstacle to troops crossing from Moorish North Africa, because they can use the "sea bridge" into southern Cordoba. Iberia would therefore be an excellent base from which to launch global conquests, except that it needs to be consolidated first. With 3 separate factions on the peninsula, and much religious unrest, that will take some work.

    Starting Cast
    King Alfonso el Valiente
    • 40 years old
    • "smart" and "eager"
    • 3 command, 2 authority, 3 piety
    • Retinue bard for +1 morals and popularity
    • In Toledo castle with 3xtown milita, 1x mailed knight, 1x peasant archer

    Prince Rodrigo
    • 21 years old
    • "talented" and "promising" commander
    • 3 command, 5 loyalty, 3 piety
    • In Leon city with 2x spear militia, 1x peasant archer

    General Don Vaasco
    • 31 years old
    • 2 command, 5 loyalty, 3 piety
    • In Toledo province with 2x spear militia, 2x peasant archer

    Cardinal Domingo Franco
    • 33 years old
    • "Placid" and "understanding", but an "enemy of heretics"
    • 5 piety

    Princesses Uraca and Teresa el Valiente, 20 and 19 years respectively, both with 3 charm, both near Toledo.

    Pedro Descriua the Spy, 3 subterfuge, in Toledo.

    El Cid de Valencia
    • 4 command, 7 chivalry, 8 piety, 3 bronze chevrons
    • Commands 1x mailed knight, 2x jinetes, 2x spear militia, 2x town milita, all with bronze chevrons

    Starting Stragety
    The first objective obviously is to take over all of Iberia. That will make 8 provinces, leaving me needing 7 more. I hope to avoid war with France, so I must look primarily to North Africa and the Mediterranean. Marakesh, Algiers, and Tunis top the list, perhaps also Corsica and Sardinia. The balance will have to come as opportunity permits. Perhaps the Holy Land?

    The Moors are obviously the first target in Iberia, because they seem weak and aren't Catholic. I must move on Cordoba immediately to forestall Portugese ambitions, then take surrounded Grenada. This will require a strong fleet holding the Straits of Gibralter to block Moorish reinforcements. Then I'll either pick a fight with the Portugese or absorb the rebel cities, as opportunity permits. Meanwhile, I must keep the French off my back, so I plan to marry one of my princesses into their royal family as soon as she can get there. I consider Valencia too strong to take immediately, and El Cid is married already, so that can wait until I'm stronger after my Reconquista.

    Leon is 90% Catholic, but Toledo is only 60%, and the other non-Moorish provinces are all in the 50s. Cordoba and Grenada, of course, are very highly Muslim. Therefore, to keep order, I must build churches and hire many priests to convert population. This is all to the good, however, because the Pope will approve and my priests should soon rise to the College of Cardinals. Also, my rather agnostic ruling family could use the piety increases. But even if I can take my foes in isolation, I will still be fighting on the home front as well. Because the Moors can be expected to retaliate with their Imams, I should probably hire a number of assassins as well.

    Besides a marriage alliance with France, my diplomatic corps has the mission of keeping the Portugese happy until it's time to strike, arranging ceasefires with the Moors when convenient, and establishing trade with as many factions as possible. But most importantly, I must buy an alliance with His Venality in Rome. And this must happen before I can safely strike the Portugese (whom the Pope likes more than me) and perhaps even the famously pious El Cid. Therefore, I need at least 4 diplomats immediately: one for the Pope, one for Europe, one for the Portugese, and one for the Moors. However, I begin with none. Therefore, the first diplomat (from Leon) will head for Italy because it's a long trip. He can hit Pamplona on the way. The next will stay in Iberia to deal with the Portugese continually, and the 3rd will head for the middle of Europe. By then maybe I'll have one for the Moors and be willing to talk peace temporarily.

    RPG Elements
    My virtual Spaniards are rather lacking in piety, which I blame on growing up for generations in a bloody insurgency against the Moors. However, they are still VERY pious in their own eyes, because they see imposing Catholicism by the sword as the ultimate triumph of the Reconquista, and strive hard to accomplish this. If this makes them appear more pious to the rest of the world, that's all to the good, even if many outsiders come to view them as extremists. They will, therefore, show no mercy to the foes of Christendom, and will attempt to make Spain the Most Christian Kingdom. That this course could lead to control over and exploitation of the Papacy is only natural because, as they see it, they will have done the most of God's work. In the main, though, my Spanish rulers will be rather harsh, to fit the general image of them elsewhere in Europe as lacking refinement but strong in violence.
    Last edited by Bullethead; 11-29-2006 at 00:41.

    In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria

    And by chance, if the enemy routs, you come upon some nubile nymph or doxy that strikes your fancy, remember: Hands off! Rank has its privileges. I pick first! - Ferrano the Chivalrous, Conqueror of Marakesh

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Spanish Chronicles

    Bullethead, A great "beefonical" !

    Keep us all updated on the Reconquista, any chance of pics to add to the epic "beefonical"?

    Eagerly awaiting the next chapter ...


  3. #3
    Resident Pessimist Member Dooz's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    AEnima city, USA

    Default Re: The Spanish Chronicles

    Heh heh, very nice Bullethead. As a loyal fan of Beef's, I can say another AAR of similar quality is very much appreciated. We await .

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Spanish Chronicles

    There's no greater flattery than an imitation which surpasses the original. This looks very promising!

    As regards the deeds of the Spanish, remember the motto of the Knights of Santiago: Rubet ensis sanguine Arabum. Not nice people at all.
    Vignettes: England, France and the Holy Roman Empire.

    Details (mini-vignettes): Dominions 3

  5. #5
    Voice Crying in the Wilderness Member Bullethead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Wakefield, LA

    Default Re: The Spanish Chronicles

    Thanks for the encouragement, y'all, especially from the Master Chronicler :).

    Sorry for the shortage of pics so far. I'll try to do better in the future. However, it's a pain for me because I've got a VERY bad dial-up connection, usually only 26.3K :(. Therefore, as with the pics in this post, most will be cropped and/or shrunk to minimize filesize.


    The Spanish Chronicles, Book II, Chapter the First
    ... And on Michaelmas, in the year 1088 of Our Lord's Passion, before the whole chivalry of Europe, in the cathedral of Toulouse, King Alfonso did give his daughter Teresa as wife to Louis, Crown Prince of France, that the mixture of their blood should forge an eternal bond of friendship between their kingdoms. There was great rejoicing at the news, and the splendor of the pageantry was such as had not been seen by any man before. Then returning hastily to Spain, King Alfonso arrayed all his hosts before Toledo castle, where they receive blessing and absolution from Cardinal Franco, and never had a finer army been assembled in all of Spain. Then about Easter in the year of Our Lord 1092, while the fleet closed shut the Gibralter Strait, the army marched on Cordoba under the standard of Don Horacio Paniagua, husband of Princess Urraca, with Don Vaasco de Toledo at his side, to begin the glorious Reconquista.

    Opening Moves
    I began as I laid out in the 1st post, sending both princesses towards the Pyrenees while pumping out cogs and diplomats at Leon and troops at Toledo. I also installed some basic improvements such as roads and land clearance, plus a chapel at Toledo to mass-produce priests, and an inn at Leon for assassins.

    My diplomacy went perfectly. I succeeded in marrying off a princess to the French faction heir as well as buying off the Portugese for the time being, leaving me free to attack the Moors. Now I have a diplomat approaching Italy, another in Aquitain, and one nearing Lisboa. Preaching is also going well, with Toledo up to 70% Catholic already and I start made on Cordoba.

    Once I had a fleet of 3 cogs at Leon, I sent them towards Gibralter, which takes 3 turns. I'll be reinforcing them with 1 or 2 more shortly, but I went with 3 due to the need for speed in the conquest of Cordoba. As the ships sailed along the Portugese coast, they spotted a large number of Portugese ships. That could be a problem in the future. In any case, my fleet blocked the sea bridge successfully, but just AFTER a 1/2 stack of Moors under a family member crossed over from Africa. Oh well, hopefully he'll be the last.

    In the midst of these preparations, in the year 1090, my other princess Urraca (now 26) had an affair with, and was rumored to be pregnant by, Don Horatio Paniagua, a mere lad of 16. It was a shocking scandal and all the more galling because King Alfonso had had dynastic plans for Urraca. However, despite his youth, Horatio had already proven himself in war and was utterly devoted to the king. He was also, alas, also utterly lacking in piety. But Alfonso needed another general for the war he was about to start, the princess wasn't getting any younger, and piety could be gained by converting the heathens. Therefore, with little fanfare, a second royal wedding was held, this time at sword's point in the chapel of Toledo castle. Then the young man was hastily shipped off to lead the army in Cordoba, under the watchful eye of General Vaasco.

    Don Horacio Paniagua
    • 16 years old
    • proven commander, confident defender, very loyal, fair fighter, royal ties
    • 3 command, 3 chivalry, 10 loyalty, zero piety

    The war began on the very next turn. And none too soon--the Spanish treasury was now exhausted and needed an infusion of plunder. The army consisted of the 2 generals, 2x mailed knights, 2x jinetes, 4x peasant archers, 4x spear militia, and 1x town militia.

    Book II, Chapter the Second
    The glorious Reconquista began on Palm Sunday in the 1092nd year of Our Lord's Passion, when Don Horacio Paniagua led the flower of Spanish chivalry across the Rio Guahana, at the ford near the hamlet of Puebla de Don Rodrigo. There he paused to erect a monument, that none should forget the time and place of it, and to offer praises to Almighty God for granting him the privilege and honor of commanding the Reconquista. And immediately began the Holy work of bringing the Word of God to the heathens, and a great many unrepentant sinners were burnt along the army's route to Cabeza del Buey. Amen. Then messengers arrived bearing tidings from King Alfonso's spies inside Cordoba, that Emir Khayri, recently arrived from Marakesh, upon learning of the Spanish advance, had taken his army through the mountains north from Cordoba, and was even now near Siruela, behind Don Horacio and threatening Toledo. Whereupon Don Horacio, divining the Moors' strategem, sent Don Vaasco de Toledo with all the knights and squires back to Siruela to chastise the Emir, while he himself continued onwards with the levies to besiege Cordoba and await Don Vaasco's return. Don Vaasco, following the track of the Moors, came upon them at the foot of Monte Sangre, down which he charged and, by the Grace of God, drove them with great slaughter into Rio Guahana. Emir Khayri was unhorsed and captured, but refusing to accept the Sacrement of Baptism, he was put to the sword along with all his retainers. Amen. A small remnant of the heathens escaped back to Cordoba, but their condign punishment was not long delayed. For Don Horacio, arriving before the walls, beheld the gates standing open. Greatly gladdened by this sign of God's Favor, he immediately rushed in with all his force, and the streets of Cordoba ran red with the blood of unbelievers, Don Horacio himself always in the forefront and slaying in single combat the Emir Ayyub, although he was himself sorely wounded. Great booty was had from this city, and more than 2000 heathens burnt, with the remainder taking the Sacrement of Baptism. And for this glorious victory, vouchsafed unto us by the Eternal Grace of Almighty God, a new feast was added to the calendar, in perpetual celebration and thanksgiving. Amen.

    The Battle of Monte Sangre
    This battle exposed some strange things in the game relating to the craziness of the mountains in central Spain. The setup area was on both sides of the peak of an extremely high mountain, but most of the Moors' area contained an impassable cliff. However, they had some room on my extreme right flank where they could occupy the high ground. Expecting them to do that, I placed my troops there, only to find the Moors centered left-right, at the foot of the huge cliff. I guess they didn't want the cliff in their rear. So there was nothing for it but to march all the way to the left flank, where I could get down around the cliff. This shot shows the height of the mountain at the center of the battle area--note that the Moors are directly in line with my right flank here, at the bottom of the sheer cliff.

    The next shot shows more strangeness. Once I got around the cliff, I was still much higher than the Moors. That's when I discovered that mountains do strange things to units. For instance, the jinetes in the foreground were able to hit every Moor unit way down there with javelins from this position. But seeing the enemy disorderd and trying to climb the steep hill towards me, I decided to charge everybody. So without pausing the game, I went down my 4-unit line clicking each in turn. That's when I found out that units go VERY fast down hills like this, and charges begin at the gallop immediately. Note the lone Spanish unit at the bottom of the hill--it got all the way there by the time I'd clicked the last of my units, none of which are in sight yet. Fortunately, the other units got there equally quickly so the fight wasn't so uneven for more than a few seconds. Still, that unit took heavy losses in that time.

    About 1/3 of the Moors escaped, minus their general. The most annoying part was that most of the fugitives were foot archers, with whom I had the usual rout-chasing problems :(.

    The Sack of Cordoba
    Unfortunately, I was so excited by the gates being unlocked and then by the fighting that I forgot to take pics of this fight. But it wouldn't have made good cinema anyway--the small forces invovlved were kinda swallowed by the size of the city. Suffice to say that the enemy was scattered about so I could crush most units in isolation. Despite outnumbering the defenders in men 2-1 (though about equal in units, thanks to some Moors being the decimated survivors of Monte Sangre, and 2 others being ballistas), this battle was classified as an "Heroic Victory". Don Horacio came out of this fight (in which he took a star role), the subsequent sack of the city in which 2000+ people were butchered, and the immediate construction of a church, with a positive outcome. He gained the traits of wall taker, scarred, religious, and fair in rule. That gives him +4 hit points, chivalry up to 4, and his very 1st piety ring :).

    Next step, blitzkrieg isolated Grenada. Then hopefully peace with the Moors for the time being, so I can concentrate on Portugal and the rebels. By then I should be His Venality's #1 boy.

    In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria

    And by chance, if the enemy routs, you come upon some nubile nymph or doxy that strikes your fancy, remember: Hands off! Rank has its privileges. I pick first! - Ferrano the Chivalrous, Conqueror of Marakesh

  6. #6
    Voice Crying in the Wilderness Member Bullethead's Avatar
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    Aug 2002
    Wakefield, LA

    Default Re: The Spanish Chronicles

    Left the pics as links this time. Let me know if they don't work.

    I'm sorry my campaign isn't as dramatic so far as Beefeater's cliff-hanging French. Things are beginning to get more interesting, however, but I don't foresee anything totally desperate for a while yet. To make up for this lack of entertainment value, I've tried to include some humor this time around.

    The Spanish Chronicles, Book III, Chapter the First
    And in that time, Almighty God showered Spain with His Blessings, so that joyous events followed rapidly upon one another, as bees flock to honey. For Crown Prince Rodrigo wed Dona Luzia de Elche amid great celebrations, and Queen Matilda bore a son to King Alfonso, and Don Vaasco de Toledo, taking charge of the Army of the Reconquista, utterly overthrew the Moors and took Grenada, last stronghold of the heathens on Spanish soil. And Cardinal Domingo Franco, with his clergy, made great strides in bringing the Word of God to the liberated lands, preaching constantly and performing the Sacrement of Baptism in all parishes. This all came to pass by the 1100th year of Our Lord's Passion, which year was proclaimed by King Alfonso a Jubilee, and he gave thanks to Almighty God for His manifest aid and favor, and gifted the Holy Church in Rome with great treasures taken from the heathens. Amen. But then came a time of lamentable strife, brought about by the perfidity of wicked men, God's Curse be upon them, who, though professing to be Christians, yet by their actions showed their allegience to the heathens, and thereby prevented the final destruction of the Moors. We pray for the day of God's Vengeance on these betrayers of Christendom. Amen.

    Family Matters
    As noted above, Prince Rodrigo got married to a local gal. He'd turned down one before because he (his dad) really wanted a French bride for him, but not a one could be found and he wasn't getting younger, so the time finally came. And immediately he got saddled with an Adultress, no doubt from living too close to Leon's brothel, so he's not likely to have kids anyway :(. OTOH, the old Royals (they were pushing 50) can still knock boots, so the crown prince now has a kid brother. Meanwhile, the shotgun son-in-law, Horacio, at the age of 18 adopted Enrique da Valgoma, who was 26 and Horacio's "special friend", apparently. I think they had some sort of menage a trois going on, because Urraca immediately started pumping out kids--she's got 3 now, but I don't know whose they are :). Enrique's since gotten married himself, but has no kids of his own, at least within the marriage. Meanwhile, Princess Teresa off in France never writes so I don't know what's up with her, but I note her husband is now called "the Terrible". She must nag him a lot :).

    As you can see, my ruling family is verging on degeneracy, or at least that's how I'm interpreting events. I confess that next to some stellar diplomatic coup, I favor marriages and adoptions that need some explaining. I figure my poor virtual Spanish rulers have gone a little nuts under the strain of their extremism :).

    Enrique da Valgoma
    • 26 years old
    • Aspiring commander, marks of war, siege expert, winning first
    • 2 command, 1 dread, 6 loyalty, 1 piety

    But then he immediately picked up a pagan wizard so lost his piety. He has, however, since gained it back by building a church, but that's another story......

    Get the Church
    My ace diplomat finally reached the Vatican and bought me a maxed-out Pope-o-meter and an alliance with the Holy See. Meanwhile, back home, Cardinal Franco and his army of priests have been working hard at ethnic cleansing. Leon is now nearly 98%, Toledo is 92%, Cordoba is 87% (helped by the Portugese cardinal), Grenada is 55%, and Zaragosa (which I'll get to in a minute) is 63% Catholic. 3 cardinals have recently died, and I have several priests with 4-5 piety now, so I'm hoping I'll get at least 1 more cardinal soon. Things are not going so well with my #1 ally. My agents in that part of the world have noticed heretics roaming at will there. I'm thinking I'll send some of my boys to France to help, now that Spain is getting under control. Also had an inquisitor sighting, but he was in Venice heading for the HRE.

    Diplomatic Treachery
    And now we come to my main problem of this phase.... THE DAMN PORTUGESE!

    I figured the Moorish diplomats roaming Iberia at the start of the game might be trouble, so I built a brothel, inn, and finally assassin at Leon to try to kill them before they became problems. Then I had to school the assassin to get decent kill chances, and all of this took too long. When my assassin was within 2 squares of the last Moorish diplomat, with orders to kill him next turn, that bastard convinced the Portugese to sign an alliance which, because I was already allied with Portugal, brought an end to my war with the Moors! ARRGGHHH!!!! To make matters worse, that same turn, Portugal signed an alliance of their own with France, so I couldn't punish the Portugese without alienated my main allies. Damn, damn, damn! I've always hated this feature of TW diplomacy. Oh well, at least the Moors didn't ally with France as well, and aren't likely to now that they don't have diplomats in Europe.

    Needless to say, King Alfonso took this very personally, as a betrayal of the Reconquista and all that :). He'd been preparing to invade Marakesh--although worried about leaving the Portugese in his rear, he figured he could just bribe them off. Now this changes everything. The Spanish won't set foot in Africa until the Portugese are exterminated.

    But this will require some finagling to avoid alienating the French. Happily, my diplomat in Europe is pumping the French full of cash so they love me, hopefully more than the Portugese. Meanwhile, relations with the Portugese are steadily deteriorating through neglect, so hopefully soon they'll attack me before too long. Then when I crush them, hopefully the French stand by me. After all, I AM drinkin' buddies with the Pope. So, that's 2 foreign coffers I'm having to top off every turn. This is becoming a major drain on my finances.

    The War Goes On
    Don Vaasco did in fact manage to take Grenada before the Portugese stabbed me in the back. There's not much to say about that brief campaign, however. The castle garrison was small, without a general, and all cavalry. The Moors did their best, coming out to meet me in the field where they'd be more effective. Near the port, Vaasco crushed them, then slaughtered the remnants when he stormed the castle. Sic transit Mooria

    With the end of the 1st Moorish War in 1102, it was time to sweep up the rebel cities. At this time, I hadn't yet met the Pope, so was concerned about attacking the powerful, famous, and highly pious El Cid, even if he was a rebel. So, that left Zaragosa up north, but my army was mostly down south, so it took a while to get the troops up there, replace casualties, etc. And that's when one of my spies saw a 1/2 stack of French leave Toulouse heading for the Pyrenees. The race was now on.

    King Alfonso, accompanied by only a single archer unit, rushed from Toledo and laid siege to Zaragosa while the French, who had to detour to cross a ford, were still several squares away. I fully expected the rebels to sally out, but fortunately they didn't. Kinga Alfonso couldn't even build a ram in 1 turn. During the next turn, a few more Spanish units arrived from Leon and Toledo, but so did the French. With trembling fingers, I ended the turn, again expecting a sally or a French assault, but nothing happened. The main Spanish army was only now reaching Toledo, which was faster than taking the direct route across roadless Valencia. Nevertheless, King Alfonso decided to attack at once, to preempt the French.

    King Alfonso takes up the narrative:
    Naturally, as we are the King of Spain, and this is Spanish soil, we assumed command of the allied force. Besides, the French were led by some (how they say?) petite bourgeois tarde-venu masquerading as a knight. We gave orders for the assault to commence at dawn. Originally, the French were camped on our right wing but, as we commanded, during the night they moved to the far side of the town, so that we might take the enemy between us. Yonder, you can see the French banners streaming above the further ramparts.
    The French have a respectible force, and to the eye unskilled in military matters it might at first appear slightly more formidable than our own. But they are French and we are the King of Spain, haha! No matter, though, for we are amigos today! But what's this? Where are the battering rams they were supposed to prepare? Are they, perchance, relying on a spy to open the gate for them? No time to worry about that now, though--the troops are already moving.
    Hahaha, yes! My spy has done his work well and we enter the walls easily. Now you spearmen! Clear this rabble from the street. We must beat the French to the town square!
    Ah, glorioius victory, for which we humbly give our thanks to Almighty God! Our lance is shattered and our sword has drunk much blood--a perfect day! And we beat the French to the center of town, too, hahaha. Hmmm, in fact, we do not even see them coming yet. Why, Blood and Martyrs, they have not advanced so much as a step! Those cowardly dogs! Of course they are pouting because we have beaten them to the prize, but how can any man cross mountains seeking war, and yet not join the fight when it is right in front of him? We shall never understand the French, no matter how much we pretend to love them. We pity our poor daughter Teresa, married to one of them. Pah!

    (King Alfonso had further remarks to make on this subject, but at this point his squire, spotting the French heralds approaching, managed to get him to bite his tongue. This no doubt kept French relations amicable enough for them to recall their army back over the Pyrenees in the next turn. Once the king cooled down, he realized this and subsequently knighted his squire and gave him a charger from the royal stable.)
    Last edited by Bullethead; 11-30-2006 at 04:40.

    In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria

    And by chance, if the enemy routs, you come upon some nubile nymph or doxy that strikes your fancy, remember: Hands off! Rank has its privileges. I pick first! - Ferrano the Chivalrous, Conqueror of Marakesh

  7. #7
    Voice Crying in the Wilderness Member Bullethead's Avatar
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    Aug 2002
    Wakefield, LA

    Default Re: The Spanish Chronicles

    Finally, a battle that's truly worthy of screenshots. Hope you enjoy it.

    The Spanish Chronicles, Book IV, Chapter the First
    After his Most Christian Majesty, King Alfonso, by the Grace of God, had taken Zaragosa and built there a strong castle to guard the passes of the Pyrenees, he returned to Toledo and there commanded and ordered the affairs of his Kingdom, for the strain of the Glorious Reconquista had sorely tried the people. And in those days King Alfonso ordained new walls for Leon, and did all such things as to ensure the prosperity and safety of his Kingdom.

    Peace Sucks
    From the fall of Zaragosa in 1112, Spain entered a 20-year period of highly annoyed peace, due to the continued diplomatic standoff with the Portugese. While that situation was slowly improving, war with Portugal could not come too soon. Leon had became a minor city shortly before peace broke out, but it took the spoils of Zaragosa to get enough money for the new walls. My economy had become too dependent on regular plunder, and now this was over. The need to continually bribe the Pope and the French severely restricted what funds I had. But by dint of severe economies, I was able to begin to get a handle on the situation and gradually improved my finances. It was really galling, though, to go for turns at a time without building anything at all, just saving up for the major improvements. Towards the end of this period of peace, Cordoba outgrew its walls and Toledo was ready to become a fortress, but I could afford neither to begin with. And with squalor and unrest beginning to spiral out of control in Cordoba, I decided I definitely needed to pay its bigger price first. With Cordoba's income rapidly tailing off, saving up for the walls was out of the question, so it was time for more plunder. And the only safe target available was El Cid's Valencia.

    Rumors of War
    One of the more interesting things in this game so far is that nobody else in the whole world went to war until 1116. And nobody except me and my immediate neighbors formed alliances until 1120. And even then, they were limited in scope. For instance, the English and French have yet to come to blows, although there is evident unrest on the borders of Caen. But the Byzantines are fighting the Turks, and the HRE, Poland, Hungary, Milan, and Venice are all engaged in a complicated, multi-sided war which continues to this day. Milan was excommunicated in 1118, the HRE in 1126, and they have since allied with each other. But other than that, not much is happening. I'd been hoping England and France would get into it, so I could go help my buddies. You know, sack an English city for the money, then give it to the French for brownie points :). But no such luck.

    The Spanish Chronicles, Book IV, Chapter the Second
    But King Alfonso was much wroth with the king of Portugal, for he had betrayed the Glorious Reconquista and was in league with the heathen Moors. Wherefore, considering that the king of Portugal had abandoned all that is Holy and Righteous, King Alfonso ajudged the Portugese now to be heathen and detestable in the Sight of Almighty God, and resolved, with God's Grace, to destroy them utterly. Amen. And thus did His Most Christian Majesty have it proclaimed throughout the land, and sought out all Christian lords and knights to assist him in this Holy Quest. But El Cid de Valencia, formerly renowned for his devotion to the Glorious Reconquista, now cast in his lot with Portugal, for he would rather frustrate the Holy Work of Almighty God than see Spain fulfill it. Wherefore King Alfonso was sore at heart but, standing firm in the Righteousness of his Holy Cause, nevertheless he ordained that Valencia, by the Grace of God, be brought into the Most Christian fold, and he gave command over the host to Don Enrique da Valgoma. This happened in the year of Our Lord's Passion 1132.

    The Bloodbath of Valencia
    As noted in the 1st post, El Cid is a tough customer for the early game, and he commands a fair number of experienced troops. I had nothing to match him for quality, so I went with quantity, knowing I would take heavy losses. Despite having only 2 stars, I picked Don Enrique for the job for several reasons. First, he needed the experience. Second, he had the "siege expert" trait to make up for his lack of stars. And finally, his "winning first" trait would let me play dirty against El Cid without feeling bad about it--my other generals' chivalry woudl have gotten them killed ;).

    Don Enrique had 3 ballistas, 1 from Cordoba's siege works (left over from the Moors) and 2 from the council of nobles for establishing contact with Venice. Don Enrique could be relied on to put them to good use. The rest of his army consisted of 2x mailed knights, 4x jinetes, 3x spear militia, 2x mercenary spearmen and 3x peasant archers. My 7-star spy Augusto Aparico had a 64% chance with the gates and succeeded, although I didn't know this until after I'd built 2 rams.
    Starting Lineup
    The assault began at dusk. I divided my forces with 2/3 facing the front gate and 1/3 on the right flank at another gate. When I learned the gates were unlocked, I had the ballistas shoot the walls beside them to give me more points of access, as well as kill anybody on or behind the walls. The 2 ballistas in front soon breeched the wall, but that on the right couldn't quite manage. While this was going on, El Cid maneuvered his forces around for a bit until finally deciding to concentrate on the main gate, with himself right behind it and his mailed knights just behind him. My front ballistas then shifted fire to the gate and soon blew it down, too, exposing El Cid.
    Death by Chivalry
    Once the gates were down, unchivalrous Don Enrique held off the assault until he had nearly exhausted all ammo in all missile units. This especially included firing ballistas through the gateway at El Cid's bodyguard, meanwhile showering them with flaming arrows arced over the wall. Even jinetes closed in to pelt him with javelins. And he just stood there taking the beating as his bodyguard dropped all around him and numerous small shots struck his armor, staggering him in the saddle. Unfortunately, being on the right of his formation, he was out of the ballista's line of fire, but the arrows must have taken some of his hit points. I did this because I've seen way too many examples of uber generals wrecking entire armies, so if I had the chance to shoot him down like a dog, I was going to do it.

    Note the gallows lining the streets. Those were the most prominent features of the city. El Cid the Chivalrous apparently had an iron fist :).
    At last, I began to run low on ammo and El Cid was down to 5 or 6 bodyguards, so it was time to get on with the nut-cutting. I began this by sending my right wing units in through their gate, hoping to cut off El Cid from behind so I could crush him. Unfortunately, he divined my plan and as soon as my 1st unit got inside, he pulled all his units back to the square with lightning speed, escaping the trap. I therefore ran in with my main force, too, expecting the rest of the battle to go as usual, with the enemy remaining in the square allowing me to form up after coming through the wall. Then there'd be an orderly advance to the square, the expenditure of any remaining arrows, and the final clash with my overwhelming numbers deployed to best effect. But I underestimated El Cid...
    The Slaughter Begins
    As soon as my main force began to enter the walls, while they were still quite disordered, El Cid came charging down the street at the head of his army. Well, most of his army. He also sent some jinetes racing around the side streets to try to flank me, forcing me to respond in kind and therefore reducing my numbers for the main fight. So the main fight began with my units strung out and intermingled, facing well-ordered foes with upgrades and chevrons and the auto-rally castle square on their side.
    The Mosh Pit
    All units, friend and foe alike, were soon hopelessly entangled in a heaving mass of struggling men and horses, all jammed in the narrow street. Unit after unit was ground up and trampled underfoot. I had no control at all and no chance to stop and reorganize, but sheer weight of numbers slowly, painfully propelled the Spanish toward the castle square. Meanwhile, a couple of vicious fights in side streets went badly, not that I had much attention for them anyway, but fortunately El Cid's boys preferred for now to chase my routers than hit my main force in the back, so I guess my guys didn't die in vain. With Don Enrique in the thick of it, hardly any Spanish in the Mosh Pit routed, almost all fighting to the last man or nearly so. El Cid's boys also rarely made recourse to the castle square, although their leader had occasion to, as shown in this picture.

    Note that the Spanish troops who have advanced the farthest appear to be higher than the level of the terrain. I can only assume they're standing on the mountain of mangled bodies as in a Franzetta painting :).
    Finally, El Cid's force in the Mosh Pit was annihilated and the great man himself, with his last retainer, was hiding around the corner of the keep, leaving my remnants in command of the square. I still had 2 fairly intact spear units, which I figured could hold the square with the few remaining knights while Don Enrique turned to deal with a jinete unit that was now wreaking havoc near the gate. As soon as Enrique turned around, El Cid came out of hiding and charged into my last few knights. He slew several, finishing off one of those units, but was then stabbed under the left arm by a lowly spearman, and fell dead. Halleluiah! Serves him right for hiding from Don Enrique :). His death immediately brought up the "end the battle?" box, and I jumped right on that! Thus, the jinetes in my rear gave up and found themselves swinging from the many gallows El Cid had conveniently left for me.

    Take a close look at this pic. Everybody between Don Enrique's flag by the water tower and the town square is dead. So are all those between Don Enrique and the unit flags in the foreground. The further pile is the site of the Mosh Pit, which contains the vast majority of the victims listed below, something like 700 corpses.
    The Butcher's Bill
    Nothing is so terrible as a battle lost, except a battle won.
    Last edited by Bullethead; 11-30-2006 at 21:32.

    In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria

    And by chance, if the enemy routs, you come upon some nubile nymph or doxy that strikes your fancy, remember: Hands off! Rank has its privileges. I pick first! - Ferrano the Chivalrous, Conqueror of Marakesh

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Spanish Chronicles

    Highly entertaining. Nice maneuvering inside the city against The Cid's men.
    Vignettes: England, France and the Holy Roman Empire.

    Details (mini-vignettes): Dominions 3

  9. #9
    Voice Crying in the Wilderness Member Bullethead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Wakefield, LA

    Default Re: The Spanish Chronicles

    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater
    Highly entertaining. Nice maneuvering inside the city against The Cid's men.
    This one is honored by your praise, Sensei :). But there was little maneuvering within the city. It was just brute force and ignorance resulting in a bloody shambles . Don Enrique's army is ruined, and so are any plans for making Valenica a city in the near future. I can't spare the men for a city garrison at present, even if I had the money to convert the place. Whatever forces I have left must be deployed far away on the French and especially Portugese borders.

    Spain now controls 6 provinces, which is a 200% increase from starting size, in the first 50 years of the game. Nobody else has even come close to that expansion rate, and it shows in Spain's threadbare economy at the moment. So maybe a few more decades of peace will do me good. I'm thinking I should slip the Portugese a bribe soon, so that they'll hold off long enough for me to recover from El Cid. I can easily use "diplomacy" to encite them into war when I want it. "If you were trying to insult us, you have succeeded!"

    In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria

    And by chance, if the enemy routs, you come upon some nubile nymph or doxy that strikes your fancy, remember: Hands off! Rank has its privileges. I pick first! - Ferrano the Chivalrous, Conqueror of Marakesh

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Spanish Chronicles

    good stuff ! wheres the next chapter?


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