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Thread: M2TW AAR The Selvo Dynasty - A Venetian AAR

  1. #1

    Default M2TW AAR The Selvo Dynasty - A Venetian AAR

    This is my third AAR/fan fiction. I am playing as Venice. It is played on VH/VH, M2TW V1.2, no mods. To level the playing field against the AI, I am going to auto-calc all battles, no manual battles will be allowed. Also, I want to play around more with diplomats, merchants, etc. which didn't get alot of attention in my previous AAR's.

    The Selvo Dynasty - A Venetian AAR

    Cast of Characters:
    Doge Domenico Selvo, faction leader:

    Councilor Bartolomeno Selvo, eldest son and faction heir:

    Cristiano Selvo, 2nd son:

    Alessandro Selvo, youngest son:

    Guido Batlle, chief Diplomat of Venice:

    Councilor Hichardo, head of the Council of Nobles:

    Henrich The Chivalrous, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire:

    Leopold, Prince of Germany:

    The Founding Of The Selvo Dynasty
    My name is Gusto. I am a minor functionary in the Selvo household, a proud noble family of Venice. This is an exciting time for the Selvos, for they have just completed their consolidation of power. Domenico has been crowned Doge of all of Venice and her sister city states. And Bartolomeno, his eldest son and heir to the throne, has just obtained a seat in the Council of Nobles. This caused something of an uproar in the council, for they were not known for seeing eye-to-eye with the Selvos. Domenico and his sons(Bartolomeno, Cristiano, and Alessandro), have always wanted to turn Venice into a great empire with vast territories. The Council preferred our more traditional role as merchants and naval men. With the Selvos now in power, a change in the role of Venice was about to take place, and it would effect the very future of all of Europe. Already, those clinging to the old ways were making their objections heard....

    "No, no, no! You are not listening to me Domenico! We are sailors and merchants, not professional killers! We have not the means to fight the more belligerent powers of Europe. Let them squabble over land while we are safe on our island here in Venice."
    "Councilor Hichardo, you have made this argument time and time again. Yet when all of the other empires are done 'squabbling', how long do you think it will be before the victor marches on us? No, we must be the victor and lay claim to all of Italy, then on to Europe itself!"
    "Such grandiose schemes are out of touch with reality. Our army is limited and widely dispersed. Not to mention we could scarcely afford such a larger army. Our grand navy alone is almost breaking the budget."
    "You underestimate us. We Italians have some of the finest militia forces in the world. They can easily crush the militia of most other powers we meet. The other empires would surely ran into financial problems trying to field a large number of higher quality troops. Thus we will have the largest number of effective troops of any faction we meet. And as for the expensive navy you mentioned, I see no need to keep it. Disband it immediately, we can no longer afford it."
    "Respectfully, no sir! That navy has protected Venice for centuries. My own son commands a ship in the navy! we can't turn our backs on them!"
    "We can, and we will. You may save one ship, for transporting troops off of Iraklion. But I want the rest of the navy disbanded, Now!"

    In the end, Domenico was the Doge and the council had no choice but to obey his commands. But they did manage to wrestle a few concessions from Domenico. For one thing, Venice would have to maintain as many merchants as we were able to field. Domenico had no objection to this, they did bring money into our coffers after all. Tusco Delogu, our finest merchant, was dispatched to trade textiles east of Venice. A second concession to the council, Domenico would have to secure a political marriage with the Holy Roman Empire. The council desired this arrangement so that their vast territories and armies would aid us rather than stand against us. The council had a valid point, we were surrounded by 4 potentially hostile powers: Milan, Sicily, Byzantine, and the HRE. It makes sense to ally with one or more of them at least temporarily, while we concentrate on taking out the other ones. It was the manner of the alliance that bothered Domenico, a marriage between one of his daughters and one of the sons of Emperor Henrich. Henrich has boisterous and obnoxious sons and is eager to marry them off. No doubt he would offer up his most obnoxious son to get rid of him. Domenico protested against this plan but Councilor Hichardo was insistent. Hichardo was still bitter about losing his son's naval commission and no doubt wanted to extract some kind of penance from Domenico. In the end, Domenico gave in to this demand rather than risk irritating the council again so soon. The wedding ceremony was accompanied by all of the usual pomp and flair for such an event, but Domenico was still gritting his teeth at the thought of his new son-in-law, Leopold, the single most obnoxious prince in all of Germany.

    "Ha ha! What was it you once said to me Domenico, that I would marry into you family over your rotting corpse? Whelp guess what Dad, here I am."
    "Indeed, welcome to the family Leopold. Your just lucky the Council Of Nobles had me by the balls on this one, Hichardo had one and your father had the other. But there is no need to dwell on such matters. Our alliance is now forged."
    "Yes yes, you got what you wanted and I got what I wanted" <grabs his bride's behind. Such behavior was truly unsuitable for nobility>. "I can assure you we are going to have a long and interesting honeymoon!"

    Domenico just smiled and walked away. Oh how he longed to tell him. Did Henrich really think he was the only one with a less than stellar child he wanted to marry off? Oh she looks pretty enough, but she has a secret. A secret Domenico longed to share with Leopold. But better to let him find out on his own. What a surprise he is in for when he discovers his new bride has a penis. Yes, it should be an interesting honeymoon indeed.

  2. #2

    Default Re: M2TW AAR The Selvo Dynasty - A Venetian AAR

    Wow cool AAR. I look forward to more updates
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country". -Nathan Hale 1776

  3. #3
    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
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    Default Re: M2TW AAR The Selvo Dynasty - A Venetian AAR

    Who knows, maybe Leopold won't be as disappointed as you suspect.

  4. #4

    Default Re: M2TW AAR The Selvo Dynasty - A Venetian AAR

    With an alliance with the HRE now forged, we were free to direct our initial expansion efforts against one of our other neighboring factions. Milan was an obvious first choice target. Milan and Genoa were both large, rich cities, their sacking should bring in some much needed coin to our coffers. Further, they were only a stones throw away from Venice. We can't have a potentially hostile faction so close to our home city, especially not scum like the Milanese. Finally, their faction only controls two cities. if we take them out now before they expand we will have snuffed out one of our enemies quickly.

    We assembled all of our western forces on Milan's border. They were led by Domenico and his eldest son, Bartolomeno. Meanwhile Domenico's two other sons were forming our eastern forces into a second army. Cristiano was sailing north from Iraklion while Alessandro was marching south from Ragusa. They planned to meet at Durazzo. Domenico had exaggerated the weakness of our enemies armies for the Milanese and Sicilians have strong militia forces as well. But they have only two territories a piece and their armies are smaller than ours. With a little luck Milan and Genoa would fall quickly we will have five territories to face the Sicilians with. We laid siege to the city of Milan with the largest force we could muster.

    Domenico does not believe in luck however. Rather, he believes the hand of fate must sometimes be forced. To ensure the quick fall of Milan would require more than a little luck. It would require some sinister politics as well. Every territory has it's share of ruffians and have-nots. It did not take much to bribe some of these malcontents to rise up against Milan. There were led by a man named Captain Damaris. Domenico paid him a small amount of gold to arm a band of ruffians and promised him 10 times that amount once Milan fell. They took up position west of Milan while our army was besieging from the east. The Milanese immediately moved to reinforce their besieged city. But first they had to deal with captain Damaris and his little band before dealing with us. The Milanese were successful in dispatching Damaris and scattering his band of thugs, but the battle weakened the Milanese army substantially. It also saved us the trouble of eventually having to kill Damaris ourselves. Yes, the hand of fate was kind to us this day. The next year we defeated what was left of the Milanese army and sacked the city. The Milanese had used up all of their troops trying to save Milan and had few troops left to defend Genoa. We laid siege to the city and it looked to be an easy conquest. Yet before we could sack it, a problem arose.

    "My liege, the Pope is upset with our having attacked a Christian faction. Our relations with him are slipping fast!"
    "What would you suggest we do Batlle? You are after all our finest Diplomat, I trust your judgment in this matter."
    "My liege, I would like to travel to Rome to deal with this crisis myself. I should warn you, it may cost us a large amount of coin to set matters right."
    "You shall have whatever you need Batlle. I do not cling to gold like those old fools on the counsel. Gold is mearly a means to an end. We can't afford to have our relations with the Papacy fall, especially if we plan to attack their butt-boys the Sicilians next. Make preparations to travel to Rome at once. Oh and, try to come up with some interesting excuse about this gold outlay that I can sell to the Council of Nobles. They are irritating if every outlay of gold does not produce tangible returns on investment."
    "Yes my liege."

    Batlle spent the entire trip to Rome thinking of how to placate the Council of Nobles about this expensive bribe he was about to give to the Pope. He already knew how much he was going to give, 4000 gold plus our current map information. 2000 of the gold would be immediate, the other 2000 would be spread over 10 years. The map information was immaterial as the council would care little about that. But the 4000 gold needed to be justified. And with more conquests of Christian lands already in the planning stages, it would likely be a reoccurring expense. He decided to package the map, 2000 immediate gold, and 2000 spread out gold into one package he called a "care package". The map and immediate outlay would bring an immediate boost to relations while the spread out gold would keep relations up high and smooth out any ill feelings over future conquests. Spreading out the bribe was also easier on the treasury, we emptied the treasury recruiting new soldiers for our armies and only had gold at the moment because of the sacking of Milan. However with just a little investment in improvements, we could have Milan/Genoa combined bringing in as much as 5000 gold a year. And since conquests could only happen with Papal blessing, the initial outlay of 4000 gold was a necessary expenditure to secure that 5000 gold per turn income. Not to mention securing new troop producing cities which could serve to defend out enterprises against hostile forces or to secure more income sources. Domenico was most pleased when he heard this reasoning and it went over very well with the council. Instead of being chastised for wasting vital Venetian funds, as he usually was, the Council wanted to know where they could spend another "care package" that would produce these spectacular returns on investment! Such encouragement was most welcome, because Batlle assured the Doge that many more such "care packages" would be needed if we were to keep the Pope and our allies happy.

    With the Pope placated, Genoa fell the next year and the Milanese were no more. Cristiano and Alessandro had combined their armies and added Durazzo to our empire as well. The council was so pleased by these events that they sent us a gift of twenty five hundred gold to help with future "returns on investment" as they called it. We paused our conquests briefly to retrain our armies and build up our newly conquered cities. We were now the largest faction in the world:

    With our armies down for retraining, we turned our attention to more mercantile matters. Tusco Delogu moved his enterprise to one of the silver mines of Vienna. This should produce more revenue then the small textile enterprise he was formely running. Meanwhile a second Merchant, Guilelmo, was dispatched to setup an enterprise in the gold mines of Zagreb. Things were looking good for Venice. With our armies replenished, we were now the strongest faction in the world:

    Sicily must have gotten wind of our intentions for their territories for they declared war on us and laid siege to Ragusa. How they found out we are not sure. We suspect Leopold leaked the information to the Sicilians as revenge for his surprise bride. We will have to be more careful in the future with what information we share with our allies to the North. We marched our Durazzo army to relieve the siege and sent the Sicilians scurrying away like the scum they were. Cristiano and Alessandro boarded what was left of our navy and landed east of Naples. They began marching on the city, recruiting mercenaries along the way. Meanwhile Domenico and Bartolomeno had taken the rebel city of Florence. They boarded some mercenary ships and sailed to join our eastern army at Naples. While our armies were marching against the Pope's butt-boys in the south, Domenico grew worried we were leaving our northern territories an awefully tempting target to the Germans. Even though they were our allies, our relations were not particularly high. That, combined with our weak borders could spell trouble. We decided to remedy both problems. Batlle dispatched a "care package" to the Germans. Our tribute to them over the next few years should boost our relations nicely. As for our weak army, we were fortunate that one of Cristiano's sons, Antonio, had recently came of age. He was in Venice and eager to prove himself. Though still young, Cristiano had great confidence in him and convinced Domenico to start training a third army in the north for Antonio to command. Meanwhile both of our great armies had combined for the siege of Naples. The city fell to our forces the next year.

    While we were occupied with the Sicilians, our old Nemesis came calling: Byzantine. With both of our armies engaged in the south, they took the opportunity to start a war with us. The wall-less city of Durazzo had already fallen to their forces and Iraklion was under siege as well. It looked likely to fall within the year. These were ill tideings indeed. It was now that Batlle brought up the hithro ignored message that we had just established contact with the French. At first, Batlle advised Domenico to ignore them. But with this two front war we are now facing against Sicily and Byzantine, we decided not to press our luck. We had Batlle send a "care package" to them to boost relations. They didn't seem interested in an alliance, hopefully they are not interested in war either. Iraklion fell to those toad sucking Byzantines, and Sicily sank what was left of our navy in an attempt to keep us away from Palermo. Their attempts are futile, Sicily WILL be destroyed. We still had our mercenary ships so we dispatched Cristiano/Alessandro to Palermo to lay siege to it. The Pope was becoming increasingly more agitated that we were about to wipe out his butt-boys, but Batlle was able to remedy the situation with another care package. The next year Palermo fell to our forces and the Sicilians were no more. The next few years saw our armies undergo retraining and upgrades. Byzantine made no further aggressive actions against us, but Antonio's army had finally grown to a war-ready size. We dispatched him to regain Venetian honour and reclaim Durazzo! Before he got there, he added the rebel city of Zagreb to our empire. But just as he was about to attack Durazzo, word reaches us that Byzantine and the HRE have become allies. With HRE our ally as well, they enforced a truce between us. Confounding frustrations! We were about to take our cities back! Now he are restrained by treaty obligations. This has brought our war plans to a screeching halt. Venetian honour was now on the bottom of a Byzantine shoe. All eyes were on Doge Domenico to see what he was going to do next.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Last edited by kublikhan3; 07-24-2007 at 07:30.

  5. #5
    Chretien Saisset Senior Member OverKnight's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Massachusetts, USA

    Default Re: M2TW AAR The Selvo Dynasty - A Venetian AAR

    Good read kublikhan3. I ran into the same shared ally enforced truce mechanic in my own AAR. Fortunately it only lasted one turn as the Venetians attacked me again.
    Chretien Saisset, Chevalier in the King of the Franks PBM

  6. #6

    Default Re: M2TW AAR The Selvo Dynasty - A Venetian AAR

    Dead Man's Party
    Through our Intelligence sources, we have now learned that the alliance between Byzantine and the Germans was planned even before the war began. Byzantine wanted to quickly seize our territory, then ally with our ally. Such a move would force a truce between us. If we decided to honour our treaties, they would get two free cities with virtually no fighting. If we decided to tear up our treaties and retake the cities, Germany would break their alliance with us and we would face a two front war with two powerful enemies. A win-win situation for Byzantine, regardless of the choice we made. For it's part, Germany's Emperor, Henrich, was pressed to form the alliance at the behest of his son, Leopold. Eager to avenge his humiliation at the hands of Domingo, he pressed for the alliance with Venice's oldest foe. Had it not been for the alliance currently in place between our 2 factions he would surely have pressed for war instead. We decided that for the time being, we would maintain our alliance with Germany and allow Byzantine to keep Durazzo and Iraklion. Domenico would not step into Byzantine's trap. Instead, he would wait for them to make the tiniest mistake and then pounce on them. Byzantine and Leopold were disappointed our alliance with Germany was still intact and sent a diplomat to attempt to goad us into war.

    "Domenico! It seems you don't really have a pair after all. I had laid odds your laughable pride would force you to try and retake our recent conquests. Such attempts would be futile of course but I thought you would try anyway. All of us are getting together for a little party at Iraklion to celebrate our recent conquest. Would you like to come? You would be the guest of honor."
    "It's a Dead Man's Party, for you are all dead men. We will not rest until every last one of you Byzantine swine kneels before us. You have bought yourself a temporary reprieve with this alliance you forged with the HRE, it will not last. For we know that swine such as you will break the pact before long."
    "Have it your way then Domenico. I'll save you a seat at the party incase you change your mind."

    World Peace
    Emperor Henrich has been busy, he has added France and Hungary to his growing list of allies. Including us and Byzantine, that is a grand five nation alliance Germany is part of. Their diplomatic maneuvering has brought world peace, no factions are currently at war with each other. France and Germany have been carving up the free cities of west and central Europe between themselves. There are no free cities left in Western Europe. We allied with Hungary, wanting to keep our northern border friendly for any future push into Byzantine territory. Byzantine was also allied with Hungary. We tried to secure and alliance with France but they would have none of it. Even so, a web of alliances is forming across Europe making it extremely dangerous for anyone to start a war at this point. We would have to content ourselves with taking the few remaining rebel cities for the moment.

    Over the next few years, all three of our armies were beefed up. Alessandro and Bartolomeno saw their sons come of age and take up the sword. Alessandro's son, Barbus, joined with his father's army and together they took the rebel cities of Cagliari and Ajaccio. Batolomeno's son, Benasuto, took charge of the garrison at Venice and began training a few troops there. Dominco and Bartolomeno landed at Genoa to shore up our border defenses there. The French and Germans had taken the last of the free cities on our border and were uncomfortably close to our own cities now. We wanted to show both of them we were more than capable of defending ourselves, less we risk becoming their next target. The French were apparently not happy with this display of strength and sent their merchant to seize our gold enterprise we had been running out of Zagreb. Such slimy tactics were really at the level of the Byzantine swine. We had no merchants skilled enough to challenge this wolf in a sheep's clothing and the income was lost to us. This loss, along with mounting pressure to build up our cities and armies, convinced the council to cut back on diplomatic operations(bribes) and concentrate more funds at home.

    The following decade saw world peace slowly begin to unravel. At first it was just a few empires on the periphery engaged in border disputes. Portugal and the Moors were the first to break the peace with a declaration of war. Then England and Scotland began mixing it up. France and Germany joined the crusade against Jerusalem, which brought with it a declaration of war against Egypt. We dared not join the Crusade, less we leave a border open and looking weak to one of our neighbors. Thus far no empire dared upset the delicate spiderweb of alliances that was central Europe. That all changed in 1130 when France and Byzantine simultaneously declared war on us. Like shattering a pane of glass, this had the effect of shattering the peace we had enjoyed for nearly two decades. On the bright side, it also had the effect of diplomatically isolating France and Byzantine. Their former allies, Germany and Hungary, broke their alliances with them, much to the chagrin of Leopold. That just left Germany, Italy(us), and Hungary as the allied powers of central Europe. Nonetheless, we are starting to grow wary of our powerful northern neighbor. Ever since we came to power, the Germans have had no enemies to fight, save for rebels and crusades. Meanwhile we have destroyed two factions and warred with two others. Just what are they up to?

  7. #7
    Fredericus Erlach Member Stuperman's Avatar
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    Default Re: M2TW AAR The Selvo Dynasty - A Venetian AAR

    I'm really enjoying this, I like the huge world maps, and seeing an empire evolve.
    Fredericus Erlach, Overseer of Genoa, Count of Ajaccio in exile, 4th elector of Bavaria.

  8. #8

    Default Re: M2TW AAR The Selvo Dynasty - A Venetian AAR

    Our empire is once again at war. And this time it did not look to be a short war like our conquest of the Italian peninsula. No, it looked likely to be a long bloody war against powerful empires. Thought still at peace with the Germans, relations continued to deteriorate. What few friends we had left in Germany convinced emperor Henrich to declare war on Denmark. Leopold's faction was quick to respond however, reforging their alliance with France and invading our territory with two powerful armies, without a declaration of war from the Emperor. Even the council was finally forced to admit the Union with Leopold was a mistake and must be broken. Only German's alliance with Hungary stayed our hand, for we did not wish to anger our only other ally.

    With three potential enemies and three armies at our command, troop allocation was relatively simple. We left one army on our border with France, one to keep an eye on the two German squatter armies invading our territory, and one to war with Byzantine. Our assassin, Simon De Visci, was busy assassinating any Byzantine swine he could get his hands on. While our cities were busy training a fourth army so as to match the Germans man for man.

    With France and Germany re-allied and with our shame alliance with Germany still in place, the only front we could be active on was the Byzantine front. Our armies managed to wrestle Durazzo back under our banner after a fierce fight with Byzantine. Germany broke her alliances with us and established a new alliance with the Pope. Our fourth army was finally ready and was dispatched to keep an eye on the Germans. Our two armies on the German border were sufficient to deter them from invading any further and our armies wearily watched each other for a number of years. With France and German allied again and with our alliance with Germany broken, France was free to resume their war with us and sent an army to invade our borders. We easily repulsed this invasion force. Yet still they sent their troops at us.

    Dark Times
    This war has been dragging on for nearly fifteen years now with no end in sight. The two large armies of German squatters refused to leave our territory, despite the fact that they didn't have the balls to declare war and attack us. Our relations with the Germans and the Pope are continuing to deteriorate. We are reluctant to send more gold to Germany to repair relations when it is clear they are going to attack us either way. All of our merchants had their assets seized by unscrupulous traders, and Domingo's health is beginning to fail. Our treasury is nearly empty, and the council's mood has changed from cautiously supportive to openly hostile. To top it off, we are currently involved in a two front war against Byzantine and France and our other neighbors waste no love on us either. These are dark times for Venice. Our allies, the Hungarians, were not having an easy time of it either. They were currently locked in a decade long feud with the powerful Polish empire. Both empires were throwing so much into that war that they seemed to be stagnating each other. The only bright spot for us was we managed to wrestle a city away from the Byzantines, Thessalonica. This was the first blood we managed to draw from them, recapturing Durazzo was mearly retaking what was rightfully ours. Still, this morale booster was not enough to comfort our citizens when they got the news that Domingo was dead, having passed away in his sleep. Command of the empire passed to his eldest son, Councilor Bartolomeno.

    Having served on the council for a number of years, Bartolomeno knew how they operated and had a much easier time handing them then his father did. Bartolomeno managed to smooth over relations between the Selvos and the Council. With the council placated for the time being, Bartolomeno could turn his attention to military matters. The Byzantine front seemed to be well in hand and nothing need be done there. The German front was another story. With two large armies invading us, we had to answer the Germans in kind with two large armies of our own keeping an eye on them. This was an enormous drain on the treasury and a constant bone of contention with the council. With Hungary allied to both of us, there was little we could do less we risk ending the one alliance we have left. That all changed in 1144 when Germany and Hungary ended their alliance.

    "Excellent! This is just the news I have been waiting for! Now we can finally kick those damn Germans out of our territory once and for all!"
    "But Sire, the Germans are allied with the Pope. Our relations with his eminence are already less than stellar, a war with the HRE would push them even lower."
    "We have little choice. We can no longer afford to have these huge armies standing around simply to keep an eye on the Germans. Our treasury is being sapped daily. We must have some tangible conquests in our near future less the council start to speak of capitulation."
    "As you wish Sire! I shall deliver our declaration of war to Germany presently."

    We had no trouble kicking out the German squatters from our territory once treaty obligations were out of the way. Now we had our eyes set on Bologna. A stone's throw away from Venice, it was too close to our home city to remain in enemy hands. We laid siege to the city and its powerful garrison, which included Emperor Henrich himself. Nonetheless, our armies were successful and we sacked the city. Emperor Henrich was killed in the battle. Pope Pierus was pissed and demanded we make peace with his ally. With their armies dealt a harsh blow and their emperor dead, we smelled blood in the water. We wanted to extract some more territory from Germany. They must be made to pay for their intransigence. We sent most of the gold we got from sacking Bologna to the Pope. He immediately forgot about our transgressions and our relations shot up to very high.

    Turning Point
    The expulsion of the German invaders and the capture of Bologna marked a turning point in the war. For the next two decades our armies met with success on every front. Iraklion, Corinith, Innsbruck, Nuremburg, Vienna, they all belonged to us now. But lately, our string of successes has started to slow down. We have sent constant cash infusions to the Pope to keep him happy but eventually even gold was not enough to placate him. He was absolutely livid we continued to attack his ally for over two decades, despite his constant requests for peace. Things came to a head in 1166 when Pope Pierus made his final ultimatum: stop attacking Germany or be excommunicated. His hints at excommunication had been growing ever stronger over these last few years until they lost all subtlety at all. Now he finally decided to play his trump card. We were not sure if he would actually do it or not. After all, it was our gold enabling him to live like a king. Still, we decided to play it safe and halt all offensive operations on the German front for the next decade or so. We pulled out of their territory and tried to provoke them into attacking us on our territory. Hopefully this strategy would cause Pierus's favour to swing to our cause. Ultimately, We wanted to see his alliance with Germany broken. Maybe if we were really lucky Germany would be excommunicated. For now though we would have to concentrate our expansion on other fronts.

    Portugal had finally managed to defeat the Moors and made them their vassals. This was not welcome news to us as it meant Portugal had no enemy to fight. Soon they landed troops at Cagliari and layed siege to the city. Our diplomats delivered a message in no uncertain terms, if Portugal started a war with us now they would be completely annihilated. Unsurprisingly, the following year they had a change of heart and offered a peace treaty. We gladly accepted, the last thing we needed was a new enemy to fight. Although our military might had successfully cowed them for the time being, we were not sure how long our diplomats would be able to hold them at bay.

    With operations on the German front scaled back, we could afford to send more forces after the French dogs. In 1172 our forces rolled into Marseille. Unable to match us in the field, the French dogs resorted to a more sinister tactic. They started inciting malcontents and rebels to rise up against us. All throughout nothern Italy, armed thugs were moving to raid towns, extort tolls, and disrupt vital trade routes. We had to recall our French army to put down this insurrection. Our settlements were not seriously threatened, but it would take a number of years to stamp out all of these rebels in our territory. Our efforts against the French were temporarily halted.

    Meanwhile things were coming to a head on the Byzantine front. The war was going very badly for the Byzantines and they had lost over half their empire to our forces. Now they were massing their armies for the defence of their capital, Constantinople. Already a large army defended the city and there were more troops arriving daily. If we had any hope of taking the city we would have to act quickly, before it became too strong to take. We assembled the largest army we could muster and layed siege to the city. It was a fierce battle. Our army was decimated in the great battle. But the city fell to our forces. The sacking of this huge city brought in such much needed gold to our depleted coffers, which was under constant strain by the triple demands of war, construction, and keeping the Pope happy. We immediately moved to repair the damage to the city and its garrison. Taking Constantinople was one thing. Holding it, was quite another. Aside from the discontent of thousands of former Byzantine swine who were now our citizens, we still had to contend with the Byzantine army. They had rapidly regrouped after their defeat and already were laying siege to their former capital. Though heavily outnumbered, we barely managed to defeat the siege and Constantinople remained in our hands.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Last edited by kublikhan3; 07-31-2007 at 20:37.

  9. #9

    Default Re: M2TW AAR The Selvo Dynasty - A Venetian AAR

    In 1176, the Pope's ultimatum had finally expired. We had an army camped outside German held Prague for just such an opportunity. After a short siege, we easily overwhelmed the garrison and sacked the city. With our main Germany army at Prague, Bartolomeo lead a smaller force against German held Staufen. Ideally we would have preferred to send a much larger force against Staufen. But one never could tell when Mount Saint Pierus would erupt again with threats of excommunication. So Bartolomeo had to march with the few troops that could be raised locally. However upon finally reaching Staufen, Bartolomeo was completely out matched and was defeated. He barely managed to escape with his life. Bartolomeo lead what few troops survived this disastrous battle in a disgraceful retreat back to Nuremburg. After three decades of embarrassing defeats to our forces, the Germans had been waiting for just such an opportunity. German standing in the international community had fallen to an all time low. Having to beg the Pope for protection was not how you impressed your neighbors. This victory over Bartolomeo finally gave them some much needed political ammunition to use against us. They did not hesitate to use it. There was not a noble in Europe who had not heard the tale of Bartolomeo running away with his tail between his legs from the legendary prowess of the German army. All our attempts to tell of how we inflicted casualties on the Germans at a rate of two to one, with Bartolomeo himself bagging twenty Germans fell on deaf ears. Our once fearful reputation, which had cowered the Portuguese into submission by the mere threat of retaliation, had been replaced by a reputation of bumbling fools who turn tale and run at the first sign of battle.

    We were taken completely by surprise by the political damage the Germans had managed to inflict on us. It was after all a relatively minor setback in the grand scheme of things. But having long since lost their military edge against us, the Germans had switched their focus to the political front. Allying with the Pope and telling him daily tales of the atrocities we had committed to innocent German women and children had given their diplomats much practice in the art of diplomatic spin. The Germany army defeating the leader of the Venetians, well, they could not have asked for a more perfect story to spread. Foreign empires were already taking advantage of our weakening political position. The beleaguered French army has rallied and retaken Marseille. Portugal has ended its submissive attitude and done a complete about face. They landed troops at Cagliari again and laid siege to the city. All across our empire, our merchants had their assets seized, again, by increasingly confident competitors. There is not a single Venetian merchant left who has his enterprise intact. Byzantine rallied their navies and defeated our navy in several pitched battles. Denmark, who we have only recently established contact with, decided to flex their muscles as well. They sent an emissary to make demands of us.

    "So this is the whimpering Bartolomeo I have heard so much about. I am surprised you even had the stomach to march all the way to Staufen. No wonder you turned tale and ran at the site of the German army. You look at though you couldn't even swat a fly."
    "I grow weary of correcting the German lies they have spread about the battle of Staufen. State your business or leave."
    "Very well. Now that you have expanded near our borders, we require a gift from you to stay our swords. We feel 1000 gold pieces will be enough to buy our protection, for now."
    "The Venetians have no need of your 'protection'. We have personally destroyed two empires and two more will soon join their fate. It is you who should be paying for our protection."
    "<LOL>. Your feeble armies are stretched thin as it is. With Portugal now joining the war against you, you would be wise to accept our offer. Pay us 1000 gold or we will attack!"
    "Attack then. There are many German corpses who would welcome your company in our cemeteries. For now I advise you to leave before you join them as well."

    And so 2 more empires had joined our growing list of enemies. We were now at war with more empires than anyone else in the world. Not counting rebels, we are currently at war with 5 empires: France, Germany, Byzantine, Portugal, and Denmark. Our Current Diplomatic Status:

    The gold demanded by Denmark was immaterial. This was just another attempt to make us look weak. Paying off Denmark not to attack us would be the equivalent of political suicide. A feeding frenzy would commence on the Venetian empire by our many rivals. Our standing up to Denmark averted this outcome. Still, Bartolomeo had a tough task ahead of him with the rebuilding of our image. Throughout all this turmoil, there was one source of strength Bartolomeo found he could rely on: the Council. Though often critical of him and his predecessor, Venetian pride was one thing they would never compromise on. The council lead the charge to rebuild our image and set many plans in motion to accomplish this task.

    To rebuild the reputation of Bartolomeo's sullied battle prowess, the council suggested he lead our forces himself against the army from Denmark that was invading north of Nuremburg. He was joined by his son Gerarado, and his nephew Raynuicio. This show of strength started to dissipate the cloud of weakness that was permeating our image. Denmark began to second guess their attack and recalled their invading army.

    To address the weakness of our merchants, the council established a master merchants guild in Naples. We began training new merchants and sent them to the island of Sicily to start bringing in the gold again. They would be safe from competitors here while they were still young and inexperienced. Once they gained some experience we could start thinking about seizing foreign enterprises.

    On the Byzantine front, our armies and navies were regrouping at Constantinople. Many generals and troops were dispatched to aid Cristiano and Alysandro in their battles against the Byzantines. All of their armies and navies were driven out of our territory. He had finally broken the back of the Byzantine army. We began planning a final offensive against them that would wipe them out once and for all.

    On the French front, one of the council's own was dispatched to set matters right. Benasuto, son of Bartolomeo and Faction Heir, lead an army to personally retake Marseille. It's capture by the French actually ended up being beneficial to us. We were able to sack the city a second time for another 10,000 gold. This helped ease the problem of our empty coffers.

    On the Italian front, Bartolomeo's son-in-law, Benventto Morce, snuffed out the last of the rebels in Italy. He was joined by the 'sons of Selvo' and spread the word that he was coming for Portugal. On every front a message has been sent loud and clear: we are back.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Last edited by kublikhan3; 08-04-2007 at 08:42.

  10. #10

    Default Re: M2TW AAR The Selvo Dynasty - A Venetian AAR

    The amount of energy that was flowing through our armies now was incredible. Every man wanted to be the first into battle, yet they all still maintained strict military discipline.
    Even our city's citizens were doing their part for the war effort. Our cities were being built up with renewed vigour, and tax dollars were flowing freely into the treasury.

    On the Byzantine front, we had laid siege to the last substantial Byzantine holding, Nicaea. Is was an enormous city, and we could barely hold our troops back when we told them of the plunder that awaited us. The Byzantines put up a decent fight, but in the end the city was ours. Almost 18,000 gold pieces were added to our coffers with the city's sacking. After the fall of Nicaea, Byzantine resistance crumbled. We marched our army on Smyrna and easily sacked the city. The last Byzantine holding was ours, their faction was no more.

    Portugal managed to sack the defenseless city of Cagilula before Morce could relieve the city. It cost them much however. Pope Pierus was quick to condemn this act of wanton destruction and excommunicated the Portugese. It seemed Mount Saint Pierus had finally blown its top. Threats and demands were flying out of the Papacy at lightning speed. We were commanded to halt our operations against the French or be excommunicated. We were also ordered to join the crusade against Antioch. Bartolomeo was quite amused at this little man handing out orders as though he were the emperor of Europe. In the face of outright excommunication, we eased up a bit on the French until something else caught Pierus's attention. As for the crusade, we told Pierus ever so politely to piss off. We could ill afford to dispatch an army to Antioch, nor to make an enemy of a new faction. Our diplomats insisted on modifying the final wording of Bartolomeo's message to the Pope however.

    On the German front, we assembled a powerful force to hit Staufen again, the source of our earlier defeat. Bartolomeo took our best troops and lead the assault himself. He left Raynuicio behind with some militia to keep an eye on the Danish. Somehow, the Germans caught wind of our movement and alerted the Pope. Again, Pierus threatens excommunication and we are forced to delay our assault.

    The Letter
    This time however, the brazen german diplomats had gone too far. Well known for manipulating the Pope, they had recently begun training their French allies in their techniques. We suspected as much after our recent campaign against the French came to a halt with threats of excommunication. We dispatched spies to attempt to gather evidence of the Germans manipulations. After months of digging around, they finally struck gold. The found a letter from a German diplomat stationed in France addressed to the German Kaiser. It contained candid language of the German manipulations and their status in training the French diplomats. A rough translation reads:

    Dear Kaiser,
    Our attempts to train the French diplomats are finally bearing fruit. I was begining to wonder if anything could get through their thick heads. Their foolish pride often had them demanding retaliation and military intervention from the Pope. Pah. We have know for decades that the most successful methods of Papal manipulation are parading crying widows and orphaned children about the Vatican. We have finally gained our first French diplomatic victories however. The French have been growing more and more alarmed with the three nation alliance on their southern border. That being Portugal, Spain, and the Moors. Worried they might try and seize some French territory while the French army was occupied with Venice, they desired to see them stopped through Papal means. Pah. Child's play. A german diplomat could accomplish this task in his sleep. Here was an aggressive faction, threatening Christian nations, allied with Islam no less, and they couldn't swing the whimpering Pierus to their cause? Where were they when we were convincing that fool we were the victims, even as we were invading Venice? But I digress... We simply instructed them to paint the most aggressive of the three, the Portugese, as allied with the Satanic forces of Islam. They did have the Moors as their vassals after all. With Moorish advisors twisting the Portugese to their ends, it was only a matter of time before a Christian faction fell under their barbaric sword. With this scenario filling Pierus's tiny head, all we had to do was sit back and wait for the Portugese to attack someone. A double bonus, they hit Venice instead of France! Not only did this draw Venice into a war with Portugal, it immediately provoked Pierus to excommunicate the Portugese.
    Thus the French diplomats have finally graduated from preschool. Now I tasked them with a more challenging item: get Venice excommunicated. Already our tried and true techniques have gotten the Pope to issue an edict to Venice: attack France and get excommunicated. With my counterpart in Germany getting the same provision if Venice attacks Germany, we need only sit back and wait for Venice to grow frustrated and attack. With ocean to the south, allies to the east, and Papal edicts constraining them in the north and west, we need not wait long. That stubborn fool Bartolomeo will eventually attack us. Then, Venice will be excommunicated. This has been our ultimate goal for decades. Now we will finally see it come to fruition. And with the secret empire we are building in the holy lands, we will be able to marshal our forces in safety, far from the wrath of the Venetians. Then when the time is right, we collect are just due revenge. I hope this progress report pleases you.
    Your loyal servant,
    Gottfied Kniess

    Our diplomats wasted no time in delivering the letter to Pierus. Well aware the German's would deny writing it and/or accuse us of authoring the message, Our diplomats spent much time displaying the German seal on the envelope, comparing Gottfied's signature to Papal communiques, etc. We waited until he was finally convinced the letter was genuine before letting him read it. Boy, if we thought he blew his top earlier we hadn't seen anything yet. Pierus immediately tore up the treaty between the Papal States and Germany. But he didn't stop there. He also excommunicated the German faction. He was even on the verge of calling a crusade against Germany before his advisors were able to calm him down. They argued the candid language of one overzealous diplomat should not undue all the work the Germans had done: Capturing Jerusalem, Capturing Antioch, battling the vile Egyptians, etc. In the end, the Pope stopped short of calling a crusade on Germany. But he did end the Papal alliance with them and excommunicated their Kaiser. Truly, revenge was sweet. With Germany no longer under the Pope's protection, we were free to erase them from existence. After capturing Staufen, Bartolomeo marched on what few cities Germany had left in their possession and captured them. Although the Germans still had their holdings in the holy lands that they captured during their crusades, they no longer held any territory in Europe. Our long war with Germany and Byzantine and finally come to an end. Thought we may have wish to eliminate them at some point in the future, we had bigger fish to fry for now. For Denmark was making it's presence felt on our northern border.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


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