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PerfNES I: Ultima Ratio Regum

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Perfectionist, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Perfectionist

    Perfectionist Angel of Verdun

    Sep 8, 2006
    FOB Heathrow
    The Chobanids were firmly in possession of the initiative when the war in Anatolia began. The Chobanid standing army, under the personal command of the Sultan, crossed the border within days of the outbreak of war, while it would take the Romans a couple of months to raise the allagia and organize their transport to Anatolia. In the interim, the Chobanids were opposed only by the forces of the Anatolian grandees. The Roman plan called for these to form up with the syntrophiai and allagia before engaging the Chobanids. This was easy for the Emperor to order; it was much harder for the grandees to endure, since in the interim it was their lands and their money the Chobanids were despoiling. Georgios Notaras, being first in line for conquest, flatly refused to abandon everything and march west, and opposed the Chobanids on his own. This went about as badly as you'd expect: the Chobanid Turkmen vanguard outmaneuvered and destroyed Notaras' field force, forcing Notaras to retreat to his fortress at Tephrike. The main body of the Chobanid army arrived shortly later, and, after Notaras refused to surrender, their guns brought down the walls in little more than a week. Notaras was publicly tortured to death, and the Chobanids quickly reduced the last holdouts in the area and resumed their westwards march. After seeing Notaras' fate, the rest of the grandees insisted on opposing the Chobanids; the imperial generals protested, but in the end had little choice but to acquiesce. The combined Anatolians met the Chobanids at Kaisareia, having mustered nearly equal numbers. The result was predictably catastrophic for the Romans; the army was more or less destroyed and half a dozen grandees captured by the Chobanids. Kaisareia provoked something of a panic in the Roman ranks, though the citadel of Kaisareia, manned by the survivors of the battle, held out for some time more. It appeared that the old Roman nightmare would come to fruition, and a general Turkish revolt occur, as riots broke out in Cappadocia and pastoralists massacred a Roman column outside of Ancyra. But before things got out of hand the allagia began to arrive in force. Overwhelming Roman numbers quickly suppressed the disturbances, and allagia garrisons kept the lid on, at least in the sedentary areas, though ever more nomads, heavily courted by the invaders, crossed the Chobanid lines. By the fall of 1503 nearly 80,000 Roman soldiers were on the ground in Anatolia, including all the allagia and nearly all the syntrophiai. The need to maintain order drew off a significant proportion of that force, and logistical problems complicated maneuvers for the rest, but nevertheless the Romans mustered a pair of field armies that each separately outnumbered the Chobanid army. Omnipresent Turkmen light cav made Roman communications and supply something of a nightmare, but against such large number of Romans couldn't really win any signal victories. 1503 ended with no major confrontation, thanks in no small part to the aforementioned communications problems, but the Romans did maneuver to stop the Chobanid advance well short of Ancyra. In early 1504 the two Roman armies gradually closed in on the Chobanids around Lake Tuz. Running out of options and unwilling to outright retreat, Husayn decided to force the issue, and try and defeat the Romans in detail. In mid-summer, the Chobanids forced a confrontation at Mokissos. The Chobanids managed a certain amount of surprise against the first Roman army, and handily defeated it, but the Romans escaped destruction and did inflict some damage on the Chobanids. Three days later, Husayn's exhausted army met the second Roman force ten miles further south, and this time was enveloped, defeated, and only escaped destruction thanks to a timely breakdown of discipline in some of the Thracian allagia. Defeated, and with the reformed first Roman army soon back in the game, the Chobanids had no choice but to run. The Romans retook Kaisareia a couple of weeks after Mokissos, and Husayn retreated towards Cilicia. If the Romans had promptly pursued him, the Chobanids might have been in real trouble, but disagreements between the Roman commanders prevented prompt, decisive action, and while the Romans suppressed rebels and Turkmen in central Anatolia, the Chobanids reformed. By the outset of 1505, most of the Chobanid gains in Anatolia had been retaken by the Romans, who now attempted to cross the Taurus and invade Cilicia. Of course, the Chobanids had been preparing for such an eventuality for nearly fifty years; the Romans spent a month trying, without success, to find an undefended pass, before resolving to try and force the Cilician Gates. But against the well-prepared, well-maintained and modern Chobanid fortifications, backed by Husayn's army, the Romans, not really prepared for such a major undertaking, made little progress. Unwilling to commit to a meatgrinder, the Romans pulled back, and ,keeping a screening force by the Taurus, ground down most of the remaining Chobanid outposts in Anatolia.

    (+1 Roman Prestige, -1 Anatolian Grandees Strength, -1 Allagia Confidence (they don't like being called up en masse), -35 Chobanid Companies, -16 Roman Companies, -54 Roman Levy Companies)

    The Italians likewise piled on the Romans, but the Italians front in the Balkans was far less exciting than the Aegean or Anatolian forts. A smallish Italian army marched out of Carinthia, chiefly hoping to tie down Roman forces away from the more crucial fronts. The Italians found, however, that there were virtually no Roman forces in the region; virtually every fighting man in the Balkans had been sent to Anatolia. Against extremely scant resistance, the Italians conquered a wide section of Croatia, taking full advantage of the newly improved Roman military infrastructure in the area. They might have gone further, but by 1504 garrisons for the captured territory required nearly all the troops assigned to the area.

    (-200,000 taris from Roman revenue, -2 Italian Companies, -2 Roman Levy Companies)

    Under ever increasing pressure, Zygimantas has acted increasingly erratically the last few years. Early 1503 brought a number of unpleasant reverses to Zygimantas' cause. First the Volynians, fearing Hungarian intervention, bowed out of the war, then the Order pulled its men out of the campaign against Algirdas to focus on Polotsk, and finally Poland, having made a deal with the Prince, entered on Algirdas' side. In desperate need of manpower, Zygimantas spent his entire treasury raising another mercenary army in the west. Much less sensibly, he decided to impress the entire male population of Minskas into service. The men of Minskas were, naturally, not at all happy about this, but Zygimantas had a cunning plan to convince them to play ball. Ducal soldiers took the women and children of Minskas hostage, and declared that noncompliance would lead to the execution of the families of those responsible. After Zygimantas had the families of a few prominent resistors publicly executed most of the population fell into line, though, of course, the military value of a few thousand old men and boys with no military experience and every reason to loathe their comrades-in-arms was extremely dubious, especially considering the number of loyal soldiers necessary to keep them from deserting en masse. On a brighter note for Zygimantas, Algirdas' forces in the north spent 1503 squarely on the defensive, allowing the Ducal reinforcement column to easily reach Minskas and disperse the lackluster Princely siege of the city. Zygimantas then went over to the offensive, but his continual attempts to force a decisive battle with Algirdas' smaller force came to nothing, as the more mobile Princely forces dodged Zygimantas at every turn. Having learned from the mistakes of 1500, Zygimantas refrained from chasing Algirdas deeper into the east, and instead expanded his region of control around Minskas. The other theatres of the war were only slightly more eventful. In the south, the Volynians kept their word and withdrew their garrisons. However, Volynian noble levies, nominally acting without central authorization or backing, continued to raid Lithuanian territory. Unfortunately for said Volynians, Algirdas had suspected something like this might happen. The Lithuanians had left a mobile and powerful army guarding the Volynian border, and the raiders were hunted down and eliminated almost immediately. The Polish invasion, meanwhile, was not intended as much more than a distraction, but Zygimantas calculated, correctly, that it wasn't enough of a threat to justify pulling large numbers of men away from the west. Instead of Ducal regulars, the Poles had to contend with local defense forces and, more importantly with the Vildmark, the largely roadless and sparsely inhabited wilderness of southwestern Lithuania, where they spent most of 1503 thoroughly bogged down.

    In 1504 Algirdas' southern army was recalled to the north, where it linked up with the northern force. Now having more or less equal numbers, Algirdas at last offered battle to Zygimantas at Marjina. The center of the Ducal forces, having adopted the wagon-fort tactics deployed so successfully by Algirdas in previous years, successfully resisted the first Princely charge, whereupon Zygimantas inexplicably abandoned his defensive wagon-forts in favour of an all-or-nothing countercharge. This was initially somewhat successful, as Algirdas' center was sent reeling backwards. However, at this point the remaining impressed men of Minskas, stationed in the Ducal camp, at last turned on their captors, egged on by agents of Algirdas. With chaos in Zygimantas' camp and communications breaking down, the Ducal charge faltered. Afforded a few minutes to act, Algirdas' men quickly reformed and counter-counter-attacked, and the disordered Ducal forces were overrun. Zygimantas barely escaped, and although the core of the army managed to escape and reform, many of the levies and newly raised companies were lost. Ominously, many of the captured nobles chose to renounce Christianity and enter Algirdas' service. With the Poles having hacked a crude way through the Vildmark and Algirdas quickly closing in, Zygimantas decided Minskas could not be held. The Ducal forces burned the city, massacred what was left of the population, devastated as much of the surrounding territory as they could, and retreated back across the old border. Once back in his own territory, Zygimantas had to rush to the west, as the Poles were steadily advancing up the Neman, taking forts as they went. As he had to leave garrisons in the border forts, Zygimantas, after outmaneuvering the Polish screening force, met the Poles while they were besieging the major fort at Strawa. The battle was a close-run thing, but a sortie from the garrison swung the tide in Zygimantas' favour, and the Poles retreated back towards the Vildmark. Algirdas, meanwhile, was busily trying to force his way through Zygimantas' border forts, but the early onset of winter and the devastation of Minskas' hinterland forced him to retreat before managing to make an opening. In 1505 Algirdas changed his approach. While Zygimantas checked a renewed Polish advance up the Neman, Algirdas swung through Polotsk to hit Zygimantas from the east. The great ducal fort at Daugpils held out for a month, despite being undergarrisoned, but Algirdas' new cannons ultimately opened a breach, and the fort fell before Zygimantas could relieve it. By comparison with the southeast, Zygimantas' eastern flank was relatively lightly fortified; with the fall of Daugpils, the way into Aukstaitija or Zemaitija was largely open. As Zygimantas positioned his army to block a direct march on Kaunas, Algirdas instead launched a raid in force into Zemaitija, with the aim of detaching the formerly resolutely pagan lowlanders from Zygimantas. This was not entirely successful, but enough of the locals were induced to switch sides to provide a secure base for further operations, and Algirdas focused for the rest of the year on expanding his control of the north.

    As 1505 ends Zygimantas is still kicking, but his rule has never looked shakier. The pagans grow more confident all the time, while some of the nobility are now openly debating whether to switch sides. Without some sort of outside intervention, Zygimantas' odds of survival do not look good, and some of his East Danish advisers are agitating for an appeal to Denmark as the only way to save his rule.

    (+2 Prince's Lithuania Prestige, -1 Duke's Lithuania Prestige, +60,000 taris to Prince's revenue, -200,000 taris from Duke's revenue, +1 Pagans Strength, -1 Nobility Confidence, -1 Hurzurai Confidence, +1 Lithuanian Nobility Confidence, -36 Duke's Companies, -3 Duke's Levy Companies, -8 Prince's Companies, -19 Prince's Levy Companies, -5 Polish Companies, -9 Volynian Levy Companies, 7 Duke's Levy Companies to Prince's)

    Polotsk and the Order both played little part in the broader struggle for Lithuania, as they were both preoccupied with fighting each other. Benedikt planned to end the war with one quick strike at Polotsk itself. Unfortunately, quick, decisive strikes are not the Order's forte at the best of times, and in this particular case they were further hampered by their siege train, and particularly by the huge cannon they called Doven Ben. This was, in fact, so huge that its value as a strictly technical instrument was probably not worth the cost, though it made up for this to a certain extent as a weapon of terror; at any rate, it scared the hell out of the poor gunners who had to operate it. Anyway, as the Order slowly made its way towards Polotsk, the Polotskians had plenty of time to pull their field army out of Lithuania and counter the Order advance. The Order managed to force its way through Polotsk's army when the latter tried to bar the way thirty miles northwest of the city, but did not destroy or cripple Polotsk's army. Judging that trying to besiege a well-fortified city when an army of nearly equal strength was loose nearby was unconscionably risky, even for Order siege engineers, Benedikt stopped the march on Polotsk. By forcing Polostk to pull its army out of Lithuania, the Order had accomplished its chief goal anyway. Thereafter, the war assumed a form that was far more familiar to the Order: Doven Ben and their cannons knocked down Polotsk's forts, while Order engineers erected their own fortifications and the front gradually crept forward. Andrei of Polotsk, for his part, knew perfectly well that trying to beat the Order at its own game was a fool's errand, and so instead of trying to take back the Order forts focused on harassing Order detachments and containing any Order raids. This policy achieved some notable successes, including the destruction of the partially constructed fort at Disna in 1504, but the Order nevertheless advanced. By the end of 1505, however, the Order forces were mostly occupied by garrisoning their forts, and the rate of advance slowed to a crawl.

    (+1 Order Prestige, +1 Polotsk Prestige, -9 Order Companies, -6 Polotsk Companies, -7 Polotsk Levy Companies)

    Both sides seem to have lost interest in the war on the upper Volga. In 1503 Veliky Novgorod scraped together another couple thousand of levies off the bottom of the barrel and tried to restart the march on Tver. On the other side, Moscow at last was persuaded, thanks to Nizhny's lack of movement, to join in on Tver's side. Reinforced by the Muscovites, the allied forces on the Volga outnumbered Novgorod's forces. The Novgorodian advance was sharply checked in a battle at Rzhev, but Vasili of Tver was strangely quiescent, and the allies did not follow up the victory. Stalemate ensued in 1504 and 1505, as Novgorod lacked the forces and Tver the energy to advance. Further east, small forces from Yaroslavl continued to skirmish with baskaci-organized tribesmen, to little effect.

    (-3 Veliky Companies, -11 Veliky Levy Companies, -2 Tver Companies, -3 Tver Levy Companies, -1 Muscovite Company, -2 Muscovite Levy Companies, -3 Yaroslavl Levy Companies)

    Early in 1503 both Bengal and Delhi realized that Bengal's position on the Ganges was untenable. Altai called up more of his zamindars, stepped up recruiting, and tried to encircle and destroy the Bengali army. Shams ad-Din, fully aware of his peril, didn't wait for the trap to close; he immediately pulled out east, taking everything valuable and movable with him, intending to crush Arghun's army against Patna before Altai could reach him. By the time Altai realized what had happened, the Bengalis had too much of a headstart to be caught. Arghun's position before Patna would have been in serious jeopardy at this point, if he had in fact remained there. However, Arghun had pulled the majority of his force out of the siege at the same time that Shams ad-Din had starting marching east, and the skeleton force left behind had, by various classic ruses, managed to prevent the Bengalis in Patna from becoming aware of this fact. Thanks to haste and a breakdown of scouting, neither army became aware of the other's presence until they were virtually on top of each other. Arghun and Shams ad-Din both made the snap decision to engage, but the battle rapidly degenerated into a confused melee between a dozen barely coordinated contingents. The Bengalis won through, and had probably the better of the engagement, but both sides wound up badly bloodied and disorganized. Since Delhi had another couple of fresh armies and Bengal didn't, this was probably a win for Arghun. Shams ad-Din fell back south into Bengali territory and struggled to get his army back into fighting trim, while Altai picked up the remnants of Arghun's army and joined the siege of Patna. With Shams ad-Din's army still lurking in the south, Altai judged it prudent to delay the planned campaign deep into Bengal until 1504, in the hopes that Shams could be beaten in the intervening period. As it turned out, he couldn't, and in 1504 events intervened, and the campaign never did take place. Because by early 1504 Patna was clearly on the brink; having been undersiege for all or part of the previous four years, and bombarded by Delhi's expanded and modernized siege train, the fortifications were in a poor state, and the garrison scarcely less so. Shams ad-Din knew this perfectly well, and he and his nobles were simply unwilling to countenance the loss of the city. And so he decided to risk everything on one last decisive confrontation at Patna. By an extraordinary effort over the winter, and by alienating most of the Hindu elites, he scraped together the funds to rebuild his army, conscripted as many peasants as he could find, and marched on Patna. The Last Battle of Patna was fought on a virtually inconceivable scale. It lasted a week, involved more than a quarter of a million men, and Shams ad-Din seemed on three occasions to be on the brink of victory, but in the end Delhi held and Bengal retreated, leaving almost the entire Bengali nobility dead on the field. Patna fell, at long last, two weeks later; Shams ad-Din, exhausted and depressed, committed suicide two days after that.

    Patna marked the end of large-scale Bengali resistance to Delhi, but the state did continue to exist in some form. Shams' young son, Muhammad ibn Shams, took what little was left of the Bengali nobility and army into the east, where he carried on a guerilla campaign against Delhi's forces. Altai, meanwhile, after his triumphal entry into Patna, slowly marched down the Ganges, and the ex-Bengali cities opened their gates one-by-one. By 1505 Muhammad's guerilla activities had placed enough of a strain on the depleted army of Delhi to halt the victorious march at the Brahmaputra. A large section of southern Bengal has not yet acknowledged the supremacy of Delhi, and Muhammad's loyalists still hold the far east, but Delhi's war with Bengal is finally over.

    (+3 Delhi Prestige, +1 Moguls Confidence, +1 Mansabdars Confidence, +complicated stat reshuffling for Bengal, -49 Delhi Companies, -196 Delhi Levy Companies, -186 Bengali Companies, -194 Bengali Levy Companies)

    With Delhi and Bengal preoccupied, the Pandyans stepped into the anarchy in former Orissa. Diplomatic efforts mostly failed to convince the post-Orissan warlords to bend the knee, but an invasion led by the Viceroy of the Andhra was far more successful, and even secured the old capital of Bubaneswar. Most of the spoils were snapped up by the Viceroy, who is now overwhelmingly the most powerful of the Pandyan feudals.

    (+1 Viceroy of the Andhra Strength, -6 Pandyan Companies, -16 Pandyan Levy Companies)

    The Raja of Jaffna, after tripling the size of his fleet, despatched the entire fleet, carrying most of his army, on, of all things, a raid of Gujarat. The new fleet was not particularly skillful, but the Pandyans allowed the Jaffnans to use their naval bases on the Malabar Coast, and so the expedition made it most of the way with little trouble. North of Pandyan territory, problems arose; the overloaded Jaffnan fleet had trouble resupplying, and was nearly forced ashore by storms a couple of times. Still, they made it to Diu, where the army disembarked, overwhelmed the completely shocked Gujarati defenders, and sacked the outpost. The Jaffnans spent a bit more time plundering the coast of Kathiawar, but, loaded down with plunder and facing increasing resistance, had to leave for the south without attacking Surat, as they'd planned. The way back proved more problematic for the Jaffnans; a couple of ships were swamped, and a lot of the plunder confiscated by Pandyan authorities. Those that made it back brought some plunder, but the Jaffnans by and large don't see the point; the Gujaratis are of course furious, and pressuring the Khan to demand some sort of restitution.

    (-1 Gujarati Merchantry Confidence, -1 Royal Court Confidence, -3 Jaffnan Ships, -5 Jaffnan Companies)

    The Nanhai had a cunning plan to wipe out the Guangzhou Society at one fell swoop. The peace treaty they signed with Guangzhou included the stipulation that Guangzhou allow the transport of Nanhai regiments down the Pearl, and thence by sea to Fujian. The Nanhai intended to use this as an opportunity to easily transport an army into Guangzhou itself, where it would conquer the city and destroy the center of Society power; an invasion from Fujian would follow, mopping up the remnants of Guangzhou power. Unfortunately for the Nanhai, Guangzhou agents, having been ordered to be on the lookout for that sort of thing, noticed anomalous troops movements in Fujian in early 1503. With its suspicions thus aroused, Guangzhou kept a close watch on the Nanhai's progress down the Pearl. By the time the expeditionary force approached Guangzhou itself, Society intelligence had thoroughly compromised Nanhai opsec. As the Nanhai flotilla approached Duanzhou, mere miles from Guangzhou itself, it was met with a Guangzhou barricade. The Guangzhou liaisons politely explained that security considerations required a brief stop and inspection before the flotilla could proceed. The Nanhai were delayed for a couple of weeks, while Guangzhou feverishly gathered troops and ships and tried to avoid arousing Nanhai suspicions. By the time the Nanhai realized that they'd been made and tried to force the barricade, it was too late. Guangzhou fireships, hastily constructed upstream, destroyed a large portion of the flotilla, and dispersed the rest. As the Nanhai troops struggled ashore in small groups, many were slaughtered on the spot by the waiting Guangzhou soldiers. There were too few Guangzhou to round up all the Nanhai, but the Nanhai never were able to form a cohesive body, and although the survivors caused Guangzhou a great deal of annoyance, they were ultimately nearly all rounded up.

    (-1 Nanhai Prestige, +1 Guangzhou Prestige, -61 Nanhai Companies, -25 Nanhai Ships, -11 Guangzhou Companies, -2 Guangzhou Ships)

    Undeterred by the failure of their cunning plan, the Nanhai went ahead with their secondary invasions. The army in Fujian, 20,000 strong, marched west, and initially faced relatively scant resistance, as Guangzhou forces were busy mopping up the remnants of the Pearl River expedition, and the Guangzhou levies weren't yet ready. By late summer, though, both those factors had changed, and the Nanhai invasion force found itself opposed by a Guangzhou army that badly outnumbered it. The Nanhai army, comprised mostly of relatively low-quality peasant levies, was moreover fairly badly outclassed by the Guangzhou elite regiments. The Nanhai managed to avoid being completely obliterated, but that's about the best that can be said. By the end of the year, the broken remnants of the Nanhai army were back in Fujian, preparing for a Guangzhou counterattack. They were spared this fate by developments further west. With Guangzhou attention focused on the immediate vicinity of Guangzhou, the small Nanhai invasion of the far west faced much weaker resistance. Guangzhou's problems in the theatre were compounded by the outbreak of a series of disturbances and minor rebellions in Jiaozhi, which drew away soldiers badly needed at the front. By the end of 1503, it appeared plausible that Guangzhou might lose the west entirely, but in 1504 the tide turned. Reinforcements poured in to restore order in Jiaozhi; the rebellions there turned out to be largely led by inveterate troublemakers lured by Nanhai money, and never acquired enough traction among the elites to seriously threaten Guangzhou authority. By the end of 1504, the Nanhai in the west had been ground down by every growing Guangzhou numbers and were back beyond the pre-war border. 1505 saw a series of Guangzhou counterattacks. The defenders of Fujian, having had a year to recover from their mauling, mostly succeeded in blunting Guangzhou's attacks; those in the west were less successful, though nothing really significant was lost.

    (-1 Jiaozhi Confidence, -1 Jiaozhi Strength, -/+1 Rural Gentry Confidence, -23 Nanhai Companies, -38 Nanhai Levy Companies, -22 Guangzhou Companies, -21 Guangzhou Levy Companies)

    In mid 1503 Guangzhou warships intercepted a Nanhai convoy bound for Hainan and carrying a large quantity of silver, for the presumed purpose of supporting similar unrest on the island to that in Jiaozhi.

    (+100,000 taris to Guangzhou's treasury)
  2. Perfectionist

    Perfectionist Angel of Verdun

    Sep 8, 2006
    FOB Heathrow
    While the war in the south doubtless seemed very important to Guangzhou, to the Nanhai it was little more than a sideshow next to their real focus: an enormous invasion of Mongol China, involving well over 100,000 men in three armies. Unfortunately, the Nanhai neglected to make any arrangements for provisioning this huge assembly, intending to rely on ad hoc forage parties. At the best of times, this would have been a risky strategy against an enemy with such an overwhelming cavalry advantage; as it was, it played directly into Mandukhai's plans. As the three armies marched into the Khaganate's territory, Mongol forces melted away, and the Nanhai advanced rapidly and easily towards their ultimate objectives, while rejoicing Chinese nobles eagerly assisted their progress and joined their army. For most of 1503, the ad hoc Nanhai supply arrangements sufficed, thanks to local support and lack of Mongol resistance, but escalating Mongol presence forced all three advances to halt short of their objectives. The Nanhai generals had high hopes, though, that 1504 would see the Mongols driven north of the Yellow. They were to be swiftly disappointed. As the two easternmost prongs of the Nanhai invasion advanced in 1504, the Mongols were suddenly everywhere. The Nanhai proved completely incapable of hunting down Mongol cavalry, and the Mongols refused to engage the main body of the Nanhai army, instead attacking their supply sources. The long, thin line linking the armies with the south was cut by raiders, and ever increasing Mongol pressure gradually eliminated the Nanhai ability to forage. Savage Mongol reprisals began to reduce the number of eager collaborators, and as the supply situation grew ever more dire, increasingly desperate Nanhai foraging measures began to alienate the locals. With no secure means of transporting pay from the south, the unpaid professionals began to desert, though fewer deserted than might have in other situations, as they really had nowhere to go except to the Mongols. By late summer, the Nanhai armies, still advancing despite everything, approached Luoyang and Kaifeng, but their strength was far below nominal, and the remaining men were starved and low on morale as discipline began to break down. Finally, the encircling Mongols closed in for the kill. In the far east, while the Nanhai suffered terribly, the wagon fort of the hard core managed to survive the initial battle, and the shattered remnants began the long retreat back to the south, though very few ever made it home. In the center, things did not go so well: there the Nanhai army simply evaporated in the course of a single afternoon.

    The sole saving grace of the Nanhai invasion was that it involved so many men that the Mongols simply didn't have the horses to oppose every advance. While the eastern prongs were destroyed, the westernmost prong, under the capable Zhu Dayou, never faced much Mongol opposition until 1505. Although Zhu's supply situation was very far from perfect, it was not as dire as those of his colleagues further east, and he managed to maintain control, more or less, of the surrounding countryside. Moreover, in 1504, he had the good sense to halt his advance on Chang'an, fall back, and secure enough of the countryside to feed his army. When the Mongols arrived in force in 1505, Zhu was forced to give ground, but at the end of the year he at least still held Mongol territory, and his army still existed as a fighting force.

    (+2 Mongol Prestige, -1 Nanhai Prestige, -1 Army Administration Strength, -2 Army Administration Confidence, -108 Nanhai Companies, -211 Nanhai Levy Companies, -42 Mongol Companies)

    Special Bonuses:

    Best Character: Duke Hugh of Catania (Principality of Sicily) (+1 Prestige)
    Most Entertaining Orders: Prince's Lithuania (+generally more successful policies)

    NPC Diplomacy:

    FROM: Principality of Polotsk
    TO: The Order

    We've no desire to continue this war. We'll pay you 100,000 to go away.

    FROM: Hakim al-Radi, wazir to Abu Yusuf, Amir al-Muminin
    TO: Aimeric, Prince of Sicily

    You've lost in Africa, you've lost in Andalusia, you've lost on the sea, and now you're about to lose your home. However, the Amir al-Muminin is generous. He is willing to accept the return of Algiers to Muwahhidun control, and in exchange will magnanimously allow you to retain the rest of your African possessions.

    FROM: Hakim al-Radi, wazir to Abu Yusuf, Amir al-Muminin
    TO: Khalid, Regent of Saraqusta

    God is merciful, and so are the Dhahabis. Despite your treachery and despite your aggression the Amir is willing to deliver you from destruction. He will end his war on your country and ransom your father for 1,000,000 taris, and will ransom your men for another 1,000,000. Do not claim that you don't have the money; we know perfectly well that your Sicilian friends can provide you with loans for it. If you refuse, your men will go to the galleys, Faisal will spend the rest of his life in a Moroccan prison, and your little emirate will be destroyed. Do not make the wrong choice.

    World Map, AD 1505:
    Spoiler World Map, AD 1505 :

    -Well, that was a ridiculous and entirely predictable delay. In retrospect I really should have pushed the deadline back at least a week. I don't have any more breaks, at least, so it shouldn't happen again.
    -I have a couple of minor things to say about orders. I'd just like to reiterate that it's very helpful for me if you specifically say how much money you're spending on everything you're spending money on. On a related note, it is similarly helpful if you clearly state how many soldiers you have in every place you have soldiers. Providing a clear order of battle makes it much easier for me to figure out how wars should work, and makes it much less likely that you'll accidentally try to put the same army in two different places, and wind up having your coastline practically undefended.
    -It would also be nice if, in your orders, you could give me the names of at least some of your generals. If you don't want to name each particular general, a list of possible names would be fine, so at least I have something to go on.
    -taillesskangaru, I unfortunately missed your addendum when I downloaded orders, and didn't see it until just now. I'm very sorry. I can't redo that section, but I did give you the money.
  3. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

    Jun 7, 2005
    Yay update!
  4. Terrance888

    Terrance888 Discord Reigns

    Jul 22, 2007
    Workwork Workshop
    Wait... How did my levies get there when I disbanded them? Why did they counteract my orders?

    I guess I'm not good enough with my orders, and that I'm not experienced enough. I'll bow out for now.

    EDIT: rest of update was great
  5. Perfectionist

    Perfectionist Angel of Verdun

    Sep 8, 2006
    FOB Heathrow
    Those were the men Duke's Lithuania was paying you for. Toteone wanted them raiding from your territory.
  6. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

    Oct 31, 2005
  7. Ninja Dude

    Ninja Dude Sorry, I wasn't listening...

    May 11, 2008
    From: Grand Abbot Benedikt of The Order of Saint Knut
    To: The Prince of Polotsk

    While I would love nothing more than to avenge your betrayal of fellow Christians to the damned pagans, I must accept your offer. May the Lord forgive you for your sins.

    OOC: Awesome update!
  8. Omega124

    Omega124 Challenging Fate

    Nov 1, 2008
    Albany, New York

    What thing? I'd assume the freemen, but you can't be too sure in a NES...

    Also, apparently, my roads aren't finished? How much money do I need to finish it?
  9. Azale

    Azale Deity

    Jun 29, 2002
    Our victory has been so total, we may not have enough pikes!

    I warned you Nanhai.
  10. Lord of Elves

    Lord of Elves Suede-Denim Secret Police

    Oct 31, 2009
    right behind u ;)
    I assume it's a reference to Norse Althing.

    I rather enjoyed that particular pun :mischief:
  11. spryllino

    spryllino Deity

    Jan 13, 2010
    Great update! :)

    To Albrecht, King of Lotharingia and Duke of Saxony
    From Leofric the Emperor

    We acknowledge and recognise our ally and kinsman Albrecht as sole Duke and Lord of Saxony, and we congratulate you on your righteous victory.
  12. Espoir

    Espoir Warlord

    Mar 28, 2009
    I Dance the Body Electric
    Excellent update; thank you for answering my preliminary questions.
  13. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

    Dec 24, 2001
    Albuquerque, NM
    9 The Taming Power of the Small

    The Judgment
    The Taming Power of the Small
    Has success.
    Dense clouds, no rain from our western region.

    Hence the image of many clouds, promising moisture and blessing to the land, although as yet no rain falls. There is a prospect of ultimate success, but there are still obstacles in the way, and we can merely take preparatory measures. The time has not yet come for sweeping measures.

    The Image
    The wind drives across Heaven:
    the image of the The Taming Power of the Small.
    Thus the superior man
    Refines the outward aspect of his nature.

    Nanhai, you have betrayed us in a most vile and perfidious manner and brought about your own destruction. The Mandate of Heaven seeks another home. The peace we granted freely in the past now has a non negotiable price:
    1. All land currently held by Guangzhou to be retained by Guangzhou
    2. All land south of the Pearl River to be ceded by Nanhai to Guangzhou.
  14. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

    Feb 23, 2005
    I'm handing Egypt and all of my orders and relevant diplomacy over to Masada, who's agreed to take it over, on the grounds that I'm a horrible person and should be ritually scourged.

    Direct diplomacy to him; as far as the war goes, he should be aware of basically everything I've done or was going to do within the next several minutes.
  15. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Jun 2, 2005
    In the desert
    You'll be missed, Dachs. With that in mind...

    From: The Principality of Sicily
    To: The Pig of Malaqah

    Your horsemen have yet to defeat Sicilian arms in the field. We shall allow the restoration of the status quo ante bellum; if you feel averse to this, enjoy throwing your exhausted levies against the walls of Algiers.

    From: Aimeric II, Prince of Sicily
    To: The Kingdom of Egypt

    We believe that you have captured a Sicilian convoy in error. Since we are undoubtedly at peace, we seek its return.
  16. Toteone

    Toteone Deity

    Oct 11, 2004
    Great update : ), it's an even better read than the previous one.

    Regarding the conscripted enemy levies, I mainly intended to use them as fodder/human shields if I was besieged in Minsk, not bring them with me on the campaign trail, but heck, so was my plan for the sudden countercharge (that it was intended only for a major battle around the Minsk area) so I'm not complaining ^_^.
    Wish I'd used the wagons the first update... I thought about it, but didn't go with it for some reason. Maybe I should've ordered defensive behavior in the field and added some fieldworks...
    Anyway, I like the way the three years string out, usually time passes too fast in NESes. I didn't expect I'd get to go on the offensive this round though~

    Anyway as I'd rather play a rising nation I I'm dropping Duke's Lithuania, though it's also the fact I'm cutting down on NESes in general as I'm going 150% fulltime studies in the year ahead, starting April.
    + I think there's a bigger chance of Danish intervention if I let this go NPC, so that makes me feel less guilty about it.

    If I rejoin I'll PM you later maybe to ask about available nations and what you might like me to play.

    GG : )
  17. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Dec 29, 2005
    Is that a nation you haven't killed yet, or am I just being cynical.
  18. Agent 89

    Agent 89 King

    Apr 26, 2009
    Nice update, though I believe prestige for Gascony should be at 2 instead of 1 in the stats.
  19. das

    das Regeneration In Process

    Apr 8, 2001
    Ekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk), Russia
    From: Sarvashura, the All-Conquering Chakravartin of Hind [Altai, Khan of Delhi]
    To: Muhammad ibn Shams, Sultan of Bengal, and the Nobles of Bengal

    People of the east! Know that the Chakravartin cannot be stopped. You and your previous ruler have fought mightily, and yet you have been beaten and crushed, while my forces yet advance and will surely overcome you - if not in a year, then in five, if not in five years, then in twenty five. Those who resist my irresistable progress will be crushed underfoot.

    I could afford to be cruel. However, I would prefer to be magnanimous. Therefore, I shall offer you a way to avoid destruction. Desist your resistance, and I shall forgive the error of defiance. Swear your allegiance to me, and become zamindars in my empire. I shall not persecute your faith, and will treat you as justly as any other of my subjects. What better things can you hope to attain through fighting a force that you can no longer even hope to match?

    From: Sarvashura, the All-Conquering Chakravartin of Hind [Altai, Khan of Delhi]
    To: Kankilli, Raja of Jaffna

    Greetings, king of Lanka. Word has reached me that men from your island realm have attacked the land of Gujarat, which is under my protection. I should suggest that you bring those to blame for this to task, and pay out reparations (around 100,000 taris) to the worthy men of Gujarat, so as to make amends for the damage and not jeopardise the presence and success of Lankan merchants in that realm in the future.
  20. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Silly furry

    Aug 21, 2005
    No, no you're not. Sigh. :(

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