Note: This is a strategic exercise. I am not looking for help to solve the stalemate. I'm interested in how various forum members would solve the scenario.
New Requirement (as of 11:50PM Eastern Standard Time on 9/12/2010): Your solution must ensure Cordoba, Toledo, Pamplona and Toulouse do not fall to Castilian, Portuguese, English or Moorish invasion (or any other faction for that matter). If one of these does fall, consider it a fail and start again.
What would you do to break this stalemate and gain Iberian supremacy given this situation.
First, some background:
Early on you were at peace with the exception of the Moors. You had a Castilian marriage alliance which got thrown away when you decided to side against the aggressor in a Castile/England war. Then you decided to lay siege to Castilian Burgos, leading to the last 70 years (50 turns or so) of war (with occassional peace). This war also got you excommunicated. You had been allied with Portugal, until they decided to support their Castilian ally.
A Jihad to Toledo many years ago brought the Khwarezmian Empire west with four stacks. The Khwarez were successful in the Jihad.
The French attempted to invade, but were cut short when England dominated and became a superpower. You have had English aggression against you, and took Toulouse as punishment for their actions.
At one point you had the Khwarez going after Murcia and Valencia. Castile going after Pamplona. England going after Barcelona, the Moors going after Cordoba, and Portugal sitting there waiting for their chance. At any one time 2 or 3 of your cities/castles were under siege for decades with very little rest or retraining time.
Now, you are sitting strong with Toledo, Pamplona, Toulouse, Granada and Valencia as your castles. You have Barcelona, Zaragoza, Murcia, Cordoba, and Palma as cities. Oddly, no one has bothered to invade sunny Palma with a garrison of all but 5 spear militia, though the Moors occasionally blockade the port.
To atone for your sins, you went on a massive church building campaign, and priest training program. You have sent an army of priests to convert Moorish controlled Fes (currently at 65% Catholic). You also have some spies and assassins wreaking havoc on Fes, and Fes has been on the verge of rebellion. You have regained your place in Christianity and for Castile's actions, they have got themselves excommunicated.
Unfortunately due to the large size of the Fatimid Caliphate, the Pope favors the Fatimid Caliphate for Crusade targets. Constantinople was a crusade target when Hungary was in control and got themselves excommunicated. Frankfurt has been a crusade target twice (once when HRE controlled and second when currently held by excommunicated Norway).
You have Montesa Chapter houses in Murcia and Valencia. The additional armor piercing heavy infantry has been helpful. You have a Master Theologians guild in Cordoba and Master Horse Breeders Guild in Toledo with Horse breeders in Granada and Toulouse.
The current situation:
Every turn you have a Castile army laying siege to Pamplona. Portugal and Castile take turns sieging Toledo. The Moors and Portugal take turns sieging Cordoba, though the Moors have Portuguese troubles south of the Mediterranean
Your only ally for a while was the Turks. They were the only ones willing to be friends. Unfortunately that friendship ended when the Khwarezmian Empire eliminated them. Later and more recently you received a request by a Norwegian princess for an alliance and marriage alliance with her people. Not thinking about it at the time, you gladly accept, only to find on the same turn the Pope has called a crusade on Norwegian controlled Frankfurt, and has demanded that you end your alliance with the Norwegians... DOH
Your Faction Leader is "Wildy Extravagant" (which gives you a +15% increase in construction costs, 30% penalty to taxes, but a -2 to squalor) and has a "Skewed View".
Your Faction Heir is unfortunately "Dangerously Mad" happens also to be an "Unproven Commander" is "Un-manly", "Corrupt", a "Poor Logistician", and to top it off has "Trouble at Home".
You're probably thinking to yourself that you should send these Family members on a lone pilgrimage to Jerusalem to redeem themselves
I have allowed the three enemies to assault the walls. Portugal and Castile bring lots of cavalry which makes it essential that you divert the enemy to try to take the walls, rather than break down the gates. You have no spears in Toledo or Pamplona, but you have plenty of Javelins and crossbow and sufficient infantry to create a meat grinder of Castilian and Portuguese bodies while taking very few casualties. So long as you can rush your cavalry out of the gates, disrupt their ram crews (and perhaps a ladder or tower crew or two, the AI will go after the walls if they get a ladder or tower at the walls. Let them get at least one ladder or tower to the walls, as they ignore other options.
In Cordoba, you have 4 units of Pike Militia which you can use to create a barrier at the gates, preventing a mass of cavalry from wreaking havoc. Use excess melee infantry to mob the gate to prevent the enemy from making headway. They will rout.
My secret weapon (sort of):
In a desperate attempt to break the stalemate, I have a trebuchet on board a ship currently in the port of Zaragoza on it's way west to break Portugese power. A second ship in Murcia has 2 Light Men at Arms, a unit Dismounted Knights of Montesa, and a unit of Knights of Montesa. I plan to pick up some Dismounted Feudal Knights, and a few more cavalry from Granada before sailing to Silves to lay siege. Following that a quick trip up the coast to Lisbon or Oporto (which ever is lightly defended) and cut even deeper into Portuguese finances. If I can't hold them, I'll sack and leave it for rebels. By cutting into Portugal, it'll shift the balance of power in the region.
I have attached the save game as of turn 106/Year 1237. The Mongols and Teutons have appeared. You will need SS 6.2 RC4 to play. Difficulty is VH/VH.
How will/would you turn things around?