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Thread: The Holy Roman AAR - Knockout

  1. #1
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    Default The Holy Roman AAR - Knockout

    The Holy Roman AAR



    In the beginning, the "Holy Roman Empire" is nothing more than a fractured system of dukedoms and principalities, lead by a man of low authority who fancies himself an Italophile, living and governing out of the northern Italian region of Bologna. Set right in the middle of everything, you know things are going to get hot and quick for the empire and the emperor. Kaiser Friedrich the Champion commissions his son, Prinz Heinrich, to be the man in charge of the main Imperial army, which isn't much at this time consisting mostly of lowly spearmen and some mercenaries. However within a few years, he is able to take the independent castle of Bremen to the north, and at the request of the council of nobles and no doubt the Kaiser himself, Florence soon comes under Imperial rule.

    Things are going relatively well for the as yet decentralized empire. The Prinz was married off to a French royal princess assuring peace on the western front and a recent alliance with the Milanese is a gesture from the Kaiser that he has no intentions of moving in on their nearby lands, mutually beneficial for all concerned. However, the Venetians are not fond of this newfound friendship, seeing as how if the Empire is allying themselves with the West, they are only left with conquest in the East. Already not happy with the Germans in northern Italy, at around the year 1187 the jealous eyes of the Venetians turn toward the Kaiser's Italian holdings. Bologna is besieged and a war is underway.

    Prinz Heinrich arrives with the Imperial army and makes quick work of the besieging Venetians. The Kaiser turns his attention toward the city of Venice, where the Venetian Doge rules over his subjects. He gives the word that should Prinz Heinrich take the city, he will be crowned King of Venice and rule the city at the conclusion of the war. A tempting offer for anyone, the following year Prinz Heinrich takes his army and marches across the bridge laying siege to the Venetian capital. A sizeable army outnumbering Heinrich's own and with some superior troops and equipment is levied to defend their homeland, but before he can even build up enough sieging equipment to assault the city, a smaller Venetian force comes from behind and sandwiches the Germans, cutting off any escape route and outnumbering them even further.



    This will be the fight that defines Prinz Heinrich.



    This will be the fight that establishes his legacy.



    This will be the fight that breaks the will of the Venetians, having their leader captured or killed, losing their capital.



    This will be the fight that is coming up next........


  2. #2
    Foederatus
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    Nice I like the way you laid out the story and the screenshots are really nice.

    I look forward to finding out the fate of the Venetian Doge; as well as some nice screenshots and stuff of the battle.

  3. #3
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    The Venetian Wars

    And so the story continues, one we've seen many times. A siege of a city, a fall of a city, a death of a governor. What can this offer we haven't seen before? Listen closely friends.

    Prinze Heinrich turned his army toward Venice and the large garrison that would be coming out to meet him in the field. The smaller attacking army from the rear would be easier to deal with once the Doge was dead and the main army beaten. Timing. Timing would be key.



    As the enormous army of Venetians closed in on Heinrich, a sudden feeling of despair came over him. He tried to shrug it off as the battle lines met. The army of spearmen fought as well as they could, considering the foe had on their side heavily armored foot knights and plate armored archers. And as we all know, Italian militia are the best Europe has known and lead ably by their Doge.....



    Barely able to keep up on the front, the small overlooked army from behind crashed into the Imperial troops. It was all over. The Prinz himself fought bravely and killed many a Venetians, but when all his men were either killed or running for their lives, he had no choice but to run as well....



    But at the end of the day, he had nowhere to run to. The bridge was cut off and the only thing on the other side was Venice and the troops he ran from. Venetian scouts eventually captured him and killed him, along with any others who'd escaped. A dark day for the empire... a major setback in the war early on... the army destroyed, the Kaiser's son dead... the dark clouds this day ended up being more ominous than the Prinz had assumed.



    The final results of the battle would be plastered on Venetian walls for years, the the Doge came away with a healthy increase in authority and respect among his already loyal subjects.



    The winter of the same year, the opportunistic Venetians would lay siege to Vienna where the Kaiser's second son, Conrad, resided and would command the defense. Barbus Mastropiero, a name that would ring in infamy throughout Imperial lands for years to come.



    Granted the defending troops were not the best in terms of quality or armor, they did however outnumber the besieging Venetians almost 2 to 1. And with the added support of walls and towers, this would be a textbook defense. With archers and mercenary crossbows ready at the walls, spearmen at the gates, even the inexperienced Conrad would have to be able to defend his lands and life.



    Ah, but as we've seen, not everything is always as it seems. Conrad would have his work cut out for him, and his very life would hang in the balance.


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    Default Re: The Holy Roman AAR

    Thanks Bluegreen! Been wanting to start this up for a while, but I haven't been able to get away from actually playing the game. Now I'm over 60 years into the game and I felt I had to start now or I never would, with all the thing happening and changing. Been a great campaign, hope people enjoy reading about it as much as I have playing it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The Holy Roman AAR

    Great AAR so far.

    I really enjoy it when we see the AI triumph, if only it happened more often.
    Is Vienna going to fall? Will the German's inside the gates face a cruel & heartless Venetian governor bent on revenge?

    I'm intrigued sir. Waiting expectantly for the next chapter.
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    The Venetian Wars continued

    As you might have gleaned from the ever so subtle foreshadowing previously, the defense of Vienna didn't exactly go as planned. The powerful Barbus Mastropiero would charge his own bodyguard along with himself in through the gates, shattering the few weakly militia that awaited behind it as archers and crossbowmen were slaughtered on the walls above.



    Quite an unpleasant scene took place for the Germans and the mercenaries hired into their employ who were unlucky enough to be stationed in Vienna. You couldn't get in or out of the city without wading through Imperial corpses and the occasional Venetian cadaver.



    Chalk this up as strike two for the Empire, and another big victory for Venice. So far the war has not gone our way. Two of the Kaiser's three sons have been slain, the third too young to even know what's going on yet. For example, little Sifrid has no idea his older brother Conrad was just killed defending Vienna against an outnumbered enemy and that now big bad Venice is breathing down his father's and his Empire's neck.



    Two major setbacks within the first year of the war, not a good sign. With the Empire's main armies beaten, the Venetians attack en force. They send several armies into central Imperial lands, sieging Innsbruck and Nuremburg in the next couple of years. The Lombard League, distressed by their allies failure and fear of further Venetian advancement declare war on the Doge. Their own worth in the war effort will be further examined later.



    By this time Kaiser Friedrich decides to take things into his own hands. They say wars are when empires are made or broken, when power is centralized is dissolved. This would be where he proves it. He raises a modest army of somewhat better troops than they've had previously and marches to beat the Venetians back down south and out of dangerous territory. First stop in the Summer of 1191, Nuremburg to bail out Maximilian von Nurnberg's ass. Along with the Kaiser ride Herman Tepl, an able knight with his own bodyguard and another noble from Innsbruck.



    After cleaning up there, he marches his troops all over the place, breaking sieges here, driving Venetians back there.



    He went from Nuremburg to Innsbruck castle, killing Venetians all along the way. Friedrich seemed unstoppable with his sergeant spearmen and light cavalry.



    Meanwhile, with the main forces busy up north, the new Prinz, Jobst, is besieged in Bologna and assaulted this time by a small force lead by a captain, while Consiglieri Pietro stands by and watches from the North.



    As Prinz Jobst, learning from the mistakes of his predecessor Conrad, sets up all his spearmen behind the gates, the Venetians march their rams to quicken their inevitable fate.



    As they break through the gates, without a heavily armored General and knights alongside him, the Venetians barely make any headway and are slaughtered by the horde of German spears packed tightly together.



    As the invaders break and run from the city, the Jobst and the town militia give chase. It might not have been the biggest victory, but it was the first time in this war that the Empire had come away from a siege without a loss and the death of a family member. The exuberant spearmen chased them away and back North, past their Consiglieri who hadn't taken part in the battle. We'll see more of him later.



    Meanwhile, in Northern Italy our allies face our mutual foe for the first time. Lead by their best general, the Milanese are attacked by a Venetian captain.



    Seeing their first battle, which seemed like one they should have won, end in defeat does not help bolster our confidence in our friends and the war. Kaiser Friedrich realizes he has to step it up himself as the broken Milanese retreat to the capital.



    That does it for the Summer of '91. What wonders do the Winter months have in store for us? The answer to that question is the same as the one for what happened here?


  7. #7
    Wolfman25's Avatar Foederatus
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    Default Re: The Holy Roman AAR

    Good to see you writing another AAR Wonderland. Timaeus: The Histories was an excellent AAR and this one is just as good. Good Job and keep it up

  8. #8
    Ieuano's Avatar Decanus
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    its going great, cant wait to read what happens next, superb cliffhanger!
    Total Rep = Unknown???? who will +rep me to the crown, whomever it is will get a mystery prize! or will they...

  9. #9
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    Thanks guys, appreciate it. I feel terrible Timaeus was cut short. I had to reformat my computer and the save was lost. I was able to save some screenshots I had of events that happened after the last entry though... never got around to putting it all together since I couldn't continue. Anyhoo I'm 60 years into this campaign already with plenty of pictures in wait so I have plenty to do with this one yet. Glad you like it!

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    Default Re: The Holy Roman AAR

    Great to see a DLV AAR, essp such a well written one! Keep it up, im hooked!!

  11. #11
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    The Venetian Wars rage on

    It was a particularly cruel Winter, 1191 AD. Maybe they were lost? Maybe they were crazy? Hell, maybe they just needed a place to stay. Whatever the case, one day from out of the snowy woods near Innsbruck emerged a group of Venetian spearmen, numbering just over 100, with the idea in their head that they would take the castle.



    Nearly 500 archers came out of the castle gates to meet their suicidal foe. They couldn't believe what they were seeing. They did the only thing they knew to do, line up and shoot.



    Volley after volley of hundreds upon thousands of arrows rained down upon the poor saps. They tried rushing at the archers but were cut down before even a single German was touched.



    It would be a nice story to tell at the tavern for months to come as the bodies lay out there to be buried under snow along with the thousands of arrows that already covered them.



    Meanwhile, there were bigger things afoot. As we've seen, the Venetians are a dogged bunch and hadn't given up their ideas of eradicating the Germans from Italy. Prinz Jobst in Bologna was besieged again, this time by a much more sizeable force than the last.



    At the same time up North, Innsbruck would come under siege again as well, this time by more than just a hundred spearmen, with a few hundred other troops scattered about the area. Kaiser Friedrich on his way down from Nuremburg to relieve the siege of Bologna would take care of the enemy along the way.



    As the siege of Bologna wore on into 1192, the Kaiser received terrible news. Prinz Jobst had been killed when a stray arrow struck him in the head as he was making his way across the city making preparations for the battle ahead. Venetian archers were known to blindly fire over the walls during downtime and they hit the jackpot. Another Prinz of the Reich killed.

    Our Milanese allies attempted another attack against a greatly outnumbered foe near Venice but were beaten back by the resilient Venetians.



    By the following year, Kaiser Friedrich had arrived at Bologna with his main army to relieve the siege. He would face a superiorly armored army with overall better trained soldiers. It would also be the first time meeting with the elusive Consiglieri Pietro who showed up with a few hundred men to reinforce the main army. However, this time the Germans would have the advantage in numbers. It was time to turn this war around.



    The Kaiser gave the order for Captain Welf to keep the garrison inside the city and out of the battle just in case of any unforeseen disaster. He would fight this one on his own. The battle was fought alongside a road on the outskirts of town and would see the death of yet another German noble, Herman Teple, who rode under the Kaiser's banner.



    It ended up being a tough fought engagement with the Kaiser seeing over 1,000 of his men slain. The cowardly Pietro ran as soon as he saw his men being killed by the hundreds. He would have to be left for another day.



    And so the tide was turning as Kaiser Friedrich won one of the first major victories for the Empire on the Italian front after 6 years of a Venetian advantage, keeping him on the defensive. Now he could finally move forward and work his way toward the city of Venice, where his allies already lay siege... and are defeated again by the powerful defending army of the Venetian capital.



    The next couple of years are a stalemate as Friedrich moves his army North across the Po River and fights several battles with scattered troops, all the while building loyalty and credibility to his crown.



    Not missing a beat, the Empire's loyal ally Milanese keep trying to take Venice, month after month, year after year, always with the same result. It would seem at this point impossible to take this great city, at least with the current strategy.



    And so the Holy Roman Empire has been at war with Venice for the better part of 8 years now. The world around them is shaping up and spies along the Northern border have reported Danish movements into German territory. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, Friedrich commissions a diplomat to charter an alliance with the Northmen, something he does for the sake of self preservation but has a funny feeling about... This turns their attention toward Poland and a great war soon begins.



    With the Kaiser's full attention able to be focused on Venice, the only thing missing now is a spark of greatness. Some great event that will shape the future of the Empire and solidify his rule without question. Coming out of the city and leading the Imperial armies himself has certainly helped increase his authority over the nobles, but he hasn't yet reached that level of greatness, the stuff of legend. And for that, we'll be joined by a familiar face......


  12. #12
    Bernem's Avatar Senator
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    yay, that's thrilling as hell!

  13. #13
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    Absoutely Brilliant Wonderland; its good to see that your driving those pesky venetians back I fought a long 30 year war with them on my campaign after they siezed my Capital of Milan .

    Anyway your doing a great job of telling the story and you have some great screenshots too.

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    The Venetian Wars: A Spark of Greatness

    Remember him? The Slippery Consiglieri, as he's known around the Empire. He got away a couple of years ago, went back into Venetian lands across the channel and came back with a strong army. He cuts off Friedrich and attacks.



    The situation might not appear to be the best. We've seen it before and it hasn't ended well in the past. The enemy has superior troops and armor, a bad sign for anyone. The number of men on either side is about the same, although the Venetians have a slight edge there. Their army of Italian militia, heavily armored foot knights and archers will advance upon the Kaiser's battered forces of mostly militia and depleted sergeant spearmen ranks. With the Kaiser rides a newcomer to German nobility, Reimar Hane, a promising young commander. And as he has been since the Kaiser took over the army years ago, Otto von Tirol, Margrave of Tyrol rides with his king.



    One thing is known for sure. A head on clash and fight to the finish will only end up with another Imperial loss and a major setback against everything they've worked for. The time has come to show what Kaiser Friedrich the Champion can do. This is the moment that will determine the course of this war. With the memory of his sons being killed by these dogs still fresh in his memory, the Kaiser plans out his strategy.

    He lines up the town militia, single file, right along the main road directly facing the oncoming enemy, with missile soldiers behind them and himself looking over their shoulders.



    Along the side of the road is a wooded area, perfect for an ambush. This is where Reimar Hane will await along with the sergeant spearmen for the Venetians to move along enough to spring the trap.



    The timing will have to be perfect. The trees where they're hiding are a distance away and should they charge too late, the militia will not be able to hold the line long enough and will break, leaving the ambushers to the same fate. Too soon and they'll get the Venetians' attention before the lines engage and be outnumbered and defeated. It's up to Hane to give the order, an important task he's been given in this most crucial battle. Patience. Patience and timing.



    The Venetians don't suspect a thing and are completely unawares, not seeing the hidden hundreds on the flanks. The battle lines engage. The militia's orders are to hold the lines at all costs, as long as they can, keeping the enemy occupied until Hane arrives.

    And as the bulk of the Venetian army is busy with the bait, Reimar Hane and a few hundred spearmen and cavalry emerge from the woods, bearing down on their rears.



    Perfection. The plan goes off without a hitch. The Venetians are caught completely by surprise on their right flank and rear, as Otto von Tirol charges on the left with his mercenary Frankish knights who had been waiting on the other side across the woods. They are surrounded and crushed.



    This battle would never have turned out the way it did were it not for Friedrich's clever strategic planning, and Reimar Hane's flawless execution. At the end of the day, thousands lay dead, injured or captured.



    And this time, among the captured was Consiglieri Pietro, under whose watch many noble Germans had died for he was the main orchestrator of the war for the enemy. Kaiser Friedrich the Champion, a previously stalwart defender of honor and chivalry had changed during the course of this war. He had seen too many Germans die and his blood boiled for revenge. Finally, he could have it. Hundreds of captured Venetians, including Consiglieri Pietro, were put to the sword. It was a crushing victory for the Kaiser and for the Empire, one that would go down in the history books.



    It would seem the Kaiser's legacy was just about established. All that remained was taking the seemingly impenetrable Venetian capital where so many thousands had died trying before, and as we've seen so far, the road to Venice would be paved with bodies...


  15. #15
    NONOPUST's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: The Holy Roman AAR

    Wow, awesome job so far! Hurry up I want to see what happens

  16. #16

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    Wonderful piece of work man.... Your video card must be killer. Fighting with huge armies like that with that kind of fidelity. Is your frame rate holding up? I especially like how you stretch and skew the perspective on some of them, really cool effect. ( one that I'm going to put to use if you don't mind! )

    I also love how you are riding out the adversities even when it gets really rough... What difficulty settings are you using?

    Great Character with The Kaiser.... but what will happen to his blood line after losing so many sons? Seems like after all his hard work, the empire will fall into another family's hands!

  17. #17
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    Thanks guys, there's plenty more where that came from! This is only the beginning for the Empire.

    X, indeed I have a killer rig going here. Just upgraded everything from the cpu, to motherboard, to a brand spanking new 8800GTS (320mb). Every setting in the game is set to max, including AA and all those goodies. I only get any choppiness when there's at least two fully full stacks duking it out, or more often with 3 or more big stacks. Other than that, smooth sailing. I'm thinking of turning the bloom effect off though from here on for a more subdued look perhaps? Maybe reflections too.... I don't know we'll see.

    Feel free to use any style you like my friend!

    Ah yes, the adversity. I definitely love that, playing on H/VH. As for the Kaiser, well, without giving away too much, lets just say he outlives more than his fair share of kids, grandkids and grandgrandkids...

  18. #18
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    The Venetian Wars: One Shot, One Kill

    After the last major battle, Kaiser Friedrich has to withdraw his battered troops back down South to recover. Meanwhile his Milanese allies seem to be up to their old tricks again in attacking Venice and retreating, but wait! This time it's different.



    Having learned from years of direct attacks on or near the city, this time they attack the Venetians up North in pitched battles, pitting their larger forces against smaller ones maneuvering through the area. They drive the enemy back across the bridge and into Venice.



    Now in a brilliant piece of tactical maneuvering, they bring up their army right to the bridge, where a small Venetian force is blocking the way to Venice, now heavily defended. A direct attack would mean another certain defeat. But here's the genius of it all. They don't move on the city, rather they block off the Venetians by staying in front of the bridge, giving the Kaiser more time to resupply his troops and raise new ones with which to attack the city himself.



    The Kaiser needed another year for preparations and he got it thanks to the Milanese. However during this time, the Venetian Doge was raising troops of his own in Venice and now had two sizeable forces at the ready, as well as two more reinforcing armies moving in from the East. The Milanese knew they didn't stand a chance against a Venetian attack across the river and could easily be caught between the approaching forces and the garrison from Venice. By the Winter of 1197, they pulled back, opening the way for the Kaiser and his fully supplied and replenished army.

    And Kaiser Friedrich obliged. He marched nearly 2,500 sergeant spearmen, militia, cavalry, nobles and mercenaries back across his famous battle site and onto Venice where a few hundred Venetian soldiers stood past the bridge and across the city.



    However, any capable commander can see a fatal flaw here, one that could potentially bring the death of a Kaiser and ruin the Empire. If the Imperial forces win the battle, but it goes in such a way that many Venetians are able back to Venice, the German army will be stuck between a rock and a hard place. In this case, the hard place is Venice and it's garrison and the rocks are the reinforcing armies that will move down and across the bridge, trapping and destroying the entire army just as they had done years ago to Friedrich's son. All the years and all the lives would be for nothing and would surely bring about the fall of the Empire.

    There is only one way this battle can go for Kaiser Friedrich. He must kill every last Venetian in this battle, or at least so many that there won't be enough to defend the city and a siege won't be necessary so the reinforcements won't have time to arrive and sandwich them. A tall order indeed for an army facing a much better equipped and trained Venetian one, as has been the case for the past decade this war has been raging.

    This is it. The Kaiser has one shot. He has to make it count. There perhaps won't be another opportunity like this for another 10 years, or ever.



    The troops were arranged in standard order, two ranks of all the Reich's spears comprising the center, nobles and cavalry on the flanks, crossbows harassing all around. There was a chance this might not have worked because of the disparity in quality of the armies, but there was enough time until Doge Orio brought his men up from the rear to have already taken care of the first army.



    The soldiers did a fine job of trapping the enemy and not letting them escape. Groups of Venetian swordsmen and militiamen would be surrounded and forced to fight to the death or surrender.



    Some however did manage to escape the main battle lines, such as the Doge himself, running like a coward to hide behind his walls. Imperial light cavalry were built for the chase. They hunted him down and killed him, leaving him to be used as the fertilizer he was for the embattled plant life on the battlefield.




    In fact, that battle would supply quite a bit of nutrition for the plants.....



    By the end of the day, nearly every single enemy soldier was killed or captured.



    He had done it. Kaiser Friedrich had killed the Venetian Doge and destroyed his army. Now the path to Venice was clear, with no resistance in sight and the Venetians reinforcements never having got there in time.



    Leaving a trail of Venetian corpses in their wake, the Imperial army marches triumphantly on Venice where their leader, Kaiser Friedrich, crowns himself the new Doge of Venice. This is the beginning of a new era for the Holy Roman Empire.



    Ah, but there is unfinished business as yet! Vienna and the Duchy of Austria remains in Venetian hands, being ruled over and oppressed by the man who killed Conrad and captured it 9 years ago. And then there are the counter-attacks. You didn't think the dogged Venetians would give up their capital and their honor that easily did you...?





    The clouds haven't cleared up yet...

  19. #19
    Aszrayel's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: The Holy Roman AAR

    Nice campaign story Wonderland! Very well written and nicely played. Those also are some great screenshots .

  20. #20
    Leonnidas's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: The Holy Roman AAR

    Great story, I just can't wait 4the next chapter


    Keep it up

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