Page 4 of 12 FirstFirst 123456789101112 LastLast
Results 61 to 80 of 226

Thread: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Forward, Advance, X-6

  1. #61

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-1

    First the post (and page 4) didn't appear, and now it posts double. Well, take a look just below for IIII-1
    Last edited by Alavaria; January 09, 2017 at 10:33 AM.

  2. #62

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-1

    Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack
    Ch IIII-1: Cheapshotting and Sledgehammering



    As we move towards another expansion phase, let us look at the various fronts:
    • Western Front (vs French)
      Soderino's First Army and Simone's Third Army
    • Northern Front (vs Danes)
      Marco's Second Army
    • Eastern Front (vs Poles)
      Ugolino's Fourth Army


    We will clear the two Roman pockets (each has a city, these are the last two Roman cities).




    When they hear the scream of bolts in flight and the thunder of our (experimental) heavy cavalry on the charge, a sense of Dread fills our enemies. Those that run will seal their fate permanently.


    Albertino first started off sitting in Tunis to help hold it together, but at this point his influence isn't necessary. But I just never moved him out, so it's his turf now

    Giuliano could actually be useful for sitting in a settlement (people don't rebel if in a stable settlement apparently) but instead he is building watchtowers.

    Alberico will eventually get more Chivalry. I don't really push as hard as I could with getting Chivalry generals, so there are a lot of Large Towns sitting idle because they can't reach City without a chivalry governor.




    So far the only pope factions to die are Sicily and Venice. The pope of course approves of our little Roman cleansing project.

    My objective is to kill all the pope factions as quickly as I can, except for the Crusader States, though I could just run over and take their last settlement...








    Marco has only one son, but I guess he will do.

    I should note that if you take a princess and marry her to someone already on the family tree (like the adopted people on the right) she will leave her current spot and hop over to her husband. This frees up a slot for her parents to have another child or adopt someone.




    As can be seen, we're taking in a good amount of cash, so fighting a 3-front war isn't a problem at all. We could go even further but I am in the middle of setting up a good system for military units.

    In general it will be:
    • Spearmen Sergeants
      The heaviest spear unit I have available at the moment and for a very long time.
    • Genoese Crossbowmen
      Basically the best. Totally a bug and unabalanced.
    • Mailed Knights
      A bit better than the Italian Cavalry Militia. Mostly used on routers or skirmisher units that are already half-destroyed.




    While assassins can of course kill generals which is much appreciated, until now I didn't really get that much use out of their sabotage function. It's really handy when fighting a long war, just send 2 assassins and a spy to every Castle and City and constantly sabotage their unit production buildings. Gets a bit tedious though.

    As a small bonus, you rack up tons of dread on your faction leader, which as you can guess is probably already at max dread even before becoming faction leader...

    ===============================================================

    As to this episode's name:

    Cheapshot: A phenomena where someone wearing heavy armor is nevertheless killed by a lucky hit. The most frequent is to the eyes, either from an open helmet or raised visor/faceplate.

    Sledgehammer: The name for a massed army-level crossbow volley. Extremely intimidating and usually employed just as the main enemy force enters range.
    Last edited by Alavaria; June 30, 2017 at 03:08 AM.

  3. #63

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-2

    Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack
    Ch IIII-2: Frankly Just Die



    _____Aa: With all haste to Frankfurt!
    Soderino: We can march there quickly, but what's happening?
    _____Aa: Some sort of breakout attempt.
    Soderino: They are probably trying to link up with the Romans in Lyon...
    _____Aa: Or perhaps the French, no matter though. Get the men moving.




    __Otto: What? How are the Pisans here already?
    Luitold: There can't be too many of them, we just need to hold out until help arrives from the west.
    __Otto: I certainly hope so. Archers, give them something to worry about.




    Instead our Pisan crossbows gave the archers something to think about. Luitold's mercenary crossbowmen did not fare well at all in exchanges of bolts with us. Although the Romans had the height advantage, it didn't help them much since we had some units of elite crossbowmen which could easily outrange them regardless.

    The Romans and French really have not given much through to proper combined arms integration, much to their repeated losses. However, when entire armies just disappear into mass graves, perhaps there's no lone left to learn.




    See here. Crossbowmen wearing mail armor are not skirmishers any more than crossbowmen wearing padded armor are. They don't have a shield or a spear, so they shouldn't be exposed to the enemy, mail armor or not. A small secret is that our Urban Crossbow Militia units have mail armor that's significantly weaker than that of the mainline infantry, though they can wear a version with greater body coverage.

    Indeed, our crossbowmen and enemies hardly ever see one another directly, at most it is across the range of the battlefield, or indeed "though" a spotter who gives ranges and directions.




    And here they come, thinking their advantage of height will carry the day. Of course they are much smaller than the just-reinforced First Army. As the lines collide, our infantry confidently hold the Romans back at spearpoint.

    The Roman swordsmen are another issue, they charged the center along with the rest of the infantry which means they will be a bit harder to reach, but also reduces their effectiveness.




    Although we do have heavier and better-trained infantry, and frequently a lot more of them, we tend to have a thin front line, preferring to keep men on the flanks where they can be maneuvered. They can still be moved to the front if needed, while anyone already on the front can't be moved to the flank, so the theory goes.

    Generally though, the enemy does not seriously threaten our center, as heavy spearmen do have excellent staying power even against foot knights.




    Our spearmen can see someone easily against the sky (and you can too, look at the top-right). Yes, both generals are clearly visible and not screened by their missile units because...

    They're on a slope! Sometimes height can be disadvantage.






    And thus Kaiser Otto and his bodyguard perished without having ever engaged a single Pisan. Appropriately, he joined a number of Roman infantry who had been shot to death on the way in.

    All this occurred before we could really get into the flanking portion of our order of battle.








    And thus, the "out" portion of the Roman breakout was destroyed, saving us a great deal of effort in trying to assault Frankfurt.
    Last edited by Alavaria; June 30, 2017 at 03:10 AM.

  4. #64

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-3

    Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack
    Ch IIII-3: Frankfurt, Just Die


    (Soderino's PoV)

    Soderino: It seems the people of Frankfurt wish to surrender. How surprising.
    _____Aa: It's no surrender when the sword has already drawn blood at your throat.
    Soderino: Yes, that is quite true I suppose. After all, the soldiers all perished just yesterday.
    _____Aa: Well, I'm feeling quite generous at not having to fight a tiresome assault, so instead of just killing every Roman, hmm...

    After a moment, she turned to me with a glittering expression and said -

    _____Aa: How about this, any women and children who come out within five days, no a week, will get to keep their lives and go to my Pyramid City. Of course everyone else still dies.
    Soderino: Ugh, I rather you just killed all of them, then.
    _____Aa: Why? I think it's a wonderful proposal.
    Soderino: The last time you did that, I told a bunch of my men off on an escort mission and we ended up having to fight off three invading French armies.
    _____Aa: You won handily, didn't you? And that time you got reinforcements, and Captain Marco returned with even more. And Simone's entire Third Army is here.
    Soderino: Well yes, I just happen to have a fondness for the men who've stayed with me a while.
    _____Aa: I'll take some from Simone then, I was planning to anyway.
    Soderino: Sure, then go ahead.

    These "terms" were announced to a very subdued and very surrounded Frankfurt. Our Lady, this time with an oddly shimmery smile, also had me add that the Romans in Lyon had apparently chosen a new Kaiser who the pope had labelled a Usurper. So it was perfectly legitimate to massacre everyone we wanted. Funny how that works.

    Soderino: Really, it is a very generous offer, but still a rather hard decision to make isn't it?
    _____Aa: Well you know how it is. Oh it will also be good training for your men who use spears too often.
    Soderino: Sure.




    A few desperately hungry souls came out not soon after the announcement was made. They were led away to a sectioned-off portion of the camp and fed from our quite substantial supplies. Our Lady came and took a brief look at them before leaving.

    The second day, more left Frankfurt and soon joined those who had exited the previous day.

    On the third day, a few men came out (probably with their families) and were seized immediately. They were run through and the bodies left near the gates of Frankfurt.

    A trickle continued for the next few days, but these were all serfs or rather poor-looking sorts. I mentioned this to Our Lady and she seemed quite satisfied, saying something about 'an excellent filter'.


    On the eighth day, the men took out their sharp shortswords and prepared for a bloody job. Just before I gave the order, she said something to me which no one else nearby seemed to hear (though generally they can see and hear her by this point).

    Aa: I'm pretty sure you won't lose a single man in this operation.

    She was right. We didn't get any experience either.

    (Soderino's PoV ends)

    ===============================================================



    (Simone's PoV)

    Simone: As she predicted, there are Romans trying to march towards Frankfurt from Lyon.
    Officer: This is a great opportunity!
    Simone: Yes, have the men in formation, we will soon see battle.






    The Romans had some sort of Merchant Cavalry Militia, however unlike the cavalry from our Pisan families, these only had swords and no spears or lances to speak of, so they just sort of splashed harmlessly against our wall of long spears.

    Honestly, I wasn't entirely sure what was up with them because in the first place they didn't look like your typical knights. And I suppose that was the right impression since they didn't perform like knights either.




    (This is some sort of weird ragdoll bug? The models are actually sticking up off the ground like they froze prematurely.)






    There was really no way they had a chance. It was not that they couldn't inflict some casualties, but in the end the real objective was never in real doubt.

    Simone: This definitely cuts the last hope for Frankfurt.
    Officer: Might the way to Lyon now be open?
    Simone: We shall see, but first tend to the wounded.







    Last edited by Alavaria; June 30, 2017 at 03:12 AM.

  5. #65
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    7,761

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-3

    Wow, your advance does not seem to be slowed at all by fighting a war on three fronts. As before, your comments on tactics are helpful - for example, your images and comments demonstrate clearly the disadvantage of defending a hill against attackers who have powerful ranged units.[

    [Edit to add] The Writers' Study Yearly Awards 2016 are now open for nominations. Everyone is invited to submit nominations here.
    Last edited by Alwyn; January 15, 2017 at 03:55 AM.

  6. #66

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-3

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    your images and comments demonstrate clearly the disadvantage of defending a hill against attackers who have powerful ranged units.
    It's actually about crossbows vs bows.

    As a note, while the standard Urban Crossbow Militia has 7 attack bolts, some bows, like the Byzantine (and also trainable by other factions) Mourtatoi has 6 damage arrows, and shoot much faster, so yeah...

    (There's a Lettish Crossbowman unit with 8 attack bolts, and Templar Crossbowmen for crusader states with 10 attack bolts).

    Genoese crossbowmen (and all the other pavise crossbow units) are an anomaly as they have 8-9 attack but are armor piercing which even later tech crossbow units do not have (they go up to 12 or so attack, but no armor piercing).

  7. #67

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-4

    Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack
    Ch IIII-4: Not A Maginot Line



    No sooner had Soderino begun his march west when scouts reached him with news of a French army sieging Coellen. The First Army made their way along the snow-dusted road without particular haste or lagging.

    Roger: What? I though the Pisans were well to the south, near Lyon!




    Soderino: Straight through them for a clean victory. Forward!

    In disarray from hurriedly breaking their siege camp, the French were not able to put up a decent resistance. Many of them were killed by crossbowmen and the rest simply tried to flee, unsuccessfully of course.






    __Officer: So why exactly are we invading France?
    Soderino: You know how it is, someone attacks you, you purge their population centers.
    __Officer: Is it really worth fighting so aggressively though was my question...
    Soderino: How close are you to veteran-retirement?
    __Officer: Me? I was already eligible, but I didn't want to leave my men mid-campaign.
    Soderino: Weren't you with Captain Marco's group?
    __Officer: Yes, it was a long walk up here.
    Soderino: Heh, well you will get your pick of these lands, that's for sure. And your children after you.


    Note1: Though there is no conscription, soldiers can leave the military as long as not the middle of a campaign (exemptions may apply, for example some of Captain Marco's men left when they returned to Italy). Veteran-retirement is an award which confers various benefits, including preferential land allocations and positions as trainers or garrison units.

    Note2: Due to his veterancy, this officer actually had an allotment in the Roman lands. However, his men who were new recruits when they left Italy, would be given allotments in France.

    ===============================================================



    Soderino: Heh heh, why hello there French soldiers.
    French: Oh no, the only way this road leads is back to France.
    Soderino: Indeed, attack!






    The French have really tried to take up the crossbow, but too bad for them, they really don't have the tactics developed to utilize them to their fullest. Really, crossbowmen should be considered more like an artillery unit. (In fact, in some cases, my Genoese Crossbowmen sometimes will say lines like "artillery cease fire"!) Like any missile unit, leaving them where cavalry can get to them is a quick way to waste all the crossbowmen you've brought to the field.

    One trick to stop your missile units (archers too) from doing some sort of delay shooting (when you order them to stop and they shoot one last volley, right into your charging general) is to issue a move order. This will 100% prevent them from shooting, and if you stop once the unit acknowledges the command, they won't even start walking about and messing up the formation.




    The French try a bold massed charge into us, as you can see they're not exactly headed straight for the center of our front line. Though it's also true that we weren't perfectly lined up to face them. No need to worry though, the box has flanks just about as strong as the front. If the enemy concentrates on the right corner, we can move units from your left to compensate.

    What is more important is to try and avoid moving your crossbows once there are targets in range to be shot. They're just more fussy when it comes to settling down and shooting again, so save yourself the trouble.




    Rear lines, shoot!

    Genoese Crossbowmen have a much longer range than the Urban Crossbow Militia, so they end up shooting first even though the militia are deployed in front of them. Eventually though, we'll use 100% Genoese Crossbowmen, but some armies will still be employing the militia...




    Front lines, shoot!

    Unfortunately for the French, missiles in SSHIP are, again, area weapons which means if your whole army is packed together, the missiles become multiple times more effective.




    You can see here, the French stacks are coming around the corner of that church building, and as they are being shot at by the long-range crossbowmen, they immediately attacked in this dense mob.




    Just a total wipe. Is the way to French lands now completely open to Soderino?




    We might as well pave the roads westward with French rather than stones.






    Soderino: I do quite like the look of this countryside, I think I will also retire here.
    __Officer: Aren't you older than my father?
    Soderino: Probably, but I shall stay on the battlefield for as long as Our Lady requires.
    __Officer: Wait, you don't mean to say...
    Soderino: My father Baldassare died at over 70 years old, just after the total defeat of Sicily.
    __Officer: Was he involved directly in any actions?
    Soderino: Yes, though I don't doubt that his bodyguard unit did all they could to keep him in the rear.


    After Baldassare's death, some of his bodyguard followed Soderino into Africa, and the younger ones even continued until the start of the Roman invasion. But by this point all of them have retired, primarily in the few Italian holdings up for allocation at the time.
    Last edited by Alavaria; June 30, 2017 at 03:15 AM.

  8. #68
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    7,761

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-4

    Ah, I see - your detailed knowledge of the various crossbow units is impressive, as are the continuing successes of your armies. It looks like Genoese Crossbowmen against a dense mob of enemies is a one-sided contest.

    While I'm here, please don't forget that the Writers' Study Yearly Awards 2016 are now open for nominations. Everyone is invited to submit nominations here.

  9. #69

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-5

    Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack
    Ch IIII-5: A Grand Plan



    _____Aa: The French will be trying a two-pronged attack, with two major thrusts along the northern border and a secondary attack along the south.
    _____Aa: First Army has the harder task of taking on the main French attack and then penetrating into their production areas.
    _____Aa: Second Army is to go for the last Romans in Lyon, but it is more critical to ensure that no French slip past into the Frankfurt triangle.
    _Simone: What's so important about the Frankfurt area?
    _____Aa: It doesn't have any real self-defense forces. It would be troublesome if Romans got in and managed to take up those fortifications.
    Soderino: What this report? Oh, the Collen picket reports that a French siege force is approaching.
    _____Aa: Right on time. Off you go then.
    Soderino: Reinforcements?
    _____Aa: Currently Marco's Third Army has priority since they are undermanned. I think the two of you will have to be careful.
    _Simone: The Danes. I hear they love using axes...




    Simone: Still, I hadn't expected the French to so quickly make another cross-border incursion.
    Scout: It's nothing special, their usual spear horde with some knights as a core.
    Simone: That's perfect, and we have a height advantage in this place. Let us wait for them.




    At first, things seemed to be going well. We caught the French at what should have been a good place, with a nice height advantage. However, Simone had not noticed that the curvature of the battlefield was against him.

    Yes, like in some of the previous battles we've seen, Simone's crossbowmen could not get a good shot at anything, be it the rear of the enemy infantry mass or even their (admittedly rather puny) archers.




    The French foot knights leisurely walked up though their side's spearmen and began attacking the Pisan infantry with practiced and chivalric swordsmenship.

    It was still an uphill battle for them, though. Ironically, while neither side could use their cavalry to good effect, for once the Pisans had more knights than the the French.




    ___Simone: Don't worry about the line moving back, they're holding formation and cohesion is still high.
    Left Officer: Should I take some crossbows and flank left?
    ___Simone: Immediately. I want those knights shot off our shields!
    Left Officer: With all haste!

    The still-fresh crossbowmen eagerly followed their spear (and knight!) escort to the area Simone indicated. Thanks to the French's aggressive push it was now in danger.




    The first volley of Pisan crossbows was an extreme shock to the French who had not thus far received their share of bolts.

    Rather than target the French archers or even the infantry closest to him, which were decent choices, the commanding officer instead elected to shoot right into the heart of the French, where the foot knights were inflicting casualties on the Pisans who had just joined the fray to reinforce the line.




    Gautier Blouet heard the sound of shouting, but he couldn't see anything from where he was further downhill. Eventually though, he heard some sort of commotion as a mass of Pisan knights burst forth from his right, with their swords ready for a melee.

    He immediately tried to call back some of the units in the rear of his infantry formation to assist, however...




    From the middle-center, the French were fleeing. It wasn't even so much that the crossbowmen had inflicted many casualties, but rather the bolts were hitting people all over the line and thus every section thought they were under missile attack.

    In the panic, French trampled one another and also fell down the slope. Those who kept their footing were obvious targets as the crossbowmen swiftly focused on those knights still trying to fight despite the chaos.






    The rout was total, and the Pisan knights who were already in the French rear were perfectly positioned to pocket all the routers, which they promptly did with the swords mentioned previously.

    Also, the general was struck off his horse and fell to a violent death by gravity.








    Simone: A clean sweep.
    Last edited by Alavaria; June 30, 2017 at 03:18 AM.

  10. #70
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    7,761

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-5

    A clean sweep, indeed! I like the way that you demonstrate the strategic moves on the campaign map, while also using images to great effect on the battlefield. The chaos and panic as the defeated army collapses is well done. Your line about the 'violent death' of a general is nicely done.

  11. #71

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-6

    Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack
    Ch IIII-6: Ideological Purity



    Ugolino approached the Praha(Fortress)-Brandenburg(Castle) gap with caution. Thankfully, while the Polish had made some advances, they swiftly withdrew back to their own lands as the Fourth Army approached. The stakes were thus low as the supply lines would be safe without the need for a battle to protect them.

    The scouts were already planning an invasion of the Wroclaw-Poznan dual-Fortress, however this would have to wait until Marco's Second Army was fully reinforced, as the Danes had already pressed several battles up north.




    We sent to ask the Polish if they really wanted a fight. They seemed confident in their defenses and were probably waiting for an opening to attack. So be it.

    Small skirmishes continue along the border as the Fourth Army waits for the time and command to attack.

    ===============================================================



    The Polish shouldn't think of us as a weak and overextended kingdom, we've grown appropriately as territory was added to our holdings.

    However, our Byzantine allies are still 10% stronger than we are, which is not as dangerous as it seems, since they are busy with their own wars in the east.

    ===============================================================





    Eptarys, the Wicked level 5 Witch of the North (Italy) laughed as she kicked the corpse of a thug who had tried to attack her with a knife. Then a more modern assassin shot her with a heavy crossbow.

    Thanks to the theological ineptitude of so many neighboring kingdoms, heretics and even witches ran wild and as a matter of course, they do not respect borders.




    People are also being targeted for special "attention" not only along the borders but also surprisingly deep into enemy heartlands.

    As the French are now learning much to their pain.

    ===============================================================



    Egypt, I think there was a crusade that went out that way. Seems they have been soundly defeated.

    Indeed, the "Kingdom of Jerusalem" is left holding only the citadel of Haleb and has become an Egyptian vassal.

    ===============================================================



    Our war chest is strong, primarily because we're just not recruiting as much as we could be.




    However, that does not mean we're just counting coin in Pisa, actually we're starting new heavy crossbow factories in Venezia. After all, military production is also an important source of productive jobs.

    Our 'military-industrial complex' consumes large amounts of iron & steel, turning out staggering amounts of armor and missile weapons.

    ===============================================================



    (Marco's PoV)

    We were going to march in a straight line through the Dane lands and take all their Large Towns. How exactly they were able to mass such an army with such an economy? I tried asking Our Lady but she just responded with the cryptic answer of "AI bonuses".

    Well regardless of that, we will defeat them!




    Although I had spent a good deal of coin gathering the local mercenaries, when I sent men out to prepare for the invasion, instead they were ambushed by the Danes in the forests.

    This would never have happened if I had a full roster of professional Italian infantry.




    We will have to wait a bit longer to launch the attack. For now I have assigned the mercenaries to "easier" garrison duties where they are less likely to fail me.

    ===============================================================



    In Africa, a secret meeting of the various bishops and cardinals of Pisa have finished their discussion, it is about time for them to take action to seize control from the popites.




    As you can see here, we have a Preferati, and 6 out of the 13 cardinals in the college. However, we will not accomplish reform by simple making trades between cardinals...

    A more revolutionary solution will be required to achieve Our Lady's aims.




    Look at this Otto fellow, he already is trying to proclaim himself as the pope. But this is not the way we will do it either, rather we will take much more forward measures than simply preaching in Lyon.
    Last edited by Alavaria; June 30, 2017 at 03:22 AM.

  12. #72
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    7,761

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-6

    Great update! Pisa's expanding empire is impressive. I enjoyed Our Lady's answer to the question about how the Danes managed to field such a large army!

    Meanwhile, the Writers' Study are currently running three competitions, everyone is invited to vote for your favourite writing:-

    Writers' Study Yearly Awards 2016

    Monthly Creative Writing Competition XIV

    Tale of the Week 256


  13. #73

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-7

    Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack
    Ch IIII-7: Soderino's Long March

    Soderino looked over the map with his scouts' reports in mind before putting together his plan. First he could quickly take over some of the nearby large towns, which would be useful supply hubs, but also protect his flanks by pushing out the enemy.

    The French of Loven were first to be overrun:
    Spoiler for Loven, Large Town



    Some Roman holdouts in Utrecht were also cleaned up. No desperate surprise attacks would come from there.
    Spoiler for Utrecht, Large Town



    And then began the siege of French Gand.



    Prince Charles was determined to hold the Fortress against the Pisans until help arrived. Of course, he didn't know that the men attacking him had already taken apart the two major French armies sent to attack us. Or that the third force had been demolished by Simone.

    As such, there was no help to save the French. And we had brought up some new Siege Crossbows to be tested in an actual siege.




    These were not unlike the old idea of anti-personnel siege weapons, however with modern materials and engineering, were much smaller and thus somewhat portable. Set on sturdy "legs" the siege crossbow was perfect for zeroing in on the walls and waiting for that perfect shot.

    The suppressing effect of not being able to look out on those sieging you, as well as the morale effect of people being suddenly shot even in higher towers which heavy crossbows strained to reach, made our job that much easier.



    The fall of Gand shook the world. In a manner of speaking.

    ===============================================================

    Simone also took the border town of Dijon, as part of cutting off any potential French aid to the Romans now pocketed in Lyon

    Dijon also is the home of an amazing type of mustard, a wonderful item well loved with Pisan cooks everywhere. In the future, that is, once the area was developed enough to begin real production of the good.
    Spoiler for Dijon, Large Town



    ===============================================================



    At this point, the strength of the Pisans can no longer be doubted by anyone. With the "Holy Roman Empire" largely occupied, the French forces gutted, and even the Dane-Pole border held against heavy attack, one must wonder...

    It isn't just that our army is stronger than any other army, but also that it is capable of fighting multiple wars aggressively at once. What a terror to face Pisans on the march!






    Besides that, terror and death also come home to any rival who might suddenly find their lives at an unceremonious end, from any number of completely lethal means. The "carnival" in Venezia was a secret group of rogues who dealt with hostile leadership in a far more personal manner than any battlefield general.

    It was said in those days "everyone dies sometime".

    ===============================================================



    While we are pushing aggressively against France with two armies (1st, 3rd) on the other fronts we are being much slower because any advances lead to longer and longer frontlines, and will go on forever (look at how much more map there is to the east).

    Now, going against Denmark and Norway has the benefit of closing up a line (actually not though!) but reinforcements have an extremely long overland march from the production centers of North Italy.
    Last edited by Alavaria; June 30, 2017 at 03:25 AM.

  14. #74
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    7,761

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-7

    Looking at the latest battles, it appears Pisa's enemies are no match for your conquering armies. You mentioned the long march from your production centres in North Italy to the front lines. I wonder if Pisa's expansion will continue at the same rate (perhaps using local auxiliary units to garrison lands which you have taken) or if Pisa's expansion will pause, to allow for consolidation of the large empire you now hold. I also wonder if any other factions can provide a serious challenge for Pisa. Perhaps they could, if they formed alliance and if they threatened Pisa on multiple fronts. However, it seems that Pisa is capable of expanding on multiple fronts, simultaneously.

  15. #75

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-8

    Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack
    Ch IIII-8: The Fall of Romans



    The East (Holy) Roman Empire consisted of a single Large Town that was conveniently located between Pisa's east-south border and Hungary. As a result, there was no interest in actually stamping it out, but the Romans had to be suppressed every now and then.

    Spoiler for Quick Battle





    ===============================================================



    (Simone's PoV)

    The time had come to strike at Lyon. Though it remained well-defended, a small group was spotted "close enough" to a bridge that was "close enough" to Lyon. I can't explain it myself, but apparently if we try to attack this smaller group, the entire garrison of Lyon will rush out to try and defend it, and furthermore will be on our side of the bridge.

    While this plan seems insane, it was a direct order by Our Lady and besides, taking control of this bridge will help us prevent any French reinforcements that might try to aid Lyon. So I was thinking...




    We set up camp near to the bridge, and upon receiving scout reports of a force approaching from the direction of Lyon, we formed up in good defensive terrain. Please remember that the force from Lyon is coming towards the river, however as they are reinforcements they will try to link up with the small force we "attacked" before making any move towards us (unless we intercept them, of course).

    Enemy mercenary crossbowmen tried to open the battle, but instead we opened them up. The attacks from our long-range crossbows immediately caught the attention of the Lyon force, who instead of trying any reasonable strategy, simply attacked us.




    However, Roman Kaiser, we've taken some steps to protect our heavy spearmen against your cavalry! See all these stakes we've put out front, they will force mounted units to circle around. While they frequently do this anyway, preferring to flank, it's nevertheless helpful to be certain that a direct frontal charge will not be breaking up our frontline.




    Wait a moment, what are they doing? They're going too fast, could it be that they couldn't see the sharp stakes?

    Brace for impact!






    It turns out that apparently Roman generals are not particularly clever. Rushing to help his Kaiser, the second Roman general also impales himself on the stakes.

    This was the most stupid charge of 1. a general and 2. a pair of generals that I've ever seen.

    (Simone's PoV ends)





    Ok, so what's happening here is the Roman general bodyguard units are trying to thread their unit in between the stakes, as there's gaps there. However, this maneuver is "aimed" by moving the center of the unit through the middle of the gap. As the general is on the left side of the unit, he can get caught on the edge of the stakes...

    It will also try this if you have a gap in your spearmen line (on the front, or on the flank). And in some cases, because it is trying to attack/charge your crossbowmen, the unit will only be "running" when it hits your spearmen, not "charging", which is the best situation. Remember a unit fights as a whole, so if a corner gets snagged on something, the horse can get in a great deal of trouble.







    One thing to remember is that stakes will kill your own people, so if the enemy is still fighting, you will probably want to flank them with missiles, shoot them until they rout and let them run a bit before you try to chase them down.

    Usually, the AI avoids stakes religiously, so the reason to set them a ways in front of your infantry is to keep the AI horse at a decent distance so your crossbows can shoot over the infantry melee and hit them.




    With the death of the Usurper Kaiser, the pope's main reason for excommunicating the faction had died. Perhaps the people in Lyon hoped that this would save them.

    Unfortunately for them, the pope can only issue missions in between turns (and the pope like my faction too much anyway) and thus...




    Seriously though, Sacking and Exterminate will delevel building chains or even destroy buildings, so don't do it, except for stuff like Towns, Large Towns I guess.

    Hilariously Occupying will give your general a point in StrategyChivalry which is bad as they are Dread, but you can build a Gallows to offset this.
    Last edited by Alavaria; June 30, 2017 at 03:27 AM.

  16. #76
    Socrates1984's Avatar Decanus
    Citizen

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    555

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-8

    Another beautifully made chapter!
    Pisan Crossbows are as accurate as ever and the cunning choice of placing stakes to force enemy cavalry to maneuver around, in order to be on the receiving end of the bolts, had unforeseen positive consequences!

    I don't remember if this has been asked before: From an in character point of view why are the leaders and generals so ruthless in exterminating people and executing captives?

    It's not that I disagree at all with this tactic, but I wonder who are these people to not have the slightest sense of humanity?

    I am enjoying this! Bravo Alavaria!

  17. #77
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    7,761

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-8

    Stakes and crossbowmen sound like a devastating combination, especially when they are Pisa's crossbowmen.

    Like Socrates1984, I wondered about the reason for the ruthless slaughter of populations and captives. I wondered if is role-playing (some AAR writers, such as the author of I am Skantarios, write stories from the perspective of anti-heroes or 'bad guys'), if this is done to make the game more challenging (obviously, the latest chapter advises against it, since it is necessary to repair or rebuild the ruined buildings) or if this causes Pisa's generals to acquire useful traits (to cause fear in Pisa's enemies)?
    Last edited by Alwyn; February 12, 2017 at 12:41 PM.

  18. #78

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-8

    Quote Originally Posted by Socrates1984 View Post
    Another beautifully made chapter!
    I don't remember if this has been asked before: From an in character point of view why are the leaders and generals so ruthless in exterminating people and executing captives?

    It's not that I disagree at all with this tactic, but I wonder who are these people to not have the slightest sense of humanity?
    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Like Socrates1984, I wondered about the reason for the ruthless slaughter of populations and captives. I wondered if is role-playing (some AAR writers, such as the author of I am Skantarios, write stories from the perspective of anti-heroes or 'bad guys'), if this is done to make the game more challenging (obviously, the latest chapter advises against it, since it is necessary to repair or rebuild the ruined buildings) or if this causes Pisa's generals to acquire useful traits (to cause fear in Pisa's enemies)?
    I'm going to step out-of-story/universe to answer this one seriously.


    Exterminate (and later Sacking):
    So when I'm discussing game mechanics, I'm basically hopping through time to explain if I was making a mistake. When I was at this point in the campaign, I didn't realize that Exterminate destroyed/damaged buildings. When I realized it did, I used Sacking, which actually also damages buildings.

    Yes, Exterminate/Sack does give generals Dread, which is handy but not worth the cost in terms of settlement*building-turns lost. I have no issue winning battles even with generals that have 0 dread. (My best reccomendation is to Occupy and then spend a turn building Gallows to counteract the effect).


    Executing prisoners:
    Mechanic-wise, it's either execute, ransom, or release. I don't want the AI to get units back, in general the idea is "it is easier to take land when the AI has less troops". If the AI can pay ransom, the cash isn't worth them getting units back. Also, it does give Dread, which is great for Generals.

    Storywise, many of the "prisoners" are actually considered to be dead. Contrast with the Rome Total War engine, where attacking routers in melee killed them. In this case, it's less of "execute prisoners" as it is "kill routers rather than capture". You can tell via the images that they're attacking routers by using swords on their backs. (Also, many many people are killed by bolts). The army is generally rather desensitized to seeing people being pincushioned (when looting the corpses in an organized way).


    Who is in charge:
    Generals - even the Podesta, who is (outside of Pisa) assumed to be the leader - are not the actual "political leadership". You can tell more easily as you see things from their PoV, where Podesta Soderino is told "here are your reinforcements, you won't get any more because they are needed elsewhere".

    The Podesta is not actually leading the faction, he's actually just the top general. He isn't even a Commander-in-Chief, as he isn't commanding any front besides his own (and his son Simone was assigned to help him).

    The actual flow of reinforcements is overseen by the Quartermaster-General in Pisa (who would show up later on), but even they are only taking orders quite literally from Our Lady of Mercy Aa the Deity of Unnumbered Wings etc etc.


    Perceptions at home:
    Within Pisa, the general understanding towards prisoner execution and targeted killings (assassinations) is basically that one line mentioned: "everyone dies sometime". Soderino/Marco are not the only ones who believe that the old Baldassare recieved an afterlife due to this loyalty to Our Lady, at least it is more widespread now thanks to the veterans from the Italian War.

    It's arguable to the extent to which the "religion" in the area matches that of other "catholic" areas (which itself is nothing like historical Catholicism in the time period). Partially because the history is different due to the events in the Sparta story (Italy is formed from a Greek base, as the ancient Romans were purged, etc). Not everyone, even in the armies, have the same idea of who exactly Aa is, but generals and most officers basically follow her relayed word above that of say the pope.

  19. #79
    Socrates1984's Avatar Decanus
    Citizen

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    555

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-8

    Thanks Alavaria for the thorough answer!

    You answered from both perspectives: In and out of character and you got me covered. From a game mechanics point of view, I usually find sacking a good compromise between money, building destruction and public order. However, last time I played SS I had checked that option about slower integration of captured settlements and it was really hard to blitz enemy territory. In that scenario, exterminating was the best option for me too, because for one round I could do nothing with the newly conquered settlements and thus public order would be in the reds if not for exterminating the populace.

    I like your justification about executing too. I hadn't thought it that way. Now that you mention it, it is quite counter intuitive just capturing the fleeing enemy instead of stabbing them in the back. Just a few moments ago you were fighting each other and now you just contain them??

    Finally, the ways of the Pisans have deeper grounds indeed! This combination of catholicism and mysticism gives a new and fresh perspective to the Med2TW experience. As I see it, you have invented a new entity, the Lady, sort of intervening between you and the soldiers. This way, it's not exactly you ordering them to do what they do, however despicable or justified that may be, but the Lady. Good, good, I like it!

    Keep up the good work and keep up waiting for more!

  20. #80

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Expansion Pack, IIII-8

    Quote Originally Posted by Socrates1984 View Post
    You answered from both perspectives: In and out of character and you got me covered. From a game mechanics point of view, I usually find sacking a good compromise between money, building destruction and public order. However, last time I played SS I had checked that option about slower integration of captured settlements and it was really hard to blitz enemy territory. In that scenario, exterminating was the best option for me too, because for one round I could do nothing with the newly conquered settlements and thus public order would be in the reds if not for exterminating the populace.
    (More mechanics talk)
    SSHIP works differently. For one, building is slower, so delevelling hurts much more. Also, "larger" settlements are generally supported by a high base growth factor (you can't get around it) so population grows back quickly. So much so that when you lose buildings that give public order, the population grows back faster than you can rebuild, leaving you with a problem down the road. So it's best to not lose any building levels. Also, settlements get an increased unrest depending on things (eg: Frankfurt is HRE "capital" so it gets a high unrest) which doesn't go down at all. It's always going to be an issue.

    In general my attacking is based on being able to sit on any problem areas, usually Large/Huge Cities are the major problems, some small Cities are no issue, but a City level with a higher population can be trouble. My actual attacking army tends to move forward, with it's "tail" of reinforcement guys doubting as a garrison. Like many players, I also have a garrison unit I spam (Peasants, which will be removed in future version so shrug) which tends to sit in place if needed...

    You can also use governor-generals, I don't like relying on them though.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •