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

  1. #141
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: End of an Empire, VII-8

    Me too! I enjoy both the military action and the intriguing hints about what Our Lady is doing.

  2. #142

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-1

    Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone
    Ch VIII-1: Maiden of Orleans



    (Adelmo)

    Despite a hard march, I feel much better arriving in Paris than I did leaving the frozen north. If those northerners want their ice and snow, they're welcome to it, and I'm glad they didn't do anything foolish that would have kept me around.

    My scurvy has left, and even though it is snowing when I leave Paris for Orleans, it is still warm compared to the north. Not far behind my men are those following my grandfather (retired) Podesta Soderino.


    Many of my grandfather's soldiers are younger than the soldiers under my banner, due to being more recently raised troops keeping a vigilant containment on the Orleans region. But now we will see combat.




    While we were marching, the scouting liaison from Soderino's force told me about rumors among the French that their patron, the Maiden of Orleans would protect their city. I simply pointed out several large wagons barely visible in the distance over the length of the marching column.

    I had been waiting in Paris not only for the latest ceasefire to end, but also to gather up the "four girls" who would show the French otherwise. These trebuchets were the newest "strategic artillery" which Our Lady had great expectations for.




    As the four trebuchets Pisa, Roma, Frankfurt and Paris were set up and began their work, my grandfather and I reviewed the many troops present. Supplies were flowing in good time from Paris, so this was not for any fear of problematic issues.

    However, as the walls of Orleans began to give way, the unthinkable occurred. The Maiden of Orleans actually appeared. At this point, it might seem obvious that this was a possibility since after all Our Lady shows up now and then, but still...




    When they first saw the lone figure walking out from among the rubble of Orleans' walls, our crossbowmen of course tried to shoot her. A hundred or so shots later it was obvious that such weapons were "ineffective". This was quite a shock to us all, and the first clue that something unnatural was occurring.

    After the Maiden had cleared about half of the distance from the walls to our closest men, I was overjoyed to hear the soft bells which usually heralded Our Lady. Remembering that we were on a battlefield, I immediately rallied the men and had the officers put their formations in order.




    The soldiers with me did not see what followed clearly, maybe my grandfather did but I wasn't able to ask him. The moment Our Lady appeared in front of us, without a word she drew her weapon and made for the Maiden who was wielding a long spear.

    I ordered a general advance towards the walls as the two figures clashed (obviously no one was advancing to the place where they were fighting). The ground shook, throwing bits of stone in all directions, which meant the French presumably got hit while we were still at a safe distance.




    As I had expected, the French sallied out against us. We were ready! Our infantry rushed forward with their spears at the ready and my own lancer unit took part. All the while, to our left a small storm flashed about as bits of the ground were kicked up and flung about smouldering as they went. But we had no time to think of such things in the melee.

    Speaking of melee, the French did catch some units of crossbowmen who had advanced a bit too aggressively out of step with their spearmen escorts. In fact the unlucky unit was the reason lancers were involved - we could rescue them faster than infantry could.




    When the last French straggled out on foot, our crossbowmen who were in their assigned positions took them apart with accurate close-range missiles. These last impoverished knights were in some cases less well equipped than our own infantry. Maybe not all of them were knights, but regardless it mattered little to us.

    It was at this moment that the critical duel ended abruptly.




    The Maiden made an aggressive attack, using her spear with both hands. Our Lady used her left arm, sweeping up and around, to catch the weapon under her arm while still closing in with her sword.

    Although it seems the sword was supposed to be used with two hands rather than one (an interesting idea) Our Lady simply slammed the cross-guard into the Maiden's face.




    The broken remnants of the French sally retreated back into their walls, leaving us standing firmly in our positions. In front of us, some of the latter buildings of Orleans that could be seen over the walls toppled over, sending up pillars of dust.

    When the ground ceased its shaking, there was no reason for hesitation, I ordered the forward units to assault the city proper. The rest speaks for itself.







    (This was actually the French king, kill reports mess up if the faction leader is present but not the leading general)




















    Spoiler for Details

    Last edited by Alavaria; October 18, 2017 at 06:40 AM.

  3. #143
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    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-1

    interesting duel between the ladies
    a good piece of RPing IMHO
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  4. #144
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    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-1

    I agree, the appearance of the Maiden of Orleans and the arrival of Our Lady add an extra dimension to this battle. I like the detail that the trebuchets were given names, too (just as cannon were sometimes named.) Good update!

  5. #145

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-2

    Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone
    Ch VIII-2: New Era, Continuing Hope



    Orleans was destroyed. Soderino had successfully seen the end of organized Romans in both their eastern (Holy Roman Empire) and western (Kingdom of France) incarnations.

    It was a day which called for great celebrations, with everyone from prince to pauper toasting his righteous reign!




    Except that, in accordance with Our Lady's promise, Soderino continued to his great age in order to see this victory. Perhaps it was not surprising when Adelmo found his grandfather had passed away on the battlefield (well just outside the walls, but it counted).

    Adelmo's father Marco was the new "leader" of the Pisan Empire.




    Soderino, despite having fought on many battles was an Administratively Minded governor of Paris in his last years. A shrewd Trader, his Merchant Skills inspired the merchants of Sicily and Africa.

    A Religious follower of Our Lady, Soderino Despises Religion and indeed Dislikes Catholics. When a Pilgrim to Rome he nevertheless demonstrated knowledge of being Corrupt in paying the Pope much gold.

    While Driven by Rage on the battlefield, he was nevertheless scrupulously "Superstitious" due to having great understanding of hidden things from his Master of Assassins, Spymaster and "Pagan" Magician.

    His Royal Treasurer and Money Counter both lost count of the Empire's growing riches which he never really touched.

    Pisans all remember him as All Conquering, a mighty Sacker of Cities and Great Speaker. His enemies (mostly dead as he was a prodigious Exterminator) might disagree, but among his own, he was definitely Supported by the People.

    On the battlefield, his figure was of a Conquering Hero who was Fine with Blood. All men knew he Dislikes the French and could fight in the melee, having the Marks of War which are inevitable in such endeavors.

    Although a great Warlord of Terror, as his years grew long he was Beyond Battle and, some say Somewhat Senile.

    However it was, in his retirement he was a Strict Ruler but nevertheless an Active Builder.




    Marco himself, having seen his father reach the amazing age of 80, formally became Podesta at a very mature 58 himself. It seemed likely that Adelmo might very soon become Podesta in his stead.

    However, if people thought there was a great change after the passing of: Podesta Soderino the Wrathful, the Merciless, the Malevolent, the Killer, the Cunning, the Watcher, the Mauler, the Victorious, the Tyrant, the Watcher, the Faithless, they should think again.

    It wasn't because of the rise of Consigliere Marco the Wrathful, the Mauler, the Merciless, the Tyrant, the Merciless, but rather the fact that neither of these men was the real power in the Empire.




    Regarding the succession, the great Podesta Baldassare only had one son, the recently passed Podesta Soderino, who in turn had two sons.

    Podesta Marco only had one son, Adelmo. Meanwhile Simone never married as far as we know...


    The succession is not as secure as some might like it. Though others might have reason to wish the Visconti family ill, as Our Lady promised them many things if they were loyal, such ills are only the fantasy of the conquered.




    The Pope is watching this from afar, as they are not Kings, the succession isn't quite the same as in other Kingdoms or Empires.

    Not that the Pisan Empire is looking to the pope for legitimacy anyway.




    Especially not when our (real) allies are the Byzantine Greeks, which the pope considers to be non-orthodox (though they call themselves Orthodox).






    Our neighbors in Poland and Hungary soon found that the passing of "the Watcher" Soderino did not bring them any relief from Pisan Intelligence.








    If the Moors thought Soderino's passing was about to delay our counteroffensive, it wasn't. Soderino wasn't expected to actually take part, due to, obviously, his great age.




    We are doing quite well for ourselves.
    Last edited by Alavaria; November 12, 2017 at 10:49 PM.

  6. #146
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    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-2

    Ah, Our Lady's promise about Soderino came true! Soderino's accumulated list of traits is a nice record of his development as a character. I'm intrigued by the comment that neither Soderino nor Marcus is the 'real power' in Pisa's empire. Pisa is doing quite well, indeed!

  7. #147
    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-2

    I came across this by accident. A happy accident I might add. +rep and a new addition to my subscribed threads. Good writing and great integration of the pictures to tell a great deal of the story.

  8. #148

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-3

    Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone
    Ch VIII-3: Calling In Help



    After the Serbians took control of some towns in the frozen north, the Polish refused to pay the Novgorodians whom they had asked to distract us by attacking said towns.

    Partially due to this, but also due to the potential of taking Castle Kalmar for themselves, Yurii Novgorodskii led his forces further along the coastline.








    Unfortunately, this was a step too far, and Oberto Bombello was forced to respond. As he was at the northern stretch of Poland, a simple sealift meant his Fourth Army was there in time.

    Much to the surprise and dismay of the enemy.






    Yurii's men were utterly wiped out, their blood frozen into the snow leaving a rather morbid monument to their lack of ability to withstand Pisan might.






    There was a lot of blood frozen in the snow. Kalmar, though, a region where the snow would give way to decently useable land.

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



    Returning south, Oberto demonstrated his displeasure of rocking boats by wresting the Large Town Twandste from Poland for his men to recover in.

    Also, the cold put him in a bad mood. Unlike Adelmo though, he had not been long campaigning there, so there were few lasting ills on his men.






    The crossbows got some good target practice in.






    Where were all the real Polish defense forces? This was a rather badly equipped garrison, nothing more than that.

    Could it be they hoped Novgorod would win the war for them?




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



    As part of our own distraction, Marco's First Army executed a Pivot to Poland, bringing his large force of various mercenaries there in search of Polish land and treasure.








    There was minimal resistance here as well. It seems that the Poles were not trying something clever, but instead desperate.

    However, as they** say, the "base cur still has a bite". And of course Marco had left Hungary a measure of breathing space. Who knows what might happen in the future?



    **It's a Rome Total War general (specifically Roman general) pre-battle speech line.

  9. #149

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-3

    Congratz on your aar being featured in a review.I like it and now many others will be able to read it and not only enjoy the story but also learn about how to play the game.
    To anyone concerned. I am leaving twc. Bye and best of luck.
    And Pike, thanks for supporting me always.

    Sadly, I felt that despite making contributions, I did not get recognition of Citizenship. Hence I left. You might call me crybaby, but I was shocked to see that most people whom I had considered to be well wishers, voted against me. Yes, I needed that Citizenship.
    Nowadays, I don't know if it was the site or if I have improved, but I do find it easier to do better on other sites.
    I also help run a very successful wild west server on Discord.

  10. #150
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-3

    It looks like Oberto Bombello and Podesta Marco have won some important victories. I can see why you wondered where the 'real Polish defence forces' are. Are they fighting another enemy of Poland, or are they about to begin a counter-attack against Pisa? I look forward to finding out.

    As mad orc said, your AAR has been reviewed by the Critic's Quill here.

  11. #151

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-3

    Glad people are enjoying

  12. #152
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    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-3

    Great campaign so far! I had to give you +1 rep for all of this beautiful work you've done. Your explanations of the campaign are also massively entertaining.

    I am a bit disappointed in you, however. Are you just going to sit idly by and let your enemies lord over Pisa's glorious former holdings in the Iberian peninsula?

    THEY MUST BE RECLAIMED!

    And while you're at it, conquer all of Spain (and Portugal). No one suspects the Spanish Inquisition, but fewer would suspect the Spanish Reconquista to be completed by...Pisa.

  13. #153

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-4

    Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone
    Ch VIII-4: Demographic Change

    The Pisan Empire, it is said, rolled forward on the slick blood of many thousands of dead. And it was quite true. In the days of Baldassare and Soderino, any of the people of North Italy, the "Holy Roman Empire" and the French kingdom suffered the ultimate and final defeat. Let us consider a little history.

    When the Spartan Coalition (Greek) forces under Agesipolis III launched their invasion of Italy, they did so from the south, proceeding northwards. Sicily, Greek at the time, was a passive ally of the Spartan Coalition and thus South Italy was soon filled with many Sicilian and mainland Greek settlers.

    Near the end of the Italian Roman regime, two legions abandoned their defensive positions south of the Alps and fled further north to escape the Greek warmachine. Joining with the German tribes at the time for mutual survival, the martial descendants of that cooperation, the Romano-Germanic tribes eventually became the leaders of what we now call the "Holy Roman Empire" (the East Romans, or the Lost Legions). They were the ones who eventually retook much of Italy and in fact resettled North Italy, starting with Venezia.

    During the pursuit of the bulk of the surviving Romans, the Spartans chased the refugees into the forests of Gallia. A very serious effort to literally "burn them out" left the resulting Romano-Gaelic people greatly weakened but defiant. In their later recovery they united and became the later Kingdom of France (the West Romans).




    Meanwhile the mainland Greeks (this includes Macedonians, well known as excellent pikemen) eventually became the Byzantine Greeks, currently our allies, though unfortunately not as unified as might be hoped.

    It is worth pointing out that at some point in history, famous cities such as Spartae and Athenai were destroyed in cataclysms. The development and later elevation of Constantinople did not hide the fact that these developments proved the old Greek Empire had lost the favor of Our Lady.


    The other main point is that she has clearly determined that this age will bow to the Pisan Empire, perhaps thanks to the obedience of the great Podestas Baldassare and Soderino who completed the de-Romanification through the various struggles.




    This isn't entirely about Glykeria "the Affectionate" a Byzantine princess who would later become Grand Quartermaster of Pisa and one of the most powerful figures in the Empire. It is, though, about the many Pisans, the vast majority of whom are not born by the time her story begins.

    The many fertile lands, the many frozen lands and the many wasted lands would be filled to bursting with Pisans in due time.




    Glykeria was a well known figure in the Byzantine courts. Despite being Naturally Frail, she was a Passionate even Dauntless Woman. However, she did not have any suitors except for one Secret Love. We have already met him, Adelmo - who Podesta Marco just named heir apparent of the Pisan Empire.

    When she visited Pisa on one of the Pisa-Byzantine alliance meetings, Adelmo gave her as a present a the prized Italian Strapping Stallion of the sort used by the Empire's heavy lancers (bodyguard unit).

    However, the old Podesta Soderino secretly sent her a Stunning Handmaiden, one of the Pisan Intelligence's operatives. In fact Our Lady also arranged a Faithful Servant, one of the Intelligence's assassins, as a bodyguard.




    When the time was right, one of Adelmo's aunts, Tita, visited the Byzantine court bearing word from Marco, Adelmo and even Our Lady.




    We had been allied for longer than Adelmo or Glykeria have lived! Marco's wife, if you remember was from Poland who very quickly turned on us and was at the moment facing total defeat at Oberto's hands.

    It was time for Pisans and Greeks to take a step up from our earlier alliance.




    Officially the pope couldn't agree with this, but again, it wasn't as though we needed the pope's legitimacy.




    The various ceremonies were held in Rome though, since it had the best cathedral in all the Pisan Empire.




    As for Our Lady's gift? The land of the English and Scottish kings, of course.

    Adelmo was a little less enthusiastic than you might think, due to the rather cold climate...

  14. #154
    Adanlohrd2's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-4

    Just loved this first episode. Make Pisa great again!

  15. #155
    Adanlohrd2's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Polishing Pavises, 1->2

    This episode reeks of innocent blood!

  16. #156
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    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: Polishing Pavises, 1->4

    Ch 1-4: A Sicilian Holiday

    Podesta became a damn old man and superb.

  17. #157
    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-4

    A great cliff hanger. Will she or will she not???

  18. #158
    ♔atthias♔'s Avatar Modding Staff
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    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-4

    I like the intrigue at court in this episode
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  19. #159
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-4

    Wow, that is an unusual wedding gift!

  20. #160

    Default Re: (SSHIP-Pisa) Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone, VIII-5

    Dreadbolt: No Stopping Zone
    Ch VIII-5: Land Switching Hands


    Spoiler for Battle






    Oberto's banner army rampaged through the Polish landscape, encountering little resistance on their march towards the remaining Polish settlements.

    All three of Marco, Adelmo and Oberto agreed that the far north regions were really best left to those who really wanted to live there.

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



    Oberto's soldiers were looking forward to settling down in these Polish lands, so they did not rampage too much. The army reached Plock in good time, with few soldiers of Poland or Novgorod to be seen.

    Once the siege engines were ready, the assault began!




    Even though it was snowing at the moment, it would clear up in due time. The few defenders under the Polish usurper must have been impressed by all the Pisans that arrived.

    It wasn't enough to convince them to just leave, though.


    Spoiler for Battle








    The Usurper abandoned the defense as the assault began. Though Oberto searched carefully... It wasn't necessary to actually kill him to attain victory, but still, not finding the one who had hired a Novgorodian distraction was disappointing.






    However, just when he thought he had escaped to continue usurping the throne of Poland, abruptly our ruler-on-the-run was sucked back into the settlement, since he couldn't retreat from the assault.

    Thus, he died.

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





    Some generals also found themselves suddenly a bit cold (as in dead) in the east. Though their deaths will likely not be known or cared about by the Pisans about to take their land, each such demise is a small attack in a much larger invasion.

    All for the unification of the land!

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



    Speaking of cold, Marco was not impressed by the snowfalls his men encountered outside the walls of Esztergom. They (mostly Italians, but also some europeans who had joined the Crusade of the Long Lance) found it somewhat trying.

    They were not very interested in listening to their 60-year-old commander talk about how in his day, the ground was either snow or solid ice and nothing else in the far north.






    The assault was relatively short and sharp. The Hungarians did make some use of pavises, but for their infantry - an interesting premise.






    It was a very weak defense. Marco's men were glad to be out of the cold, and no matter how "weak" Marco thought it was, he couldn't deny that solid walls had an attraction no field camp could provide.

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