Several wars later, the Byzantine Empire (“New Rome” didn’t test well, according to our marketing department) secured the Balkans, wrapped around the Eastern Mediterranean coast, and stretched to Tunisia. I settled in to assimilating these new provinces and contentedly watching Europe devour its children. Spain thrashed Aragon and, unsurprisingly, Portugal. England tamed Scotland, Eire and Brittany. France pushed into Central Europe. Sweden conquered Scandinavia.
It’s difficult to explain to your 15th century kingdom what a crash to desktop error is. Needless to say, they learned a little French as we deja-vu-ed ourselves into Mamluk territory again. Things didn’t go quite as well this time. Read more
I applied the same method of instigating internal revolt and waiting for the proper timing to my next war against the Mamluks. The proud history of the Mamluks is a long one–and proud, hence the adjective at the beginning of this sentence. They controlled Egypt and portions of the Middle East for almost three centuries. Their name echoes the sound one makes when accidentally swigging a gulp of sour milk, but don’t say that to them unless you’re prepared for war.
Fresh off a (lucky) stomping of the Ottoman Empire, “Just barely!” became our new battlecry. Once my new territories had stabilized, I considered the future. The Portuguese cowardice really spoke to me. I could fight a costly succession of wars against the Ottomans, or I could let others do it for me. Others. Definitely. Man, the proud Empire was beginning to look a lot like Portugal.
I bribed a couple of Cardinals to take control of the Papacy. What can I say, I have a Pope fetish. First order of business was declare a Crusade against the Ottomans. I learned an important lesson while playing my dearly beloved (yet cowardly) Portuguese: don’t fight a war you can let others fight for you.
Preamble: I enjoy grand strategy games, particularly historical ones, but I don’t pretend to be a great player of them (see my Portugal campaign). I have my inspired moments as well as my bad. I sometimes like to modify a game file or two to reflect a radically unhistorical circumstance. I dig history, but these write-ups are more on the fun side. So if you get offended by something or think I’m a doof for making light of a “serious” game, go play in traffic, okay? I assure you it isn’t worth your getting flustered.
“Onward, cowards!” General Poltroon cried. Portuguese soldiers, decorated in chicken feathers and yellow shields, charged into the open plains of Mali, long deserted by real heroes who were fighting a civil war to the west. “Let’s go east!” sounded the regimental horns, an impressive feat considering how chapped their lips were from the African sun. Read more
Time to set out. I loaded one fleet and sailed them west to the New World. Ahem, I said I loaded troops onto a fleet and…what a bunch of laggards. Are they lazy, cowardly or both? I’d forgotten that loading troops on ships in Europa Universalis is a ‘process.’ You can’t actually click on the ship to load them. You can’t load them in port either. You have to move the ship into an unoccupied sea zone, then move the army not onto the ships but into the sea zone. Fifteenth century armies liked to swim, I guess. Read more
I don’t know why I like to chronicle dumb tales played out in historical strategy games, but I do. It started with a Spanish Empire campaign in Medieval: Total War 2. Please don’t contact me about how such and such would never have happened in real life, because I don’t care. Onward.
Portugal is a coward’s choice. They are buffered from the chaotic morass of continental europe by Castille and Aragon. They’re also buffered from muslim advance by Castille, which is fighting the Reconquista to free the Iberian peninsula from the Moors (or, if you will, Moops). Read more