This campaign was mostly a test run for Modern Times mod, and it ended a bit earlier than I thought it would, but you might find this AAR enjoyable nevertheless.
Take that Von Habsburgs: Part 01: 2015-2021: Crusade for Constantinople
Time to playtest Modern Times mod, together with my usual tweaks, which are not included in Steam Workshop version, as they are matter of taste and not terribly related to Modern Times mod itself (the relevant ones - suez canal and no dynastic names - are both included in workshop version). Other mods used are DLC music for everyone and anime portraits.
There are some obvious ideas like playing Greece into Byzantium or ISIS into Blobbasids, but I have something even better in mind - taking what's left of Austria in 2015 and showing Habsburgs how it's really done.
The goal is to expand to all the lands Austrian Habsburgs had or wanted to have, that is at least all the Balkans, Bohemia, South Germany, South Poland, West Ukraine, and North Italy. I don't absolutely need North Germany, Netherlands, or Spain, but if I happen to accidentally marry into a claim on them, I'm going to press it.
Not playing with ruler designer, so my starting family is (all fairly poor stats, as random characters tend to):
• 45 year old emperor Filibert von Abensberg
• 25 year old princess Heilwiva
• 23 year old prince Ludolf
• 22 year old prince Werner
• 21 year old prince Udalrich
That of course means 5 marriage alliances:
• emperor Filibert von Abensberg - princess Maria Merkel of Germany
• princess Heilwiva - prince Cesare Ramberti of Italy
• prince Ludolf - princess Hodierne d'Altaville of France
• prince Werner - princess Adelajda Olelkowicz of Poland
• prince Udalrich - princess Helene Attikos of Greece
I spent ridiculous amount of time deciding these.
Before I even got the answers, pope called for crusade for Greece against Turkey. Of course I'll join, with my 12k against their 36k or so. I sent my troops there, did some fighting, and got hit by 12k fraticelli uprising at home, so I had to head straight back. At least the heretics had decency to lose half their units to first winter before I even got home.
Second attempt. It was fairly difficult to not only defeat a much larger army without losing my own troops (as my trust in my vassals' loyalty was not that high, and I've been bleeding gold fast while at war, so not a chance of setting up any kind of emergency merc fund), I also needed to make sure I have highest contribution - and apparently top criterion is how many troops you've lost.
Bektashi Order and ISIS joined Turkey's defense. I managed to destroy Turkey's troops without too many losses, but against ISIS I lost majority of my army - fortunately completely wiping out all their event troops.
Sadly the pope is greedy, so even though he absolutely loves me, he would not give me even one gold.
Prince Caesare of Italy went celibare after making one baby with Heilwiva, and somehow divorced her or something? I'm not sure what happened exactly. I remarried her to king of Greece, even thought it was a redundant alliance, as at 30 years, she wasn't that great of a match for people around 16, and other people close to her age were mostly already married.
And in six long years we finally managed to get it, with about 30% warscore constibution I got Constantinople, a city Habsburgs could only dream of taking.
All my cute plans about dealing with Balkan minors first got really delayed.
Of course that's not the only holy war happening - Germany is trying to take Skane, Greece got Cynenaica, Italy got Tunisia, Spain got Algeria, France is somehow losing against Switzerland, Israel got Damascus, Iraq goh Nefoud, Iran got Turkmenistan and half of Uzbekistan. Basically Sunnis are getting wrecked everywhere, other religions are more or less in balance.
I'm really tempted to follow up the crusade by attacking Turkey to kick them even harder while they're down. Or I could take a break until levies in liberated lands replenish a bit.
There's of course huge awkward problem that my lands of Austria and East Greece are completely disconnected.
And it's no longer clear that I should just move my capital there - it's all tech level 5 to Vienna's 7. After all, these are modern times.
Take that Von Habsburgs: Part 02: 2021-2033: First succession
The game is called Crusader Kings, and in I don't even know how many campaign this is probably the first time crusade is actually the key event.
My 3 adult sons got a duchy each - one of them died quite soon afterwards. I have since added two more daughters - Helene and Emma - Emma being somehow unjustly suspected of being a demon child. Seriously, people still believe such nonsense in 21st century?
I put a son of 1945-1960's king of Romania on its throne. It was race against time as by the time he got the throne he was 73 years old. France finally managed to take West half of heretic Switzerland in holy war, so I declared cleanup war before anybody else had a chance. He managed to have a daughter before dying two years later, but she had a tragic accident, and I now have to rule Romania.
My daughter Heilwiva, wife of king of Greece, died in her sleep, which somehow made Emma really happy. King of Greece's sister Helene died of pneumonia, so that alliance is over now. I have two girls of my dynasty with weak claim on Greece, but there's a strange lack of civil wars out there.
My 8 year old daugher Helene got infirm from stroke in similar circumstances. Come on people, how am I supposed to do dynastic politics when my daughters keep dying?
My wife Maria Merkel died in childbirth, so that's another alliance down. The best I could do was queen of Bohemia's younger sister.
Seriously, what is it with this literally medieval healthcare situation in 21st century?
Well, I didn't have any good claims, so I just did some minor wars - de jure county war on Slovakia, claimant county war on Bulgaria, and tributary war on Serbia. All three were allied, so I'd be fighting them all at once anyway.
Actually I had a very good claim - my youngest son had a weak claim to empire of Germany which was in civil war, but then I'd be spending I don't even know how long trying to keep him on that damn throne.
It was a very messy war as half of my troops were on one side, half on the other, with enemies (and winter attrition) in between.
To prove that some things never change, France got into war with the biggest blob on the map - United Kingdom, using interesting strategy where France sent all their troops to siege London, UK sent all their troops to siege Paris, and France took English heir hostage, presubaly in the siege.
And then, emperor Filibert dide at ripe (by medieval standards) age of 63, while trying to turn Serbia into his tributary, succeeded by emperor Udalrich.
Udalrich is 6/11/13/0/3, or in other words completely hopeless, and due to usual AI stupidity when his wife Helene princes of Greece died, he remarried some awful lowborn Turkish woman, and pope would of course not grant me a divorce with her.
His only redeeming quality is that his son and heir Filibert has weak claim to Greece, but with 0 intrigue that doesn't seem very pressable. Austria's only alliance left is now with France, thanks to marriage between Filibert's brother and French princess. Of course given typical life expectancies, that's probably not going to last long.
Oh and ISIS is trying to jihad king of Israes for Jerusalem and somehow losing, even though by numbers (Turkey, Arabia, Jordan, and some random count are in it in addition to ISIS) they should completely overwhelm it. Turkey is going for Bulgarian one county in Karvuna for some reason instead... It's a bit silly, but then again Bulgaria is not very strong and they believe in wrong kind of Jesus so nobody will help them.
Oh and Constantinople and my other Greek holdings are getting highly developed really quckly. It went from 5.0 to about 5.8 already, they will catch up with Vienna's 7.0 levels in no time, or about 25 years I guess.
Now in 3 instead of 2 parts
Take that Von Habsburgs: Part 03: 2033-2043: This is all weirdly historical
Duchess of Slovakia actually accepted vassalization with some handling fee, so presumably I didn't need that first war. Oh well. Also Teutonic Order, who recently built a castle in Slovakia agreed to be my vassals, earlier they wouldn't as a distant realm.
Viacheslava Putin had non-dynastic heir, and since he was non-dynastic anyway, she agreed to matrilineal betrothal with my daughter. Sweet. Take take, von Habsburgs!
Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi got captured, so his jihad on Israel failed miserably.
I somehow convinced them pope to let me divorce my lowborn second wife, and marry princess of Bohemia instead.
King of Hungary was incapable due to some silly mishap, so I put a more competent ruler on Hungarian throne.
Just as soon as that finished, some traitors tried to force elective succession in Austria. Over my dead body. Time to get 8000 gold from bank of Jewgold, just in case that turns out uglier than I expect it to, even though that costs me 10% nationar tax modifier and -2 diplomacy until they're back, and gives arbitrary trait. Oh well. Apparently king of Israel could not care less. One of the things they should have considered.
The difficulty of the war is mostly my divided demesne, fortunately rebels are divided as well - and my sister in law queen Zofie of Bohemia is on my side.
The rebellion weirdly made Teutonic Order (who sided with the rebels) independent. That seems like a serious bug. And speaking of bugs, I discovered that Danube is not navigable for me. Fuck. I thought that got fixed in the patch, but apparently depending on your non-London capital, random subset of major rivers are unnavigable.
My wife Anna died, so I married her niece Kinga to maintain our alliance with Bohemia. She wasn't quite as skilled, so I had to let go of one of my counties, and oh look, claimant to duchy of Macedonia is asking for my help.
My supposed demon sister Emma, sweet 14/18/17/36/18, became of age and married emperor of Spain, in a regular marriage. This is the second time I got this very rare event chain, and second time it's someone who can't get my primary title. Oh well.
Sadly my non-dynastic niece who was next in line to throne of Italy got murdered on orders of her uncle who was next in line.
Oh wait, queen of Bohemia Zofie died, leaving some kid on the throne. Oh come on, I need to save poor Bohemians from such a weak ruler. Zofie's nephew Udalrich would be much better king. Oh and he just so happens to be my son. I had to break a betrothal to make that happen - arranging a matrilineal one with king of Ukraine's brother instead.
There was a 3-way civil war ongoing in Croatia, with even Belgium with its surprisingly big 18k stack wanting a piece of action, so I had to intervene, as it was traditional part of crown of Hungary. Sadly my claimant died of depression, so I had to try another one.
All of this is going along weirdly historical lines, if we ignored crusade for Constantinople for a moment.
I somehow got involved in far too many wars on side of emperor of Russia, king of Ukraine. I doubt any of my family members will get their thrones. Prince Simeon who ought to be emperor of Russia and make babies of my dynasty with my daughter is just double duke, presumably due to some faction nonsense, his sister being on the throne. Well, there's always a chance.
I'm seriously tempted to get crowned king of Bavaria and get that from Germany - France, Spain, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, and Georgia are all my allies and at least some of them won't be busy.
Pretty much all of North Africe west of Egypt got conquered by various European powers - Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Even Israel blobbed a little and Shiite Iraq got Medina (but not Mecca yet). Among all this it's surprising that ISIS didn't lose any of their territory yet.
It's all been going really well so far.
Oh and France somehow managed to win their holy war on duchy of London.
This looks shockingly historical. Add British Egypt and you'd be thinking it's real 1914 map.
Take that Von Habsburgs: Part 04: 2043-2049: Going East
I fixed it so that all major rivers are navigable regardless of fort level - this is really great for me, as my demesne is divided between Vienna and Constantinople, and it's seriously silly that you're blocking rivers in your own territory. And I also installed mod that fixed duke frames to be distinguishable from count frames.
So there was fun dynastic story here:
• empress of Russia married king of Georgia, with son being heir to both
• as son was non-dynastic to her anyway, she had no problem marrying him matrilineally to my daughter
• somehow he did not become emperor of Russia, just a double duke, but he's still heir to kingdom of Georgia, so if that works, and a few lucky coincidences happen, my dynasty will rule Georgia
Now, this matters, as I have choice of a few actions:
• crown myself king of Bavaria (which I finally can, now that Croatian parts of Bavaria get me over 50%), then press claimant on duchy of Bavaria against Germany to wreck them, using the French to do as much fighting as possible. I need to wreck Germany and Italy at some point to restore lands I want, France is probably fine.
• turn Balkan minors into tributaries. Last time I tried it it was rather hard, as they were willing to fight till 100%, and in Modern Times sieges take longer so it's hard to get that 100%.
• holy war Turkey to get closer to Georgia, which is a potential future dynastic realm. Or for that matter holy war everybody near Austrian North Cyprus
Maybe I could do two of those at once, not really all. Well, Bulgaria suddenly started having willing claimants and Danube was suddenly navigable, so the thing to leave for later is holy wars I guess. Oh wait, while I was pondering things Bavaria became no longer pressable, and Bulgaria is on my side in some silly Ukrainian war. Oh well, planning is complicated...
So instead I cleaned up a bunch of Balkan counties, and went for Cilicia, while Turkey was already fighting decadence revolt, Shiite holy war, and Yazidi revolt.
My son lost Bohemia to some rebellion (and embarassingly I had to pay 110 for his freedom), but king of Bohemia is oldest son of Polish king and heir to kingdom of Poland somehow, so I'll let that pass for now.
I accidentally inherited Teutonic Order and all its baronies when its grand master died, and I couldn't give it away, so I used console to give it to some random dude. Then I gave them a bunch of spare baronies in Cilicia - the whole duchy was otherwise home to a bunch of claimants to various titles, ruled by my son who lost Bohemia before.
After some silly civil war in Ukraine and a series of accidents that left a baby girl on the throne, I decided to intervene to make my son in law the rightful king.
Oh and thanks to a series of freak accidents, king of Georgia (heir to empire of Russia, but that could change if current emperor survives to age of 16 and has some own babies) is matrilineally married to my daugher, while heir to empire of Italy is married matrilineally to my sister.
There's also a lot of fun religious arrangements, as emperor of Russia is Catholic, his heir and uncle king of Georgia is Orthodox, then his son is Catholic again.
France tried to holy war United Kingdom again, this time it was a total failure.
Oh maybe it's time to end all this silliness of expanding one duchy or kingdom at a time and put dynastic claimants on thrones of empires of Germany and France. Spain and Poland ought to help me with it.
In best case scenario, Austria, Germany, France, Italy, and Russia will all be of my dynasty in two generations, Poland, Greece, and Bulgaria will fall into my realm by inheritance to my various vassals (with some armed negotiations), and I'll figure out some way to clean up Serbia later.
Other than Portugal and Belgium I think I have marital connections of some kind to every significant Catholic country in Europe, and quite a few heretic ones as well.
Netherlands and Norway went Catholic when I wasn't looking? Russia as well, but at least I noticed that. Sunnis continue getting wrecked by everyone.
WTF is going on in India?
Take that Von Habsburgs: Part 05: 2049-2054: Family First
I seriously regret that I did't give everybody in my initial family hunie trait, it would have been much easier to figure out who's related to our dynasty.
Also as the script reuses dynasty IDs instead of just making new dynasty with same name, there's tons of people of historical dynasties. Like rulers of Ukraine are Rurikids (and get insane levels of dynastic prestige), and my former spymater (30 intrigue and didn't hate me) was same dynasty as me, even though not directly related. His on rules over lands we liberated from Swiss heretics now.
Oh and I figured out why I inherited Teutonic Order - my script that changes all titles to primo mistakenly also changed holy orders as they're technically feudal.
I had so many claimants it was hard to choose - my brother had claim to Germany, and his wife had claim to France, so it was one way. Alternatively I could push claim of any of my 3 nieces to France instead. Let's go for brother&wife approach. All that leads to the question - why the hell am I not playing as him anyway?
It turns out none of my allies were interested in helping me. So much for networks of dynastic alliances.
Oh and I learned that in this mod the optimal way is to completely ignore all peasant revolts. Time to siege is based on fort level and difference in technology. As tech difference is about zero but fort level increases and increases, sieges are rather slow in general. On the other hard peasants have technology 0, so they suffer from both huge fort level and huge technology based penalty, giving them ETA for a single castle like 15+ years. I could literally keep buying fort level upgrades while they siege it.
My vassal king of Bohemia inherited Poland due to some dynastic accidents. Then a few accidens later both titles went to my wife. She's still a bit annoyed by my alleged involvement in her cousins' accidents.
Pope declared crusade for England - there's only this tiny problem that 3 biggest Catholic countries are busy right now.
France had to be won first - otherwise my brother's wife would leave for his court, and that would be it. Of course she immediately needed help with rebels, and I so absolutely despise how you can only offer to join one war.
And then I was finally able to press my brother's claim. I lost 3 counties this way, but who cares really.
So right now, biggest countries:
• Austria - me
• Germany - my brother
• France - my brother's wife
• Spain - my demon-sister's husband (not matrilineal, won't by dynastic)
• Italy - my sister's husband (matrilineal, dynastic heir)
• Greece - not in line, but tons of dynasty members have claims
• UK - getting wrecked by a crusade
• Georgia - my daughter's husband (matrilineal, dynastic heir). Orthodox, but heir is Catholic.
• Russia - heir is king of Georgia, but that's only because emperor is 14 and has no own children yet, probably won't go into dynasty. Also already Catholic.
• Jerusalem - Yazidi liberation revolt of all things got it, Israel is reduced to one duchy in Syria
Oh wait, that's wrong. Empress of fucking France already folded to faction demand.
For fuck's sake, what's the point of pressing any faction demands if every fucking claimant just folds, even while they have massive army and ridiculously powerful allies and rebels are just like a duke or two?
This is supposed to be dynastic game, but the only claims that are of any use whatsoever are your own.
I have 3 nieces with claim to France, but what is the fucking point, if they'll stay on the throne for a week, then fold to second revolt (as I can only join against the first)?
I really need to investigate these two things:
• How to make newly installed claimant at least try to fight, not fold to every fucking faction. If it was at least something like lower crown authority, or even independence or elective succession, it makes some sense to fold to that - I can't think of any good reason to ever fold to claimant faction without a fight. In worst case you can just surrender.
• How to allow joining your ally's all wars, not just one. That will require some fancy scripting, but the game really needs this.
• And for that matter is there any way I can side with my vassal against rebels? I know Game of Thrones mod has some mechanics for it. At least they usually lose to faction rebellion, they don't just fold, but still.
Because right now major mechanic is just broken.