War of attrition

1706

Nothing of much importance happens in the summer of this year, farms and roads to the south east are improved and Russian pirates raid our trade routes.

In the winter there are many developments. Morocco declares war on it’s neighbour and our protectorate, the Barbary states and as a result they raid their (and our) trade routes. Venice and Russia continue their reign of terror on our unsuspecting ports. Dagestinian troops continue to amass on the borders of Georgia. A small group of men are sent to retake our port from the Russians, however there are none nearby to reclaim that taken by Venice. The Georgian army is sent once again to the bordering mountains to defend our region.

portblockade

Georgian border battle

The enemy troops have reinforcements and unfortunately for us they arrive on the battlefield behind our deployed position. Our cavalry are sent to fend them off and after several charges the plan works and we are able to concentrate on their main army.

cavalryrout

Our troops march forward to meet them and our line infantry make short work of their first line of defence. However, this leaves them low on ammo and without much thought they are ordered into the melee. Our irregulars are ordered to help by flanking but alas, our advance fails, we are overwhelmed and half our army routs.

victory2

With what’s left of our army, our general’s cavalry and muselim irregulars, we attempt to attack from behind. Thankfully this manouevre pays off and the rest of the Dagestinian army routs. A very close victory, though I believe it is us who are worse off than the enemy at this point.

1707

Our despair grows ever greater when it appears that the Dagestinians have not yet depleted their forces, another army sets upon our borders and this time we are defeated. Towns across the eastern border of our empire are ordered to recruit new troops in the hope that when amassed we will be able to finally push through to the town of Tarki.

Our infrastructure is expanded upon once again, the fishing village of Alexandria grows to become a port and the previously ordered constructions for fisheries and farms are completed. Our single hashashin completes his long journey from Africa to the borders of Russia.

In the winter of this year yet more of our ports are attacked and still our borders are besieged. After a brief respite the Georgian army (now greatly dimished) is sent to remove them. Thankfully our attack pays off this time and through a heroic victory our enemies are vanquished.

cavalryrout2 Our hashashin also reports that there are now only a small number of  Dagestinian troops are in the region. Perhaps once our recruited armies converge on Georgia we will finally have the chance to take the region and end this constant harassment of our borders.

Farming Technology

1704

Summer

Our man of many adventures and of great service to the Empire, Damat Baghdadi (our Dagestinian-based hashashin) has been discovered by the enemy, tortured and executed. A small number of troops is sent towards our western borders to be ready for the eventual attack on Venice, Austria blocks our path but hopefully they can be persuaded to let us through. On the opposite side of the empire, our forces from Georgia advance into Dagestan, routing the lone unit from the small farmland close to the border.

An observatory is built in Athens, leading us to greater technological advances. Taxes are increased throughout the empire to raise funds for army upkeep and retraining between battles.

Winter

Our scholars have come up with new ways to improve our farms, as a result (and at great expense), all farms across the empire are improved. Our various establishments recruit new agents to our cause, Imam, Scholars and a new Hashashin. Unfortunately he currently resides in Cairo, far from any action that may be had, thus begins his trek to the north. The Marathra Confederacy agree to trade with us, we’re glad of any friendliness at all in this harsh and unforgiving continent.

1705

Summer

One of our best government ministers dies, having been one of the better cabinet members it is disappointing to have him pass away. It does provide yet another oppurtunity to remove the (ever increasing) corrupt ministers though. After the improvements to the farmland last season this year is the turn of the ports, hopefully bringing more revenue to coastal regions to relieve them from the large tax burden necessary for infrastructure upgrades.

A trade agreement is settled with Great Britain, at the cost of sharing our newly discovered farming knowledge along with a negligible sum of money. Finally, we may finally start having people actually like us.

Winter

russianfarm

They are jealous of our advanced farming techniques

Yet more technological advances, carbines are discovered. The farms which began their upgrades in the winter of 1704 are completed. Russian forces cross the border and invade farmland in Moldavia.

Other than this, not much else happens. A quiet two years and yet of great benefit to the empire, bringing our half-yearly income up from around 6000 to over 10000.

War on both sides

Summer 1703

A new royal heir is born in the summer of this glorious year, sure to lead us through great times when he comes of age! Our research continues and pays off with the introduction of plug bayonets, allowing our riflemen to get stuck in with melee should the need arise. We also welcome a new scholar into our ranks and our educational facilities are improved with the ordering of construction for two new colleges in Georgia and Anatolia. Yet again our government cabinet needs a reshuffle, out with the corrupt and in with the not-quite-so corrupt. In national news, nobody wants to trade technology research with us, disappointing considering we lack the knowledge to improve most of the resources in our regions.

Battle of Patras

Our recently besieged armies from Athens and the port of Piraeus are sent to the Venetian town of Patras on the Greek peninsula, hopefully to rid the area of the troublesome Venetian land presence. Our 488 battle hardened line infantry and irregulars against 364 of their inexperienced pikemen and firelock armed citizenry. They are politely asked to surrender the region to us without violence. They refuse.

patrasdeploymentExpertly-thought-out plans for the battle: umm, win, hopefully. Other than the town, which is too far off from the action to be of much use, there isn’t much that can be used to our advantage. That is, of course, until I realise most of our troops have the ability to hide in forests (and long grass for the irregulars). Thus begins the marching of our army into the nearest forest.forestfight A small group of Venetians head towards the ruins nearby, our sneaky irregulars are sent to intercept them before they gain any advantage. They succeed in their plans and are brought around to flank the rest of the Venetian army as they wander through the forests being shot at by my partially hidden line infantry. Our tactics pay off, and the Venetian army is routed from the town, leaving their only remaining region the city of Venice itself, a decisive victory for the Ottoman Empire!

patrasvictoryThere is no time for rest in times of war, however, a small army sent from Dagestan approaches our border.

Winter 1703

Dagestan continues to amass an army on the borders of Georgia, the hashashin sent to Venice has been executed. In better news, Venetian fleets have stopped raiding our trade routes, allowing us to retaliate by raiding theirs (even if they do scare us off next year). Ports are improved across the empire, more to increase income from fishing than for any military reason. Sweden unfortunately decline our offer of a military alliance.

Battle of Caucasus

While the Dagestan army is divided between the city and mountain pass I decide to attack, in the hope of continuing to push through to the city itself and claim a strategically important region. Again we slightly outnumber the enemy, though we do have the advantage of cannons on our side.

caucasusdeployThe cannons are ordered to take out the slow moving riflemen while our mounted archers pester their cavalry. They attempt to flank me but are stopped by a combination of camel riders and the aforementioned mounted archers.camelrout1

Both armies continue to exchange musket fire and cavalry charges until eventually we emerge victorious, though the battle was closely fought. As a result of his growing battle expertise, the leading General of our Georgian-Dagestinian campaign is awarded the trait of Corporal in gold braid, increasing morale for all troops under his command.

Our armies grow stronger and our borders swell, Dagestan should fall within the year and if we are lucky, Venice too might be under our control.

The Empire strikes back

Winter 1702

In the last six months our empire has been bombarded with assaulting forces from Venice but no longer! In the winter of ’02 we will fight back and show them our true strength, beginning with the recapture of the Greek port! The garrison is sent from Athens to release the port from it’s captors, a small band of men comprising cannons and pikemen. Our troops are deployed far out of sight of the Venetian cannons, too far it seems, once the battle proper starts.

longdistancewarfare

Just to the right of that church you can barely see.

However, this distance allows our troop of Bashi-Bazouks to remain hidden in the forests and shrubbery until they are within charging distance of the cannon squad, thankfully the Venetian pikemen have wandered towards our stationary gunmen who now proceed towards the cannons themselves. The blow is quick and the enemy morale is broken swiftly.

cannonchargeWith the cannons down, the pikemen are easily taken down by musketfire and an attack on their flank. A decisive victory for the Ottoman Empire!

portvictory

Further afield, our trade route blocking fleet (consisting of a light galley and trade ship, possibly not the best of ideas really) is attacked by a fully armed Venetian galley. Our boats attempt a pincer movement but with the galley having cannons firing broadside and ours from the front it’s a poor choice and unfortunately one of our ships is lost. The galleys built around the empire have been assembled though and they are sent to the closest point at which they can all meet together, just off the tip of the Greek peninsula (currently split between Venice and ourselves).

fleetpeninsula

Additionally, our bumbling hashashin (I really should find out his name) has once again proved himself worthy of praise and successfully infiltrated the capital of Chechnya, providing us with information on the region. Georgia has somewhat recovered from recent activities and is no longer tax exempt, along with the rest of the Empire, as funds are running low at the moment taxes have actually been increased slightly (for both nobles and lower classes). Our not-as-newsworthy second hashashin is sent to the great city of Venice for what I imagine to be several highly important missions soon in the future. In contrast to the diplomatic treaties offered last season, this time we are met with an offer from our long time friends, Sweden, a trade proposal with a donation of cash from them to us. I couldn’t possibly refuse, especially with our current financial situation.

Look out Venice, the Turks are coming!

Venetian Problems

Winter 1701 continued

Having conquered Georgia, our not-that-great hashashin is sent forward to Chechnya and troops are sent to Tsibili in an attempt to quell any riots. Our government cabinet receives an overhaul and several corrupt or unprepared ministers are removed from office and replaced with fresh blood more suited to the job. In response to the declaration of war from Venice a small fleet is sent to blockade their main trade route.

venice_blockade

Summer 1702

Several nations send diplomats asking for trade agreements but they all ask for extra payment up front which, due to the state of affairs in Georgia and several other poorer regions, is not too feasible at the current time. A small group of Venetian armies attempt to cross the Greek border but are held at bay by the forces sent to intercept them, however, a small number of troops (including a cannon squad) make it through the defences and manage to take the nearby Greek port. Reinforcements are sent from Bulgaria to hopefully retake it (hopefully) soon. Remarkably, our epic hashashin has actually managed to assassinate someone on the first attempt, the Chechnyan general currently garrisoned in the region capital.

venetian_invasion

The Venetian navy does not take kindly to the trade blockade but our faster ships are able to outmanoeuvre them and continue their mission. In response to the constant harassment by sea I have ordered construction of Galleys in ports across the Empire and I hope that soon we shall have our revenge.

Our infrastructure continues to be improved with the construction of better roads moving outwards from Greece towards the national capital along with additional farms, vinyards and mines. To strengthen our military position our diplomats negotiate an alliance with the impressive nation of France, at the cost of miliatary technology. I am hoping this will allow good protection should Venice continue their assault on our borders.

The Georgian War

Summer 1701

forcesIt is the evening of…some day during the summer of ’01 and the assembled Ottoman forces march towards the city of Tbilisi, Georgia. The small force sent in is deployed on a hill to the south of the city in order to gain range for the cannon, unfortunately when we actually gain sight of the enemy, their forces are arranged too far from the cannon to attack. I begin to hatch a cunning plan: our general’s bodyguard (lacking any other cavalry) will descend the hill towards the enemy and retreat just as they reach rifle range, hopefully enticing them into range of our cannon. Amazingly my plan works better than I anticipated and after the right flank attempt to engage our cavalry the rest of the Georgian army move into range also!

cannonplanI decide that the best course of action from this point forward would be a series of charges from our melee troops with covering fire from riflemen while the cannon fire at the back ranks of the Georgian army. A large group of peasants are sent to flank those coming up the hill while under fire, unfortunately they are rather outnumbered and the plan doesn’t quite work, they rout but are able to be reigned in as the reach the crest of the hill. The charge and recharge tactic does work and through numerous charges and retreat with cover from riflemen the enemy forces are severely diminished.

charge

The last two ranks of firelock armed citizenry remain, still under fire from the cannon (though they aren’t too accurate at this distance), our cavalry is once again sent into the fray to try and flank. With their morale shattered through constant bombardment and charges, the last flank manoeuvre breaks their spirit completely and the Georgian army routs!victoryA close victory, but well worth it, Georgia is down and out! Our esteemed general earns a couple of traits from the battle: Bloody (-1 to morale) and Steady under Fire (+1 to morale), hardly worth bothering about really. The citizens are unsurprisingly upset with the occupation, yet again the taxes are made exempt to try and placate them.

Winter 1701

After our hostilities with Georgia it seems Venice is rather annoyed with us, War is declared and our trade agreement broken. The demi-cannons being built for the siege are finally out of production, even if they are six months too late. The silver mine in Serbia is finished and those living there are finally (somewhat) happy. Yet more reasons to be happy include Europe-wide innoculation against smallpox, the Georgian workers are so happy they decide to strike.

It looks like my troubles are only just beginning…

Assassinations and Infrastructure

Winter 1700

Our Empire’s seedy underbelly has recruited more hashashin to our cause, hopefully more adept than those we employ currently, though the second attempt at the Georgian general’s life is successful and will hopefully crush any morale their troops may have. Our coffee houses and turkish baths are improved in Bosnia to increase happiness in the region and potentially swell our assassin ranks.

The Serbian farms are completed though the wealth generated is still not great enough to allay their tax exemption or increase public order much, the garrison in the region capital is increased with forces en route from Sofia and work begins on a silver mine to hopefully relieve unhappiness from tax burden. Other infrastructure improvements in the region include increased farming for more income and road improvements around Greece. Moldavia has been released from it’s tax exempt status, the others should soon follow suit.

As for military events, Ottoman forces have arrived at Armenia in preparation for assault, our hashashin has provided information that only a small garrison is currently in the city (though I’m sure this is likely to change by the time we’re ready). Demi-cannons are being assembled in Ankara, hopefully in time to be transported to Georgia, and a barracks is constructed in Baghdad. A small fleet off the coast of Syria has been sent out into the Mediterranean in order to scout the area for potential threats, the Knights of St John looking a good candidate.

ottoman_fleet