Dar al-Islam: A Barbary States Empire Total War AAR – Part 2
The twenty years since 1720 have been very interesting. From expansion to near bankruptcy and back again it has been a roller coaster ride. Read on and marvel at the rise of the Barbary States! …(or go visit Part 1)…
The Subjugation of Italy
When we last left of Central Italy and Naples had been conquered, but were far from secure. The population remains restless and while our technologists develop the basic steam pump far away on Sicily, the workers in Central Italy go on strike.
The rabble is restless!
Rome’s people are unhappy, despite my tax cuts and armed forces!
Careful manipulation of tax rates and troop levels (reinforcing from Naples) has the lower classes more upset than I would like. I just have to cross my fingers and hope the garrison will keep the populace oppressed. On the up side we start building a state madrassa in Naples so we can speed up the conversion of the population to Islam.
This year a new town emerged in Tunis and it is set to be for craft workshops and farmlands in Tunis are upgraded. Again, I am broke, that seems to be standard around here.
Come 1721 we recruit another scholar who is sent to Naples. We manage to pacify the people of Central Italy for a season, but the following season they riot again. We upgrade some farmland in Algiers and again find ourselves broke, we’re further concerned about the Venetians who seems ready to raid and invade at any moment. And if the Venetians aren’t bad enough, the Genoese are sending raiding parties over the border too.
While I can push the raiders out it means moving troops out of the Rome, this then leaves me vulnerable to revolution. But leaving the raiders where they are increases discontent as well! It’s a lose-lose situation.
In the west the Moroccans have stationed a large army in the port at Algiers but thankfully seem reluctant to get any closer. With an eye to the west I send the fleet to take on the Spanish around Gibraltar, hoping to prevent any annoying raids from them in the future. It’s a tough battle and we lose a couple of galleys to the Spanish galleons…
The line prepares to decimate the Spanish while the galleys dodge enemy fire
…but on the plus side we capture a galleon for ourselves! They don’t sound tough, but with some 56 guns they make for a powerful gun platform for our fleet! Our artists commemorate the victory with a fine painting.
The Battle of Algiers – 1721
Come 1722 we have fought off Genoese and Venetian raiders and managed to keep Central Italy from revolting. Just. In the west Moroccans try and raid Algiers, our forces fight them off, but if they send more units than we did we would have been in serious trouble.
Moroccan forces probe Algiers
But the Moroccans aren’t my only problem. The Venetians push my border guards out of the new Central Italy madrassa and the Genoese advance to the outskirts of Rome.
Genoese on the left, Venetians on the right, we’re stuck in the middle again!
It’s clear I need to act, so I send Barbary Pirates out to join the force facing the Genoese and after a quick battle they are destroyed. But that still leaves us with the Venetians to handle. The remaining forces from Rome sally out, smack the Venetians and then race back to the city before the mob realise what’s going on. We remain secure. During this battle we also try a new tactic. Figuring the camel gunners are higher than our Bedouin musket troops we try lining up the camel gunners behind the infantry, hoping they would shoot over. Fortunately, the plan works! Our boys don’t shoot the troopers in the back and their big guns help break the enemy quicker than normal.
Finishing off the Venetian raiders
In 1723 the State Madrassa is completed in Naples and the population are steadily turning to this new religion. More than 12% of the population is now following the one true faith, and more converts join every day! By 1724 the Venetians have control of northern Central Italy but we’ve reinforced Rome with freshly recruited troops. It’s time to take back our land and punish the Venetians for their foolishness! First job on the agenda, kick the Venetians out of our territory.
The Venetians fall to hordes of flanking Pirate Buccaneers!
The cheap and disposable Pirate Buccaneers proved extremely handy in this fight. With my shooting line solid (and reinforced by the camel gunners) my Pirates rush up the flanks, chase down the enemy general and cause chaos. The Venetians didn’t have a chance!
In 1725 we recruit another Imam to the cause and begin marching on Venice. With the city under siege we destroy whats left of the Venetian fleet. They don’t have much of a chance with only three of them against our full fleet.
Glug, glug, glug!
Hot on the tail of our victory I contact all of the major powers and a fair number of the minor ones and demand peace. Clearly the word of my recent victories has spread among the heathens and infidels and I quickly find myself at peace with nearly everyone. Of course, I leave a few targets who we will try and take down over the coming years! But at least I can be fairly sure I won’t be facing any massive European armies any time soon!
The Peasants are Revolting!
In 1726 Venice falls! Their loss of their raider forces weakened them substantially and the fight was hardly worth mentioning. Thankfully, there is a Pleasure Garden built at Venice and with my army in the city the population don’t appear likely to revolt. If I am lucky. It seems the Venetian’s heathen ways are keeping them happy! Fine by me!
…Turns out I was wrong though, winter 1726 sees the Venetians revolt and at the same time we go bankrupt! I knew we weren’t going to make much money this season, but it turns out my treasury staff overestimated the money we were likely to raise and so we end up with nothing in the vaults. Don’t worry though, we hung the officials responsible as a lesson for the next lot who have just been appointed!
Things aren’t helped when we discover a Genoese fleet has left port. We chase it down with our fleet and a fierce naval battle ensues. Of their seven ships we sink five and two escape, fleeing back to their port.
Lets dance the conga!
In 1727 a number of new towns and ports appear across Central Italy, Naples and Corsica and we spend our time consolidating our Italian acquisitions, which seem stable enough for now. In 1728 a new scholar is recruited to our cause and shuffled off to the Sicilian school, this good news is quickly replaced with some bad news, the sultan has died!
He is replaced by his son, Deli Ibrahim I, who is definitely not the man his father was. I am worried about the impact his poor leadership will have on the Caliphate.
But never fear, we have great work afoot!
Peace in Our Time
In 1728 we also begin a plan to finish off the pesky Moroccans once and for all. With heavy recruiting in the Algiers over the past few seasons and a few troops and our general from Italy we begin an operation to pick the troops up with our fleet and to then drop them around behind the enemy forces occupying the Algiers port. The hope is we can take the city in a coup de main and see the enemy troops disperse!
The plan seems to work and we land half-way between the city and the enemy main forces. That’s when they strike! The far superior Moroccan main force leaves its port hideout, rushes west and tries to engage my invasion force. Sensibly, I tell the boys to flee, and flee they do! Right up to the walls of Tangier! Meanwhile, the Moroccan main body returns to my occupying my Algerian port!
By winter 1728 Morocco is ours after a short, hard fight against mostly militia forces in Tangier. The enemy force in Algiers fades away, knowing their cause is lost!
Morocco is ours!
Examining the new province I’m impressed with its potential for growth. The huge coastline places it close to major trade routes and it already has a well established port and craft workshops. I see great things coming for this province!
Meanwhile it seems our fears about this new Sultan are coming true. In 1729 workers strike in Venice and the Moroccans go on strike as well, proving far more resistant to their new rulers than I thought. Pleasingly a madrassa is completed in Central Italy, which in addition to the two Imams present in this province sees the conversion rate climb again. But in the winter the peasants of Morocco riot, damaging a crafts shop. Despite my army and the lack of tax the place doesn’t seem to want to settle.
Sure enough, in 1730 the Moroccans revolt and a militia seize farmlands in the south of the province. I can’t afford to leave Tangier yet because the rest of the place could erupt, so they are left for now. Checking the rest of my holdings the newly captured territories aren’t much better.
Inspiration strikes when I check out my ministers. The justice minister, having been in the job a while, has accrued a number of negative traits in addition to his skills and bonuses. From the court I see a promising new recruit who comes with his own torturer! Bonus! The torturer automatically reduces dissent among the poor by 1, across the theatre, just what we need! With him installed I hope we’ll see less problem from the peasants in future years.
In winter 1730 new ports emerge in Morocco and Corsica and another new madrassa is built in Central Italy. We don’t have enough cash to build up these ports as we’re sticking to repairing the infrastructure in Tangier to ensure the population are kept in their place.
With an eye to the future we send a galley off across the ocean to look for trade opportunities. With the Mediterranean largely ours it’s clear we need to expand our revenue streams and a trade route or two would be extremely handy!
Come 1731 a scholar sent to explore Europe reports he has stolen the technology behind infantry squares! Amazing! But not very useful as our troops can’t pull off such movements. Oh well, I suppose it’s interesting. Also of note is that with the peasants finally quietening down the tax take is up. We use the money to begin repairing all of the buildings we’d previously ignored. First up is the admiralty building in Venice. We’ll be able to recruit more than galleys if we repair it and continue with some naval research. Fifth rates and bomb ships are a possibility in the near future.
With the Moroccans largely content the rebels in the south are crushed easily. But in 1732 the Sultan dies again, quickly replaced by his equally inept brother, Abdy I. Although incompetent, the peaceful Mediterranean (baring Genoa) he inherits is proving increasingly profitable!
Money! At last!
The money is put to use and repairs and upgrades are ordered Caliphate-wide. We also see two Large Madrassa completed in 1732, spurring on Central Italy’s conversion again. A coffee house is ordered for Naples where reformists, inspired by the school, are demanding change. Perhaps coffee, cigarettes, turtleneck jumpers and long meaningful conversations will calm them down a bit.
Speaking of research, in 1733 we complete our work on Naval Shore Facilities and continue working on the naval technology line. Spending increases and vineyards and workshops across the empire are set to be upgraded. Soon we will be even wealthier!
Meanwhile our explorers have discovered that the Ivory Coast has pirate fleets sitting on valuable trade ports. The main fleet is sent to clear them out and claim them for ourselves. A short battle sees us capture a Pirate galleon and deposit captured Indiamen on the location to gather trade goods for us. The ivory goods we can now trade boosts our income considerably! If only we had more trade partners. I keep an eye on the diplomacy screen but no opportunities present themselves.
Making Good our Gains
With our massive trade boost and only one enemy (Genoa) its time to solidify our hold on the empire. The school is upgraded to a college and substantial building work is started across the Caliphate. If it can be upgraded or built, it is made so over the next few years. At the same time we begin a program of recruiting a large number of Barbary Pirates. I’ve decided to try a new tactic of sending in a ton of these cheap footsoldiers first before finishing off the enemy with my increasingly-skilled main body. I recruit a general to lead this crack suicide troop specially!
With our sights firmly set on finishing Genoa I start the process early by sending in the Imams to start converting the locals to the real religion!
“I have some literature you might like to read!”
A year later our forces land on the Genoese coast. Unfortunately, they land in three separate places and the Genoese try and take advantage of this by attacking while we’re split up. Their plan would have worked if we didn’t outnumber them and care not a jot for the losses our Barbary Pirates would take. The battle is scattered across many square kilometers, but goes in our favour in the end!
The Battle of Genoa
The battle destroys most of the Genoese forces and the capital is easy to take the following season. Genoa is ours!
A Time of Prosperity
We finish off 1740 with the western Mediterranean largely ours. We are at peace with the Spanish and French, our trade routes are free, we have a lot of cash flowing in and a lot of upgrading being done! The Islamification of Italy continues and our army is strong and the navy will soon get stronger. The next twenty years will hopefully see the mighty empire of Barbary grow even stronger!