Dar al-Islam: A Barbary States Empire Total War AAR – Part 4
It’s been a while, I’ve been distracted by BloodBowl and holidays. But now we’re back and it’s time to see how the fate of the Barbary States played out between 1760 and 1780! There are some quite interesting developments as well, unexpected things take place, excitement leaks from every seam! Read on, read on! …(or go visit Part 1)…
When we last left off the Barbary States had control of parts of Greece, most of Italy, the central Med islands and, of course. North Africa. Lets see if we can’t improve this position somewhat! Fortunately, as you can see below, we’re doing good on trade income and the next few years are spent amassing wealth and spending it on long-overdue upgrades. We’re working hard to move our empire into the 18th Century! Awesome!
At the same time it is clear we need to do a bit of work convincing our subjects that Islam is the one, true way. Sure, Italy has accepted the True Faith and we’re averaging around 60% of the population believing Mohammad (PBUH) is the Prophet. Things are different elsewhere, so a shock God-Squad is formed and sent to hurry up the conversion process in some of the territories. Here’s a shot of them in action.
As you can see, the population here are ripe for conversion, and this will lead to much greater stability. The last thing we want is to have to put down a revolution in our rear!
In 1764 we land an army in Trinadad & Tobago. I don’t like pirate competition, so it’s time to take these guys out and bring them under the yoke of our authority. In 1755 the island nation falls under our control after a short battle.
And as we deal with the pirates on land, so we deal with them at sea as well!
It’s at this point that an interesting opportunity becomes apparent! Both French and Dutch Guyana have fallen into rebel hands, clearly unhappy with their European masters. I wonder how they would feel about becoming part of a new, young, upcoming Empire? Hmm, how about I send some troops to find out!?
In 1767 troops and imams and landed on the remote South American shores and set about converting the locals, physically and metaphysically!
In 1767 we also complete new docks in Morocco, allowing us to build First Rate ships. I quickly put a few on order and chuckle maniacally as I imagined the devastation these babies will wreck! As the ships build our forces take on the restive natives in South America and quickly destroy their will to fight. At the same time the local population seem eager to abandon animism for Islam, ensuring quick stability! Excellent!
With my industry rapidly upgrading and wealth pouring in it’s clearly time to look at expansion options. At first I thought maybe I should take on the Ottoman Empire, but some scouting ships and agents revealed a massive army and navy which would be a real grind to take down. Looking around it became obvious what I should do next. I should conduct a re-reconquista and bring Spain and Portugal back to the path of Islam! Spain, while rich with gold and colonies, wasn’t a big space to try and conquer, and much of their forces sit stationed near Gibraltar. It could be possible to drop troops on a remote coast, slip in behind the defenses, and launch a massive strike on Madrid, taking the province and impoverishing any survivors. Or so I thought. It turns out the Spanish had ideas of their own!
Damn the Spanish! 1772 is far too early to start a big war, but it doesn’t look like we have much of a choice about this. Our forces are set to action immediately. Fleets are parked on trade routes and where possible, ports are raided. At the same time the Spanish try to lay siege to Tangier, hoping to wrest Morocco from us. They fail, thankfully, and don’t seem willing to try again right away.
At the same time I eye up the province of Lombardy, which is wedged between territories I own and the Swiss Alps. An army is dispatched.
We overwhelm the defenders in 1773 and the province falls into our hands. First blood to the Barbary States! Oppressing the people, however, takes a while longer and we have to put up with a few strikes before the province calms down. A couple of imams are shipped in to assist with the pacifying process.
Meanwhile, in the American theater Caracas falls to our expeditionary forces. The fight was surprisingly easy, the Spanish haven’t worked hard to build up their defenses here at all it seems! Great news for us!
At this point it’s worth outlining the war strategy. It can be summed up in one word: Bankruptcy! We need to drive the Spanish bankrupt, and taking their colonies and cutting their trade routes is a big part of that plan. All forces work to that goal, other than my first expeditionary force, which lands in 1775.
Our expeditionary force is met the following season by a mix of Spanish troops, but since we outnumber them two to one the battle goes our way. Soon, we’re at the gates of Madrid, but their walled city is full of troops and I don’t think we’re strong enough to take on the city successfully. We pull back to a nearby farming complex and await reinforcements, including the God Squad. Poverty and religion will drive the Spanish into my arms!
Meanwhile, in South America, Bogota falls to our troops (including newly-recruited natives forces!). We now have an empire that stretches to the Pacific! One or two remaining Spanish troops raid farms and settlements, but they are repulsed within a year and Bogota reinforced.
In 1779 we present a state gift of 2500 ducats worth of items to the English, and while they like us more, they refuse to sign a trade agreement. The Russians, however, do sign up and help boost our income out of the red, which it had been hovering on for a while. Despite this, I’ve already have to abandon some lighter ships and dismissed some troops in remote, safe corners. War is expensive!
In the winter of 1779 newly-arrived troops are dispatched across the Iberian peninsular to raid Spanish interests. Workshops, pleasure gardens, universities, all get put to the torch! Along the way two assassins slowly take apart the Spanish religious infrastructure assassinating four priests. This pushes the conversion rate up to around 3%, excellent!
Having spent a couple of years stomping around Spain it’s clear that the place is suffering under my blockade and campaign of pillaging the countryside. There a big negative marks in the order track for both nobles and peasants, caused by bankruptcy and the people are becoming weary of war. Perhaps this will make our coming battle for Madrid easier?
As the decade turns our forces take on Madrid, and this is where we get a pleasant surprise! All of the defending units are at less than half strength! It seems that the years of economic difficulty have caused massive desertion in the Spanish army! The battle is over pleasantly fast, despite the snow!
And Spain is ours!
We round out 1780 by destroying a few seminaries in the Americas and consolidating our troops in Spain. There are still plenty of enemy down at Gibraltar and we have Portugal to conquer as well. This will take a little time but the good news is I don’t expect it to be hard. In the west, Mexico beckons!
Here’s a map of our European holdings and below that, the details of our trade and our glorious leader, Emperor Abdy the First!