View Full Version : Campaign Role Call -- Franks in Greece

04-10-2009, 07:36 PM
Okay, I'm stoked about putting together a really BIG campaign using the Bid Card system I posted elsewhere in this folder of the Forum. I've done two settings for six players, the Sung Chinese in the 10th Century, and The Rise of Hammurabi I. I want to do something from the Medieval period, and I've already done a raft of research about the aftermath of the 4th Crusade, the time of the Latin Empire of Constantinople. I did a conventional campaign setting for that period a couple of years ago, and I think it's probably still posted in the Resource section of Fanaticus.

I think I could expand the list of competing armies from that campaign to include 8 or even 10 different lists. I'd love to hear opinions on who would be the best belligerents to add. The original campaign kicked off in 1204 AD, and included the following states:

The Latin Empire of Constantinople (IV/32 Romanian Frank)
The Crusader Kingdoms of Frankish Greece, including the Kingdom of Thessalonica, The Duchy of Athens and the Principality of Achaea (IV/32 Romanian Frank)
The Duchy of the Archipelago (III/72b Communal Italian/Venice)
The Empire of Nicea (IV/31 Nikaian Byzantine)
The Despotate of Epiros (IV/33 Epirot Byzantine)
The Bulgarian Empire (IV/25 Later Bulgar)

Other powers that I'm considering inviting to the rumble include these:

The Empire of Trebizond (IV/34 Trapezuntine Byzantine)
The Kingdom of Rascia (IV/22 Serbian Empire)
The Sultanate of Iconium (III/73a Seljuq Turkish)
The Kingdom of Cyprus (IV/26 Lusignan Cypriot)
The New Kingdom of Armenia (IV/2 Cilician Armenian)
The Kingdom of Georgia (III/70c Georgian)

I suppose it is far-fetched to imagine some of these states becoming so ambitious as to attempt to possess Constantinople, but all of them were intimately involved in the power struggle that was occasioned by the Crusader presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. And parties as distant as Pope Honorious III and Saladin ibn Ayyub spent considerable energy to influence the fate of the former Byzantine empire.

Which two would you add first?

Andy Hooper
Bacteria Valley

Peter G. Wort
04-10-2009, 11:19 PM
Hi Andy, I would definitely add the Iconians, and maybe Rascia or Trebizond.

04-11-2009, 07:45 AM
Surely the Sultanate and maybe the Serbs for something different. They got rascally there for a while.

04-13-2009, 12:32 PM
There's a cool mini boardgame from The Perfect Captain (http://perfectcaptain.50megs.com/shadow.html) on that period/area. It includes the following as roles:

The Empire of Constantinople
The Nicean Empire
The Duchy of Athens
The Principality of Achaea
The Despotate of Epiros
The Kingdom of Thessalonika
The Venetians of Crete (Lords of the Archipelago).

The Bulgars and Turks figure only as NPCs.

04-13-2009, 06:56 PM
Thanks for the link, WB -- I downloaded the game and I'm working on making a copy to play with.

If I want to choose the most "significant" power to add to the campaign group, the Sultanate of Rum/Iconium is unquestionably the biggest bully on the block. And if Rum is in the mix, the appropriate counterweight to them is Georgia. Under Queen Tamar, the Georgian kingdom was enjoying a golden age as Constantinople fell, recovering from centuries of depopulation by the invading Seljuks. They were eager to take revenge on the Turks, as well as the former Empire and any

Both Rascia and Trebizond had de facto client relationships with other states in the game. Kaloyan of Bulgaria gave Steven Nemanjic of Rascia an army of Cumans to help retake his throne from his brother Vukan, and he would therefore be unlikely to make war on Bulgaria. Nemnjic and his brother Sava seem to have followed a uniquely diplomatic path during the period, which culminated in the receipt of an Orthodix bishopric from the Patriarch of Constantinople, and establishment of Serbia as an Orthodox Kingdom.

Trebizond was ruled by the grandsons of the last Komnenan emperor, whose mother took them to her home in Gerogia to escape murder or mutilation, and it was with a Georgian army that the brothers took possession of the Southern Black Sea coast. Trebizond was therefore extremely unlikely to make war on their highly supportive relatives in the Caucasus.

On some level, I'm clearly willing to let go of geographical proximity in order to involve more ambitious rulers in the game. The Lusignan and Cilician Kingdoms are perhaps more appropriate to a campaign centered on Eastern Anatolia, but if I really did add six more powers to the game. the Lusignans would be a suitable rival for the Venetians, and the Cilicians another potential enemy of the Seljuks.

I think I'll definitely have to write some rules that allow for alliances beyond the Vassal/Master relationship. There needs to be a diplomatic phase where powers with a positive relationship can repatriate one another's original possessions without doing battle for them.

More to come,
Andy Hooper
Bacteria Valley