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Old February 10th, 2011, 09:50 PM
Alexius I Kommenos Alexius I Kommenos is offline
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The thousand year Komnenian dynasty: Making the impossible a reality v2.0

As you know my Komnenian tl had become very ASB thus i have recreated it from scratch. I spent days labourously editing my manuscript and doing a lot more research I hope you will enjoy reading this tl.
Arkhan, RIngo, Xwarq, Keenir, and everyone else due to your comments of how my other tlwas implausable was completly correct. Once again srry for acting foolish. WIthout further ado I present too you the new and much improved tl. Enjoy And this time it will not be ASB.


“ No matter how bleak a situation is there is still hope”(Alexius I Komnenos)

Chapter I: The Byzantine Reconquest of Sicily and Anatolia



Hello everybody my name is Alexius I Komnenos. I was inaugurated in the year 1081 A.D before I continue any further let me inform you about the bleak affairs of our once mighty empire. Due to the inept rule of the idiotic Doukas family our empire has lost most of its lands in Anatolia and therise of the duchy of Apulia has seriously hindered us. You see John Doukas the fool married his daughter to Robert Guiscard the King of Sicily. After Doukas was
overthrown the Sicilians made an excuse and invaded my empire. You see the problem was that Nikephros Botanietas suffered from a sickness and died in 1079 thus allowing me to ascend to the royal purple. However the worst part is that I have to now face the Sicilians. But I have a cunning plan. This is my story which I right now aged 60 years of my life and my tale of how I became the absoulute ruler of Anatolia and Sicily. SO that historians in the future can understand my accomplishments. I will write them in third person so that readers can understand what realy happened.




In the year of 1081 at the fierce battle of Dyrrachium the Normans under Robert Guiscard and Bohemund received a crushing defeat at the hands of the current emperor of the Romans Alexius I Kommnenos. In the night when Alexius held meetings with his senior officials George Paleolougaie who had escaped the city warned Alexius to caution something the other Rhomanoi officials agreed with. Alexius heeded their word and soon the
Byzantines waited. The Normans were given false news that the Byzantines would attack from the rear so Guiscard and Bohemunnd launched an assault at Alexius camp from the flank. Alexius revised his battle plan and split his forces into three divisions. However the battle would end in his favor. Under the brilliant leadership of Nikepheros Mellisenos the Byzantine flank completely crushed Bohemund’s force and Bohemund himself was killed in the ensuing battle. The other two fronts were full of Byzantine skirmishing in which George beat back the Normans. The varangians who knew what was occurring were cautious instead of charging with their battle-axes they soon held ground. Guiscard saw Alexius in the center of the army with an open flank and soon charged with his knights however the Varangians had been in battle positions yards away form Alexius. At the order of the head varangian the Varangians charged swing heavy battle-axe that soon overran the Norman knights and Guiscard himself was beheaded. With both Bohemund and Guiscard dead, Bohemund’s wife who was trying to rally the troops had her head taken off by an arrow. With the leaders of the Normans dead the Norman army broke rank and soon Dyrachium ended in a complete Byzantine victory. At sea even greater news reached Byzantium; The Venetians who were allies to Byzantium and had been promised many royalties soon had their fleet engage the Sicilian fleet, which was soon sunk by superior Venetian tactics at sea. Thus the Norman invasion was a complete failure, However Alexius knew he could not attack Sicily himself and instead left that task to Nikephoros while he left for Constantinople to prepare an invasion against the encroaching Turks. Soon the Byzantine invasion of Sicily under Nikephoros began.

The Year is 1083 the Brilliant general Nikepheros successfully landed on the shores of Calabria, with an army of some 15000 Roman soldiers. Their mission retakes Byzantine Sicily. The Sicilians
suffered many disadvantageous, due to the current ruler and his heir who were dead a civil war was raging. This greatly weakened the Sicilian kingdom and by 1095 Apulia, calabria, Abruzzi had all fallen to Roman soldiers. Finally after a bitter siege on August 5th 1096 Napoli surrendered.

However Nikephoros knew that it would be impossible for Byzantium to keep all this land and it would be better to create a buffer state in Sicily that would be a puppet of the Romans and act as a buffer against the HRE and the other Italian states. So on December 14th 1086 the treaty of Napoli was signed in which Sicily would be a separate kingdom which was a vassal of Byzantium under Nikepheros and the Melissenos family by the royal decree of Alexius. With the war in the west settled Alexius turned to more pressing matter at hand. The Seljuk Turks.
Soon the Byzantine army of 10000 veterans who participated at Dyrachium and theItalian campaign were recalled to Constantinople where using all available soldiers an army of some 30000 was raised. This deeply depleted the Byzantine treasury but Alexius was making a gamble, he would invade Turkish controlled Anatolia and wit his massive army retake most of Anatolia, it was a risky gamble because if he failed here his Roman empire would be in heavy debt and completely screwed. Alexius alongside Georgios soon headed the force; Venetians sent Conrad Montferrat of Italy who at the time was working for the Venetians with a token Venetian force of some 4000 troops. Basically Alexius signed even more treaties with Venice in which Venetian merchants would have trade with Byzantine goods at much lower prices than with the Genoa’s. This was invaluable to Venice because the Venetian merchants now had the leverage to out compete the other Italian states, plus the Romans proclaimed Venice a guarantee of its independence as long as it remained a close ally of Roe. This deterred the HRE from making any sort of moves on the republic of Venice. So of course the Venetians readily offered help to the Romans. The Venetian fleet soon engaged the Turkish fleets at sea,
the Venetians were much more experienced and veterans at sea than the Turks so the Turkish fleets were soon destroyed at Marmara, of the coast of Rhodes, Crete, Cyprus, and the Bosphorous Venetian fleets completely destroyed the Turkish fleet, and with the Turkish fleet destroyed Alexius and his army could march without fear of a Turkish assault. So on January

6th 1089 Alexius, Georgios, and Conrad marched against the first main city under Turkish control Iconium. The massive roman army soon crushed the various petty Turkish forces stationed in
Anatolia. Toghrol III tried desperately to hold off the Romans but it was futile the Romans simply outnumbered the Turks and had a superior military, unlike Romanos Diogenos and his incompetent army, Alexius had recently reformed the roman army and this new army was being tested, to also help the Romans were the ten thousand strong veterans of the Italian and Balkan campaigns who for years fought against the Sicilians and waded through fierce territory, were extremely well trained and drilled by Nikepheros. With these insurmountable odds the Turks soon lost city after city and at the battle of
Caesarea Toghrol III was killed. With the death of Toghrol the Turkish resistance crumbled and by 1099 most of Anatolia was regained by the Byzantines. To make matters worse a civil war had broken out in the Turkish domains. With Toghruls death various claimants soon tried seizing the throne and in the process various parts of the empire broke off, chief parts were it s Persian domains, Levantine Domains, and the heartland of the Turks was in a war to seize the throne, and so due to this split Anatolia was retaken. However Alexius did not stop their, he halted his troops at Dulkadir where he soon allowed rest for his exhausted army.
What saved Alexius and the invasion force was the civil war, had their been no civil war the exhausted Byzantine army that campaigned for years would have been overwhelmed by the Turks and so Alexius had lady luck on his side at this time. By 1101 the civil war heated up as the Levantine pretender left with his army to fend off the Persians. He knew the Romans were exhausted and would not attack yet to be cautious he fortified his borders at Aleppo and Antioch. However it would prove to be fatal mistakes on his part, by 1102 after the much-needed rest the refreshed roman army launched the invasion of Antioch. The fierce siege lasted for close to 10 months and finally Antioch gave in. Likewise Aleppo also put up a tough fight but it too fell, With Aleppo and Antioch secure the Romans launched a recon quest of the Levantine lands and soon Sidon, tyre, acre, and Jerusalem the holy city fell to the refreshed and rejuvenated Byzantine army. In 1104 the Turks who finished their civil war had the new leader
Alp Arslan II sue for peace in which he gave up the Levant and Anatolia to the Romans. The treaty of Antioch was signed….

However Alexius was not an idiot and he knew the Fatamids of Egypt were eying at
his vulnerable army so he decided to create a buffer state, it was known as the Duchy of Jerusalem encompassing the Levant up to Antioch. With this work finished Alexius fortified his borders and
returned to Constantinople with a heroes welcome. In order to pay off his debt Alexius had looted a lot of gold from the provinces he sacked, and in the peace treaty the Turks gave 7000 Talents to the Romans and with this newfound wealth Alexius paid off the debts he had incurred. Conrad of Montferrat and Alexius had grown extremely close during this time, and so Conrad was awarded by Alexius the city of Aleppo in return for his loyalty to the Byzantines, and his promise to aid the Byzantines as a valuable ally. Once again Alexius did this to create a buffer between the Turks and the Roman lands. After returning to Constantinople Alexius Ordered great celebrations over his stunning victories.

In the year 1112 Alexius married Cecil of France to cement an alliance between the two Kingdoms because in the HRE the emperor was becoming a major threat too Byzantine borders and likewise for France , The HRE was getting to powerful and Phillip feared a superpower German empire and to keep the German empire in check an alliance with the Romans ensured the balance of powers.

Alexius now turned to internal matters.
_______________________

in otl a rabble crusading army of 10000 captured Jerusalum so why can't a well trained veteran force accomplish the same task.
Also this Conrad is a different Montferrat due to butterflies not the Conrad who was father of Boniface but a completely different Conrad....

Reasons for the Turkish defeats
In this tl the Byzantine have actual experience with warfare due to the invasion of Sicily. This allows them to create a much better proffestional army.
Reasons for Byzantine victory
Superior tactics and strategy
Excellent disciplined soldiers
Brilliant officer core
More troops
Better soldiers
Lady luck


Reasons for Turkish defeat


Sultan died
Just recovered from a recent civil war
Had inept generals
A cowardly sultan
Horrible luck
Weakened troops
Disunited
Squabbling among generals
Betrayals left and right
[COLOR=black]Unstable hold on conquered peoples[/COLOR
Horrible morale
With the death of the sultan the Seljuk Empire was torn apart and so without leadership the Turks were completely overwhelmed.
Too exhausted to make a comeback
Were in a bad position
Outnumbered
Attacked from multiple fronts
Blockaded by Venezian ships
Horrible supply train
These are the reasons for the Byzantines conquering Turkish lands.
Now Sicily:
Reasons for Byzantine victory: CautiousnessNot acting foolhardy
Reliant generals
Reformed army
Powerful heavy infantry
Venezian aid
General who knew how to fight on mountainous terrain
Loyal followers

High morale

Reasons for Sicilian defeat
Death of Guiscard and Bohemund
Hautevelle dynasty extinct
Civil war among generals
After Dyrachion the siciliians fight a bloody civil war Horrible and weak king becomes the ruler of Apulia
Outnumbered
Blockaded by Venezians

Stuck in a two front war
Bankrupt

Was unprepared for byantine assault caught by surprise
Frequently ambushed by the romans
These are the reasons for Byzantine victory.



Bohemund:

Robert Guiscard:

Alexius I Komnenos:


Cecile of France


In this tl Cecile is born in 1065 not 1097 like otl. I llove the irony in otl she married guiscard but in this tl she marris guiscards rival alexius

Anyway guys is this hopefully more plausable. I understood fellow readers your concerns at how ASB and implausable my other tl became I hope you will enjoy reading this.

Last edited by Alexius I Kommenos; February 10th, 2011 at 11:42 PM..
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  #2  
Old February 10th, 2011, 11:07 PM
Cuāuhtemōc Cuāuhtemōc is offline
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A good improvement! Nice!
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Old February 10th, 2011, 11:08 PM
MNP MNP is offline
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Maybe you could put your list in bullet form like this?
Quote:
Reasons for Byzantine victory
  1. Superior tactics and strategy
  2. Excellent disciplined soldiers
  3. Brilliant officer core
  4. More troops
  5. Better soldiers
  6. Lady luck
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Old February 10th, 2011, 11:25 PM
Alexius I Kommenos Alexius I Kommenos is offline
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Originally Posted by MNP View Post
Maybe you could put your list in bullet form like this?
K I'll do that.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 12:31 PM
Alexius I Kommenos Alexius I Kommenos is offline
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Chapter IV Hegemony of France

In the year 1118 Emperor Alexius Kommenos age 62 prepared his son John to lead the Byzantines. You see Alexius finished with his internal reforms and made a stable Byzantium and now he turned to his son. His son was married to Constance of France. In 1122 Alexius died. John Kommenos and his wife PrincesConstance of France, Princess of Antioch


capet became Emperor and Empress of the Romans with great pomp after a month of mourning for Alexius Kommenos the Great. However John had a sister whose name was Anna Kommenus, Now Anna married Nikephoros a close friend of the Kommenians. She was proclaimed Extarchess of Anatolia and was given many royal titles. Anna was scholarly, smart, pretty, intelligent, young, and deceitful as well as extremely aggressive sort of woman. She would influence Johns Policies in the east and would be the architect who came up with operation of the uniting France under the capets. John turned to the west. With his marriage to COnstance, his wife convinced him to help her father Philip consolidate his grip on France. At the time the French were mainly limited to Ille de France and Cecile wanted France to dominate former Frankish lands, however it would not be an easy task, to the North Normandy and Brittany were independent, the Orleans, foix and Auverguene were all unruly and to make matters worse Aquitane was eying hungrily at Ille the France. To compound was the fact that at this time there was a group of people known as Robber barons, who raided, pillaged, and were completely unruly and did not obey the king, the King could not even tour his lands without fear of these Barons. However this would all Change. John sent an army of some 15000 well trained Byzantine regulars, basically the troops whop had experience across Anatolia, Italy, and Levant were put in charge of training the new batch of soldiers in warfare so by 1120 even though the veterans were getting older the new recruits learned and were trained by the veterans and were thus extremely well prepared.
On July 16th 1120 a Byzantine force of some 15000 Men landed at the port of Marseille commanded by John himself, John met his father in law Phillip as they exchanged greetings and soon turned to pressing matters. So the Romans and the French soldiers cooperated as they made the initial battle plans, the immediate target was to secure Phillips grip on his empire and in a swift campaign that lasted for two years the Byzantine-Franco force brought heel to the Robber barons, with this settled in 1124 John and Phillip launched an attack against their first target the Duchies of Foix and Auverguiene, within a year the overwhelming Franco-Roman force seized the two duchies. Meanwhile in Aquitane the duke of Aquitane grew scared, likewise The King of Normandy Henry I was also wary and likewise Brittany was shocked and fearful of French designs, to compound matters Burgundy was also wary of Capet power so the 5 formed the alliance of the Northern Franks between, Brittany, England, Burgundy, and Acquitting. With the alliance in place the 5 decided to launch an assault on France from three fronts. On January of 1126 the Frank alliance declared war and soon the various armies attacked from three fronts. However John and Phillip knew ahead of time the plans due to spies and were prepared, however the Franks fought each other fiercely as the various armies faced off, and in the end the Northern Alliance crumbled to superior French and Byzantine forces. By 1150 the Northern Alliance sued for peace after disastrous losses at Normandy, Gascony, foix, orleons, etc the Northern alliance surrendered and in the ensuing treaty the now defunct Aquitane was annexed, likewise the other French Duchies…
reasons for Roman victory:

1. Better troops
2. Genius leaders
3. Strong supply train
4. Better equipped
5. More resources
6. High morale
7. Discipline
8. Ambush
9.Spies
Reasons for Duchies defeat
Sabootaged

Spies infiltration
Less resources
Incompetent rulers
Horrible generals
Little troops
Low morale
Untrained
Mostly peaseant armies


So what do guys think.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 12:50 PM
Arrix85 Arrix85 is offline
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I like it! A rhomanoi empire surviving is fascinating.

The strategy of setting up buffer states( and refusing to overextend) could be the key of survival for the Rhomanoi. Next are we gonna see the attention of Costantinople towards the Balkans ?(btw how the Greeks called the Balkans? I read recently that the name has a turkish origin and a strong empire would prevent the turk name to take hold).

A map is coming?
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Old February 11th, 2011, 03:37 PM
RyuDrago RyuDrago is offline
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I enjoyed the tablets about the victory/defeat reasons. Keep it up!
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Old February 13th, 2011, 02:43 PM
Alexius I Kommenos Alexius I Kommenos is offline
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The two power blocs and the Komneian army
The year is 1136 John Komnenos the emperor of the Romans ruled a vast multi continental empire stretching from Africa to the Levant to Europe. The French and Roman crowns were also in a very close personal alliance. Thus Franco-Roman relations were at an all time high. However the Papacy deeply resented the French alliance with the schismatic. Yet the Pope could do little. One empire was deeply concerned at the dual alliance. The King of Germany Conrad II Hohenstaufen. Now you see Lothair III was an inept and weak HRE, everyone knew the real power behind the throne was Conrad and his son Fredrich Barbarossa. Conrad greatly feared this so called alliance between France and Rome because with this alliance the HRE was stuck with facing a two front war should the Romans or Franks invade. This greatly angered Conrad who soon forges an alliance with the Kingdom of England. Known as the Grand alliance the HRE and the Kingdom of Britain were to sign an alliance against common foes. Thus by 1140 in Europe two main power blocs arose. The Dual alliance between the Kingdom of France and the Roman Empire, and the Grand alliance between the HRE and the Kingdom of England. Tensions were extremely high between the two blocs. In 1142 John made a series of changes to the Roman Empire. He perfected the Komnenian army created by Alexius. The core units were made up of Varangians and Athanatoi, the Varadtoi and Archontoupouloi were the heavy Calvary recruited from sons of dead officers, professional soldiers and professional soldier recruited from provinces. The Provincial troops included the Kataphratacoi: Calvary from Macedonia and Thessaly, alongside troops raised and directly paid for by the Komnenians.

Komnenian army structure: At the top was the emperor and under him was the Megas Domestikos (Grand domestic) Aka the commander and chief of the army. Under him was the 2nd in command Protostrator, Commander of the navy was Megas Doux, Strategos were the generals of the Roman army, Katepano were the provincial defensive forces leaders, Lesser commanders were known for the size of units they commanded, For example Tagmarches controlled a tagmarcha or regiment. Basic Calvary was called Bandoin and Moiria, Infantry unit was the taxiarcha, and Tourkoploui was mercenaries of Turks recruited from former Seljuk provinces. The close combat units used spears of various lengths. Specialist infantry known as Menlavatoi used menvalon a peace of heavy shafted weaponry. Two types of swords Spathion and Paramerion. The Byzantines also used composite bows relied on by Infantry and Calvary as well as Javelins. Shields were kite shaped and much of the infantry was in a Pavise formation. They used soft and padded armor known as aketon, a garment known, as Kavadion was protection for light troops. They wore chapel de fer brimmed helmets usually featuring iconic saints. The Komnenians also used formidable artillery. Stone throwing trebuchets were one of the greatest Byzantine inventions. The Komneinas created the Counterweight trebuchet far more accurate than a normal trebuchet. They also used long-range bolt fire machines, such as the great crossbow. Thus with these formidable attributes the Komnenian army was one of the most Powerful armies of the period unmatched by any pother power. They used all sorts of troops, which spread fear into Roman enemies. These powerful troops were to be used in the Balkan campaigns of John Komnenos. In which John would conquer all lands from Croatia-Bulgaria bringing the Byzantine control under west once more. …


Anyway guys reason I introduced you to the Komneian army was because these terms will heavily be used in the following updates so as to maintain historical accuracy. Thus familiarize yourself with these terms so you do not get lost in the next few updates…
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Old February 13th, 2011, 03:03 PM
Arrix85 Arrix85 is offline
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One can only imagine what the Rhomaion army could do with gunpowder after contact with the Mongols... yay! epic fight!
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Old February 13th, 2011, 05:49 PM
Alexius I Kommenos Alexius I Kommenos is offline
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Alright now what mistakes am I making?? I mean seriously. Whatis with the low views and little to no comments. I need feedback people. Seriously where have I screwed up will you plz clarify! You know what If you people don't care about this tl why shouldI waste my time making it. Ivehad enough...
2 what gunpowder arrix artillary means giant crossbows an trebuchets just to clarify.
btw for those contributing I thank you




Also Franco-Byzantine alliance is not ASB because in otl such an alliance occured during the reign of Alexius II who was supposed to be married to agnes of France until the end of Andronicos

Last edited by Alexius I Kommenos; February 13th, 2011 at 05:55 PM..
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Old February 13th, 2011, 05:57 PM
Arrix85 Arrix85 is offline
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Ok. I'll be more precise, what I meant was "imagine what the Rhomaion army could do when they will get gunpowder".

On a personal (or selfish ) note I'd ask to keep going, but I undestand your frustration.
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Old February 13th, 2011, 06:04 PM
Alexius I Kommenos Alexius I Kommenos is offline
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Originally Posted by Arrix85 View Post
Ok. I'll be more precise, what I meant was "imagine what the Rhomaion army could do when they will get gunpowder".

On a personal (or selfish ) note I'd ask to keep going, but I undestand your frustration.
I know but still why hasn't it recieved attention it's extremly plausable and I'm taking time to explain the Roman army of Komnenians and why they won...
I am also pissed that most people believe the Angeloi were a good Byzantine dynasty. The stupidity the Angeloi were the worst Roman emperors who screwed up the Byzantines and led to the cause of Byzantine destruction he'll te Paleologai were smarter than these group of idiots and incompetants who got rid of the navy, screwed the powerful army and basically shitted on the Byzantiens and all the gains of John, Alexius, and Manuel were lost. Seriously how retarded is that I pity those who feel the angeloi were a good dynasty


The only Komnenianwho I Pity is Andronikos seriously his incompetance rivals the angeloi...

Last edited by Alexius I Kommenos; February 13th, 2011 at 06:13 PM..
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Old February 13th, 2011, 07:41 PM
RyuDrago RyuDrago is offline
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Now the TL is surely more balanced and plausibile, even if as said before i also liked the first version despite the previous quarrel... Hope this time will go better.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 12:28 AM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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It does seem to be pushing the limits of what could be done, though. Not ASB, though I think the win in France is made too easy.

Anatolia being retaken by a lucky Alexius? Possible, particularly if he has the professional army badly crippled OTL to start from and the resources that he historically had to tie up vs. the Normans.

Sicily & Naples? Sure, that's doable.

But France? I'm not sure the Byzantines are ready for another great adventure like this would be. An alliance of sorts is one thing, major campaigning would be more difficult - I'd have John send Philip money rather than men, at least to begin with. But having a hundred thousand or more hyperpyron from John would be a big asset for Philip. Maybe a few thousand (say 5,000) men instead of 15,000 - that ought to be a solid professional corps.

And I think the degree the mostly-independent duchies would be able to resist - whether John sends military aid or not - is underestimated.

But more importantly, John needs some time to reestablish Anatolia as firmly their own - even if the Turks are smashed, they're not going to just disappear. And meanwhile, the Normans took Byzantine Italy for a reason - smoothly reintegrating it won't be instantaneous either.

I like the description of the Byzantine army though. And the great successes (even if I'm not sure how plausible they are). Its always fun to read about the Byzantines doing well. They're such a wonderful civilization for AH - so many points of departure, so many cool emperors (including the first three Komnenoi most certainly), and just all around different than either the East or the West (measured from wherever you draw the line for those terms).

A thousand year long dynasty? Probably pushing it, but mostly for internal reasons - and you sound like you know enough about the Byzantines to address this. After a while the dynasty should be firmly established, and by and large they seem to be a competent set (counting the branch that OTL ruled Trebizond from 1204 on as well as the main line), so as long as they have sons they're probably as capable of it as any dynasty.

Hopefully we'll see this elaborated on though, because details like that will be interesting. Will the Komnenoi simply establish a stable imperial family (possibly with coups within the extended clan, but with the idea that the Komnenoi are the rightful imperial line)?

Don't take any of the criticisms the wrong way, please - I just have reservations about any easy and overwhelming triumphs, whether by John II or anyone else. But as said, reading about victories is fun.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 02:26 AM
Alexius I Kommenos Alexius I Kommenos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwine View Post
It does seem to be pushing the limits of what could be done, though. Not ASB, though I think the win in France is made too easy.

Anatolia being retaken by a lucky Alexius? Possible, particularly if he has the professional army badly crippled OTL to start from and the resources that he historically had to tie up vs. the Normans.

Sicily & Naples? Sure, that's doable.

But France? I'm not sure the Byzantines are ready for another great adventure like this would be. An alliance of sorts is one thing, major campaigning would be more difficult - I'd have John send Philip money rather than men, at least to begin with. But having a hundred thousand or more hyperpyron from John would be a big asset for Philip. Maybe a few thousand (say 5,000) men instead of 15,000 - that ought to be a solid professional corps.

And I think the degree the mostly-independent duchies would be able to resist - whether John sends military aid or not - is underestimated.

But more importantly, John needs some time to reestablish Anatolia as firmly their own - even if the Turks are smashed, they're not going to just disappear. And meanwhile, the Normans took Byzantine Italy for a reason - smoothly reintegrating it won't be instantaneous either.

I like the description of the Byzantine army though. And the great successes (even if I'm not sure how plausible they are). Its always fun to read about the Byzantines doing well. They're such a wonderful civilization for AH - so many points of departure, so many cool emperors (including the first three Komnenoi most certainly), and just all around different than either the East or the West (measured from wherever you draw the line for those terms).

A thousand year long dynasty? Probably pushing it, but mostly for internal reasons - and you sound like you know enough about the Byzantines to address this. After a while the dynasty should be firmly established, and by and large they seem to be a competent set (counting the branch that OTL ruled Trebizond from 1204 on as well as the main line), so as long as they have sons they're probably as capable of it as any dynasty.

Hopefully we'll see this elaborated on though, because details like that will be interesting. Will the Komnenoi simply establish a stable imperial family (possibly with coups within the extended clan, but with the idea that the Komnenoi are the rightful imperial line)?

Don't take any of the criticisms the wrong way, please - I just have reservations about any easy and overwhelming triumphs, whether by John II or anyone else. But as said, reading about victories is fun.
Alright time to answer questions.
1) About the Turks... dude as of right now the turks are in no position to do anything to Anatolia. Remember it has just survived a massive civil war and its population depleted, manpower destroyed, it cannot make inroads into anatolia. Also remmebr anatolia has not yet converted it was not till Romanos defeat that Anatolia was taken so it is still populated by eastern orthodox. ANother thing you must understand is the byzantines used the turks as troops. The Tourkploui were the turkish regiments or archer calvary of the Romans. Since the Turks also pose no real threat to the romans, John felt it too be safe to help France. The victories IMO are very plausable, why because in otl the Komneian army was the perfect army to counterbalance the turks. The Komnenians had a very fierce reputation in the east, unfortunatly they spent little time in the west. Thus EUrope looked at the ROmans as weak. So with the turks not able to do manything and the Fatamids recently exausted, John is safe on his borders.
2) The Duchies I know were not easy to destroy but they would fall. The Franco-ROman alliance is very plausable beccause such an alliance almost occured when Agnes of France married Alexius II Komnenos in otl. Thus Franco-ROman relations were very good. Also remember the DUchies are at this time led by weak willled rulers, who are inept and uselss at war. Plus the Komnenian are led by two of the greateast Megas Domesticos, Georgios Paleologai and Nikephros M. Thus they are also veternas de to extensive campaigning in Sicily and anatolia. They know how to siege castles and fight on terrains ranging from mountains to the desert. Also at this time Bulgaria is still a part of ROme. Only Croatia and Hungary are the major byzantine rivals at this time. Both in no position to invade. Thus John could send these troops with no fear. Plus due to jis predeccors the Komnenians have a great reputation.
3) Byzantine Italy is never integrated. Sicily is still an independant nation. It is just a byzantine pppet. Meaning the people f sicilians rule the country but it is just overseen by Nikephoros. So in reality it is de facto independant but is still a byzantine vassal. So the Sicilians dont feel a need to revolt because under Johns polocies the minorites prosper thus reducing tensions. SO Really John has troops lying around with no real use so he sends them to France.

4) Dude do not underestimate the Komnenian army. It was one of the most feared armies across the known world to Europeans. They were a balance of everything from Pavise infantry, to ballistas and trebuchetts, to Turkish clavary and all had one important asset the West did not. Composite bows. Remember Longbows are still only used in England so the french rely on crossbows which compared to composite bows are really not as efficent. They also had heavy calvary etc so the army was extremly strong.

5) The Komneians you see are going to last one thousand years. Although their grip at times wil be tenious at best.

Hope I answered most of your questions
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  #16  
Old February 14th, 2011, 03:04 AM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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Originally Posted by Alexius I Kommenos View Post

Alright time to answer questions.
1) About the Turks... dude as of right now the turks are in no position to do anything to Anatolia. Remember it has just survived a massive civil war and its population depleted, manpower destroyed, it cannot make inroads into anatolia. Also remmebr anatolia has not yet converted it was not till Romanos defeat that Anatolia was taken so it is still populated by eastern orthodox. ANother thing you must understand is the byzantines used the turks as troops. The Tourkploui were the turkish regiments or archer calvary of the Romans. Since the Turks also pose no real threat to the romans, John felt it too be safe to help France. The victories IMO are very plausable, why because in otl the Komneian army was the perfect army to counterbalance the turks. The Komnenians had a very fierce reputation in the east, unfortunatly they spent little time in the west. Thus EUrope looked at the ROmans as weak. So with the turks not able to do manything and the Fatamids recently exausted, John is safe on his borders.
They can still raid and pillage and otherwise give John grief. I'm not saying they can retake it, but he can't pretend that Anatolia is in the state it was a century ago, either. Not realistically.

Quote:
2) The Duchies I know were not easy to destroy but they would fall. The Franco-ROman alliance is very plausable beccause such an alliance almost occured when Agnes of France married Alexius II Komnenos in otl.
Yes, they would, it just would take some time. And I'm not sure I'd go so far to call it alliance between Agnes and Alexius II. A marriage, yes, but not an alliance. That's just nitpicking though, if John wants an alliance, he can make one happen. Presumably in this timeline John is more friendly (as opposed to neutral) to Western Europe, and we see things from that - probably not as much as his son OTL, but it should have some impact (just noting to give ideas).

Quote:
Thus Franco-ROman relations were very good. Also remember the DUchies are at this time led by weak willled rulers, who are inept and uselss at war.

Plus the Komnenian are led by two of the greateast Megas Domesticos, Georgios Paleologai and Nikephros M.
I agree with the second part more than the first. But if George and Nikephoros are able to focus on conquering in the West, sooner or latter the French duchies will fall.

Quote:
Thus they are also veternas de to extensive campaigning in Sicily and anatolia. They know how to siege castles and fight on terrains ranging from mountains to the desert. Also at this time Bulgaria is still a part of ROme. Only Croatia and Hungary are the major byzantine rivals at this time.
Very true. John's only problems are reintegrating Anatolia and to a greater extent, Sicily/Naples. It'd tie up resources, but there's no actual threat to Byzantium.

Quote:
Both in no position to invade. Thus John could send these troops with no fear. Plus due to jis predeccors the Komnenians have a great reputation.
Nothing to argue with here.

Quote:
3) Byzantine Italy is never integrated. Sicily is still an independant nation. It is just a byzantine pppet. Meaning the people f sicilians rule the country but it is just overseen by Nikephoros. So in reality it is de facto independant but is still a byzantine vassal.
Ah, that makes things much easier. Now all John has to worry about derailing ambitious plans are the Turks (Yes, they are disorganized, but not exterminated) causing trouble in Eastern Anatolia. And that's more a side campaign than a major threat - particularly if Alexius's campaigns have lead to them simply being a rootless "horde" rather than settled down within the 1025 borders. But I wouldn't want to ignore this half entirely, if I was in John's boots.

Quote:
So the Sicilians dont feel a need to revolt because under Johns polocies the minorites prosper thus reducing tensions. SO Really John has troops lying around with no real use so he sends them to France.
Well, I'm not sure Byzantium at any point between Justinian and John II was ever to the point of "troops laying around useless", but this is a pretty good state of affairs. Keep the east secure, rebuild fortresses, use the famous methods of Byzantine diplomacy...nothing that would be all consuming if things really did go as well for Alexius as you stated in the first post. I just really want to emphathize that it wouldn't be totally irrelevant. If its too minor to cover in your posts, that's fine, but John will be spending men and money in ensuring that this isn't a temporary reconquest like Justinian in Italy.

Quote:
4) Dude do not underestimate the Komnenian army. It was one of the most feared armies across the known world to Europeans. They were a balance of everything from Pavise infantry, to ballistas and trebuchetts, to Turkish clavary and all had one important asset the West did not. Composite bows. Remember Longbows are still only used in England so the french rely on crossbows which compared to composite bows are really not as efficent. They also had heavy calvary etc so the army was extremly strong.
Oh definitely. If the Byzantines have a professional native (instead of mercenary), well lead (you mentioned this and I agree) army and the generals are loyal (and there's no reason for George to suddenly decide to betray John), they have the best army in the known world.

I think the main problem is just that you're giving them all these great victories so fast - the Byzantine are good and the Komnenoi emperors are excellent, but its easier said than done to achieve all of this.

Composite bows don't handle the rain very well. Sure this can be taken care of, but it is a limiting factor. And I'm not sure on crossbows - though this is early in their development, so skilled archers definitely should have an edge. And archery has been a big thing in the East for centuries by now.

Quote:
5) The Komneians you see are going to last one thousand years. Although their grip at times wil be tenious at best.

Hope I answered most of your questions
I think so. I'm still uneasy about the optimism on how well the Byzantines can do here - yes they have some amazing strengths (which you covered), but they're facing a big task.

Just keep that in mind. So long as the Byzantines act with care, and the emperors stay competent, they will do well.

And I'm hoping for the papal supremacy issue to be resolved at some point.

Having the Komnenoi break the papal theocratic dream will be so, so sweet.
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  #17  
Old February 14th, 2011, 11:40 PM
Cuāuhtemōc Cuāuhtemōc is offline
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Interesting update
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  #18  
Old April 4th, 2011, 09:41 PM
Alexius I Kommenos Alexius I Kommenos is offline
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Anyway Ironically my v3.0 was way worse than I expected. This is much more plausible. Anyway I am planning to continue form here my grande tl. But I have a question should I revive this tl or not
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  #19  
Old April 5th, 2011, 05:21 AM
RyuDrago RyuDrago is offline
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Why not? Generally, the first reason why one stopped to write a TL it's because he become annoyed... If you feeled to continue here, it's good.

Also, i want to see this TL continued...
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  #20  
Old October 24th, 2011, 01:01 AM
Alexius I Kommenos Alexius I Kommenos is offline
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Well ladies and gents I proclaim officially the ressurection of this thread. excpect an update in a. Few hours. By the way it will be error free and grammatically correct.
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