Building a Legacy, Part IV: The Useless War (1082-1093)

Author: Elipticon
Published: 2019-10-12, edited: 2019-10-24
Alfonso Jimena, now entering his old age, now realized that he needed more recognition than just reuniting the 3 Kingdoms and taking Italy. Surely a Holy War would do that. Surely....

Part of the campaign:

Building a Legacy

Previous part:

Game: Crusader Kings II

Building a Legacy, Part III: The 2 Worlds of Leon (1075-1082)

Images: 36, author: Elipticon, published: 2019-09-14, edited: 2019-09-21

Welcome back to my AAR! It's been a month, but now I'm back. The main reason for the delay is because I accidentally reset the entire episode on 3 different occasions, and for about a week I just couldn't be bothered with trying again, but now I have the will to finish the episode.

I bought some DLC in the meantime, and also got myself a portrait pack, so now you guys can look at Hispanic Alfonso. (Ferdinando is still Italian because he technically isn't Alfonso's son.)
One of those DLC was Sons of Abraham, and considering how much of Italy I own I decided to try and get some seats. I got 2 in total.

Also, Galicia is strong.
Alfonso decides to marry his son to the duke of Aquitaine's daughter, which sounds like it wouldn't be good until you realize that Aquitaine owns a lot of France, said daughter is the heir to the duchy, and the duke is an old man.

All things considered, the marriage is gifting Ferdinando (still hate that name) a free duchy.

Also of note, retinues. I got legacy of Rome.
And alliance with the now 57-year-old duke was then signed, and would prove mildly useful during the wars to come. If anything, it was a cementation that the 2 kingdoms were linked, even though aquitaine was a duchy.

You can also see Aquitaine's borders better here. See what I mean by them being huge?
After the many wars fought with the Aftasids, Alfonso decided that he should try and turn his force over to the other Muslim neighbor, the Dhunnunids. They were currently being invaded by 3 countries, so if Alfonso invaded quickly enough he would be able to waltz into the majority-catholic territory.
18 months later, and war is declared. The retinue had not yet reached full capacity, but Alfonso knew that if he waited too long the other wars will be over and all of Andalusia would be ready to defend. While it would later be dubbed by amateur historians as a grave mistake, most respected historians recognize that almost everything was on Alfonso's side and he could not have foreseen the future events that caused disaster in what is now known as "The Useless War."
During the reassigning of territories that was done between Parts 3 and 4 the Duchy of Castille was created, and unbeknownst to Alfonso it had already declared war on the Dhunnunids, citing the same reasons that Alfonso had. While that sounds terrible, every siege that Castille did would count towards Leonese war score as well, while Leonese war score would not count towards Castillian ones.

Aquitaine also rushes to battle, not only for their ally but also to try and establish an Iberian holding like France. France was currently getting curbstomped by Amarid, so not really a good example.
Another year later, and Molina had finally fallen, and the many Catholics began to pour into the city to welcome their liberators. While Alfonso was not there to see the fall of the city he arrived soon after and was met with a crowd of celebrators. He tried to give a speech, until realizing that most of the citizens only spoke Arabic and could not understand his Spanish.

It was seen by Alfonso's council and the public that the war would end soon, bringing glory to all Spaniards. The only person who had any doubts was Urraca, but the council had long since learned to ignore her mostly because she was a woman, but also because she had an undying hatred for Alfonso.

Side Note: You probably want to know why Urraca is Alfonso's advisor even though the 2 hate each other, and the reason is H I S T O R I C A L I M M E R S I O N. Urraca, in real life was the only one of the Jimenas who managed to not be imprisoned by Sancho (the King of Castile at the start date) and once Alfonso escaped and probably killed Sancho she became Alfonso's advisor, and the 2 were actually became good friends after that. The more you know.
In other news, Ferdinando finally reached adulthood, and his stats are..... less than stellar. Alfonso, knowing full and well that he isn't the father flies into a rage that whoever the real father is be executed, but the only person who actually knew who the father is was dead, so Alfonso just had to live with it.
A few months later, and Alfonso is now in desperation. He had fought a battle with the Dhunnunids, not knowing that there was a much larger army right behind it, absolutely decimating the army. He decides to raise the vassal levies, and would not lower them until the end of the war. This upset many of his vassals, and talks of independence began to swirl in Italy.

You can also see the many armies that Alfonso was now fighting. The wars ended sooner than he thought.
With vassals in hand, Alfonso headed towards Molina once more to wipe out the Dhunnunid force, which was now tired thanks to many battles and sieges.
And indeed, the battle was a success! Alfonso then began a campaign that almost completely decimated the opposing forces, and was seen as the eventual victor of the war. However, there was another force that was passing through Alcala, one that would prove to be Alfonso's downfall...
Yep. It's the reconquista. Instead of it being the (now deceased) Sancho the Simple leading the charge, it was a woman, who wanted to take the exact land that Alfonso had lost all those years ago, "Pretty much the same as Sancho," Alfonso thought, but still joined the war as moral support. This would end up disastrous, as the Aftasids, the largest largest kingdom in Andalusia, was now at war with Alfonso.
With Molina down, Alfonso moved to Kunka, when strange news arrived from Soria. The Barcelonans are here! Alfonso first thought that it was a fellow catholic defending the faith, until he learned from his generals that Barcelona was fighting them. despite being a catholic country, they had close ties to the former King of Navarra before Alfonso "replaced" him with his nephew, and could not stand another ally of Alfonso gaining land.

Almost everyone in both Leon and Barcelona that had any power tried to convince Ramon that it was a really stupid idea to fight their fellow allies when they themselves are on the brink of destruction if the Muslims bothered to try, but Ramon was old and was suffering from what would probably be dementia, so war pressed on.
Here's a look at the state of the war. While Alfonso struggled to win battles, he had great success in taking control of the mostly-catholic land.
While Aquitaine gets completely recked by Barcelona, who spoke terrible advice in French to confuse the soldiers, Alfonso decides to take the time to educate his son in the wonders of stabbing your enemies. He's already shaping up to be much better than Ferdinando ever would be. He secretly prayed that he would drop dead so I would never have to spell that name again.
I stopped taking screenshots for a while after this, because it was mainly "Alfonso loses a battle, then wins a bunch of smaller battles, and then loses a battle even harder than the first time." Of note is the reconquista which was beginning to fail after a major battle was lost and most of the army was killed.
England is back on the map! One of Harold's sons managed to reclaim the throne (without Cornwall and York, though) and became independent. The civil war actually began at some point in Part 2, so this is long overdue.
Some random guy in Africa decided to take Sardinia, and Alfonso has better things to do so he doesn't fight it. I guess the R I V E T I N G siege of Gallura was for nothing.

Also, if you want another update on the war, look at the bottom right. As I mentioned a couple slides ago, the fighting is incredibly boring and predictable, and I had to go on 5 speed for a lot of it.
Alfonso's troops had destroyed many a village while contesting in heated battles with the Andalusians, and his soldiers were known to imprison anyone who tried to resist in sieges. News reached back home, and the populace, who now began to resent the war, started referring to Alfonso as "The Oppressor" to try and get him to stop the war.
Ferdinando is such a disgrace to Alfonso that he names his 4th son Ferdinando 2. Elvira tells him that that's a terrible idea for a name, and she suggests the much more normal Fernando.
A new reconquista starts up after the last one failed massively. This time, it's led by a man, so it's bound to work, right?

Alfonso then realizes that they're contesting over the exact same territory that he's been fighting for years over, and quickly sends a message to Salvador that he would not be endorsing the fight. Barcelona responds by endorsing the war, but not joining due to their armies being severely beaten during the last reconquista.
Kunka, which had first started being sieged down in 1086, and received sporadic sieges across the next 6 years, finally fell. While there still were a sizable amount of Catholics in the city, the Leonese army had to drive back and angry mob of Muslims in a tour of the city.

Alfonso was now determined that war would be won soon and decisively. In the end, that ended up being achieved.
Also, Aquitaine's flag changed for screenshots after this because the HRE had a claim on the main title, but not any of the other titles. Still huge, though.

Alfonso then met with Guilhem to discuss the future of their countries. Guilhem still had yet to have a boy, and Alfonso's heir was sub-par, and the way things were set their heir's children would end up inheriting both kingdoms. Alfonso used the opportunity to remind Guilhem that he was a duke, with a lot of duchies.

It turns out that after 8 years of having your levies forcibly raised, you don't really like your liege that much. The only ones with lower penalties were attacked so much that their entire army died, and somehow that makes them like Alfonso slightly more?
Ramon strangely had gotten 63% warscore even though all they've done is siege down this one province, and not doing any battles that could actually benefit Alfonso. let's hope that this doesn't lead to any more developments.
But yet it did. Salvador marched into Molina and informed the people there that he was their new ruler. Alfonso didn't hear the news until several weeks later, when he noticed that there were no armies coming to fight him.

All that work, a decade of fighting, and sacrificing thousands of young men, Alfonso had nothing to show from it. All of his vassals hated him, he was approaching an older age, and the pressing question of his inheritance, which was still gavelkind, plagued him.

Alfonso was 53 at this point. It was obvious that he didn't have much longer to live, and his one chance of proving that he still could accomplish things. Even Urraca was at a loss for words, with children in her county of Zamora crying for their parents.
And all because of the stupid reconquistas.

Next chapter:

Game: Crusader Kings II

Building a Legacy, Part V: The End of Leon (1093-1098)

Images: 13, author: Elipticon, published: 2019-10-29, edited: 2019-10-31

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