Chapter 37: Blitzkrieg
15 November 1259
Bead and games. That's what the Romans gave their people, and is exactly what I give my nobles. I had to interrupt the war with the Khergit to bring some financial order to my treasury, but in the end I winded up giving a few weeks of nonstop partying for my nobles. They loved me for it. Then, on 10 November, I interrupted the feasting for the games: I had declared war on the Khergit, and needed my nobles to follow me into battle. I gathered a small army myself, including 75 of my best sharpshooters, and lead the way over the mountains, directly to a big price: Ichamur. Sanjar khan had to know that I was back, and what better to get his attention than to conquer one of his two remaining cities?
The earth thundered while we crossed the mountains. 2025 men were walking and riding along me: an army I had never seen before in Calradia. The organisation was very strict, and every night I walked to all the nobles to get them in line again. Also we moved pretty slow. But luckily the Khergit were my neighbours, so we didn't have to go very far. On the 11th We arrived before the gates of Ichamur, and laid siege immediately. Quickly we builded ladders, and four hours later my army stormed the well-defended city. Although the Khergit defended fierce, they were no match for such a large and organised army. I lost no-one, and my allies 39 men, while the enemy had 211 casualties. Since I didn't want to consolidate yet, but wanted to blitzkrieg on, I left lord Crahask, who was wounded, with his army in Ichamur and continued my march.Together with some brave allies I stormed the palace in Ichamur and claimed it mine.
I marched towards Tulga, the Khergit capital, but when I was barely under way, I heard a cry from lord Crashak: some Khergit nobles were laying siege to my freshly conquered Ichamur. So I turned around, and scared them away. They ran quicker than I could persue them, with an enormous army to keep in line, so I let most of them go. Only Kramuk noyan rode in the direction of Tulga, so I persued him, and since he still loved Sanjar khan, I engaged him in battle. Needles to say I won easily, but since we were friends who had found each other on the opposite side of the battlefield, I let him go after I captured him.
When I looked away from my departing friend, I noticed an enormous dust cloud coming from Tulga, riding in the direction of Ichamur. The Khergit had gathered their main army, and were on their way to free their city. It had been quite a shock for them: no-one before me had managed to conquer anything within their sacred mountains. Of course I couldn't let them take it back, so I intercepted them and engaged in the largest battle since I arrived in Calradia. I brought in 1526 men (too bad there were some slow lords who didn't make it in time), while the enemy had 1349. I had less men cavalry than I wanted, but still there were enough riders to follow me to the flanks of the enemy. We charged, and defeated many of the Khergit. But we weren't there yet. So we rode again, and again: I lead in total 9 waves of attacks. Unfortunately I fell myself by the hand of an enemy sharpshooter. When I finally woke up, I heard from my close men that after my fall the army rode another 9 times against each other before the Khergit main army finally was defeated. The losses had been heavy. On our side 386 men had been wounded and 529 had been killed, and 3 had run away, while on the Khergit side 182 had been wounded and 1105 had been killed, and 62 had run away. But the victory not only destroyed their army: I also managed to capture Brula noyan, Druli noyan and Sanjar khan himself. All three became my prisoners.More than half of the men who entered the largest battle of Calradia died that day, but in the end the entire Khergit main army was wiped away, while Holland had still enough men to conquer the khanate.
The attack had destroyed the Khergit's defence. Two lords' armies had escaped the slaughter, and were heading towards Ichamur, so I went back. Not only to destroy them, but also to sell my prisoners and to heal myself and my companions. Before we reached the city, we caught up with Urumuda noyan, whom we defeated with our army. Too bad I wasn't able to participate in the attack myself, but my men did well anyway. They even captured Urumuda and his friend Tansugai, who I added to my collection of captured Khergit nobles. Some lords decided it was better to wander off, but most of them stuck with me. We spend the night in Ichamur and marched again with the first light to Tulga.
Most of the Khergit lords who had escaped that huge battle the day before, had fled to Tulga. I had cornered them, and started with my men immediately the siege. The ladders were prepared after four hours, and soon my men swarmed the place. The fight wasn't difficult, since those Khergit nobles hadn't had time to find themselves a new army yet. Once the walls were breached and my men ran through the streets, I searched every corner for those defending lords. Unfortunately they all had escaped. That didn't matter, because I still had conquered their two cities and had their khan in custody.The city of Tulga didn't pose much of a hindrance, although all the enemy nobles did escape.
After I conquered this city, I ordered all my nearby men to stay in there, while I rode back to Khudan to drop off my captured nobles and refresh some of my fallen men. When I returned, I helped out my men defending Ichamur against Imirzan noyan, who I captured and dragged along to Khudan. Now I'm back in my most recent conquest. After just less than a week the Khergit have no cities, no army and no leader. It's time to finish them off.
I tried the main battle first with a battle size of 1000, but unfortunately the game crashed. Then I tried it at 300, but now the game crashed just after the battle, just before I could save. So in the end I decided to use the official game maximum of 150. This resulted in me fighting many different battles, which I unfortunately didn't survive. During the ninth fight a loose arrow hit me in the head and I fell down. Another 9 battles were necessary to ensure victory: if I had survived, I think I could have done it in less. Too bad.
Here is a picture of Floris' current stats:
As you can see, the Khergit lost their cities. They only have six castles left.