Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part IIb: Cracks in the House of Islam

This is the back half of the second part of a four part series (I, IIa) examining the historical assumptions behind the popular medieval grand strategy game Crusader Kings III, made by Paradox Interactive. Last time we looked at how the game tried to mechanically simulate the internal structure of the highly fragmented polities of … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part IIb: Cracks in the House of Islam

Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part IIa: Rascally Vassals

This is the second part of a four-part (I) series examining the historical assumptions of the popular historical grand strategy game Crusader Kings III, by Paradox Interactive. Last time we opened by discussing how CKIII attempts to simulate and represent the distinctly personal character of rule and decision-making in the Middle Ages and how this … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part IIa: Rascally Vassals

Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part I: Making It Personal

This is the first post in a four-part series examining the historical assumptions of Crusader Kings III, a historical grand strategy game by Paradox Interactive set during the Middle Ages and covering Europe, North Africa and both West and Central Asia. This is also the continuation of a larger series on Paradox's historical grand strategy … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part I: Making It Personal

Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part III: On the Move

This is the third part of a three part (I, II, III) look at some of the practical concerns of managing pre-industrial logistics. In our last post, we outlined what 'foraging' actually entailed - how armies got supplies both from friendly populations but also from neutral or hostile populations. In particular, we focused on the … Continue reading Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part III: On the Move

Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part II: Foraging

This is the second part of a three part (I, II, III) look at some of the practical concerns of managing pre-industrial logistics. In our last post we outlined the members of our 'campaign community,' including soldiers but also non-combatants and animals (both war- and draft-); they required massive amounts of supplies, particularly food but … Continue reading Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part II: Foraging

Collections: Total Generalship: Commanding Pre-Modern Armies, Part IIIc: Morale and Cohesion

This is the conclusion of the third part of our series (I, II, IIIa, IIIb, IIIc) looking at the role of the general in commanding pre-gunpowder armies in battle. Last time we looked at how junior officers, when empowered to act independently, could give armies a degree of flexibility and reactiveness on the battlefield but … Continue reading Collections: Total Generalship: Commanding Pre-Modern Armies, Part IIIc: Morale and Cohesion

Collections: Total Generalship: Commanding Pre-Modern Armies, Part I: Reports

This week we're going to start a three-part (I, II, IIIa, IIIb, IIIc) look at the role of the pre-modern general or army commander, particularly in the context of a pitched battle. This is of course a vast topic, but we are going to focus not on tactical or strategic questions but on a lot … Continue reading Collections: Total Generalship: Commanding Pre-Modern Armies, Part I: Reports

Miscellanea: Thoughts on CKIII: Royal Court

This week, we're going to be a bit silly and talk about the recently released Royal Court, a DLC expansion for Paradox's medieval grand strategy game Crusader Kings III, because I think it is attempting something fairly interesting that relatively few strategy games do. This isn't going to be a review - there are a … Continue reading Miscellanea: Thoughts on CKIII: Royal Court

Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part II: Institutions

This is the second of a three part (I) series tackling the complicated and still very much debated question of 'how bad was the fall of Rome (in the West)?' In the last part, we looked at 'words' - culture, literature, language and religion. What we found is that in these aspects, signs of sharp … Continue reading Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part II: Institutions

Collections: Fortification, Part III: Castling

This is the third part of a five part (I, II) series covering some of the basics of fortifications, from city walls to field fortifications, from the ancient world through to the modern period. Last week, we used the Romans as an example to see how the needs of a given fortification changed its structure … Continue reading Collections: Fortification, Part III: Castling