The children left the dinner table and ran to where Grandpa was sitting by the fire whittling.
"Grandpa, Grandpa, tell us a scary story before we go to bed."
"You want to here the story of de Pons/Slow or Phillipa the Hood?" asked Grandpa putting down his whittling.
"No Grandpa, Pons is a wimp, Phillipa is a putz. They don't even scare Baby x. Tell us a _really_ scary story!"
"How about the Tale of the Doge-1/92?" he said raising his eyebrows.
"Ooh YES grandpa," said the children, their eyes growing wide.
The children always loved the story of Doge-1/92. Like Tyrannosaurus Rex he was "Very Big, Very Scary, and Very Safely Dead," and here is how the story goes for all you young'uns out there:
England and France were fully engaged in a war that took up all their resources. The war was primarily economic (most are) revolving around crippling/preserving cash flow for the combatants.
Along came the Doge of Venice. He held about as large a purse, and as large a seasonal income, as the French and English kings combined and could tip the balance in this economic warfare.
He had a very nice way of negotiating. He would propose a deal. Because he proposed the deal, he felt you were obliged by its terms, whether you responded or not. He (because he had ducats and knew we wanted them) did not feel obliged to honor the terms however. His terms were just a starting point for new demands.
The Doge backed Edward, the Doge backed Phil Valois. The Doge fought as a third power grabbing some fiefs on his own....
And then The Purge cost him some fiefs!
"Oh no grandpa, not The Purge!"
Well he went nuts. He had spent ducats to get those fiefs and if he could lose them to some stupid purge, he an experienced player who had been playing this game for almost three weeks, the Game was stupid and everyone in the Game was stupid and they should all be punished for wasting his ducats.
At this point the English King (who always tried to be helpful even when he should know better) pointed out to the Doge that all fiefs were not subject to The Purge.
"What fiefs aren't?" asked the Doge.
"The fiefs of Edward Planthead, and Phil Valois for example" said King Ed.
"Yeah but they have big armies. Are any other fiefs Purge Proof?" asked the Doge.
"Well, disputed fiefs, but they are rare. Oh yeah, and the fiefs of the Pope and the Heralds, too, since they don't recycle." concluded Ed.
The children's eyes opened wide in horror. "Oh Grandpa, surely King Ed was not so stupid as to suggest to a man like the Doge that the fiefs of the Pope and the Heralds were the best fiefs in the game to attack?"
"Well," said grandpa, "King Ed was distracted by the war in France, and was trying to be helpful, and maybe didn't think it through and...."
Little Odo looked at Grandpa in his white beard and the picture of Old King Ed on the wall. Was there a resemblance there? Nah, couldn't be. Even Grandpa wasn't be that old.
Well, continued Grandpa, since the Doge had been tipped the Pope was purge proof the Doge immediately declared himself king of Italy. He demanded all the Pope's lands, and all the lands of the Other Italians for good measure. And he raised an army of 60,000 troops and started sieging (I told you he was rich).
The Pope yelled for help. Edward immediately answered the call. Edward was of course the finest figure of a Christian King. He was 11 feet tall with a long blond beard turning white, he was most fearsome in battle, wisest in council...
"Get on with the story, Grandpa," shouted Baby x. When grandpa started on that tack there was often no stopping him.
Well, Ed and the Pope and Bishop Burys and the English Herald all started a war with the Doge during the war with France. The French didn't help. They did send EMAIL to Ed saying they hoped he went broke in Italy right before the Doge killed him, and Ed showed those letters to the Pope with a remarkable effect on French Church Taxes ever after, but the French still wouldn't help.
Local Others and nearby English leant a hand, and the ops was extremely complicated and that was significant as will be obvious in a minute.
To fight the 60,000 man army, get a siege on a Level 110 keep and keep it there for the 20 or so seasons required LOTS of troop transfers, ferrying men here and there, recruiting etc.
Most of this was in Venice itself (where Burys sieged about 20 turns) and there lay the rub.
The Doge of 1/92 was an evil guy, see. HE DIDN'T KILL PEOPLE HE SEIZED THEM!
Back then seizing was forever (no autoransom). Also you didn't "purge out" in 21 days but in 30. So the Doge would seize you (anywhere he owned a fief but most often in Venice where guys had to "stand naked" for a few minutes after transferring troops to Burys.)
The Doge would then tell you things like "You are only 25 years old. You won't die, likely until you are 75. So I will hold you out of the game as my prisoner for 50 years or 200 seasons. PPHHHFFFLLLTTT!"
Philippa and Pons only Kill people, The Doge was nasty!
And that is why all those ideas that seizing be permanent, or permanent if you are King, are Very Bad Ideas).
The Doge even caught a Herald. This Herald was cagey tho' and when the Doge came to taunt him in his cell in the Dungeons of Venice the Herald would talk back. A lot. A lot means the Herald uploaded the entire Docs for the Game as a series of Online Messages to the Doge via macro (and that is why we have a Squelch Feature, boys and girls. Dan had to make one up quick 'cause the Doge had 200,000 bytes of OL messages to wade through to get to a menu <G>).
Oh yeah, Heralds used to be more active in the Old Days. LOTS more active.
The Doge also had another neat tactic. He would log on, peep if anyone was in Venice, and log off (presumably by Macro, since he could do it in less than 30 seconds). He would do this a lot. A lot means 30 or 40 times a day!
If anyone was in Venice or his other fiefs (which we were also taking) he would Seize-Them-Forever.
We ran the ops at 4 AM. We ran the ops and troop transfers in Prime Time. The Doge popped in and out and seized at all those odd times too though.
Then finally, on about his ... (hmm, 20 seasons of siege * 9 rounds/season...) on his 179th 1% chance Burys finally rolled an "01" and took Venice! (Reportedly he fainted from the shock it actually worked and his brother, Jon, had to go over and revive him so he could continue.)
The Doge ran, but people chased him. He was caught, and executed, in Zealand finally, and that was the end of the Evil Doge of 1/92.
Now all you young'uns go to bed, it's way past bed time!