City of the Devil was my second medieval megagame, a sort-of follow-up to 2001's City of God. That game had focused on the Third Crusade and the politics of the Middle East, and left the European politics back home. This one aimed to do the reverse - the focus was on the European politics, and although there was potential for a Crusade to Palestine in the game - equivalent to the Fifth Crusade - it was a sideshow compared to what was happening elsewhere.
There were six main maps, each with a group of squabbling antagonists; The British Isles, France, Spain/Iberia (including the Moorish Almohad Empire of North Africa), the Holy Roman Empire - split into Germany and Italy, and the Aegean and surrounds; Greece, Byzantium and the Latin Empire (the result of the Fouth Crusade's conquest of Constantinople). There was also a Papal Team based in Rome. The game included the Albigensian Crusade in southern France, against the Cathar 'heretics'; the Reconquista struggle between the Spanish Kingdoms and the Moors; a civil war in the Holy Roman Empire between the Saxon and Sicilian claimants; King John of England's struggle with the Irish, Scots and his own barons, and his attempt to reconquer his lost lands in Normandy and Poitou. There was also a sub-game of finding, selling and trading and authenticating relics.
In general I think it just about worked, with some heroic defending by the Cathars before being overrun by the Crusaders, and the Hohenzollerns politically outmaneuvered by Otto of Saxony, allowing the latter to be crowned by the Pope as Holy Roman Emperor, but the English were a bit too united and the Spanish a little too lucky against the Moors, meaning that by the late game a number of Kings had settled things at home and were looking for new glories elsewhere, which eventually led to the overthrow of the French Kingdom. There were also issues I hadn't thought through with the combat system, and probably not enough players on the German and Italian teams.
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