The state of play in Asia Minor. With the Byzantines exiled, it is now contested between sleepy Armenia, and Sparta and the Ayyubids, maybe the two biggest warmongers in the game. (Sorry, Adolf!) Saladin's little fleet that could has moved right on to attempting to securint a foothold. Which, if Trebizoned and Varna had walls, you know, might be beyond the means of a couple dinky unescorted triremes.
Meanwhile, badly, badly damaged Spartan hoplites attempt to smuggle themselves back home (or, lets be honest, who the hell knows where they are going, except maybe a watery grave) across the Aegean, unprotected. Oh, that's a golden opportunity there. Nope, Saladin's gotta naked trireme assault two targets at once. Ugh.
And must be said that Armenia's military commitment to fighting Leonidas is more substantial than we first thought. Is it beyond the realm of possibility that a distracted Sparta is going to lose his Asia Minor holdings to the Yerevan throne?
Finally, it can't help but be noticed that the CCCP has a couple catapults in the vicinity of Byzantine-held Crimea. Perhaps a bold plan by Vladimir Putin, a junior KGB officer with his eyes on the prize?
Putin: First, we remove all colorings and markings from our catapults. Then we send them into Antioch to \"Keep the Peace\" at \"the invitation of locals.\"
Stalin: Vere in this plan of yours, tovarisch, does it say that Antioch make-es the vodka?
Stalin, unsteadily: Ha, no, a joke! Joke, like bear! Please, go on.
Putin: Then, a local legislature declares itself independent of Byzantium, and our units declare themselves as patriotic freedom fighters!
Stalin: (face down, passed out drunk, one arm over a samovar)
Putin, aloud: I knew i should have come to this meeting shirtless.