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Thread: What if the Pope had 200,000 men? -- a Papal States EU3 1.3 aar

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    academic outlaw Moderator safferli's Avatar
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    What if the Pope had 200,000 men? -- a Papal States EU3 1.3 aar

    What if the pope had 200,000 men?

    "Treat the pope as if he has 200,000 men at his command" -- Napoleon Bonaparte to Cacault, French minister plenipotentiary to the Holy See

    Allegedly, after spending some time in Rome, Cacault's answer was that 500,000 men would be a better estimate.



    Game: EU3, patch 1.3, no mods (except the ToT graphics mod)
    Difficulty: Easy (yes, I'm a whimp)
    Start Date: Grand Campaign (1453)
    Objective: Turn the Papal States into a global superpower able to support 200,000 men or even 500,000
    House Rules: no obvious cheating (e.g. reloading as a different country), but I am not above a few "gamey" things



    Prelude: Introduction

    This is my first attempt at an aar. I am rather new to EU3, I have played a Portugal game but that was under patch 1.1 and 1.2. I am a little scared with the new army and especially navy masses of patch 1.3, this is the reason I chose to play on Easy difficulty. I also am afraid of inflation as there is no auto-minting in patch 1.3.

    It will be a gameplay aar. I will comment on many things in a hope that it will be useful for an overwhelmed "newbie", that he may read this aar and learn from it. I am still learning the finer aspects of the game so any comments on my playstile and tactics are most welcome! Please also ask any questions if you feel that my explanations given were not adequate. I hope to learn a lot from writing this aar and the feedback, and I also hope that other readers will find it equally useful.

    So, without further ado, let me start with some reasoning why I chose the Papal States and the difficulty level. The main reason of me choosing Easy was the inflation reduction of 0.25 and the manpower boost. In my previous Portugal game, I know what it means to live without much manpower -- and it isn't fun, I can tell you.

    Why the Papal States? It's a fun country and who doesn't want to be the pope? The States are located in the center of Italy, with rich provinces of corresponding culture located conveniently next to our capital. Once we have united Italy, the Papal States have a very good starting position. The first few years will be crucial.

    An apology to start with: I am a fast-clicker, and I forgot to take quite a few screenshots in the first years. I try to recreate some of them from save games, so not all of the screenshots will be 100% "correct" and some will be missing altogether. In the later years, I got used to pressing F11 for every important event so there are plenty of pictures!

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: First Steps
    Chapter 2: Uniting Northern Italy
    Sidenote: German Diversions
    Chapter 3: Papal Hegemony over Italy
    Addendum: Papal Wisdom
    Chapter 4: The Pope ready to see the sea (and the world)
    Chapter 5: heathen Conquests
    Distractions: Spread of Discoveries
    Chapter 6: Papal Expansion and Delusions of Grandeur
    Cliffhanger: Papal Self-confidence, Run Amok
    Chapter 7: The First French War: Initial Success
    Chapter 8: The First French War: Leo X Turns the Tide
    Chapter 9: The First French War: Temperance is a Virtue
    Chapter 10: Those "Neutral" Swiss, Again
    Postscriptum: In Unrelated News...
    Some Charts
    Chapter 11: The Second Papal-French War: The Papal States Strike Back!
    Chapter 12: Making Money Without Resorting to Indulgences
    Further Notes: Places of Interest
    Chapter 13: The Third Papal-French War: The War Arrives in Castille
    Chapter 14: The Tenth Crusade
    Off Topic: Load Troubles
    Chapter 15: The Tenth Crusade at the Gates of Jerusalem
    Chapter 16: The Tenth Crusade and the Fall of Jerusalem
    Chapter 17: Castille, for Sake of Variety
    Chapter 18: No Time to Lose? No Time Toulouse! -- Counter-Crusades
    Chapter 19: Fez joins the Counter-Crusade
    Chapter 20: Upstart Pagans
    Chapter 21: The First War of the World
    Chapter 22: Vice-royalty of South America
    Chapter 22: (Part 2)
    A Declaration of War
    Chapter 23: The Burgundy War: Resistance is Futile
    Chapter 24: Tempting Fate
    Chapter 24: The Incompetency of Xystus IV
    Chapter 25: (Part 2)
    Chapter 26: Consolidating Years
    Chapter 26: (Part 2)
    Chapter 27: Sit back and relax
    Chapter 28: Let others deal with your revolts
    Chapter 29: Mass Conversions
    Chapter 29: (Part 2)
    Lazyness and Lack of Updates
    Chapter 30: Return to Former Papal Glories
    Chapter 30: (Part 2)
    Chapter 31: Marginal Benefit of BB-investments
    A Few conversions
    Chapter 32: Obtaining New Sources of Income
    Chapter 33: State of the World in 1589
    Chapter 34:
    Chapter 35:
    Chapter 36:
    Chapter 37:
    Last edited by safferli; 18-02-2008 at 16:28.

  2. #2
    academic outlaw Moderator safferli's Avatar
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    Chapter 1: First Steps






    This is what we start with. Our "king", pope Nicolaus V is fairly good ruler: high administration, sound diplomacy, but sadly lacking a bit in military skill. That's not so important, as I usually don't use my rulers as generals -- they die the second they climb on a horse to ride into battle.

    The great men of the court are very good. We start with Leon B. Alberti, a 5-star artist giving us extra stability investments. For a country as small as we are (for now!) 15 ducats stability investments are enough to keep the stability slider all the way to zero and still gain stability levels every other year or so.

    I got lucky with the advisors in the pool, Franco Agno was available and is a 6-star philosopher giving us a whopping +3 prestige per year! Prestige is, in my view at least, very important. Also, once you've amassed a lot of prestige a multiplying effect kicks in. You get more cardinals (as a Catholic), allowing you to be Papal Controller, which in turn gives you more prestige. High prestige makes it more likely you will turn Holy Roman Emperor, which, again, will give you more prestige. Basic thought is: once on top of the prestige food chain, it's easier for you to stay there. And good ol' Franco will help us get to the top! Modigliano (not the Modigilani of Modigliani-Miller fame!) was the only other decent advisor left in the pool. 2-star, but it's better than nothing.

    So, how does our little country look like? We have three provinces, unfortunately all seperated from each other. Roma is our capital, Romagna is the province a little to the NE, and finally Avignon which is in the middle of France. No chance we'll get a land connection there any time soon! Luckily, Avignon has a fort levl 3, which is way beyond our technological possibilities. I have no idea how those Avignonese (is that a name?) can build so high walls and then refuse to share their knowledge with us, the Pope!

    Neighbors are Siena, NW of Roma (slightly darker greenish-grey than our own colour), Urbino, NE of Roma (blue), Firenze, N of Siena (blue-grey), Sicily, S of Roma (green) and Modena, N of Firenze (yellowish).





    Then, let's have a look at the income sheet. It's deplorable! We'll soon see to it that this changes. We need money, more money and fast! First off, set the treasury slider to not go into debt. Put the rest into government tech, as government tech 1 allows you to chose a national idea and we want to chose our as early as possible.

    Now, the first steps to secure papal hegemony: so-called zero-day diplomacy. Some consider it an exploit, I believe that given the fact that a human player has absolutely no chance at all to get into a decent alliance (at least I have never found a way to do so) only fair to use it. Before you unpause the game, the AI will not have made any alliances and deals -- only the historical starting alliances are set. This means that you can declare war on some states and not fight alliances.





    Two provinces next to Roma suit our needs: Siena and Ancona. Siena is the richer of the two provinces and also has a university, giving additional income. We declare war on Siena and use our remaining two diplomats to try to forge alliances. Modena and Savoy both have a "maybe" as alliance chance. We then move our army into Siena, and convert our ruler into a general. I would usually advise against this, but the AI loves it. This means, that you will always fight AI ruler-generals. I don't have the money, nor the diplomats to recruit a general, so I have to use my leader to get an edge. We also recruit additional soldiers: Cavalry. In the early states of the game, cavalry is the only way to go.





    Yup, it just never works. That won't let us down, though. The battle of Siena is won, thanks to a 2-to-1 numerical advantage, no thanks to our pope, who wisely decided to stay on his horse in the back of the battle formation. 189 days later, the fortress of Siena falls and the country is annexed.


    Last edited by safferli; 05-09-2007 at 15:15.

  3. #3
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    your income sheet picture doesn't work. other than that, great start!
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    academic outlaw Moderator safferli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcduggan
    your income sheet picture doesn't work. other than that, great start!
    Thanks, I corrected the mistake. The next installment of updates will have less pictures, as I forgot to make them in the following wars... got too excited fighting the Italians!

  5. #5
    The Papal States cannot form Italy. Your primary culture must be Lombard to do so... your's is Umbrian.

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    academic outlaw Moderator safferli's Avatar
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    Correct, Sr. Toledo. I meant uniting under the two-keyed flag of the Papal States: Once we control the Italian provinces, the Papal Sates are in a very strong position. It adds a little spice to the game, not starting as strong as e.g. France, but still having that vast potential...

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by safferli
    Correct, Sr. Toledo. I meant uniting under the two-keyed flag of the Papal States: Once we control the Italian provinces, the Papal Sates are in a very strong position. It adds a little spice to the game, not starting as strong as e.g. France, but still having that vast potential...
    Ah, I understand. I agree with what you are saying. I will be watching this AAR.

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    academic outlaw Moderator safferli's Avatar
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    Chapter 2: Uniting Northern Italy

    This is probably the most important part of the history of this particular incarnation of the Papal States. Unfortunately, it is also the part where I forgot to take most screenshots. I also learned that the game.log file is overwritten with every load, so that I cannot re-read the events from there.

    So, what happened? After the conquest of Siena, the additional university and income allowed the Papal States to research Government Tech 1 two months earlier than expected.



    I don't remember what the stability drop was for, I think I moved a slider. Our first national idea! For a fairly established country Quest for the New World is a very good idea, opening the riches of the Americas and Indias. However, in our current situation, we don't have the time and certainly not the money for exploration and colonisation. We need money quick, so I opted for Smithian Economics. This idea gives +10% Production Efficiency (PE) and should give a modest income boost. Also, there is certain threshold PE at which events fire, so we will reach these earlier.

    Other options would have been some more militaristic ideas, but I believe that I can tackle the Italian states without that help. Oh well, Pride is a cardinal sin, but Temperence a virtue...

    Please note from the screen that Ancona has been annexed by Savoy, which is allied to Modena and Denmark. This suits us perfectly, as we can attack Savoy and take the provinces of Ancona and Ferrara without the badboy hit of annexing a country (Ancona was a one-province minor).

    This is precisely what we do: declare war on Savoy. Our additional Cavalry armies are ready by now, as you can see from the outliner. Our main army from Roma marches to Ancona, from Romagna our army moves to Ferrara. After winning the battles, our transport fleet moves the main army to Savoy's home lands and the army in Ferrara marches on to Modena. We soon have enough war score to demand Ancona and Ferrara.

    This is the situation after the second war of Papal Aggression:





    Future slider moves will move the Papal States further into Narrowminded and Naval. We have gained two provinces, one additional university and a land connection between all our Italian holdings. Venice is at war with Savoy (one of the first examples of the opportunistic gang-banging AI we will see in this game). They will gain the province of Nice soon.

    Now, our eyes see a Centre of Trade (CoT) in Liguria populated by Catholics not under the Papal banner! Conveniently, our main army is still in Nice, right next door. Genua is allied to Tuscany, which again allows us to gain a province from them without the need of two declarations of war. We declare war on Genua, move our main army into Liguria and start besieging the province. Our second army attacks Tuscany.

    The stress of these constant wars were too much for Pope Nicolaus V, who died on Christmas Eve, 1457. A new Pope is elected. The electors chose a Pope with no military skill to speak of. A cunning move, as he will not interfere with the wishes of the generals and the power behind the throne! Still, a very good ruler, I consider myself lucky.





    As you can see from the screen, we have made separate peace with Tuscany and gained the province of Pisa (including yet another university). Denmark has somehow managed to send some troops to Roma and is besieging our capital! The armies from the Tuscan wars rush south to expel the Danish barbarians.

    We have also gained control of Liguria, but the problem is the island of Corsica. I can't demand it in a peace treaty, as I don't control it and don't have any cores on it (you can demand non-occupied core provinces in peace deals for double the war score price). The Genuese navy is making it impossible for us to land there. Damn, the new navy AI and builds in patch 1.3 are good! I lost my navy of 6 ships to the Genuese.

    The solution is easy: I demand the release of Corsica as a sovereign state in the peace deal. Now, Genua is down to one province on the mainland accessible to our troops. A second war will allow us to annex them and also Tuscany, should they still be allied.





    The peace treaty gives us five years to build up our forces, which we do. Additional Cavalry units are ordered from our provinces. We also promote our very first general. Our land tradition from the first wars has risen a modest amount. We are lucky: Callistus Padova is a Shock 2 general!

    In the first years, Shock is all-important in combat, Fire is useless. And I mean useless. A Fire 6 general is a waste of tradition. If you are interested in land combat at all, and haven't done so already, read Kanitatlan's excellent Military FAQ. In a nutshell, Shock generals are ever so important, as the casualties inflicted rise tremendously if your general has a high Shock rating. We will use this knowledge later on more fully.

    We declare war on Genua, and annex Genua and Tuscany. Ow, this must have pissed off someone... Venice declares war on us, which is a problem as they are fairly large. But, Modena is an ally of them, so they are quickly annexed.





    Opportunistic Swizerland is about to annex the remains of Savoy and you can already see the hordes of Venetian soldiers coming towards our lands. They also had two good generals. I am really sorry that I don't have any screenshots of this tense war. I minted like crazy and took a loan (or was it two?) to be able to fight the Venetians. I hired lots of mercenary Cavalry to decimate their armies, a strategy that in the end worked out. It was a bloody mess.

    The lessons I learned: The AI will know when you are weak and will exploit it ruthlessly. Very good! just bear that in mind. Never let your military maintenance drop, always keep sufficient deterring forces along your borders or, at the very least, in marching distance!

    Mercenaries can save your life. It's expensive and against my usual playstile, but it works. Just remember to disband them as soon as they served their purpose, as they cost an awful lot of money in maintenance.

    The key to winning is to destroy the enemies armies. Trap them, encircle them, attack with a 10-to-1 advantage, use Cavalry and good generals, but kill troops! One caveat: against a manpower rich enemy this gets more complicated. But more on that when we actually fight these manpower monsters...

    This is the reason why we went into all this trouble:





    A CoT adds +10 to the tax value of a province! Additionally, it gives an extra merchant per year, but this isn't as important for us. We won't trade anyway, with all those badboy points we have amassed. Badboy is nearly 33, the maximum "safe" amount. Always assume that your leader will die and you get a shitty 3-3-3 ruler, setting your badboymax to 33. At the moment we are safe, but we'd like to gain a few of those rich north Italian provinces from Venice...





    After destroying their armies, the Venetians accept our modest peace offer: The Papal States gain the provinces of Parma and Mantua. And another university. After reaching Governemnt Tech 1, we haven't spent a single ducat on this tech and are comfortably in the lead.

    Stressed out from all these wars, especially the close one with Venice, Pope Alexander VI decides to snuff it. The new Pope is Clemens VII, again a very good ruler.





    A few more things to learn from this screenshot: We are allied with Swizerland. They offered the alliance and I thought, well a rather strong country (I only get alliance offers from Ragusa and Cyprus, dirt-poor one-province minors...) that actually borders me and can help with my (future) wars against Venice, yes please! Having alliances also makes the AI think twice about attacking you, or so I believe.

    The Papal States now consists of a fair number of provinces, all rich with many universities. Our starting position has considerably improved.

    Sicily (the island, not the country) is starting to revolt. Keep this in mind, we will attack Sicily (the country) soon, gaining a land connection to the island of Sicily...

    The rest of Europe looks fine, Castille is making some incursions into Northern Africa, France is still not fully formed (which is good for us). We have started to build a new navy and to consolidate our forces. Our income has improved so we can afford it!

  9. #9
    academic outlaw Moderator safferli's Avatar
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    Sidenote: German Diversions


    As you may have noted in the screen of the annexation of Genua, we were allied with Bavaria. The Papal States were called upon to assist Bavaria in their war against Mainz and Würzburg, two other German minor states. We accepted, and immediately are named alliance leader. I was so surprised, I forgot to take a screenshot... Anyhow, due to our "superiour leadership" and whatnot, the Papal States lead all peace negotioations. The Pope wisely decided to adopt a lassez-faire attitude in the Bavarian war. No way I could get troops up there! And, if they actually manage to arrive there in time, the men will probably stay in Bavarian beer houses and get drunk...





    Bavaria did fine on their own, though. We should give beer and prezels to our own troops, if it's that good for the fighting morale! Bavaria soon occupied all enemy territory, but didn't want to (or couldn't?) annex them. I couldn't annex them, either, as I didn't occupy the provinces. So I settled to force-vassalise Mainz and Würzburg and gain a little cash from the war.

    Costs: none, we didn't even bother to see how the war was going. Benefits: two vassals and 50 ducats. Not bad! We dishonoured the alliance sometime later and lost Würzburg somehow. I don't remember how, I don't even think I noticed. But Mainz is still a long-standing vassal, years to come!

  10. #10
    nice aar so far ill be following

  11. #11
    The Fuehrer of the Dance Mettermrck's Avatar
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    For a moment, I thought you were going to give yourself 200k right off the bat and see what effect it would have. My first thought was 'attrition'. Good luck!

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    academic outlaw Moderator safferli's Avatar
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    Thanks for your encouraging words!

    Mettermrck: I guess starting with 200,000 men will indeed only mean attrition!

    Stay tuned for a new update after lunch...

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    Chapter 3: Papal Hegemony over Italy


    We broke Venice in the last war, but were not able to fully exploit this fact, province-wise. So, after 5 years of truce, we declare war on Venice (once again). Also, look at the province of Nice. It has Lombard culture, so I'd like to gain that from Venice. It's rebel-controlled, so we'll need to hurry before the province rebels away.





    This war was easy: we let Venice main army come to our main army waiting in Ferrara (defence is easier than offence). After winning this battle, our armies split up and occupied Venice's north Italian holdings. In the peace treaty we gained Lombardia, a particularly rich province and Brescia and Mantua, as well as the province of Abbruzzi from Sicily, who are allied to Venice. Badboy is becoming a problem, we'll have to restrain ourselves for a bit. We couldn't put our grubby paws on Nice, it had deflected to Provence before we could occupy it. Well, He giveth and He taketh.





    Finally, given all of the new Lombard culture provinces, the Pope decrees that we should trust those of the Lombard culture and accept it as our own. This will give us extra tax income from these provinces.





    Then, our court painter Alberti dies. He has served us well, but we will need a replacement. Note the income screen. The new holdings in northern Italy are paying off handsomely. We are pouring money into production technology. Until production tech 10, each additional level gives +2% PE. Land technology isn't as important yet, as all our enemies are stuck at tech 0 or 1.





    We are in luck! A truly marvellous advisor was left in the pool by the AI! We immediately grab Miguel de Guznán, a 6-star diplomat, reducing our BB points by 0.3 per year! I guess the AI isn't as concerned with their reputation as we are...





    A map of Europe in 1476. Nothing out of the ordinary, but the Papal States are taking shape nicely. Mainz is still our vassal, but we lost Würzburg. Swizerland is our ally.





    Habemus Papam: Pope Clemens VII abdicates and Pius II is elected new pope on Nov 18, 1477. Again, a very good ruler. Do the Papal States get better rulers? In my last Portugal game I'd have killed for so many good leaders! I'd have considered myself lucky to get a king with a single stat 6. Or is the the difficulty setting?





    The obligatory five years of peace are over and we declare war on Venice (for the last time) in 1484. Sicily honours their alliance with Venice and declares war on us. I didn't give Venice any loans, I just took the loan screenshot to show that the only possibility to give loans is for minimal amounts of money. I guess I should read more guides on shylocking here. I've never been able to use that particular aspect of the game. Any tips are welcome!





    Peace is made shortly afterwards. Swizerland gains Friuli, a province NE of Venezia, we gain Venice and Sicily as vassals and all southern Italian holdings of Sicily. In this picture we already own the island of Sicily, but we didn't annex it. They deflected from Aragon to us shortly after the peace treaty.



  14. #14
    academic outlaw Moderator safferli's Avatar
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    Addendum: Papal Wisdom


    We appoint our very own first cardinal in December 1485! The prestige gains from winning these wars are paying off. Why does the Pope have to bother with cardinals? We should be able to appoint every cardinal! Well, we'll need to find a remedy to this situation...





    Portugal is in trouble, fighting (and obviously losing) a war against the combined might of France and Castille. We have military access in Portugal (More on that later: who can guess why? The answer is already visible in this screenshot!), but so far we didn't bother to help them out. I don't want to fight either France or Castille. Each one alone is scary as hell... together, they are unstoppable.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by safferli
    Mettermrck: I guess starting with 200,000 men will indeed only mean attrition!
    No, it would also mean bankruptcy.

    Very interesting AAR so far. Should help me increase the somewhat tepid aggressiveness of my gameplay.
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  16. #16
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    I like the style. I love playing the Papacy. I hope you can continue to grow without getting "jumped."
    More spam, you die! Horribly, horribly!

  17. #17
    academic outlaw Moderator safferli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nil-The-Frogg
    Very interesting AAR so far. Should help me increase the somewhat tepid aggressiveness of my gameplay.
    Oh, I'm pretty timid myself. One thing eu3 has taught me, however: you need to expand early, fast and in a reasonable manner otherwise the AI will crush you. You can't play 2-province minors without alliances as you could in eu2

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    Chapter 4: The Pope ready to see the sea (and the world)


    Ok, so no-one fell for my pathetic didactical tricks and answered my question about the military access deal with Portugal. Oh well. But first things first: His holyness has chosen wisely -- us! Of course he has, given the fact that we are his holyness. I really can't explain why we didn't chose ourselves as Papal Controller before, it must have been a momentarily lapse of concentration... Anyhow, on February 12th, 1486 we can appoint ourselves as the new pope.





    Two cardinals are enough for that. Now, for the answer to my previous question. Take a look at the outliner, you will find a navy called "Exploration" and a colony on the Bermudas. All the wise men in our many universities came up with the capacity for a second National Idea and we chose Quest for the New World. This may be a leftover from my previous Portugal game. And it's the way I usually play my games: colonisation.





    Gaining military access from Portugal allowed us to use their island base of the Azores as a starting point for our explorations to the Americas. The first goal is an own base of operations, preferably nearer to our goals: Bermuda. This little island has few and hospitable natives, lies strategically important next to our exploration goals and is very easy to colonise. Always try for this island if you plan to colonise the new world!





    Even with just 100 men, this colony allows your exploration ships to harbour and replendish supplies and repair. Travelling time to the unknown waters of the Americas is cut short if you start from here, thus lowering attrition.

    Then, this happened: Burgundy offers us an alliance! Well, we accept, our very first useful alliance partner! How wrong we were... but more on that later.





    Exploration continues nicely. Note that Great Britain has already been formed, 300 years too early... She is also our only contender in the new world. No other country took QftNW as a first pick, and we are ahead of the Government Techrace, so no other country has taken QftNW as a second pick (yet).





    There are some more hickups with this whole Papal Controller thingie... we need to practice this more. The pope should be able to control himself! Also, the first lands of the Aztecs and Maya have been discovered.





    Habemus Papam, again. Pius II dies on August 25th, 1491 and is replaced by Clemens VIII another one of those fine popes from our breeding program. This can't be luck(?) So many good rulers!





    Again, we chose to name ourselves papal controller... this is getting a habit. We are exploring the West coast of Africa.





    I'll try with another question, to keep this aar somewhat interactive: Our first conquistador Callistus Priuli is taking 8,000 cavalry with him and boarding ships in the Mediterranean. Where to? Wither does he dither? ... You will find the answer tomorrow, here in this thread



  19. #19
    Deus Vult! Well, probably.

    Good job on your conquest of almost all of Italy! Now you have most of the country of Italy and good on you for that, I say. I suppose you'll have the rest, soon. With that and your North American conquests, well, Stalin might not have been joking when he asked how many divisions the Pope had.
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  20. #20
    Lt. General BBBD316's Avatar
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    Instanbul, a brave new colony?

    Really impressive so far, will you be converting to Reformed?

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