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Thread: The Pope goes ape: Smite or be smitten

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    The Pope goes ape: Smite or be smitten

    Vicky2 1.1 - some rebel nerfing modded in
    Nation: Papal States

    The Pope goes ape: Smite or be smitten
    A tale of holy conquest


    (Picture taken August 4th, 2010; Pope happened to be there when I visited the Vatican. That gave me the idea for this AAR)


    Aim of this AAR is to lead the Papal States to Great Power status by force and force alone. I will try to be as opportunistic as possible in order to achieve my goals.
    Infamy control, diplomatic treaties and backstabbing galore...

    Index
    Chapter I: Ceterum censeo Modena esse delendam
    Chapter II: Hannibal my ass! (1840s)
    Chapter III: The Fox and The Bear (1850-55)
    Chapter IV: A brief history of unification and colonial adventure (1855-90)
    Chapter V: The Austrian Anvil (1890-96)
    Chapter VI: Conquest of Africa (1896-1910)
    Chapter VII: Forging the Neo-Roman Empire (1910-1931)
    Chapter VIII: Conclusion (1931-36)

    This AAR is now finished.

  2. #2
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    Chapter I: "Ceterum censeo Modena esse delendam"
    (Furthermore, I think Modena must be destroyed)

    With these words the Pope adressed his people on January 1st 1836. Modena is the Vaticans weakest neighbour with no protector at all. As time is of the essence, it shan't be wasted.

    Two things happen on this day:
    1. Research of "strategic mobility" (we expect wars and a lot of them)
    2. Immediately the entire Papal army marched towards the border of Modena. Our army dwarfes that of Modena. Once assembled the holy warriors invade.

    Strategy: We have two units (one 9.000, one 3.000 strong). Both armies attack from different provinces. Once the enemy army (3.000) is beaten. The smaller unit stays in the first province while the bigger unit follows the retreating enemy to Massa. Thus I have both enemy provinces occupied and each new unit he pops out will be destroyed immediately.

    Several months later Modena is pistolwhipped and whiped out of the history books. My infamy through the roof, but still below 25 (the bad boy-war limit).



    It's 1840 now. The budget is stable, our first tech almost complete. No militancy, yet few production. I changed the government from the reactionary to the conservative party (economic reasons). I will have to stay under the radar for a while in order to avoid the attention of my powerful neighbours. Short-term I will try to build up my nation and keep an eye on opportunities for conquest.

  3. #3
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    Chapter II: "Hannibal my ass!" (1840s)


    We spent the first half of the 1840s building up and waiting for our infamy to drop. We needed at least 10 spare infamy points to cripple neighbouring Two Sicilies. The region Puglia was our goal. During the years of preparation to overcome our mighty neighbour (much higher military score) we build the following:
    - railroads for sh*tz 'n' giggles
    - 1 arty, 1 inf. brigade
    - 1 fortress in Perugia

    The cunning plan that would have put Hannibal to shame was called:
    Cannae 2.0

    By the time I would declare war on Two Sicilies, our forces would be almost as strong as theirs, but not quite. Thus I had to develop a cunning, dare I say brilliant plan? I was willing to give up ground, even our capital of Rome. My gamble relied on luring the enemy into the killing fields of fortified Perugia. In order to achieve that, I deployed my main force east of Perugia (the only other road to the rest of my nation). In Perugia a slightly weaker force was to draw the attention of Two Sicilies main attack.

    Just when I was ready to attack in 1846, Russia intervened and added Two Sicilies into their sphere of influence. Now I had to take an even bigger gamble. As I was in France's SoI and Russia far away, I decided to either smite or be smitten. So I dow'ed Two Sicilies...

    Russia didn't intervene, thanks to France?!? Whatever may have been the cause, one threat less. Now only my prepared death trap had to strike.



    As expected/hoped/prayed Two Sicilies fell for my trap and was battered severely (see 1st battle, top-right), my victorious forces immediately rushed in for the kill (2nd battle, bottom-right). The remainder of the 1-year war I conquered, defended and counter-attacked to great effect. I basically donkey-konged Two Sicilies into submission. The only reason I didn't completely annex them was my badboy-value of 17.6 which was too high to aquire their other region.



    After the war the liberal revolution reached my nation and the first rebel factions formed. 30% of my population wanted political reforms (voting rights). I was steadfast though, determined not to give up an inch of ground. "F*ck 'em", the Pope commented this situation. Fortunately in 1849 the liberal revolution was over and our misguided liberals calmed down and realized that divinity is mightier and more legitimate than any worldly power.



    My budget didn't suffer too too much from the war. In my country the rich don't pay taxes, they have to build up the nation. The biggest burden falls on the poor cause... ahem... god told us to. Question us and we'll smite you (with lighting and magic).

  4. #4
    General seattle's Avatar
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    Chapter III: The Fox and The Bear (1850-55)
    Outfoxing the Russian Bear


    On December 25th, 1852 my truce with Two Sicilies expired and I was about to dish out some serious monkey business. This time though, to my surprise, the Russian Bear stepped in to help his little puppy.

    My strategy was clear: Blitz the Sicilies before the Bear crosses the Mediterranian. Two Sicilies was utterly vanquished within days. In three consecutive battles, every single soldier ceased to exist. Now I had to grab their land quickly, so I split my armies to occupy each province.

    I got stuck at the gates of Sicily though. At first I thought land units can't cross the strait. When Sicilian forces attack me from there, I knew you can cross it. So I tried again and again, until I noticed out that each time my units were almost there, a Sicilian ship appeared in a neighbouring sea province. My armies immediately stopped marching every time that happened.

    Conclusion: As long as there is a Sicilian navy blocking the adjacent sea province, I couldn't cross the strait. So I built a clipper transport to lure away their navy.

    Meanwhile the Russian Bear knocked on my door with almost 30.000 soldiers.



    I gave up ground and retreated my main army (17.000 strong) to the fortress of Perugia. Long story short: see pic above (right). Merc'ed them bitches! In one of the most one-sided battles of civilized history, I destroyed the entire Russian exhibitionary force in two battles.

    I then used my transport ship to lure away the Sicilian navy from Sicily. My army was thusly able to pass the strait and occupy the rest of Sicily. They soon caved in and gave up yet another region. Total annexation wasn't possible (badboy beyond 20!).



    ------------------------

    Two valuable strategical lessons:
    1. If a superior enemy naval force blocks your way, lure them away with bait (a rubbish transport for example). The a.i. is loose-aggressive (to use a poker-term) which is good. It won't take sh*t from anyone. In this case I was able to outfox is. But that happened in real history numerous times, so no reason to blame the a.i.

    2. Fortresses are your friend
    Without the fortress in Perugia I would have lost both Sicilian wars hands down. Fortify key strategic positions and withdraw your forces to them. The enemy will often enough run into the trap. Just make sure, the defending force is inferior to the attacker (you can send in reinforcements later in case they're needed).

    PS: I'm done playing for tonight. Updates will most likely follow tomorrow.

  5. #5
    General seattle's Avatar
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    Chapter IV: A brief history of unification and colonial adventure (1855-90)


    The 1860s were a frustrating time. After becoming a Great Power, the Pope decided to unify Italy peacefully (decision becomes available once all Italian states are under your control/ in your sphere).

    We spent one decade trying to get all Italian minors into our SoI. However Parma was impossible to get, since protector Austria constantly countered our efforts. There was but one choice: War with Austria. The preparations were started in 1870:

    1. Build up our army
    2. Ally with all other Italian minors
    3. Focus on army techs, with "Machine Guns" as the goal
    4. Wait for the right moment -> strike when Austria is at war with either Prussia or Russia

    In 1885 all conditions were fulfilled and we struck hard and quickly. First we annexed Parma, then we had to fight a long drawn out campaign in Austria to liberate Lombardia (as a nice bonus; not needed for unification). Italy was henceforth formed.



    Everytime infamy dropped enough, I grabbed an uncivilized nation on the Arabian peninsula. That should pay rich dividence once I convert the save game to HoI3!

  6. #6
    Where next for the Pope? A second Counter-Reformation?

  7. #7
    General seattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phalanxia View Post
    Where next for the Pope? A second Counter-Reformation?
    I didn't do any political nor social reforms yet. Rebellions were starched and my folks are generally happy as they get their needs.

    Where to strike next? I don't know. Was hoping you folks would give me some ideas. I have my eyes set on Egypt which is still uncivilized and would more than double my current territory if annexed. Have to work on my infamy though.

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    You must wait for someone to make the converter, I think might take some time.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by seattle View Post
    Where to strike next? I don't know. Was hoping you folks would give me some ideas. I have my eyes set on Egypt which is still uncivilized and would more than double my current territory if annexed. Have to work on my infamy though.
    Surprise me.

  10. #10
    Why not conquer Egypt and then at the same time get the Columbians in your sphere of influence that way you can then have both the Suez and Panama canals.(Although the Panama Canal might be more nice for just historical purpose I dont think it has much gameplay use for Italy.)

  11. #11
    I like it so far. Keep up the good work!

  12. #12
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    Chapter V: The Austrian Anvil (1890-96)


    Immediately upon continuation of my game, Austria declared war on Italy. The dow was welcomed by the Italian leadership as memory of the recent glorious victory was still fresh. With our machine guns, deep trench system and recently discovered gas we would surely wipe the floor with Austria.

    Their goal was reconquista of a lost core while I decided to not add war goals too soon. I aimed at:
    1. destroy the Austrian army
    2. conquer territory
    3. wait for other powers to jump in
    4. hold until Austria caves into everything I want (limited only by infamy)



    The pride of my armed forces is the pope's elite guard "Esercitio Pontificio", lead by the ruthless Sigismondo Scammacca (attack +4, defence +3, moral - 80%). This highly experienced army was designated to be my hammer with Austria being the anvil.

    Turned out that Austria has neither machine guns, nor gas attack/defence capabilities. This war promised to be the bloodiest in European history.

    Just when it looked like Austria was on her knees, she mobilized well over 150 units!!! For a second things looked grim. I had maxed out on the battle war score (25% of the total war score) and Austrian forces started occupying lots of provinces. I then deemed it necessary to mobilize as well. Had I done so earlier, the war would have been less bloody and chaotic.



    With my combined mobilized armies (about 80) I easily stemmed the tide. To make things worse (much worse) for Austria, first Russia with Ottoman Empire and then Prussia rushed in for the kill.

    I began by demanding a core region (Venetia) and then realized that I could demand whatever I pleased. So I took two more Italian cores (Istria and Southern Tirol) and Austria happily ceded them. Russia grabbed Rovne, Ottoman Empire Danubia and Prussia took three Austrian regions! That was the end of Austria's ambitions for good.

    --------------------

    The aftermath:
    I started colonizing Africa and will continue to do so until I reach the boundaries of other powers. As you can see in the screenie below, Egypt needs to go down in flames eventually. How else can I connect my Suez-Canal with the rest of my colonial empire?

    The problem is: Egypt is in my SoI and I can't declare war on anyone in there. I also can't get rid of them. I need to wait for another great power to end my reign over Egypt. Does anyone know how to get rid of them?


  13. #13
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    I liked it when the Pope said "F*uck 'em"
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  14. #14
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    Chapter VI: Conquest of Africa (1896-1910)


    After repelling yet another Austrian attempt at revenge, I launched the invasion of Egypt. With a military rating of 15 this was a walkover from the beginning. Only problem I could see was the sheer amount of provinces Egypt owned. Thus I split my invasion army into the smallest possible units to cover and conquer terrain faster. After a few years the war was seemingly over with all Egyptian territory conquered. However due to the limited amount of battles, my warscore didn't pass 90%.

    I then noticed that Egypt owns Crete. I sent my naval force there to finish'em off. Little did I know that Egypt fielded a mightier navy than me (15 ships against my 6 obsolete warships). My navy got sunk and I had to expect a long drawn out war. I ordered lots of ships and researched navy techs. About 5 years later I could finally annex Egypt.



    During all that time, my troops colonized one African region after another. We learned that you always have to send in one division to aid the colonial progress. More than one doesn't make a difference, but no troops will severely slow the colonialization process down. As you can see in the screenshot above, it's safe to say that Italy clearly won the race for Africa by a landslide.



    Prussia expanded her empire further at the expense of Russia and Austria. Still no unification of Germany though. I fortified the borders to my powerful neighbours. In case of war, I will dig in and slaugther the infidels. This screenie shows why Vicky2 badly needs a more contrastful map. Italy, Ottoman Empire and Russia look too similar!



    Calling my empire prosperous would be a gross understatement.



    My population has surely become diverse and the integration of my new African citizens will become an issue. Next big plan will be to modernize my colonial empire by improving their infrastructure.

  15. #15
    Captain Psychedelic Sou's Avatar
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    Your title manages to crack me up every single time

    Very nice how you slaughtered the Austrians, and it's nice to see Italy colonize Africa so well. And poor Austria What is your next goal?
    Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien
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  16. #16
    General seattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychedelic Sou View Post
    Very nice how you slaughtered the Austrians, and it's nice to see Italy colonize Africa so well. And poor Austria What is your next goal?
    I loaded the game up as Prussia and noticed that Frankfurt wasn't in her sphere of influence. In order for the German unification event to fire, Frankfurt needs to be in there.
    My plan now is to influence Frankfurt myself and ban any embassy other than Prussia's. Hopefully this will break the stalemate. Prussia is influencing Frankfurt, but only with low priority. So I gotta help them out. I could also manipulate the save game. Maybe that'd be the best way to go.

    As for Italy. My infamy is way to high to start a war any time soon. Plus, my empire has quadrupled within the last decade. Before even thinking about conquest, I have to think consolidation. Might not sound as spectacular, but I will invest heavily in building up my African possessions. After all I got 5+ mio. in my treasury. Expect railroads everywhere.

    Instead of going to wars, I expect the next Austrian invasion within the next couple of years. Letting my infamy drop will enable me to exploit the Austrian ambitions. As far as diplomacy is concerned. I managed to get Switzerland into my SoI and ally with them and a bunch of weak neighbours. I will continue the diplomatic efforts. Preferably getting the Ottoman Empire on my side.

    As always: Please guys, give me ideas what to do next!

  17. #17
    Captain Psychedelic Sou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seattle View Post
    I loaded the game up as Prussia and noticed that Frankfurt wasn't in her sphere of influence. In order for the German unification event to fire, Frankfurt needs to be in there.
    My plan now is to influence Frankfurt myself and ban any embassy other than Prussia's. Hopefully this will break the stalemate. Prussia is influencing Frankfurt, but only with low priority. So I gotta help them out. I could also manipulate the save game. Maybe that'd be the best way to go.

    As for Italy. My infamy is way to high to start a war any time soon. Plus, my empire has quadrupled within the last decade. Before even thinking about conquest, I have to think consolidation. Might not sound as spectacular, but I will invest heavily in building up my African possessions. After all I got 5+ mio. in my treasury. Expect railroads everywhere.

    Instead of going to wars, I expect the next Austrian invasion within the next couple of years. Letting my infamy drop will enable me to exploit the Austrian ambitions. As far as diplomacy is concerned. I managed to get Switzerland into my SoI and ally with them and a bunch of weak neighbours. I will continue the diplomatic efforts. Preferably getting the Ottoman Empire on my side.

    As always: Please guys, give me ideas what to do next!
    Yeah, it seems the best thing to do. Having Germany on the world stage (or the North German Federation) would drastically alter the balance of power. I've noticed you have a pretty low industrial score: to me it seems now the best to do would be to work your industries up first and (as you have said) consolidate your empire, to prevent it from becoming one large moshpit in the event of war. Try to snatch as many small nations into your SoI to broaden your market and to further accelerate industrialization. Try to build up good relations with Russia and the NGF/Germany to counterbalance the Austrian threat, or maybe try to play the Austrians and the Ottomans off on each other. If these two got involved in any sort of prolonged war, their empires would probably implode.
    Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien
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  18. #18
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    Chapter VII: Forging the Neo-Roman Empire (1910-1931)


    Prussia finally formed the North German Bund which lead to her swift demise. For some odd (read: bugged) reason, Prussia's industry vanished over night. Her military was still a formidable force though, victorious in two Dutch, one Russian and one Franco-German war. Nonetheless Germany dropped out of the top 8 never to return.


    (North German Federation: mighty stone-age warriors... ugghh!)

    Italy meanwhile consolidated her expanding her industrial and cultural base. The pope coined that period "railroad spamming". Furthermore many colonies were fully integrated into the empire. Our population reached 180 million. As revolts increased we had to cave in to the plebs' demands by giving them rotten swines some pensions.

    Once our infamy had dropped to 0 we fubar'ed Austria and aquired some more regions. The pope sent an open letter to the other Great Powers with the title: "Italy ain't nothing to f*ck with. Live long and suck it!"

    We fortified our borders with France, Austria and Germany with level 6 forts and dug in. Let them come if they dare. We'll continue our cultural revolution and try to win that way.


    (Italy is the mightiest nation on the planet. With Switzerland, the Ottoman Empire and a couple of other allies nobody dares to mess with us.)

  19. #19
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    Chapter VIII: Conclusion (1931-36)


    Nothing spectacular happened in the final five years. We had to deal with several rebellions of 600k+ rebels, but nothing more happened in the entire world. Italy reached second place in the end due to heavy investments in infrastructure.


  20. #20
    You remained an absolute monarchy to the end? Niiiice

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