Let's eat Pizza Napolitana!
(heavy in screenshots!)
So this is my first AAR. I've been thinking about doing an AAR for some time, and in the past week or so I've done some planning. It will use the MEIOU mod for HttT, latest version with several minor modifications by myself (mostly number altering). Feel free to ask for more details about them. This will be an interactive AAR; I will hold votes on various things, like some slider moves, NIs, and possibly some important decisions down the road.
Also note that the result of each voting will affect how I play the game. More things are going to be affected than just what's shown in-game. For example, a win for expansionism in a slider movement vote will make Naples more aggressive on the international scene in all kinds of ways.
All settings are default except for spread of land provinces, which I set from the default 100 years to 75 years.
A crude table of contents:
Page 1: chapters 1,2,3
Page 2: chapters 2,5
Page 3: chatper 6, chapter 7 (first NI)
Page 4: chapters 8,9
Page 5: chapters 10,11
Page 6: chapters 12,13 (second NI)
Page 7: chapter 14
Page 8: chapters 15 (part 1 and part 2), 16 (part 1)
Page 9: chapters 16 (part 2), 17 (part 1)
Page 10: chapters 17 (parts 2-4), 18 (part 1)
Page 11: chapter 18 (parts 2-4)
With no further ado...
The date is 10 of January, 1356. Our focus shall be on the Kingdom of Naples...
The ruler of this kingdom is Joan, of the house of Anjou, a French dynasty. Joan is a mediocre ruler, a queen with no exceptional qualities, but who also doesn't have any glaring weaknesses.
Her heir, Louis, who came of age only the year prior, has grown to be just as capable.
Joan is also the Duchess of Provence, a rather sizeable enclave on the Occitain coastline. The adjacent county of Nice has pledged allegiance to the feudal lords of Provence, and so it is expected that these lands will also be eventually absorbed to the Napolitan throne.
But peaceful expansion should not be the only thing in a monarch's mind. Not in this time and age, at least. Opportunities can present themselves, and only a fool would pass them by. And these opportunities can be found most easily on one's borders.
To the north of the Napolitan mainland, lie the Papal States.
Ruled by the head of the Catholic church, taking Papal lands could have nasty repercursions. The city of Rome, especially, home to the Vatican, could have all of Europe turning their eyes on its conqueror.
Directly to the east of the boot lies another small holding of the Napolitan crown, the Greek island of Kerkyra, which provides a good potential opening to the east.
On the Balkan peninsula, the sad remnants of the Fourth Crusade can be seen. Small duchies and principalities pledging allegiance to Catholic lords, a fractured Roman Empire, and a Serbian empire in decline. Asia Minor dominated by Muslim Turks, who could easily take advantage of the chaos to their west. The doorstop to Europe has fallen.
To the south lies the island of Sicily, populated by people with similar customs and traditions to the inhabitants of Napoli.
Unfortunately, it's also land owned by the Aragonese throne, which rules a kingdom with vast holdings throughout the Mediterranean.
Their mainland and the Balearic islands aside, they also possess the islands of Sardinia, Sicily, and Malta, as well as overlordship over the duchy of Athens. Their fleet is also the biggest in the world, far more so than what Naples can afford at the moment. Sicily is out of consideration for the time being.
But any expansion would have to wait for a suitable opportunity. For now, the internal politics of the kingdom deserve a look.
Naples produces little grain to speak of, and the naval supplies manufacturing in the capital is utterly insufficient for the Kingdom's 23-ship fleet.
The lack of grain will very likely be very harmful for the economy, given Naples' orientation towards a large army.
Joan assessed the economics of her kingdom. Aware about her own abilities, she gathered her advisors. She needed ideas on how to improve the state finances.
In the end, she decided to follow one of three suggestions:
A. She could rescind some rights and privileges of local lords and move the authority to the crown. With a more centralised state the efficiency of all economic and bureaucratic sectors would improve, though the populace would not be happy with such a move.
B. A much more aggressive trade and diplomatic policy could be followed. Such an expansionist move would surely benefit the merchants of Naples.
C. Finally, laws condemning heretical and heathen beliefs could be put to an end, as it is suggested that by showing signs of equality towards people of other faiths and establishing a more secular state, the previously persecuted peoples of Naples could contribute more to the kingdom's economy.