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stnylan

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With some trepidation, and quite possibly a large dose of fool-hardiness, I have decided to try my hand at an AAR, after a long break.

I last played EU3 in any "serious" effort back in vanilla, and though I got both NA and IN in their time, I barely played. Instead my gaming needs were fulfilled by MMOs (EVE Online, LOTRO, more recently Wizard101). Likewise for a good long while I have stayed away from Paradox and these fora, during which period I have met, proposed to, and married the woman who makes my soul sing; have started to shed that dreaded label of being monolingual; and otherwise generally been rather busy. But the pull of this place never quite left me, and when I say EU3 Chronicles on sale for a very good price, well, the tempatation was just too much.

So here we are, patch 5.1. Quite a lot up from where I remember. So, time to re-learn the ropes of this wonderful game.

I have chosen to play Milan as I think it offers interesting possibilities in terms of potential places to expand, and keeps open the possibility of colonisation. Plus, Italy, what's not to like?

I am playing vanilla, Normal/Normal, random lucky countries. IIRc the only other changes I made were to lengthen the spread of sea/land provinces to 100/200 years.

I intend to write this in a mixture of styles, likely depending on my fancy at the moment, though I imagine that gameplay/historybook will be the most common.

Generally I use this colour when making Gameplay notations otherwise my remarks are "in character", as it were.

Advice for gameplay is most gratefully received! I intend to try not to play ahead of the AAR (we'll see how long that lasts).

I apologise in advance for the fact the first update will have no screenshots, because I simply forgot to take them. See, this AAR is already off to a good start :D
 

Hastu Neon

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Welcome back, stnylan!
I'm happy to know your life is generally ok.
Among other things, it helps in creative AAR writing ...
 

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great to see you back to AAR producing ... there is something entertainingly addictive about doing them -- and Milan sounds fun, rich enough to be potent, scope for expansion but always threatened by big bad Austria & France (if they get the AI gets its act together)
 

stnylan

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Hastu Neon said:
Welcome back, stnylan!
I'm happy to know your life is generally ok.
Among other things, it helps in creative AAR writing ...
Very many thanks Hastu, and so I hope it proves

loki100 said:
great to see you back to AAR producing ... there is something entertainingly addictive about doing them -- and Milan sounds fun, rich enough to be potent, scope for expansion but always threatened by big bad Austria & France (if they get the AI gets its act together)
When I said, what's not to like about Italy, France and Austria were two thoughts that came to mind :D
 

stnylan

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The Pretender in Siena

An Excerpt from ”A History of Milan” by Julius S Gray

Now we come to the peculiar episode of The Pretender in Siena. The announcement in the early autumn of 1399 that henceforth all tariffs would be collected by officials appointed directly by the Duke did not go over well, but was especially disliked in Siena. A number of Sienese were determined to oppose these new measures, but they were not stupid – they themselves had neither the men nor the arms to engage in open opposition. Fortunately for them however there was another in Siena who claimed descent from the former rulers of Milan, who had been exiled there by the Duke. It proved an easy matter to persuade this young helpful to declare himself.

The Pretender – there is strangely no agreement as to his real name, but from now I will call him Pretender Giovanni – was remarkably adept at gathering men, and was soon establishing himself throughout the countryside, ejecting the Milanese and those loyal to the Duke, though he stayed away from Siena itself and its stronger garrison.

The response by Milan was slow, in large part it seems as the Duke and his advisors wished to smoke out if there were any other traitors closer to home. Orders were given though to raise extra troops, as it appeared Pretender Giovanni had raised close to ten thousand men. It slowly became clear however that while the Pretender was a gifted enough commander in his way, his vision was limited. For several months he contented himself with causing trouble in the countryside, before attempting to claim Siena for himself. By that time however the generalised destruction he had caused had already turned many Sienese against him, and two attempts to betray the city were thwarted. He settled down to siege, while his men started to range further and became altogether more indiscriminate with their banditry.

In the spring of 1400 the Milanese army started to be ferried into Pisa, which though liking Milanese rule no better than Siena had proven more quiescent. Milan also seemed to be breaking her diplomatic isolation, with several notables matches arranged with neighbouring states – even with Florence – and an alliance formed with Mantua. There was also much talk in Milan of prioritising the army. All in all, to the Pisans it did not seem a good time to revolt.

Thus with their lines of supply secure the Milanese army, of just under ten thousand (approximately one third cavalry) moved southward. The Pretender Giovanni had finally started to make progress with his siege, and did what he could to delay their advance, and though he slowed them with ambushes and the like, at length a battle was fought a short distance from Siena at which his forces were routed. However, in this moment a glimpse of his valour can be seen, for somehow he rallied the greater part of those forces that survived and convinced them to force mark to Pisa – he hoped that the Milanese had left the city mostly undefended and he would be able to take it easily. This did not prove to be the case, and at a second battle at Pisa he was wounded and his troops were forced to retreat once more to Siena hinterlands. There his now-rabble was finally dispersed as he succumbed his wounds. His few remaining followers through buried him in an unmarked grave, and his body was never discovered, so we still do not know who he really was.


Gameplay

Well, so at first glance Milan seems locally powerful but with the potential to be seriously isolated, fairly large but surrounded by a bunch of middling and smaller powers that could easily gang up on me.

First thing are my DP sliders, and it takes me a few minutes to try and force my brain to remember what to do. I eventually decide to go Centralisation, which fires a local Pretender event, which is recounted more or less above.

I am, as much by default as by planning, prioritising Government tech just at the moment (I haven’t really investigated the various different techs/buildings yet). I hired three advisors (stability, production, national tax modifier iirc).

My diplomacy thus far has been Royal Marriages with a number of neighbouring states, and alliance with Mantua, and military access through Modena. My current thoughts are to seek conquests perhaps outside of the HRE at the moment, and go for peaceful expansion within, but otherwise keeping open for opportunity. I have naturally been spammed with military alliance requests, all of which I have ignored.

I have no thoughts to National Idea at the moment. I am currently in 1401 or 1402.
 

Axelius

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France is pretty distant behind Savoy and various French minors, Austria is on the border though, but can be persuaded to expand eastwards.

Remember that pretty much everything south of your southern holdings are non-HRE, so feel free to kick ass and chew-bubblegum (and bubblegum has not been invented yet) in Urbino, Papal states and Naples.
 

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Hmm... Last time i heard anything from you was during the EUII days; naturally it's good to have you back =)
I'll follow this with great interest!
 

Ashantai

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This looks very interesting! I shall follow closely.
 

stnylan

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This looks very interesting! I shall follow closely.
Very many thanks Ashantai. I hope it does remain interesting :)

Seems very interesting, you've got my eye! :)
Likewise Derahan. Hopefully it's a good eye and not an evil eye :D

Hmm... Last time i heard anything from you was during the EUII days; naturally it's good to have you back =)
I'll follow this with great interest!
Hi Saulta. A long long time indeed, and thank you very kindly.

France is pretty distant behind Savoy and various French minors, Austria is on the border though, but can be persuaded to expand eastwards.

Remember that pretty much everything south of your southern holdings are non-HRE, so feel free to kick ass and chew-bubblegum (and bubblegum has not been invented yet) in Urbino, Papal states and Naples.
As you will see, I took this advice somewhat to heart :D

I remembered to take some screenshots in this next one, though missed out others. Hopefully they will all work.
 

stnylan

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Going South

The Fearless Pope - A short Study of Boniface IX and his Times
by Cosimo Alentini


The so-called Sienese Pretender was never a serious threat to Duke Gian Galeazzo, but this ambitious man saw a chance to fabricate a pretext for further expansion. He spread about word that the Pretender had been encouraged and supported in his efforts by Pope Boniface. This was clearly ridiculous, for the Pope at that time was busily engaged in subduing the indepdent lords of Urbino in an attempt to reclaim the ancient Papal domains.

Gian waited until the New Year, 1401, before launching his attack. Having suborned the rulers of Modena into allowing his troops passage, they fell upon the Romagna and quickly spread through that countryside, taking what strong points they could, and besieging those they could not. The Duke did not, of course, join his troops. He had other things to do, like commisoning a painting celebrating the fall of the pitiful pretender.

Pope Boniface, faced with this invasion, and knowing that he was outnumbered, nevertheless held steadfast to his first goal of bringing the rebellious Lords of Urbino to justice, a solemn duty that was finally completed in May of that year. Seeing that he was unlikely to triumph in an assault on the Milanese army, he instead lead his troops back to Rome, where new recruits waited, and then marched north to Siena. He hoped to rally the Sienese, but first would have to remove the Milanese garrison that was still strong. However, Boniface was skilled in the ways of smoking out a garrison, and quickly began to remove the garrisons of Siena. He was aware however that on the other side of the peninsular the rapacious Milanese, who though not able were no slouches, were busy. In a base move, the Milanese finally forced the surrender of the towns by laying out the harvest for all to see, and then burning a portion it each day. To save their children from starvation, the gates were opened and the Milanese took the last strong places in Romagna late in November.

Knowing that it would not be long before the Milanese were upon him, Pope Boniface made ready to appeal to the Sienese. They could see that only Siena itself was still firmly held against him, and even there the garrison was starting to waver. If only the Sienese would rise up and take arms, then the disparity in numbers would seem as nothing. But before His Holiness made his call, the treacherous Milanese appeared marching through Tuscany. It seems that the city council of Florence, craven and spineless, allowed itself to be bribed by Duke Gian into letting his soldiers pass through.

His Holiness knew everything now hung in the balance, and gave battle. Although surprised by the appearance of his enemies, they were soon startled by the ferocity of his defence and the determination of his men, but despite skirmishes that took the better part of a whole month, finally Boniface had to abandon his siege and retire towards Rome. The Milanese pursued vengefully, and woefully the Pontiff direted his soldiers to Urbino where he hoped to regather strength … but it was not to be. His army exhausted and splintering, Pope Boniface was eventually persuaded to take a ship from Ancona.

1402sienabattle.jpg


Duke Gian meanwhile sat happy with the successes of his men, and raised a new army back in the Po regions while his old began to devastate Urbino. This new army the Duke directed to Rome itself, which they invested. For all of the next year the Pope tried to rally support, but the princes of Europe were slow and much taken with their own affairs. The Pope's own ally of Sardinia was unable to help, as rebellion had wracked the island.

In the spring of 1403, Pope Bonfice heard that Ancona had finally opened its gates to the Milanese after a starving winter, and that all the talk was that the two Milanese armies would join forces beneath the walls of Rome, in preparation for an assault that would surely leave the Eternal City pillaged. With heavy heart he sent a messenger to Duke Gian, offering the villainous Duke ”stewardship” of Romagna and Urbino. This was a mere fiction however, because Gian had made it clear that he wished rulership and nothing else. The Pope also emptied his personal coffers, so to save the Holy City. This at least the base Duke allowed, since it suited his purpose and made him appear magnaminous, or so he thought.

1403peace.jpg


In truth, the whole world knew that he had falsely forced war upon the Pope, and now back in Rome Boniface began to consider how to right the wrongs Duke Gian had caused. The first avanue to pursue was Emperor Zigismund, the King of Bohemia. It proved unexpectedly easy. However, the Emperor played false, rather than demand the release of the Pope's lands, he sent a message asking the Duke to allow the people of Pisa to be their own masters as they had been in times beforehand. Needless the say the Duke scorned this offer, but in secret he was troubled, as can be seen by the cowardly alliance he later made with Austria, not to mention the dynastic alliance he secured with other noble houses throughout southern Germany, hoping to put off any Imperial chastisement.

The Pope was not yet finished, and in the summer of 1405 his patient diplomacy brought a greater reward, when the Geonese and others petitioned him to Excommunicate Duke Gian Galeazzo – a petition that Boniface was happy to grant. Surely now, seeing this, the Lords of Christendom would bring this Milanese lout low? This scourge, who flaunted himself, who proud of his family had formally presented his heir with a full month of buffoonery and balderdash, including a hideous tapestry commerating the the squabble with the Pretender, and commissioning a seemingly endless series of artworks. The only apparent response to his excommunication was to order the construction of a new Church in Verona, something paid for by an increase in tax revenues following the appointment of a new group of bureaucratic officials.

Incompetent Diplomacy (Infamy +1)
National Idea: Bureaucracy
3 or 4 paintings commission, Tapestry Commissioned, and Heir proclaimed


Gameplay

Well, I was wrong, I was in fact still in 1400. A quick survey of my situation there, for those that do not know Milan's starting situation. Milan has the provinces of Lombardia, Brescia, Verona, Parma, Cremona, Pisa, and Siena; and has cores on all but the last two (which still have nationalism). The provinces of Parma, Pisa, and Siena have universities. The below also shows my advisors.


1400advisorpolitical.jpg



In retrospect, I made a mistake declaring war on the Papal States when I did. If I had waited until they had annexed Urbino i think (and please correct me if I am wrong) I may have gotten a casus belli. As it was I did not. The war itself was fairly straightfoward however, and during it I finally read the mission text I had (expand size of army) which I did. The next mission was to get Trier to vote for me.

The request from the Emperor to release Pisa was unwelcome, and I definitely decided not to do it. The alliance with Austria may be something of a poisoned chalice, but will hopefully serve its purpose in shielding me. My one worry is that it may get me into wars I do not want, but we shall see. Meanwhile Bohemia has gotten itself mostly tied down with other wars, and I did actually get a Royal Marriage with them which I hope will also deflect attention. The Excommunication came on behalf of Genoa – and I really do not know what to do about that.

I cancelled the mission for Trier when they became vassalised by Burgundy, and my next mission is to vassalise the Papal States, which due to the Excommunication I am looking forward to doing with, I must say, a certain amount of relish.

It is now the summer of 1406. Prestige is 13, Infamy is 9.2, Legitimacy is 100, Inflation at 0.8, Stability at +3. I am pursuing Production and Trade 4 now. Am wondering about mass building Churches as I can afford them. Given I have four non-cores and five cores I am going to halt any actual acquisitions now I think until I get some cores. I may try to vassalise Mantua at some juncture, however.

 

unmerged(106498)

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Mmm I used to play EVE. I miss killing people every day on such a grand scale and making movies of it, but I just got bored with it I guess. Anyhow... Welcome back to the strategy genre. May your victories be many, your enemies be afraid, and your coffers be filled!


Edit: oh, and may your typos be few, unlike me. :D
 

loki100

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good to see a proper level of intrigue among the Italian City States ... and now you're excommunicated it is probably a good time to take it out on the Pope. Be interesting to see if you can keep Austria off your back, the alliance is probably the best answer and you can alwys try to minimise your involvement in their wars?
 

LordTempest

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I love this AAR's mixture of gameplay with historybook-style storytelling. That Emperor sure can be a pain in DW sometimes, can't he?
 

adamclason

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Oh, a history/gameplay MilAAR? I see potential in this one! Will follow with great interest. Good luck and God spee... Ehe, erase that last part... :unsure:
 

stnylan

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Oh, a history/gameplay MilAAR? I see potential in this one! Will follow with great interest. Good luck and God spee... Ehe, erase that last part... :unsure:
Thank you - I think I might need it :D

I love this AAR's mixture of gameplay with historybook-style storytelling. That Emperor sure can be a pain in DW sometimes, can't he?
Hehe, I have no knowledge of the Emperor in DW before now :D. But I also like mixing historybook and gameplay - many of my AAR attempts have blended the two.

I'm a sucker for Italian AARs, so I will follow along!
Well I hope I shall not disappoint :)

good to see a proper level of intrigue among the Italian City States ... and now you're excommunicated it is probably a good time to take it out on the Pope. Be interesting to see if you can keep Austria off your back, the alliance is probably the best answer and you can alwys try to minimise your involvement in their wars?
An Italy without intrigue is like an English Breakfast without fatty foods - dull :D I am hoping for the most part to let Austria just do its thing. As for takign it out on the Pope, I don't think I want to press things again just yet. Still, what opportunity offers ...

Mmm I used to play EVE. I miss killing people every day on such a grand scale and making movies of it, but I just got bored with it I guess. Anyhow... Welcome back to the strategy genre. May your victories be many, your enemies be afraid, and your coffers be filled!


Edit: oh, and may your typos be few, unlike me. :D
Heh - typos are like black cat hairs on a white sofa :D

I still play EVE, and indeed, I met my wife playing EVE :D


Edit: I have played the next few years, but will be unable to write the update tonight. Might manage it tomorrow during my lunch-break, but if not it should be up in the evening.
 
Last edited:

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stnylan

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The Last Years of Gian Galeazzo

An Excerpt from "A History of Milan" by Julius S Gray

Having expanded Milan's domains along the Adriatic Coast, Duke Gian Galeazzo knew that he would need to consolidate his new holdings, a task that would be made no easier by the continued opposition of Pope Boniface. However, even though the Pope had secured the Duke's excommunication, the rest of Europe seemed not to take much note. Perhaps this is bceause Milan's actions were not so very different from those of France (which had taken Provence from the King of Naples), or Burgundy (which had taken several towns in the Low Countries). That and Regents of Austria were more than happy to see Milan as a balance to the growing power of Bohemia.

Forced into other measures to perpetuate his feud, the Pope took advantage of the naturally rebellious and fractious nature of his former subjects in Romagna. Shortly thereafter, a Pisan company rose in rebellion too. By the end of the year both rebellions had been scattered, and although no evidence was ever found of the Pope's involvement with the Pisans, it seems quite likely that Boniface was behind that matter too.

However, by that Boniface's plots had started to unravel. The Emperor Zigiszmund had died, and the boy of Austria – Albrecht V – was elected in his place. At a stroke one of the greatest threats against Milan was removed. However, Boniface was nothing if not persistent, and in the midst of winter a second revolt began in Romagna. Seeing the Pope was so locally focused, the French took this opportunity to incorporate Avignon into their direct rule, and though the Savoyards rose to defend the little state, Boniface helplessly watched as both Avignon fell and his second revolt in Romagna was dispersed.

Seeing French soldiers swarm over Savoy (though after Pope Boniface had been forced to concered the annexation of Savoy they all withdrew) was not a pleasant sight for any of the Italian powers. The Duke therefore proposed strengthening the Milanese forts to be better able to resist and withstand any invasion. He also, in and around Milan itself, set up a new system of tax officials and constables; whilst in Cremona a series of merchant houses had started to open up offices, seeing the town as an advantageous place to organise shipments along the Po.

1408events.jpg


The Pisans rose a second time, but this rebellion was no more successful than the first. However, Duke Gian Galeazzo did not live to see this rebellion crushed, as it eventually was, because he fell ill, and passed away on the 17th October. This illness may also explain why Milan did not join Austria in her war against the Teutonic Order. This curious affair came about because the Order sought to take the city of Riga, which called in its allies in Pomerania, who appealed for aid, and the Regency Council seeing a good opportunity to burnish Albrecht's credentials in the Empire answered. Savoy, a land of unlucky alliances, fought on behalf of the Order, and quickly found themselves beset, but it may have been worse because Milan took no part.

The same illness struck down the recently born baby of the new Duke, Giovanni Maria, and his wife. Perhaps because of these triple blows Giovanni unwisely soon after claimed a new-born bastard as his son and heir. The precise nature of the sickness is not so sure – the sources mostly claim consumption, and it claimed its last victim that winter, the great Natural Scientist Camillo Bertini.

In the final summary, Gian Galeazzo can only be viewed as one of the most important and successful of Milan's many rulers. When he died, Milan was at its most potent and powerful, and though the machinations of Pope Boniface had threatened to bring Milan low in reality the impotency of the Pope was revealed for all to see.


Gameplay

This was mostly a quiet few years as I dealt with internal rebellions in the conquered territories. In part this allowed me to notice more what was going on elsewhere in Europe. Seeing French troops swarm across Savoy was very unwelcome, but gladly amounted to nothing much. Elsewhere England (with Portugal) and Burgundy (and Britanny, Scotland, and some vassals) are involved in a grand old mess involving various other powers – which mostly has resulted in Britanny being over-run by Portugal and Scotland over-run by England. I am eagerly awaiting to see what the peace treaty ends up being.

The event regarding the heir was actually somethign of a mistake. It fired literally one day after my ruler died – and hid the message pop-up about the change of ruler. Otherwise I would probably have chosen the other option – but in a sense I think I prefer how this turned out from a story perspective.

I am thinking I may wait a little further yet before vassalising the Pope. I think I am going to continue to stay out of the Teutonic business – Austria has basically gotten Savoy covered now and I don't have any particular desire to march a force across Germany to the Teutons. With the excommunication now removed however I am feeling considerably more secure. I generated another Lvl4 Natural Scientiest to replace the one I lost.

It is now January 1410. Giovannia Maria is 5/5/5.