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Just began my second EUIII game after a grand old time as Castille in my first.

I've done three Vicky AARs. One an Austrian WC on normal, another a Swiss WC on normal, and last but not least the Belgian WC on vh/vh. The transition from Vicky to EUIII was a little rough, but I think I've got the hang of it now. Certainly I won't choose bureaucracy as my first NI like I did with Castille.

The Papal States shall be the country and the goal is that of any self-respecting pontiff, namely, military conquest on a massive scale.

Difficulty is normal but with a few rules of note:

No merchants - My popes don't like those greedy bastards. They are all getting conscripted and put in the galleys!
No conquest of pagan nations - Those Incans and Mayans and all the rest are going to frolick about and live in peace and harmony. And woe to him who messes with my little Aztec friends.
No Vassalage by Diplomat - This isn't a self-imposed rule, but it's an important thing to note for those who want to try their hand at the Papal States. You are a Theocracy (actually a theocracy+ because normal theocracies get +20% conversion chance and papacy gets +25% =D). That means Royal Marriages are right out. So no showering a neighbor with gifts, nabbing an alliance and royal marriage, then vassalage, then diplo-annex 10 years later. In my last game as Castille, I never fought a major war. I just did that a billion times, to the point where, in 1650 or so, half of Europe was under my control, with another 25% as my vassal.

With that in mind, here we go.
 

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1453-1474: Italian Smorgasbord No More!

So the plan is to remain a relatively nice nation, trying to keep my BB between 10 and 15 for the first stage. Economic development is the name of the game here, without pissing off the rest of the world too badly.

The Papal States start with three non-contiguous provinces, Roma, Romagna, and Avignon.

The 1 province minor Urbino seperates Romagna from Roma! So Romagna is getting a -30% tax cut because of no land connection to capital. This situation must be remedied. Two divisions of cavalry are ordered up, giving us 3k cavalry and 1k infantry versus Urbino's grand army of 1k infantry. Pope Nicolaus V is pressed into service and the fact that he is wearing a dress doesn't seem to interfere with his generalship in the slightest! +2 shock. Must be the hat.

Naxos and Athens are Urbino's only allies. They "go to war" on behalf of their "ally" but don't do anything.

1 boring seige later, and Urbino is annexed! Hurrah!

Now Nicolaus V thinks about turning his attention to Siena, the other 1 province minor bordering the Papal States, but they are allied with Tuscany and someone else, so he decides against it. Might as well let the stability climb back up and burn off some badboy.

Military access is received from Portugal so we have a forward base for colonization. A cog is ordered up, an explorer is loaded on, and what luck! He sailed straight west and discovered the lush sugar fields of Hispanola.

Sadly, on the return trip, the cog was lost somewhere in the central Atlantic. Luckily the explorer was able to swim all the way back to Rome in a single day so another didn't have to be bought.

Colonists are sent to those lovely sugar fields and they succeed in setting up shop. Another cog is ordered up, that magnificent swimmer of an explorer is loaded up again, along with 1,000 of the Papacy's finest horse. They "pacify" the natives, thereby increasing colonization chance.

The cog and horse hang out in the caribbean. But a pirate is spotted! Oh noes!

The grand battle fleet of the papal states, all six galleys, sails west. They cross the atlantic, destroy the pirates, and settle down for some pina coladas in the caribbean sun.

The explorer hops aboard his trusty cog and starts exploring a bit more. He sails down the western coast of South America and stumbles upon Santana with its rivers of gold! What luck!

Back in Europe, Nicolaus V notices that Tuscany and Siena are embroiled in a conflict with the northern Italian states. Three more regiments of cavalry are ordered up, war is declared while all the Tuscan troops are galloping around Milan, Siena is annexed and Tuscany is forced to pay 50 ducats. Hurrah!

Here then is the state of the states in 1464:
418387049_fab3a0b90c_o.jpg


And lovely Santana:
418387047_7e006b9970_o.jpg


Five years pass. Colonists are sent. All is quiet. Then the day after the truce is over, war is again declared. Tuscany is annexed! Hurrah!

Now with all this declaring war w/o a cassus belli then annexing, the papal states is up to 15 BB. So it's time to quiet down, colonize, and let the BB burn off.

For a brief moment, Nicolaus V became the Papal Controller. It felt rather strange. England quickly took it back again though, and all was normal again.

By 1474, the Papal States have risen from total obscurity to 12th in terms of monthly income. Now we are making a whopping 15 ducats per month! Woohoo!

The northern Italian states have also been busy taking out the 1 province minors. Four powers are emerging upon the Italian Penninsula. From north to south: Savoy, Milan, The Papal States, and Sicily:

418387051_00e650f427_o.jpg


On a whim, Nicolaus V checks the diplomatic situation and...

Savoy, Milan, and Sicily are in an alliance. Uhoh.
 

ZachMayo

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Well I suppose that's never a good feeling. Hey, at least you don't have Naxos and Athens to contend with again!
 

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Nice start. I am curious if you can keep you BB below 15 all the way though...
 

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Ah, a good olé fashioned War conquest as the Pope!

Let god be with you and strike down upon youre enemies and making your
Sailors/Conquisidators/explores sail above 1 hundred million miles while youre arimes stay triumphant! :D :D


Edit: 222:th post :rofl: :rofl:
 

coz1

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Very interesting. I didn't think you could play the Papal States, but good to know that was incorrect. Nice work so far, but watch that inflation. 2.9 in ten years ain't bad but still. And I am amazed your galleys got all the way across the Atlantic. Wow!
 

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Zachmayo: lol
Stoph1: You have the gift of prophecy good sir. ;)
Valzoz: Thanks
Coz1: Yeah, about that inflation.... we'll you'll see. And as for the galleys, they actually made it with an average of 60% hull strength still. Go figure. I guess it was due to sailing from Portugal's Azores and not having to explore their way through.
 

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1474-1497: Italy in Four

It was a sad day in Rome when Nicolaus V passed away. He had transformed the Papal States from just a tiny Italian minor to the dominant power in central Italy.

His successor, Gregorius XIII was nowhere near his equal in administration or diplomacy. And despite being better on paper in terms of military acumen, as a general he was much less convincing. Oh to be sure, his hat provided +1 shock still, how could it not? But he did not wear it with the same convinction that good ol' +2 shock Nicolaus did.

Colonization slowed. So too did military expansion, as Gregorius' measly 4 diplomacy hardly helped assuage the fears of the rest of the world. BB burned off with agonizing slowness.

Still, in 1480, Gregorius saw an opportunity. For Genoa had seemingly been reduced to a single province and its only ally was Venice. War was declared, troops beseiged and took Liguria but... oh noes! Genoa had another province on the coast of the Black Sea so annexation was impossible.

Gregorius turned his attention to Venice, in hopes that something could be salvaged from this ill-begotten war. The armies of Venice were laughable, and soon enough 2 of the 3 provinces Venice still held in continental Europe were ceded to the papal states.

420210578_26753838b3_o.jpg


And so all was quiet. Money continued to be minted, colonists were sent out in droves, and the Papal States gradually increased it's wealth.

For about a decade this peaceful course was pursued. But then, the province of Modena, which had been taken by the Ottomans years before was taken by rebels whilst the Ottomans had their hands full with Hungary and Lithuania and declared its independence.

Gregorius XIII, fearing that the Ottomans would march in and regain their foothold in Italy, or else Savoy would attack the one province minor as they had done so many times before, promptly ordered Modena to submit to the protection of the papacy. They refused. And so Gregorius had no choice but to declare war and annex them.

Also, this move provided a land connection with the two provinces taken in the earlier war with Venice, thereby increasing tax revenues considerably.

BB rose to 17.5 with that move, but just a few months later, Savoy would annex Genoa, proving that Gregorius' fears were well-founded.

Shortly thereafter Austria sent the Papal States an alliance offer. Gregorius thought it prudent to accept, so as to avoid Austrian invasion. Thus, the Papal States were dragged into a war with Bohemia, where they successfully sat in the northern provinces taken from Venice and shouted into Austria, verbally encouraging their Austrian allies to fight harder. Austria declared war on the Swiss next, and again the cheering of the Papal States gave heart to their allies and so the war was won. It also let Gregorius collect a few years of war taxes, which he did not mind in the slightest.

Next Austria decided to declare war on Venice. The Papal States, ever the stalwart ally, started collecting war taxes, rushed in, laid seige to the capital, then nabbed a seperate peace treaty for 50 ducats. Not for the first time, Gregorius wondered, "What would Austria do without us?"

After they retook the capital, Austria got Crete and Venice is now reduced to a single province. Hopefully they survive until the truce is up...

In 1496, France annexed Sweden and Gregorius said, "Errrr, wtf?"

420210580_c71f9115a9_o.jpg



In August of 1497, rather than getting up and doing something like helping our reputation with other nations or actually paying attention to the administration of the country, Gregorius XIII was feasting and engaging in unrestrained revelry, as was his wont. Having drunk copious amounts of wine, he was munching on a chicken leg when a particularly lascivious dancer began her performance. Poor Gregorius just couldn't take it. His heart gave out.

And so,
420210582_6069d3a75e_o.jpg


And his country:
420210583_6b0929ef33_o.jpg



....

The Papal States is now fifth in terms of monthly income! Hurrah!

Iulius II is not the most diplomatically adept of rulers, which is what I really want, but he'll help the colonizations come off without a hitch.

A few things I learned from these years:
First off, it makes perfect sense to mint money and accept the inflation hit to increase your countries' revenue. A small nation makes far more than it loses...

except in terms of tech cost. That is where inflation kills you, because that 1% increase is not big when talking about a 60g colony, but with a technology that costs 3k? Yeah, then it's big. So no more mining in order to make money except in emergencies and I'm going to get National Bank as soon as possible. Then just 112 short years later, I'll be back down to 0 inflation. ;)

Also, this alliance with Austria has been very nice. I've gotten a lot of free war taxes and that last bit with Venice was a free 50 gold essentially. I think using allies to declare war is really the way to go. I should have allied with Savoy and Milan in the beginning, then let them declare war on the 1 province minors, at which point my cavalry would rush in and get control of the siege. Then just annex. Doing it that way would have saved me a lot of BB and stability hits.
 
Last edited:

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1497-1532: La Di Da

So these 30 years are boring. Just colonization and waiting for my 17.5 BB to burn off. Also, I get national bank and mint very little money so as to burn off my very ugly 11 inflation.

Sadly, the great Iulius II passed away in 1507.

423455853_addae90e34_o.jpg


Ugh, with every failed colonization effort I was cursing him until 6 years later in 1513:

423455859_380a25f431_o.jpg


I was tempted to start a war with the Ottoman Empire, set him as the general at the head of a thousand infantry, and send him on suicide missions to Istanbul. I wonder, does anyone know if you put a leader of 1,000 infantry on a cog and then sink the cog, does the leader die? It doesn't work so well with explorers so probably not.

Oh and the stability drop when you get a 3 admin monarch... yerrrrgggh.

I figured I might as well nab a conquistador rather than that wonderful max 55% colonization chance on provinces devoid of natives.

And lo' and behold, what do I discover but 3 more gold mines a bit inland in Brazil? Very nice! As a side note, is the distribution of gold mines in the new world random? Cause I'm pretty sure those were like sugar or tobacco in my last game as Brazil. But in both San Francisco and Santana there were gold mines in this game, like last time so...

After 9 years watching the drool dribble from Innocentius VIII's mouth, finally:

423455880_6a169f05dd_o.jpg


Apparently we hit a good breeding stock of Popes or something, because 3 years later:

423455881_0c775bf576_o.jpg


In my game as Castille I had far fewer different Rulers in the same period of time. Do Popes die faster because presumably they come to power significantly later than a heridetary king?

And so for 7 years Pius II rules, expanding the colonies in Brazil primarily. Here is their extent:

423455898_fc333d6ef2_o.jpg


With this colonization and massive workship/constable building, the Papal States has come to tie France for the highest monthly income in the world.

423473996_cb506775d0_o.jpg


As for sliders and ideas, hard naval, hard aristocracy, then hard centralization. (The Papal States start out way decentralized.) Next I might go for free subjects, I'm not sure yet. Production efficiency is king for my little empire=D. NIs: QfTNW, National Bank, Viceroys:

423473994_74c99a35a4_o.jpg


I plan on taking Smithian next, then Bureaucracy probably.

But by now it's been 30 years, and BB is low once again. Now what to do with all this newfound cash...
 

canonized

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Not a bad colonial empire you've got going there !
 

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1532-1551: One Power in Italy (Part I)

In 1532, Pius II froms the grand army of the papacy and begins recruiting troops:

424411142_e2b1bbb3e5_o.jpg


Sicily holds Abruzzi! It is our core. We must win it back. And so war is declared late in 1532. Their allies Milan and Aragon come to their aid. Our little friend Austria comes to ours:

424411151_1cf384f53b_o.jpg


Sadly having this behemoth on our side is not quite the boon we had hoped for. Apparently they have taken a page from The Official Papal States Ally Battle Plan, namely the part that says, "Do nothing." Oh Milan does invade Austria and Austria kills a few regiments, but other than that they don't do a whole lot.

Milan fields a surprising amount of troops for a four province minor. But they are crushed in time and by 1534, the whole of Milan and Sicily have been overrun and the sieges won. Sadly, the papal troops cannot get to Corsica because we have no navy to speak of, and Milan does. So two of Milan's three provinces in the Italian penninsula itself are taken instead of vassalage. Sicily on the other hand:

424411159_9699bed1be_o.jpg


Aragon sues for a white peace. They think this war is over? I think not:

424411171_59246a9c8e_o.jpg


Surprise! Muhahaha.

Aragon has a pathetic army as it turns out. All provinces on the Iberian penninsula are beseiged and taken as well as the two provinces on the island of Sicily and their entire army is annihilated.

However, the AI is stubborn about accepting player peace deals and so eventually, in 1536, after nearly four years of war I say screw it and accept the peace they want to give me, rather than the Italian provinces I really want to have. I'm gonna have to conquer it all anyway though, so why not? ;)

424436831_74cff037db_o.jpg
 

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(Part II)

a(Had to break it up into two parts because there were too many images. Grr. What is the limit per post? 10?)

And so, for the next five years the papal states remains at peace, colonizing and building improvements and the like. But then, in 1538, as soon as the truce is up those dastardly Milanese declare war on the Pope! What nerve!

All my troops are still hanging out in my Aragon provinces, so they march across and hit Savoy from the west. They siege as they go, but eventually I am in a position to meet the main Savoy army head on.

Right where I want them:

424440795_75f25557d1_o.jpg


Now I'm used to Victoria's battle system, so note the fact that they would be both encircled and double enveloped if such things existed in EUIII. I constantly catch myself playing as if it were Vicky. ;)

424440777_08fe25ab32_o.jpg


Just two more "losses" like that and their army will be destroyed.

424440732_0d7bf6e459_o.jpg


Another "loss" follows but look at how few Savoy troops there are left ;). And the bulk of my armies will arrive back in friendly territories before the month change. Hurrah.

I still can't get to Corsica so I take a 50 ducat peace with Milan. Then I take my total peace with Savoy less than a year after they declared war:

424440797_4c1ace8f24_o.jpg


Xystus IV comes to the throne. This almost makes up for my 3/3/4 pope ;).

424440804_8407ea8854_o.jpg


With the prestige I got from those wars, I get:

424440807_a1722a2397_o.jpg
 

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(Part III)

10 years after the peace with Sicily I have "maybe" for demand annexation. It takes five tries but eventually:

424451713_17b8fc0296_o.jpg


It takes five tries for Savoy too. Curious:

424451723_26050915a5_o.jpg


At this point, I have about double the income of my next highest European rival, France. Hurrah!

Who shall be the next to face the wrath of the papacy?
 

Cyrus_The_Great

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Just read this and i must say that it really is very funny :rofl:
So where do you plan on taking the Papal States too, just gonna colnize after a bit or are you going to conquer the med? (or wherever).
 

canonized

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Those poor Aragonese ! Ahh well , rather fun nonetheless ! Make all of Europe a nice place under the keys !
 

ZachMayo

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Impressive growth, especially on the colonization front... Then again, there really isn't any doubt that God is on your side.