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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

InvisibleSandwi

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Getting Drunk: The Genoese Conquest of Russia

[HR][/HR]

"For my next trick, I'll turn wine into vodka!"

This will be played with Death and Taxes 10.4 from the default 1356 start date.

All my best Europa Universalis campaigns seem to revolve around Russia, or at least encroach upon it a bit. The area offers a sort of expansionism and imperialism that's rather different in flavor from playing in the other half of Europe.

You might then be wondering why I am starting as the Republic of Genoa. It boils down to the little colonies Genoa has on the Black Sea - Kaffa and Azow. Normally, if you're planning to play a Russian game, you start out in the forests or taiga, with Moscow or Novgorod, or perhaps one of the minors if you're feeling intveresting. Alternatively, you can try your hand at the Golden Horde if you want to be large and backwards from day one.

It makes sense not to turn to Genoa for a Russian game. After all, they have the opportunity to form Italy, which places you closer to the Americas, has generally richer provinces, and so forth. On the other hand, if you decide you want to sit out in the snow and wrestle bears, you get some unique perks:

  • Western technology means that even though the Russian backwaters might make you sluggish, you still have plenty of industrious Germans and Italians to teach you useful technical knowledge. Also, you don't have to spend tons of stability modernizing, and can afford to go for slider policies that aren't "Max innovative/centralized".
  • Sliders are arguably better than those of Muscowy, although probably not as good as Novgorod. Genoa does not have the extreme serfdom problem that Muscowy does, and plutocracy can help with income, but merchant republics need to eventually transition towards free trade or conquer large swathes of land in order to take advantage of their mercantilism bonuses.
  • Russia is a relatively safe nation in EU3 once it's unified. Odds are the only people nearby who can pose a threat to you are going to be the Scandiniavian countries, and they have to do many things to become powerful, like unify - things the AI won't always do. It's better than having France, Austria, and maybe some other Italians squabbling over your territory.
  • Once Genoa gets a foothold in Russia, they can fill up Siberian colonies a bit faster than the Russian average due to the Catholic colonist bonus, and their generally higher tech levels.


Of course, there's a lot of work to do before such a glorious thing can happen. At the beginning of the game, Genoa is not very different from other European minors except for their center of trade and merchant republic government, which at least helps with earlygame income.

Since I'm playing Death and Taxes, forming Russia is more flexible, but requires more territory - 30 cores on the "Russia" region. Kaffa and Azow don't count, unfortunately, and nor do the initial Ukrainian/Caucasian territories that need to be nabbed in order to get a foothold. I'll also need to culture shift, which means choosing a nice looking Russian province to use as my new capital.



As far as I can tell, this AAR was inspired by the following things:
  1. The Ned's NederlandAAR : From Holland to Hindustan by aniuby. The tag-hopping must've had something to do with it.
  2. A desire to give EU3 and its constellation of mods a last hurrah of sorts, although if the forums for older Paradox titles are anything to go by, interest in Paradox's older titles is... non-zero, at the least.
  3. I don't own EU4 yet. (I plan to buy it once I have the money, since I think my new computer should meet the system requirements.)


If my last two AARs are anything to go by, this one should occupy the grey area between historical, narrative, and comedy approaches, and it may see some stylistic evolution throughout its duration. Anyways, it should make for an interesting romp and a treading upon of history.
 
Last edited:

InvisibleSandwi

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Table of Contents

Episode 1: The Loudspeaker of Liguria (1356 - 1362)
Episode 2: Reversal of Fortune (1362 - 1373)
Episode 3: Genoa Incorporated (1373 - 1381)
Episode 4: Rise of the Genukraine (Genorussia, Embryonic Stage) (1381 - 1394)
Status Report 1: Genoa in 1395
Episode 5: Stepping on the Steppes (1394-1403)
Episode 6: Novgorod Approacheth! (1403-1411)
Episode 7: Novgorod Is A Paper Tiger (1411-1420)
Episode 8: The Joy of Shah (How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Move To Ryazan) (1420-1431, noncanon due to savefile loss)
Episode 9: The Return of the Revenge of the Joy of Shah (1420-1436)
Interlude: Genorussian Culture In the Early 15th Century
Episode 10: Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses (1436-1443)
 
Last edited:

Emeny

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I'm ashamed to say I have never attempted a Genoa game. It makes sence to abandon their distant colonies and focus on Italy, but it does sound far more interesting to go the completely opposite direction. I wish you luck!
 

Ygor

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Interesting premise, I'll be following.

Does this "forming Russia" stuff means you'll abandon your Italian province?
 

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I'm ashamed to say I have never attempted a Genoa game. It makes sence to abandon their distant colonies and focus on Italy, but it does sound far more interesting to go the completely opposite direction. I wish you luck!
I'm going to need it, barring an unusually fast collapse of the Golden Horde. Their starting khan died near the end of my first session, but they don't have the 'tribal succession crisis' modifier for reasons I'm not entirely sure of.

"if you're feeling intveresting" I see what you did there ;)

First of all, I really liked the comedy aspects of your past AARs but I wasn't able to comment untill recently. I hope you can do the same with the Russoans/Gussians!
I think the standard form should be "Genorussian", but I'll keep an eye it. Good to have you aboard!

Interesting premise, I'll be following.

Does this "forming Russia" stuff means you'll abandon your Italian province?
I'm not sure yet. I might keep Liguria or Corsica under my iron grasp for as long as possible, although as I expand into Russia, losing them should hurt less. Plus, a few exclaves in weird places never hurt an empire... or a merchant republic.

[HR][/HR]

Update should be up by 1300 EST.
 

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Episode 1: The Loudspeaker of Liguria

It was the 10th of January 1356, and the Doge of the Republic of Genoa was in a foul mood.

"Sir, criminal activity is on the rise in our fair city!" said his unlucky first visitor of the day.

"Imprison him!" the Doge responded.

"We need more funds to be devoted towards shipbuilding!" said the second, blissfully unaware of the last person to have an audience with the Doge that day.

"Imprison this man!" the Doge responded, because he thought variety was the spice of life.

"Most honorable doge, our merchants are reporting record profits-" began the third visitor, who unlike his predecessor was aware of the Doge's irritability and had decided to show a little extra deference. No such luck, though.

"Have them killed!"


"I didn't sign up for this!" (Image modified from this piece of the Creative Commons)

To be fair, it was Marcellino Larrea's first day on the job. The day before, he'd woken up in a garbage heap with no memory of anything in the past, except for the vague sense that he deserved to rule a country. Fortunately, he woke up in Genoa, which at the very moment was a nation without a formal head of state. A few Italian-sounding slogans later, he'd fulfilled that position and immediately proceeded to get far too drunk at his own inauguration party.

[HR][/HR]

"Can I say something without being killed?" said a faint voice from outside Larrea's office.

"Fine, whatever. Just make sure it's good," Marcellino said, clearly having given up on the noise angle for the day. His throat felt hoarse from the last few days of yelling.

"The Khan of the Golden Horde sent you a gift. I'm coming in with a parcel of woolen goods addressed for the Doge." A small man opened the door to the office - someone with what appeared to be a fake handlebar mustache and a very pale complexion.

"Just leave it on the desk." He did; seconds later, Larrea's visitor ran for the door.

The Khan had decided, for some reason, to give the Genoese government a few woolen tunics, and one particularly stupid, shapeless looking hat - of the variety known as a "tuque". Unfortunately for my sense of aesthetics, Marcellino that he rather liked tuques, put it on, had a sudden flash of memory...

It faded before he could properly begin to parse it, but after a few minutes of deliberation, Marcellino began shouting for some sort of military adviser.


The closest thing he got was Prospero Chiavari, a local bricklayer who had been charged with beautifying the doge's palace. The rest of the government was still rather afraid of Larrea, and it was hoped that a small sacrifice would assuage his perceived wrath.

"You wanted to see me... uh, Doge?" Prospero stammered when brought in.

"Let's invade the lands of the Golden Horde! It's going to be fun, isn't it?"

"..."

"What's that suppose to mean?"

"Well, as much as the idea of a crusade into the Crimea sounds like an excellent use of our time, I don't think we could defeat the Golden Horde in a single land battle, much less a war. Our army is too small, our navy is primarily designed to protect our maritime trade interests, and it's a really stupid idea. You're going to kill me, aren't you?"

Marcellino almost decided to kill Prospero at this point; he stood up and assumed his full seven feet of height at this point as if he'd commit to murdering Prospero on the spot...

"YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD BE GOOD? WE SHOULD RAISE A BETTER ARMY! THAT WAY, IT'LL BE BETTER THAN THAT OF THE GOLDEN HORDE!" he shouted, working off further buried memories.

"Does that mean I should enlist?"

[HR][/HR]


Thusly was the army of Genoa expanded by 40% of its original size. This took some time, during which Marcellino surprisingly took some advice from his underlings.


Firstly, he granted some petty rights to the local peasantry; anyone who wasn't fortunate enough to be a merchant no longer had to fill out as much paperwork to be one.


Secondly, he made some efforts to expand Genoese merchant interests to local countries in the region, although mostly in places where they didn't particularly need reinforcement.


Marcellino also called for the expansion of the navy, although it was doubtful that the finances of the country were ready for it.

Finally, Larrea negotiated an alliance with the nearby Duchy of Milan, in the interest of having someone to protect the country while its army was off ransacking the Golden Horde... eventually. Switzerland soon offered its assistance to this alliance, implying its murderous territorial urges were probably going to be directed elsewhere for a brief period.


The difference between Marcellino and most politicians was one of decibelage. If Marcellino had an indoors voice, his strong will might not have gone enforced so much. Furthermore, people began to find his unique manner of speaking charming after a while... albeit only from a distance of at least 20 feet. As a result of these policies, Genoa's wealth increased slightly, but Marcellino would find little time to enjoy it.

"Sir, the pope is asking for military assistance!" said the latest visitor to Larrea's office; Marcellino noted that they had become taller and their posture had improved since he'd first taken office, probably because not as most of the people sent to speak worth killing were already dead.

"Then have him killed! We have better things to do."

"His successor would probably excommunicate you if we did that, sir."

"Well then, we'll just have to kill the Pope's enemies!"


Marcellino Larrea was quick to find he was not the first to want to defile the Papacy. Apparently Duke Visconti had a son he wanted to make a bishop or something, as he launched his own invasion of the Papacy a week after Naples did. Since Genoa had decided to rely on Milan for military protection, Larrea had to shout several times from the balcony of the Doge's palace that he was not going to harm the Milanese.



Naturally, this made the Pope rather unhappy, so Larrea had to compensate by having a bishop who'd accidentally dropped a communion wafer defrocked.



In short, the first few months of 1356 were stressful for Genoa. Despite all promises of assistance, the Genoese army remained Liguria-bound for some time, as it was difficult to negotiate travel arrangements through the patchwork of Italy, and the transport fleet wasn't large enough to properly handle it. After some time, though, Larrea was able to legally lead troops into central Italy, and actually participate in the fighting.

It was in the middle of a pitched battle in Perugia that Marcellino realized he knew absolutely nothing about war and began to panic.


Luckily, before word could spread, some competent lieutenants cut off a few Florentine limbs; Marcellino now had a minor military victory to his name.

Despite being in a war, Genoa still seemed like an islet of stability in the Italian peninsula, as its neighbors conspired to murder each other. After some time, the army marched down to Naples and prepared for a siege. Larrea was okay with this, and wandered back to Genoa to luxuriate in his newly found wealth. In his wisdom, he'd managed to forget about the Golden Horde.

"Are they done razing Naples yet?" he asked his advisers every day; they claimed that in fact the army had not.

Then, on the 11th of July, Marcellino heard that the army had been forced to retreat from Naples by a large army of Neopolitan mercenaries; they limped home rather dejected and apparently angry at Marcellino for not leading them to victory.

"Send the Neapolitans a check for their troubles and tell them the war is over. It will free our hand to do better things," said another faceless adviser to Larrea.

"Fine, whatever." Larrea did a double take after saying this.



"I'm also having you killed."

Naples would consider this a small victory, one that could have been rendered sweeter by actually attempting to influence the pope in some way. Marcellino would consider this adviser's death a small vice at best.

"Now can we invade the lands of the Golden Horde?" Larrea asked after the transaction had been finalized. He received another "no" from the council for similar reasons that Prospero had given him the first time he'd asked.

It was 1359, and the Doge decided (perhaps inaccurately) that Genoa was bursting at the seams.

[HR][/HR]

Marcellino finally became aware that work could be done to strengthen the Genoese colonies.



He sent troops to Kaffa to keep an eye on the locals, who were suspected to be plotting against the Republic at all times due to minor religious differences. Besides this, life after the petty war with Naples remained uneventful throughout 1359, as the riches granted to doges dulled Larrea's senses and made him otherwise susceptible to laziness. Luckily, the position of "Doge" was traditionally for life, otherwise Larrea may have been displaced by a more vigorous, youthful politician with the sense to call for an election.

After some time, it became apparent that the Golden Horde was not doing very well; it was suffering quite immensely from the aggression of its neighbors and the locals were beginning to look increasingly rebellious and uninterested in Genghisid domination. Marcellino was about to force the council to order an invasion, but an unfortunate threat to Liguria momentarily kept his wrath in check.

Several thousand rowdy Savoyards decided to lay siege to Liguria, necessitating the redeployment of the entire Genoese army to disperse them. Given the slow speed of travel in the 1360s, it was almost a year between the Savoyard brigand scandal and the return of the Genoese army to Kaffa.

After that, Larrea was quick to stab the distracted and overextended Horde.



In Moscow, the local Rurikoviches, perhaps sensing that they were in an AAR that would (hopefully) result in their incorporation into Genoese land decided suddenly that they did not want to conquer back their lands and begged the Horde for peace. The Horde was all too willing to accept.


To raise funds for the war, Genoa sold some of its vestigial titles of nobility to nobles in northern Italy, who were all too willing to grab them. The problem with this was that funds were not in any way an issue for Larrea - instead, manpower presented a far greater bottleneck to his goal. On the plus side, this meant the war would most likely be profitable no matter what; some of these profits were funneled into Genoa's military interests, such as the funding of armories in Liguria and Corsica.


Some time filled with horde-like looting and pillaging later, the Genoese army managed to take over the main Horde fortress in Cherson. At this, the Horde mysteriously caved. There were rumors of a succession crisis, but it seemed that all the Horde wanted was to be left alone, possibly sans Cherson to recover from years of border hostility.


Larrea was all too willing to allow this.

It had been an exceptionally profitable war for the Genoese - not only had they gained territory, but they'd gained respect from their neighbors, and a few war subsidies from nearby kingdoms... in some cases, more than the kingdoms were capable of sustaining.

When Marcellino got back from the glorious campaign in the land of the Tartars, he was greeted with a letter from Galeazzo of the house of Visconti, the current duke of Milan. It informed him, in elegantly printed (if somewhat ungrammatical) Latin that Milan desperately needed help subduing the evil Pisans-

"What the FOIX is a Pisan?" Marcellino shouted at nobody. Somewhere in southern France, a noble sneezed.

[HR][/HR]

Everybody welcome back Marcellino Larrea, who's making a guest appearance after his supporting role on Nostalgia Freaks! Marcellino is an 8/3/3 ruler, in contrast to the "default" 1356 ruler, who I believe is 8/7/4. A suitable price to pay for a character change, I suppoose, if one that makes things harder.

As is my usual standard, this AAR will update at least once a week barring severe impediments to my ability to play EU3 and write about it.
 

InvisibleSandwi

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Episode 2: Reversal of Fortune

"I think we should name Cherson something else in order to insult the Horde!"

Marcellino was fond of making suggestions that were best ignored.

"My doge, we're at war with the Pisan revolutionaries-"

"How about Marcellino Land?"

"No. Just no."

Larrea's council had figured just out that if they ignored his requests to have people killed, they would live much longer than otherwise. This would work for some time, as long as Marcellino did not begin handling executions himself...


Pisa's army was acceptably large, but Genoa needed its army to keep order in the colonies while forced conversions were under way.


Despite this, the navy sailed back to central Italy to prevent an amphibious invasion. Marcellino's advisers recommended that after this redeployment, all military forces would stand perfectly still.


When Milan reacted to this by also ignoring the Pisan revolution (Visconti moaned about it being impossible to police non-contiguous territory without loyal vassals), Genoa decided to recognize the Pisan state, ending what was probably not the bloodiest war in either nation's history. Marcellino could now focus on utterly destroying the might of the Golden Horde.


Just as word was beginning to spread of Genoa's recent acquisitions, Poland began to claim that they were the true overlords of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, as opposed to merely sharing a king with them. More irritatingly, people believed them, turning Poland into the largest country in Europe overnight, and giving Marcellino something to envy... or at least a potential distraction in the conquest of the lands of the Tartars.

Also, Hungary inherited Mazovia, because mercy (and clean borders) is for the weak!


Since the coffers were still overflowing with subsidies and other loot from the first war with the Horde, Marcellino decided to dump some of it into what was tentatively being referred to as "enhanced peacetime politics", by pushing a few ducats into the Khan's rebellious underlings. Otherwise, 1363 (and 1364) were unusually quiet years, distinguished by little other than occasional external warfare. Milan continued to suffer further from assisting Genoese glory as a rebel in Parma declared himself king of the area immediately surrounding the city.


The Milanese alliance had never been that popular, but Marcellino was no longer taking out his frustrations on its detractors.

It was clearly an era for bizarre wars; in 1365, word began to filter back that the Golden Horde had decided to wage war on a mysterious country known as "China", but it was initially ignored.


Meanwhile, Marcellino's latest victim was the head of a well entrenched family of merchants - without their patriarch, they quickly fell into disarray, allowing a new, more cutthroat sort of trader to arise.


One of them, an Italian-fluent merchant from the recently conquered province of Cherson gained Marcellino's attention for catching a knife that had been thrown at him in mid-air.

"YOU SHOULD TRADE FOR ME!" Larrea shouted at him, while getting ready to draw another small knife. He'd been intending to enjoy a nice meal at a local bistro, only to find out that all the seats were reserved. Marcellino mentally marked the next person to claim their reservation for death - enter Antonio Maria Buonaparte de Ferrari, who knew more about throwing knives than any man had any right to. Given the loss of the knife and the otherwise lacking quantity of blood disappearing from Antonio's body at this point, Marcellino considered removing this mark, but he had to make sure...

"Do you really want to hire me? I'm having trouble determining if you're serious," mumbled Buonaparte.

"I'm totally not going to disembowel you, or anything," Larrea claimed... with his right arm in position to cast forth the knife.

"Let's say I did accept your job offer. Would I be allowed to work overseas?"

"I... uh... maybe... YOU SHOULD REPORT TO MARCELLINO LAND FOR FURTHER DUTIES!"

Overall, Larrea's propositions tended to trend positive when judged in terms of benefits to Genoa - towards the end of December 1366, he read about giant cathedrals in Germany, thought something of the sort would be cool, and began shouting that Ligurian architects should "BUILD SOMETHING REALLY HUGE".


A few timid proposals for cathedrals went out, and a few construction jobs were created. As the cathedrals were nearing completion, though, Marcellino sensed that the workers assigned to this task might eventually become lazy and restless once the job was done... and furthermore, they might stop paying taxes. After many sleepless nights of staring at ledgers, Marcellino decided that the most profitable venture in the last decade had been the invasion of the steppes; many of Genoa's trading partners had reacted to it with admiration and subsidies, and it had resulted in the conquest of substantial territory.



Genoan aggression was renewed in October of 1367. Due to what had happened the last time, many Europeans wanted to bankroll their efforts. This time, the Genoese expedition went for the heart of the Crimean peninsula, and was quick to gain control of it.

Unfortunately, the growing Ottoman Empire decided that Genoese conquests around the Black Sea was a bad thing, and pledged to wage war upon the 'upstart' Genoese.


Unlike the Golden Horde, the Ottomans were modern and deadly, and 15,000 of their soldiers were quickly dispatched to the trading post of Stavropol in order to actually participate in the defense of the realm.


It was an omen. Genoa's army simply was not prepared for an actual fight.

Furthermore, a small Ottoman task force was sent to occupy the Genoese capital. The Genoese army made plans to desert the Crimea... but they were caught in their attempts to escape. There were some fringe benefits to having military competence, and Larrea had never figured them out. Nor had he hired a general capable of implementing such. Thusly, the Genoese army was scattered to the winds.

Sorry I forgot to take a screenshot of it, but I now have no army. I at least had some naval forces, though.


The forces in Kaffa took this dramatic defeat the wrong way and gave up their Orthodox 'heresy'.

Meanwhile, forces were scrabbled throughout the Genoese "heartland" in an attempt to handle the skeleton force that was occupying Liguria. While this eventually succeeded, the question remained of how to prevent the Ottoman/Tartar alliance from overtaking the important Genoese colonies.

On the 10th of March, 1369, the residents of Genoa began hearing what appeared to be a call to occupy the Turkish capital of Bursa. Unfortunately, even with the large expeditions on the Black Sea, the Turks were too capable of defending their capital for this to be viable.


After over a year of sieges, the Ottomans (rather shockingly) decided they didn't like the Golden Horde as much as they'd claimed, and for reasons unknown offered to exit the war with Genoa without any concessions. Larrea fell upon it faster than the Horde's leadership had when he'd demanded Cherson.

I don't know why, but I think they're impressed with my obstinacy.

There was still the question of how to prevent the Horde from undoing years of work. Friendly European nations were still sending large war subsidies to Genoa and were otherwise on good terms with them (with a few exceptions - the Novgorod Republic, seeing that Genoa was unable to trade profitably with them, tossed the nonexistent Genoese merchants out of their capital in a hissy fit), but nobody was willing to offer actual military assistance.

Because of all of these factors, the moods of Genoese citizens were fraying.


When a "wealthy" Venetian merchant came begging Marcellino for money, Marcellino, seeing how failure to reject the man delicately could result in a feud with the Venetians, took the man into a quiet room and explained, in his most level-headed voice why it was not a good time to ask Genoa for a loan.

It's said the merchant's ancestors were cursed with tinnitus to the seventh generation.


To further rub it in, Marcellino decided to seek peace with the Horde, this time offering a cash settlement to prove his 'sincerity'. It surprisingly worked, and Marcellino returned to his life of luxury, assuming that the people would understand that he had kept the country from collapsing under the weight of heathendom.

On the 11th of January, 1372, Marcellino was in a bad mood because he'd again overindulged in alcohol. When he entered his office, he found a man with a mane of black hair sitting in his favorite chair.


"Hey kid, I'm the new Doge. Hit the road," said the stranger, even though Marcellino was 59 years old, and the stranger looked to be maybe 25 years old. Marcellino reacted by doing what he did best - rushing forth to slaughter the impediment...

And he slipped on a conveniently placed slick of lamp oil.

"Courtesy of my new 'Ambrogio Durazzo gets to survive his first day in office and actually become the Doge' policy. It's very popular with my constituents," the new Doge sneered, having secured his position. Marcellino considered getting up, but it turned out he'd broken his hip, and he couldn't, so he just lay in the oil slick until an unidentified hand dragged him out and into the street.

[HR][/HR]

Now that Genoa was no longer under severe war austerity policies (or a leader that relied on shouting as his main method of administration), it was free to explore new types of mercantile opportunities.


Ambrogio had, in the recent past made efforts that his predecessor had never considered to consolidate and formalize the many trade agreements Genoese merchants had made in the past years. This had earned him many friends, but it wasn't usually enough to become a Doge. However, once the second aggressive war against the Golden Horde ended in disappointment, the order Marcellino had set up began to subtly warp in ways that Ambrogio was surprisingly capable of taking advantage of.


His advantage as a leader at this point appeared to be that he wasn't afflicted with the same bloodthirst as Larrea, but he shared a loose desire to increase Genoa's military strength. Sometimes, this meant finding new and better friends on the Italian peninsula.


On the other hand, Durazzo was also able to further this ambition in more subtle ways.

Letters began to show up in wealthy Genoese citizens' mailboxes asking them to attend a fancy banquet hosted by the Doge. In addition, a few less affluent citizens were told they would be paid slightly better than average if they cooked food and bussed plates for the event.

On the evening of July 1st, 1373, Durazzo kicked off the banquet not with a fancy dish, but a simple question, one that would resonate in the Genoese conscience for decades to come.

"How many of you have invested in foreign businesses?"

Maybe I should just wait for the Golden Horde to collapse. Early warfare can potentially accelerate this, but it has the potential to horribly backfire, as you might've noted from how that last war went.
 
Last edited:

InvisibleSandwi

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Prospectively planning episode 3 for Wednesday. The original Rollercoaster Tycoon has interfering with my ability to budget leisure time... ("Ride Designed Solely To Crash has crashed!")

Oh yes :D

Good luck, Sandwi. Maybe you'll find your "C" and "H" somewhere in the tundra.
I might. At the very least, Genorussia should become a major fur and timber producer.

Great chapter and and even greater ruler! Some questions about the war:

Why exactly did the Ottomans join? And could you have won if they hadn't joined?
I forgot to get a screenshot of it (might become a running theme of this AAR if I'm not careful!), but the Ottomans entered an alliance with the Golden Horde at some point - their mistake.

The problem with Genoa at this juncture is that I have a very low forcelimit, and therefore can't efficiently raise a strong army. As the game progresses, I should be able to brute-force the army question by virtue of pure money (at least until the impending conquest Russia sends my forcelimits through the roof), but until then I can only win wars against larger powers through backstabbing. In the first war, I was able to get territory from the Horde because they were reeling from constant, low intensity warfare with the original Russians, and Georgia. If the Ottomans hadn't joined, I might have been able to win through judicious use of rebels and other things, since my sliders are in an okay position for espionage and the Golden Horde's war exhaustion makes them more susceptible to spying. Either way, it wouldn't have been easy.

<In response to "It's said the merchant's ancestors were cursed with tinnitus to the seventh generation."> Ha! Another fine update sir.
Greetings from this section of AARLand! The Shadow of God is legend here, and I should probably make a comment in your thread indicating thusly.

Incidentally, Marcellino is so loud and overbearing that he can cause retroactive congenital deafness.

P.S: I decided to do a little quick sketch of Marcellino Larrea so that he may be immortalized for all eternity, even though in the Genorussian universe he's set to die in obscurity (although I imagine he's squirreled away a lot of Genoese wealth that rightly belongs to the player). Here he is in a few minutes worth of GIMP 2.8 and a crusade against realism.
[HR][/HR]



Alexander Phokas would weep.

I suppose that I should do more drawings and other types of artwork to spruce up this AAR, but I'm not a very motivated visual artist.
 
Last edited:

InvisibleSandwi

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Haha, nice drawing. Maybe do one for every ruler? That way you don't have to draw all the time
I'll consider it, but since this was kind of a "spur of the moment" thing, I don't know if my considerations will lead to more pictures of doges.

Incidentally, a note for those who've been reading the comments: You'll note that Episode 2 left me with a bit of a pessimistic taste in my mouth. Things get rapidly better for Genorussia in EP3/EP4 in terms of power projection, as decades of raids and prodding begin to pile up upon the Golden Horde.
 

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Episode 3: Genoa Incorporated

When Ambrogio Durazzo decided Genoa was to invest in worldwide (more likely Italian and Occitanian) business, it was a warm, pleasant day with clear skies - exactly the wrong type of weather for dramatic societal upheaval.



Most of the citizens of Genoa had never found out that Marcellino held (poorly thought out) Slavic ambitions, and barring massive triumph in that regard, Ambrogio was not going to let the news leak, lest some upstart Italians (most likely the kingdom of Naples) found out and decided to bring the Republic under its wing.

The last 16 years had been martial ones. Now it was time for Genoa to trade... more.

[HR][/HR]

Durazzo's reign set an optimistic mood throughout the Republic, as external business began to pay dividends. For instance, Durazzo loaned money to a winery in Cherson in anticipation of increased Christian activity in the region in upcoming decades. When Christianity took hold more quickly than expected, he profited immensely.


Then, Durazzo put his profit into the Genoese weapons industry. He went on to stimulate that industry by calling for a larger army and navy, and managed to profit off of that as well. A few such trades left him richer than Marcellino had ever been.


Since he was now a very rich man (as opposed to moderately rich), and a slightly philanthropic one once he'd gained all the luxuries he'd desired, he decided to fund more missionary efforts on the Black Sea, particularly in the Genoese trading port of Azow. While the Golden Horde was likely to object to such blatant assaults on their religion of choice, Genoa hadn't been friendly with the Horde since the conquest of Cherson.

Early in his reign, Durazzo began writing a book on statecraft, full of what he thought would make good sounding but fundamentally unsound advice, solely to mislead his enemies. In it, he made sure not to mention a single word about Genoese merchant interests or the institutions that allowed them to go fulfilled. Instead, Durazzo presented a thesis claiming the key to success was religious piety.

When a petty squabble got the ruler of Pisa excommunicated from the Catholic Church, Ambrogio decided he had to get in on the ensuing punitive warfare to prevent people from catching on to his little game.


"Call it enforced friendship, if you will. I have no interest in ruling further lands in Italy directly," Ambrogio explained to nobody (at first), as most of his political opinions remained paperbound for the moment. He didn't bother to explain this to the Pisans, because they might've suspected something was up with the increased aggression.

While a few isolated princes questioned the value of the excommunication and sought to defend the Pisan city states, this merely brought the Genoese into potentially unwanted (but beneficial) cooperation with the Neopolitans, whose approach to war was best described as "frontstabbing".

To be fair, Naples could field a substantially larger army than any of the other Italian nations in the region, but their current ruler lacked the skill to maximize diplomatic concessions from this.

Either way, the war represented a threat to Genoese trade missions due to the occasional Pisan raid, so Ambrogio wanted to end it as quickly as possible.


Luckily, he had taken the time to learn some basic military strategy when he had decided to declare war, so when the first major battle of occurred, he was quick to lead the Genoese forces to victory.


As the war in the Italian peninsula began to wrap up, word of yet another Khan's death in the Golden Horde reached Ambrogio's ears. At this, he made a new effort to destabilize the khanate by pouring money into the Horde's rebellious elements. Little did he know that this would further theme his stewardship over the nation.


Unfortunately for Genoa, the Pisans, surrounded on all sides by opportunists, decided to get rid of their excommunicated prince and submit to the kingdom of Naples.

There was a brief glimmer of hope in that the Pisan territories were still being overrun by many enemies seeking loot. Durazzo immediately resolved to overrule the Neapolitan decision somehow; outside the walls of the city, an idea hit him with such force that he momentarily thought he'd been pierced with an arrow.


In June of 1377, Durazzo claimed the Pisan territories to be a part of Genoa and waited for regional outrage to boil over. The Papacy, luckily, was the first to complain, so Durazzo claimed he'd grant massive autonomy to the Pisan state. Naples wasn't happy, but Durazzo figured that given how poorly they'd protected the Pisans, he'd make a better liege for the city-state.


In order to further irritate Naples, Siena was broken off from the Pisan territory, and the collaborators that the Neopolitan government had installed were replaced with new ones friendlier to Genoese interests.

If Naples had allied with Pisa and entered the war against me, this would have been impossible, but this probably would've forcibly broken many of their alliances.


Now that Italy no longer posed a threat to Genoa, Durazzo's choice to call a THIRD crusade against the Golden Horde in early 1378 may not have been a great idea, but when he heard that the Ottomans were in the process of being dismembered by Byzantium, he was quick to take the gamble - then again, he always was.


Surely enough, nobody came to the ailing Horde's aid.


This time, Durazzo sold the positions of his cabinet to the highest bidder. To be honest, Durazzo very much liked his current subordinates, but he figured they were rich enough to contend with the ferocious maw of merchants turned statesmen below them. For the most part, this held true, but Durazzo visited the mayor of Azow to find one day that one of his childhood friends had been replaced with a tall, greying man with a voice of thunder-

"BET YOU DIDN'T THINK I'D EVER BE BACK," Marcellino shouted at his successor from behind the desk of a small time mayor.

"Marcellino? I thought you went bankrupt after you got kicked out of office," responded Ambrogio; he wasn't sure how to react to this partial reversal of fortune.

"No. I got richer! What are you going to do now?"

"Look, I don't have time for this. I have a war to manage."

"Oh yeah? You can't stop the Marcellino-"

But Durazzo had left the office. Marcellino did not die of assassination or otherwise suffer unnatural harm to his well being for some time, but he couldn't comprehend Durazzo might've had better things to do than pay attention to him. The Golden Horde was massing with intent to march upon Azow, and the Genoese Expeditionary Force had to scramble forces to deal with this before it lost the important port.


An epic battle took place in the fields east of Azow where the professional Genoese army decided to intervene in one of the most recent Horde power struggles, and after that played out, the 3rd crusade became the first where Genoese forces actually engaged the Golden Horde in battle.

It quickly became apparent that the Genoese didn't have the numbers to regularly handle this sort of action; when inspecting his list of casualties and desertions, the Doge decided that far too many of the deaths in this campaign had been men in Genoese employ.


Luckily, the Horde was in no position to actually fight the Genoese, so once Durazzo took his forces out of Horde territory, the Horde gave up pursuit. It'd become apparent that while the region was inching ever closer to Genoese control, it wasn't quite there yet.


Either way, peace was a pipe dream. When the Ruthenians in the eastern half of the Kingdom of Poland revolted, Durazzo was quick to jump on them, public opinion be damned.

If I had waited a month, Tribal Conquest would've become an option! Curses.


Meanwhile, the city of Stavropol defected from the Horde, and pledged its allegiance to the small bey of Candar; Durazzo quietly made a note of it and prepared for a lightning strike.


Various concessions were demanded from the Ukrainians, who had foolishly sent all of their armed forces to attack the Polish instead of standing their ground.


After this, forces were scrambled to Candar in order to "protect" the trade interests of the city, although the local Turkish beys were quick to complain.

Poltava is my first province in Death and Taxes' "Russian" region!


As the Genoese settled in to besiege Kouban, Liguria suddenly was burdened with a weight of tourists that its infrastructure could not handle, as the latest advances in Savoyard culture threatened to overwhelm it.

It'd started when a group of traveling minstrels began playing concerts in the Italian peninsula. Every time, they had drawn masses of peasants away from their fields and divested them of many of their coins. Sometimes, this lead to riots, which only made them more popular. When they finally reached Liguria, the "Savoyard Brigand Band" was a household name throughout Italy.

When they announced Genoa was to be the site of a free concert, though, Durazzo decided it was time to intervene.

Will Genoa survive the rise of the minstrels? How long can Candar hold out against the evil Italians? And more importantly, what will become of Marcellino Larrea?

The answer to these questions is "Maybe", "A little while", and "He dies of a heart attack in 1389." Further questions will become worth asking on the next episode of "Getting Drunk"!
 

drSandworm

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Naples seems to have a thing for wasting good opportunities. Now, where did I see that before? Ah, I don't remember.
Anyway, It's a very interesting concept for an AAR; I will surely follow.