Getting Drunk: The Genoese Conquest of Russia
"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:
- The Ned's NederlandAAR : From Holland to Hindustan by aniuby. The tag-hopping must've had something to do with it.
- 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.
- 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.