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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Chapter I: Division
The story of Naples' rise to glory can trace it's roots back to the twenty year conflict known as the War of the Sicilian Vespers, which in 1302 resulted in the division the old Kingdom of Sicily. The new Kingdom of Naples was vulnerable to further expansion by the Aragonese. King Charles II secretly vowed he would restore the Kingdom of Sicily and would prevent foreigners from ever threatening its borders again. Unfortunately, Charles would not live to see this day as he died on May 5th, 1309.

Charles was succeeded by his son, Robert the Bold. Not much is known about the reign of Robert. What is known is that he began to be known as Robert the Bold after declaring war on Trinacria knowing full well that would draw in Aragon, Castile, and Portugal. Robert used his newly built Navy to great success to sink most of his opponents and prevent any landing of troops. His success at sea was not matched on land however, as the army of Provence was easily dispatched and lands quickly sieged. The disaster led to Robert being forced to release Provence from the personal union in order to stop the destruction. This also led to some modern historians refer to him as Robert the Foolish, for declaring war on a superior force.

After the full siege of Trinacria, the war stalled for years. With neither side able to land on their opponents shore, the war dragged on for seven long years. Eventually, both Castile and Portugal made a white peace with Naples. Under increasing economic and political pressure, Aragon was forced to turn vassalage of Trinacria over to Naples on August 4th, 1318.
2015-04-20_00001.jpg


From the start, Trinacria was rebellious, but an independence war was avoided. The next several years has little documentation. It is known that King Robert died in 1321, but the exact date is unknown. It is also known that in 1324, Naples, now ruled by King Ferrante I, declared war on Byzantium for their Albanian cores. Documentation of this war is virtually non existent. We do know that by January 13th, 1329, Naples had control of all of her cores owned by Byzantium and also taken Laconia for her Vassal Achaea.
2015-04-21_00001.jpg

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Author Notes: I encourage you to criticize my writing, but make it constructive. Besides VEF, the only mods used are visual.
 

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Looks nice, gonna keep an eye on this. You might want to learn from AI and diplo-vassalize Athens before Byzantium grabs it.

Also, do you have the restore union CB on Provence?
 

Cityracer

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Author Notes: This post has been repurposed. The original post is at the bottom.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Table of Contents
Chapter I - Division

Chapter II - The Road to War

Chapter III - War and Death

Chapter IV - Defeat and Redemption

Chapter V - Border Tension

Chapter VI - Expansion

Chapter VII - Risk vs Reward

Chapter VIII - Fate Intervenes

Chapter IX - The Power of Naples

Chapter X - Fear

Chapter XI - Plan For Pirates

Chapter XII - Cowardice

Chapter XIII - Anti-Piracy

Chapter XIV - Barbary Banishment

Chapter XV - Revolt

Chapter XVI - The Great Crisis

Chapter XVII - Scottish Succession

Chapter XVIII - Politica Coloniale

Chapter XIX - Menacing Italian Power

Chapter XX - Swamp Fur

Chapter XXI: Crusade

Chapter XXII: Stealth

Chapter XXIII: Treason

Chapter XXIV: Sensa

Chapter XXV: The Jewel of Italy

Chapter XXVI: Colonial Crisis

Chapter XXVII: Ethnic Cleansing

Chapter XXVIII: Preparations

Chapter XXIX: Siege

Chapter XXX: Revenge

Chapter XXXI: Yucatan

Chapter XXXII: Conversion

Chapter XXXIII: Protecting Italy

Chapter XXXIV: Coup d'etat

Chapter XXXV: A Warrior's Death

Chapter XXXVI: Tenochtitlan

Chapter XXXVII: Unrest

Chapter XXXVIII: Regret

Chapter XXXIX: To The End

Chapter XL: Gluttonous

Chapter XLI: On The Brink

Chapter XLII: Rebound

State Of The Nation Special Part 1

State Of The Nation Special Part 2

State Of The Nation Special Part 3

State Of The Nation Special Part 4

Chapter XLIII: Serfdom's End

Chapter XLIV: Old Rivalry

Chapter XLV: Holy War

Chapter XLVI: Thalassocracy

Chapter XLVII: A New Theory

Chapter XLVIII: Chaos

Chapter XLIX: Red Greece

Chapter L: The Curse of Mecca

Chapter LI: The Jungles of Vietnam

Chapter LII: Disease

Chapter LIII: If You Build It, They Will Come

Chapter LIV: The Science of War

Chapter LV: Last Stand

Chapter LVI: Reminiscing
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Original Post:

Looks nice, gonna keep an eye on this. You might want to learn from AI and diplo-vassalize Athens before Byzantium grabs it.
Well, with Trinacria having 100% liberty desire, I'm not sure if a new vassal is a good idea.
 
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Well, with Trinacria having 100% liberty desire, I'm not sure if a new vassal is a good idea.
Improve relations a ton. Also, Naples gets an event that gives it cores on Sicily (the island) and invites France to a coalition against Aragon - imo, you could've waited to take it with reconquest later.
 

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Chapter II: The Road to War
1329 was a turning point for Naples in terms of information. On January 4th, King Ferrante instituted a new policy to document and preserve information for the generations of the future. After the Byzantine war, tension was brewing in this war weary nation particularly in the newly conquered land. Even though maintaining peace was a delicate balance, that didn't stop King Ferrante from immediately ordering the conversion of Albania.

2015-04-22_00002.jpg

2015-04-22_00003.jpg


Tensions between Naples and her former friend The Papal State began to heat up quickly in late April, 1329, when they declared each other mutual rivals.

2015-04-22_00007.jpg


Relations continued to sour in April, 1331, when increased tension between border villages led to Ferrante pursuing a more aggressive push for Papal lands. War seemed likely, however, Ferrante realizing the threat, decided to calm the locals minds by constructing a grand hall of Jeu de Paume and hosting a local tournament which officially began on March 31st, 1332.

2015-04-22_00009.jpg

2015-04-22_00012.jpg


Part of the reason King Ferrante choose a local tournament was to distract the people while preparations for war were being made. Not for war against The Papal State, but for war against the much more vulnerable nation of Epirus. The movement of troops to Albania concerned Duke Thomas III and made him rethink his friendly attitude towards Naples. His concerns turned into open hostility when it was discovered that a Neapolitan spy had been fabricating a claim on Aetolia.

2015-04-22_00014.jpg
2015-04-22_00011.jpg


The war against Epirus faced many delays. First, it was discovered that Barbary pirates were raiding the coasts of Corfu.

2015-04-22_00015.jpg


The second delay at first seemed like it would delay the war for years. Bulgaria and Hungary, two of Naples' allies, were at war. Both nations called for Naples to join their side. Ultimately, King Ferrante decided to join Hungary's side, knowing that when the war with Epirus kicked off he would lose Bulgaria as an ally anyway. In the Hungarian Reconquest of Gyor, Naples would sit mostly of the sidelines. They did participated in one battle however, reinforcing Serbia's small army.

Battle of Travunia:
Attacker: Aquileia
Initial Forces: 995 Infantry 995 Calvary
Losses: 995 Infantry 995 Calvary

Defenders: Serbia, Naples
Initial Forces: 1000 Infantry 1000 Calvary
Reinforcements: 10,000 Infantry 2000 Calvary
Losses: 488 Infantry

Battle Result: Defenders Win (Crushing Victory)

2015-04-22_00023.jpg


Although this war wasn't what Ferrante has hoped would happen, there still some things in the nation going his way. The religious conversion of Albania was complete and the people took to it quickly. The King immediately ordered the conversion of Argyrokastro.

2015-04-22_00020.jpg
2015-04-22_00021.jpg

King Ferrante got even better news when he learned that Epirus had lost their alliance to Bulgaria. He also learned that Serbia could not join Epirus, because they were on the same side as Naples in The Hungarian Reconquest. King Ferrante immediately declared on Epirus, the war had begun.

2015-04-22_00024.jpg
 

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Subbed! Looks good so far.
 

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Author Notes: Before I get started, I'd like to say that discussion is strongly encouraged. This way, I can post images without having too many on a single page.
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Chapter 3: War and Death
The war with Epirus was a short one, with only one battle of note.

Battle of the Gulf of Taranto:
Attackers: Achea, Naples
Initial Forces: 1 Transport
Reinforcements: 1 Light, 7 Galley, 3 Transport
Losses: None

Defender: Epirus
Initial Forces: 1 Light, 1 Galley, 1 Transport
Losses: 1 Light, 1 Galley, 1 Transport

Battle Result: Attackers Win(Crushing Victory)

2015-04-22_00026.jpg


Peace was signed on September 27th, 1334 resulting in Full Annexation. Later, Naples sold the province Aetolia to Achaea.

2015-04-28_00002.jpg
2015-04-28_00007.jpg


With dreams of a grand empire and realizing that a large, central bureaucracy was far too inefficient to stand the test of time, King Ferrante instituted a new policy group of Delegation. This new delegation of power came at a cost however, as Pirates saw this as an opportunity to raid the coasts.

2015-04-28_00001.jpg
2015-04-22_00027.jpg


During the years of Peace, it was fairly quiet in Naples. It wasn't completely silent however, as two important developments unfolded. The first of which was fairly mundane. The conversion of Argyrokastro was complete and quickly accepted. King Ferrante ordered the conversion of Epirus the same day.

2015-04-28_00012.jpg


The speed at which the people in the Balkans accepted Catholicism has caused much debate among modern historians. Many theories have been proposed to explain this. The most widely accepted of these is the people, who had been resisting Byzantine rule for over a century, came to associate Orthodoxy with the Byzantine oppressors.
The second and more significant development was the realization that the Barbary Pirates were not done with Naples. In fact, the pirates would continue to terrorize the coast for years. It was so bad that King Ferrante gave a speech about it in the capital. According to one witness, "The mood was unbelieving. Although the king has vowed swift action, I do not believe he truly cares about the people. He continuously throws away lives in far flung wars and treats the peasantry with complete disregard."

2015-04-28_00014.jpg


For years border tension with The Papal State had been high. King Ferrante had always been looking for a way to go to war. In 1340, he found that way. After allying Milan, he declared on Urbino to avoid drawing in France.

2015-04-28_00015.jpg

The start of the war was a disaster. Not only were Naples and its allies separated, but as soon as the war started, the Pope Excommunicated Naples, raising unrest greatly.

2015-04-28_00017.jpg


Battle of Spoleto:
Attackers: Papal State, Florence, Lucca, Romagna, San Marino, Urbino
Initial Forces: 20,000 Infantry 5000 Calvary
Losses: 2445 Infantry 227 Calvary

Defender: Naples
Initial Forces: 9900 Infantry 2970 Calvary
Losses: 2822 Infantry 1382 Calvary

Battle Result: Attackers Win

2015-04-28_00019.jpg

The Battle of Spoleto demonstrates the value close proximity. Although Naples and its allies had superior numbers overall, being so far away led to defeat.

Battle of Ferrara:
Attackers: Papal State, Florence, Lucca, Romagna, San Marino, Urbino
Initial Forces: 23,074 Infantry 5915 Calvary
Losses: 3439 Infantry 1073 Calvary

Defender: Naples, Milan
Initial Forces: 16,678 Infantry 3768 Calvary
Losses: 4324 Infantry 1042 Calvary

Battle Result: Attackers Win

2015-04-28_00020.jpg

Seizing upon his opponents low morale, Prince Ferrante II, general of the Neapolitan army, ordered his soldiers to attack. This battle would be the turning point in the war.

Battle of Ferrara:
Attackers: Naples
Initial Forces: 14,000 Infantry 3000 Calvary
Losses: 2261 Infantry 1053 Calvary

Defender: Papal State, Florence, Lucca, Romagna, San Marino, Urbino
Initial Forces: 15,607 Infantry 4776 Calvary
Losses: 1713 Infantry 463 Calvary

Battle Result: Attackers Win

After a grueling battle, Naples managed to produce its first victory in the war. Although most armies escaped, Prince Ferrante II managed to trap Florence's army.

2015-04-28_00022.jpg

Just as the war had begun to turn around, Naples experienced a major blow, King Ferrante had died. The details surrounding his death are unclear. All that is known is that he contracted a mysterious illness while at his war retreat on the Black sea and died on March 22nd, 1342.

2015-04-28_00025.jpg

Immediately after taking the throne, King Ferrante II instituted a new policy group of Quantity in an effort to raise the nation's overall troop count.

2015-04-28_00027.jpg

Battle of Piscara:
Attackers: Hungary, Croatia, Naples
Initial Forces: 10,880 Infantry 6945 Calvary
Reinforcements: 11,000 Infantry 3000 Calvary
Losses: 2607 Infantry 1606 Calvary

Defender: Papal State, Romagna, San Marino, Urbino
Initial Forces: 12,250 Infantry 2680 Calvary
Losses: 4965 Infantry 1339 Calvary

Battle Result: Attackers Win

2015-04-28_00028.jpg


Battle of Roma:
Attackers: Naples
Initial Forces: 11,000 Infantry 3000 Calvary
Losses: 862 Infantry

Defender: Papal State, San Marino
Initial Forces: 4849 Infantry 1315 Calvary
Losses: 4849 Infantry 1315 Calvary

Battle Result: Attackers Win (Crushing Victory)

2015-04-28_00030.jpg


At this point, the war was just about over. The Papal State could no longer pose a serious threat. Before the war could end however, news came from the east. It was from The Golden Horde, they reported of a deadly disease known as The Black Death. King Ferrante II did not believe them writing, "The heathens are not to be trusted. They only mean to spread to fear." He did not know how wrong he was.

2015-04-29_00002.jpg




 

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I'd take Grosetto for access to claims on Siena and upwards along with Ancona..
 

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I'd take Grosetto for access to claims on Siena and upwards along with Ancona..
That would've been a good idea. Unfortunately, I neither saw that potential, nor had time to siege it with my revolt risk. Also, I kept Urbino around so I could use them in the future so I could declare further wars on the pope. In hindsight I would've taken Ancona for sure.
 
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Chapter 4: Defeat and Redemption
The final battle in the war against The Papal State occurred on May 1st, 1346. Peace was short to follow, with Naples acquiring Velletri and Spoleto less than one month later.

Battle of Velletri:
Attacker: Romagna
Initial Forces: 1930 Infantry
Losses: 1930 Infantry

Defenders: Milan, Naples
Initial Forces: 2979 Infantry
Reinforcements: 8000 Infantry 3000 Calvary
Losses: 313 Infantry

Battle Result: Defenders Win (Crushing Victory)

2015-04-29_00006.jpg

2015-04-29_00007.jpg


Less than two weeks after the war ended, the Pope ended the excommunication of Naples, basing his decision on the idea of forgiving one's enemies. The people of Naples rejoiced.

2015-04-29_00008.jpg


The period of relief was short lived however, as exactly one month later, The Black Death arrived in Naples. The King's prediction of a heathen ploy was wrong.

2015-04-29_00010.jpg


The disease spread across the land like wildfire. According to one account in Albania, "The air is death. Bodies continuously pile the streets. I have spoken to the preacher, he tells me it's a sign from god, the Last Judgment is upon us."

2015-05-06_00001.jpg


Even in the midst of The Black Death, the Pope still calls for a Crusade against Tunis. King Ferrante II, believing it to be an easy war, readily agrees to join the Crusade himself.

2015-05-06_00006.jpg


By January, 1350, the worst of the Black Death had passed. The people of Naples began to rebuild their nation. Work is plentiful, wages are high. It was a more positive outlook throughout the nation. Culture is also booming, from the plague to the rebirth afterwards, artists were taking notice.

2015-05-06_00007.jpg

2015-05-06_00008.jpg


On May 26th, 1359, the Crusade against Tunisia had officially begun. King Ferrante II was so confident in victory, he led the troops himself. The first year of the crusade was fairly quiet, as the best landing point was yet to be determined.
Meanwhile, back at home, the disloyal vassal of Trinacria was no more. The people were finally integrated into Naples.

2015-05-06_00009.jpg
2015-05-06_00010.jpg


What happened next was a complete shock, Prince Alfonso was dead. It was a hunting accident, or at least that was the story. Many did not believe this however, especially after King Ferrante II's uncaring reaction.

2015-05-06_00011.jpg


The Crusade was a complete disaster. Immediately after landing troops, they were ambushed. With relatively similar technology and inferior numbers, Naples didn't stand a chance. It was so bad, King Ferrante II abandoned his troops and fled.

2015-05-06_00012.jpg


The king realized the war was lost. He quickly dispatched diplomats to Tunisia to broker a peace. The Treaty of Annaba was signed on March 23rd, 1353, resulting in Naples conceding defeat.

2015-05-06_00015.jpg


The war was a major blow to King Ferrante II's prestige. He was determined to make up for it and began planning his next move. He would not make the same mistake twice.
During this peace period, King Ferrante II's first son was born. Prince Carlo was born on August 21st, 1355. The King believed that his son's potential was far greater than his brother's ever was. He was now satisfied that the kingdom would be left in capable hands.

2015-05-06_00017.jpg


By February, 1356, Neapolitan troops were at Thessaly's border. The timing couldn't have been better, for a pretender arose in Epirus on March 1st.

2015-05-06_00018.jpg


Battle of Epirus:
Attacker: Pretenders
Initial Forces: 2000 Infantry 2000 Calvary
Losses: 1292 Infantry 1273 Calvary

Defenders: Naples, Achea
Initial Forces: 8000 Infantry 2000 Calvary
Reinforcements: 3000 Infantry 2000 Calvary
Losses: 790 Infantry

Result: Defenders win

2015-05-06_00019.jpg


The war with Thessaly was very straightforward, Thessaly's army retreated and Naples seiged, without a single battle. The ease to which King Ferrante II had with this war boosted his reputation and army morale.

2015-05-06_00021.jpg
2015-05-06_00023.jpg



Less than eighteen months later, on November 2nd, 1357, Thessaly was completely annexed.

2015-05-06_00024.jpg


________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Author Notes: Feel free to be critical of the way I play the game, it can only help me improve. Also, the update schedule is one week from the last update. I may post sooner, just don't expect it.

 
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I usually don't actually join crusades until I am confident I can actually win. And if I do join half-cocked, I usually just try to blockade the hell out of Tunis for a concession of defeat or reparations and some cash by catching some lone regiment or a lone ship to get the ticking warscore rolling.
 

Marco Oliverio

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Nicely done! I don't know anything much about this mod, so I'm really happy to see you playing it. It's a great story so far!
 

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I usually don't actually join crusades until I am confident I can actually win. And if I do join half-cocked, I usually just try to blockade the hell out of Tunis for a concession of defeat or reparations and some cash by catching some lone regiment or a lone ship to get the ticking warscore rolling.
Yeah, I underestimated my opponents. If I hadn't landed troops, I would've had ticking war score and won. The lowered morale from Black Death and my heir's death left me with about half their morale. I did blockade, but I just wanted to move on.
 

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Nicely done! I don't know anything much about this mod, so I'm really happy to see you playing it. It's a great story so far!
Veritas et Fortitudo is such a good mod. It adds so much more flavor to the game. The best part of the mod is they managed to make the game more complex without making it seem like micromanagement.
 

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Chapter V: Border Tension
All most immediately, the former people of Thessaly demanded more autonomy. King Ferrante II responded with the entire army.

2015-05-11_00001.jpg


Battle of Kastoria:
Attacker: Peasants
Initial Forces: 5000 Infantry 1000 Calvary
Losses: 2169 Infantry 507 Calvary

Defenders: Naples, Achea
Initial Forces: 8000 Infantry 2000 Calvary
Reinforcements: 3000 Infantry 2000 Calvary
Losses: 1276 Infantry

Result: Defenders Win

2015-05-11_00002.jpg


The Artisans were equally frustrated with Naples, but learning from the peasants, they did not result to violence. Instead, they simply chose not to work. King Ferrante II being a diplomat, respected their means of protest and responded by abolishing a painful tax.

2015-05-11_00004.jpg


Tensions along the border with The Papal State were once again reaching a boiling point, with peasants on both sides engaging in clashes. An official decree was issued stating, "The violence must cease immediately. The Papal State is a formidable adversary. We will reclaim our rightful lands in due time."

2015-05-11_00005.jpg


Within two months, Naples was back at war. Not with The Papal State as was promised, but with Genoa. The last fifty years were not kind to Genoa. First, they lost their land on the Black Sea, then they lost their capital. Now, All that was left of this once mighty trade nation was Corsica and Southern Sardinia.

2015-05-11_00006.jpg

Battle of Cagliari:
Attacker: Naples
Initial Forces: 4850 Infantry 1940 Calvary
Losses: 113 Calvary

Defenders: Genoa
Initial Forces: 1000 Calvary
Losses: 1000 Calvary

Result: Attackers Win (Crushing Victory)

2015-05-11_00007.jpg



Battle of Bastia:

Attacker: Naples
Initial Forces: 5760 Infantry 2847 Calvary
Losses: 318 Infantry

Defenders: Genoa
Initial Forces: 2000 Infantry
Losses: 2000 Infantry

Result: Attackers Win (Crushing Victory)

2015-05-11_00008.jpg


At this point, Genoa was down and out. Their provinces were being seiged, their ports blockaded. It looked as if Naples would get everything they wanted. It came as a slap in the face then when Milan, also at war with Genoa, forced Corsica to be released as a sovereign nation.

2015-05-11_00010.jpg


The very next day, on July 16th, 1361, Naples fully annexed what was left. It was bittersweet, as it felt like half the prize was stolen.

2015-05-11_00011.jpg


With the nation growing quickly and their own power waning, the Nobility demanded that King Ferrante II once again grant them the privileges they had lost. Their demands were not met, instead they had even more privileges revoked.

2015-05-11_00013.jpg

The peasants were the next to cause problems. They were upset at living in unsanitary conditions and being on the brink of starvation. The King responded by ordering a massive project aimed at improve their situation.

2015-05-11_00016.jpg


On June 11th, 1365, Naples was called into war by Savoy. King Ferrante II had no intention of actually participating, but to keep his ally happy, he joined the war.

2015-05-11_00018.jpg


With The Papal State embroiled in their own war, the King hired mercenaries and waited for the right moment to strike. That moment came on July 7th, 1366, just after The Papal State lost a large battle. The two sides were fairly even however, Naples was at a slight disadvantage.

2015-05-11_00022.jpg


Battle of Urbino:
Attacker: Naples
Initial Forces: 14,000 Infantry 3000 Calvary
Losses: 212 Infantry

Defender: Urbino
Initial Forces: 3000 Infantry
Losses: 3000 Infantry

Result: Attackers Win (Crushing Victory)

2015-05-11_00023.jpg


The Papal State responded the way they were expected to, they Excommunicated Naples. Anger and unrest spread across the land. King Ferrante II was annoyed writing, "What do these fools truly want? First I wasn't pressing our claims hard enough, now they're upset that we're at war with the Pope. They repercussions were understood well before this war."

2015-05-11_00024.jpg


Battle of Rome:
Attacker: Lucca
Initial Forces: 5171 Infantry 1000 Calvary
Losses: 3255 Infantry 772 Calvary

Defender: Naples
Initial Forces: 12000 Infantry 3000 Calvary
Losses: 1077 Infantry 184 Calvary

Result: Attackers Win

2015-05-11_00026.jpg


October 18th, 1367, marked the end of The Papal State as serious contender in the war with the Battle of Velletri.

Battle of Velletri:
Attackers: Naples, Hungary
Initial Forces: 4820 Infantry 4850 Calvary
Reinforcements: 15,000 Infantry 3000 Calvary
Losses: 1591 Infantry 1588 Calvary

Defenders: Lucca, Hesse
Initial Forces: 10,041 Infantry 2535 Calvary
Losses: 5344 Infantry 1584 Calvary

Result: Attackers Win

2015-05-11_00032.jpg


King Ferrante II decided it was time to split up and siege, for the war was almost over. Unfortunately, Neuchatel, from Savoy's war, decided to catch Naples off guard. Before there could be recourse, the entire siege was eliminated. Troops arrived shortly to end Neuchatel's advance.

Battle of Grosseto:
Attacker: Naples
Initial Forces: 4950 Infantry 2970 Calvary
Losses: 1091 Infantry 505 Calvary

Defenders: Neuchatel, Milan
Initial Forces: 5059 Infantry 2000 Calvary
Losses: 1955 Infantry 1152 Calvary

Result: Attackers Win

2015-05-11_00038.jpg


The war was now just sieging Papal land. It finally came to an end on August 3rd, 1369, with Naples acquiring Ancona, Grosetto, and Perugia, and dismantling part of the Pope's alliance network.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Author Notes: I'm almost to my 4th idea, and I'm not sure what to pick. It has to be diplomatic and I've narrowed it down to two. I could go for Conciliatory, which will get me 2 diplomats eventually. It will make vassals integrate faster and cheaper, give me 20% relations over time, and will give me 5% cheaper diplotech. It will also unlock policies that will give some nice bonuses including 10% Infantry Combat ability and 5% settler chance.

I could also go Merchant Adventures. It will help me when I get Exploration at idea 5. I'll get 2 merchants, 15% trade power abroad, 5% Trade income modifier, 15% steering, 10% global trade power, 10% trade efficiency, and 15% trade ship combat ability. It has no amazing ideas unlocked. The other benefit is I will be able to make buildings quicker which will lead to more force limits.

What do you guys think of these bonuses? Both seem really good to me.
 

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Chapter VI: Expansion
The great victory over The Papal State was a cause for celebration in Naples. A parade from Palermo to the capital was held. A two mile bridge across the Strait of Messina made of boats was constructed for the event. King Ferrante II, who ordered the parade, was not in attendance.

The war had taken its toll on him. During the Battle of Grosseto, he had been stabbed in the abdomen by an enemy soldier. Although the wound seemed to heal, as noted by his doctors, it is speculated that there were unseen internal wounds. By Mid November, 1369, his condition seemed to be improving. He was reported to be out of bed for the first time since the war ended. His condition took a dramatic turn when winter hit.

That winter was unusually cold. The normal mild temperatures were replaced by weather regularly below freezing. Many snowstorms pounded the country that year. All this compounded to the King declining rapidly. Ultimately his health had deteriorated too much, and he died on April 4th, 1370, sending the nation into regency.

2015-05-15_00003.jpg


The regency was a short one, with King Carlo IV taking throne four months after the regency began.

2015-05-15_00007.jpg


On September 9th, 1370, Prince Francesco was born. Francesco was the final son of King Ferrante II, conceived shortly before his death. The same regent for King Carlo IV was designated if need be.

2015-05-15_00009.jpg


King Carlo IV was not accepted by many in the nation as being a legitimate ruler. His more tolerant religious views caused many to accuse him of heresy. Now, he had a dilemma, an investiture from the Pope would smooth out any question illegitimacy, but after years of war with The Papal State, that would be difficult. So, he did what many kings of that time did, he asked for investiture, but also sent a bribe to to ensure its success.

2015-05-15_00010.jpg


At this point, most of Europe was thoroughly angry at Naples' expansion. The only means of aggression without creating a coalition was through North Africa. The Barbary Pirates had long been raiding the coast of Naples, and King Carlo IV wanted to push back. He chose not to do this however, not wanting to repeat the mistakes of the Crusades. So, peace persisted for the kingdom for many years.

Peace was not enough to slow King Carlo IV's ambition. After The Papal State was forced to release many small nations, he saw an opportunity. After much diplomacy and a little bit of bribery, on March 6th, 1374, Ferrara agreed to become a Vassal of Naples.

2015-05-15_00014.jpg


Less than two weeks later, the bribery that helped push Ferrara towards Vassalage was discovered. King Carlo IV knew that this scandal not only put the loyalty of Ferrara at risk, but could also lead to civil war. Not willing to take the blame, Carlo bribed an advisor to take the blame instead. Shortly afterward, the advisor demanded double, which was met.

2015-05-15_00015.jpg
2015-05-15_00016.jpg

For the next four years, things were quiet in Naples. This was intentional to allow feelings about Naples' aggression to fade. By 1378, things were once again heating up. King Carlo IV ordered a build up of troops along the Thessalese border. On March 1st, 1378, Neapolitan troops, led by General Gabriele Pignatelli, attacked Thessaly.

2015-05-15_00022.jpg

Battle of Macedonia:
Attacker: Naples
Initial Forces: 10000 Infantry 4000 Calvary
Losses: 1149 Infantry

Defender: Thessaly
Initial Forces: 5000 Infantry 1000 Calvary
Losses: 5000 Infantry 1000 Calvary

Battle Result: Attackers Win (Crushing Victory)

2015-05-15_00023.jpg


In just three months, a full siege of Thessaly was underway. With no allies to speak of, this war was over.

2015-05-15_00025.jpg

2015-05-16_00005.jpg


During 1380, The Knights of Rhodes were under attack by the Ottoman Turks. They were out manned and turned westward for support. King Carlo IV responded to their plea by financing construction of a large army, even though it meant taking several loans.

2015-05-16_00011.jpg


Now, with Europe extremely annoyed with Naples, King Carlo IV introduced Conciliatory policies to attempt to heal the wounds.

2015-05-16_00020.jpg
 
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Marco Oliverio

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Hi there! Can you touch briefly on your strategy of selling (granting?) most of Hellas to your vassal? I noticed in the last two pics that almost everything you conquered from Thessaly is now in their hands. Is it a way of gaining funds now for lands you know you'll get back when you annex Achaea later?

And I'm really enjoying the AAR - good work and good luck! Francesco seems like a good heir - but I wonder if he'll succeed Carlo? Carlo is young still...
 

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Hi there! Can you touch briefly on your strategy of selling (granting?) most of Hellas to your vassal? I noticed in the last two pics that almost everything you conquered from Thessaly is now in their hands. Is it a way of gaining funds now for lands you know you'll get back when you annex Achaea later?

And I'm really enjoying the AAR - good work and good luck! Francesco seems like a good heir - but I wonder if he'll succeed Carlo? Carlo is young still...
The reason I sold most of the land is so I don't have to core it or convert it. I'm behind on admin tech, because my last ruler had a low admin skill. I also want to take Exploration at tech 12, so I can colonize. I'm already at a colonization disadvantage, because the Iberians can take it at tech 8.

Converting would also be difficult, with my ruler trait that gives - 0.2% conversion rate, which is a lot in VEF. I only kept that one province for claims. I also don't have to worry about Achea becoming disloyal due to their historical friend bonus.
 

Cityracer

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Chapter VII: Risk Vs Reward
The next several years saw a break from war in Naples. Instead, King Carlo IV used this time to increase the nation's production by using state funds to build blacksmiths.

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On August 18th, 1387, Naples' eastern allies, Hungary and Croatia were at war. Hungary immediately called upon King Carlo IV to assist them. Now, he had a choice, join Hungary and lose Croatia as an ally or join Croatia and lose Hungary. Although he valued Hungary more, with the war going poorly, he joined Croatia.

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While technically at war, Naples remained a nonparticipant in the hopes of rekindling relations with Hungary. Four years later, the second Crusade against Tunisia had begun. The king was determined to stay out of it and refused to join. Unfortunately, just one month later, Castile issued a call to arms.

King Carlo IV was hesitant to join. He knew the risk was great, joining would put him at war with his neighbor the Ottomans. Many factors influenced his ultimate decision to join. The most crucial was how much he valued his alliance. Almost as important was the potential reward, Constantinople.

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The first step of the war for Naples was to position her navy so that the Ottomans could not invade Greece. That involved sinking the enemies navy first.

Battle of Messina:
Attackers: Aragon, Galicia, Naples
Initial Forces: 4 Lights, 7 Galleys
Reinforcements: 10 Transports
Losses: 4 Lights, -1 Galleys, 3 Transports

Defenders: Tunisia
Initial Forces: 5 Galleys, 3 Transports
Losses: 5 Galleys, 3 Transports

Result: Attackers Win (Crushing Victory)

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The first year of the focused on sieging the Ottomans' Greek holdings with no major land battle until May, 1392.

Battle of Troas:
Attacker: Ottomans
Initial Forces: 11,000 Infantry 5000 Calvary
Losses: 4139 Infantry 2437 Calvary

Defenders: Naples, Achea, Aragon
Initial Forces: 13,936 Infantry 6964 Calvary
Reinforcements: 2000 Infantry 2000 Calvary
Losses: 5289 Infantry 2588 Calvary

Result: Defenders Win

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Battle of Optimaton:
Attacker: Ottomans
Initial Forces: 6192 Infantry 3986 Calvary 1000 Artillery
Losses: 2577 Infantry 1874 Calvary

Defenders: Naples, Achea
Initial Forces: 11,735 Infantry 5778 Calvary 1000 Artillery
Losses: 4435 Infantry 2298 Calvary

Result: Defenders Win

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On January 5th, 1397, the Ottomans were out of the war. King Carlo IV was furious at the peace treaty, knocking over a table and shouting, "Those traitorous Iberians! Who do they think they are?! They expect us to fight their war for them and they don't even give us any land." He was so angry that the very next day he made a white peace with Tunisia.

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With resentment against Castile and an unsatisfied desire for conquest, King Carlo IV refocused his armies to the conquest of Albania.

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Battle of Durres:
Attacker: Naples
Initial Forces: 14,000 Infantry 4000 Calvary 1000 Infantry
Losses: 145 Infantry

Defenders: Albania
Initial Forces: 3000 Infantry
Losses: 3000 Infantry

Result: Attackers Win (Crushing Victory)

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Battle of Skopje:
Attackers: Albania, Serbia
Initial Forces: 3000 Infantry
Losses: 957 Infantry

Defenders: Naples, Achea, Hungary
Initial Forces: 2000 Infantry
Reinforcements: 12,577 Infantry 2768 Calvary
Losses: 644 Infantry

Result: Defenders Win

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For the next two years, a number of small engagements occurred. Bulgaria could never muster enough troops to win a battle. After realizing they've lost, peace was soon to follow. The first nation out was Serbia, being forced to convert to Catholic and surrender Kosovo to Naples.

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Bulgaria would see peace next, losing three provinces and an ally.

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The war finally ended on July 8th, 1401, with Albania being completely annexed.

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RyuDrago

First Lieutenant
Oct 16, 2010
201
22
Surely an interesting gameplay so far. Too bad you didn't make in time to take Constantinople, but you seem enough strong to keep the Ottomans at bay and dismantle them piece by piece.