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    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
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The Two Sicilies and Italy:
SicilyItaly1853.JPG



African Holdings:
SicilyAfrica.JPG
 
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Liberation from the South, or How to Run a 1.02 Economy: A Two Sicilies AAR

I am sorry, but your title mislead me to believe you would explain how you ran your economy. I have played 1.02 and the economy of Prussia eats dirt, so could you tell me how you made your economy grow when everyone else's economy sucks eggs. I am not being sarcastic, I just want to know what approach you took to build your economy.
 
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stynlan - Thanks!

coz1 - Unfortunately, the French only don't fight when they don't have a land border.

EricSaxon - Well, to start you could have a little patience. I'm not the UK, I can't produce machine parts at will. Without them, I really can't do much with the economy, except be colonial, which saves state culture populations from being soldiers. Now that I have good prestige (from claiming three colonies, annexing Tunisia and Al Djazir, taking most of the Papal States, and being a monarchy, which saves prestige on DoW's) I can get some machine parts on the world market, and with interchangeable parts, I can build them too. Actually, my next installment is going to be about the economy.
 
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It’s The Economy, Stupid (1836 - 1859)

Industrialization had partially occurred before 1856 in Sicily. In 1836, Napoli had housed a small arms factory, an ammunition factory, a steel factory, a glass factory, and a clipper shipyard, while Sicilia had canned food and wine industries. In 1840, spare machine parts had built a fabric factory, but construction had ended there. Paolo had abandoned the unprofitable business of ship construction and small arms manufacturing, in favor of staffing more profitable ammunition, glass, fabric and especially steel factories. The canned food industry had stayed around in Sicilia only because the profitable wine industry was unable to employ more people. When Tunisia was conquered, its wine industries employed many people, also.

When the secret of machine part manufacturing was discovered in 1856, production soared. Now, less profits came form aristocrat-controlled resource gathering than industry controlled by Paolo. And the pocketbook, or budget ledger, is more powerful than the pen or the sword. So how did profits soar? Well, it was a combination of many things.

A winery in Tunisia was expanded so that it could employ craftsmen and clerks currently out of work. A lucrative furniture factory was built in Sicilia, and the fabric factory in Napoli was expanded. A paper mill was built, and supplied a lacking world, at large profit margins. The revolution in production had been Paolo’s Silent Revolution, providing him with yet more control over the government. The factories were directly responsible to Paolo, and many fence-sitters, previously unimpressed with modernization, saw the light.

In 1858, construction of a more profitable Luxury Furniture Factory started in Sicilia. But before it finished, Italy had been consumed in war. Sardinia-Piedmonte had declared itself Italy, and declared war on all other Italian states except for Tuscany. Though Sardinia-Piedmonte was backed by France, Austria still declared war on the Piedmontese. The battle lines were drawn.
 

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An interesting little aside. It sounds like the Two Sicilies starts off with a reaosnable economic base for a country of its size.
 
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stynlan - Yep, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw what I had.
Dan Cook - thanks, glad to have a new reader
Seidita - thanks.
We have a 4.5 day break from school. so hopefully there will be many updates hopefully.

Consolidation and Stalemate (1859)

The war had been inevitable. Throw bickering, squabbling nobles, oppressed people, and opportunistic outsiders together and you usually get a big explosion. Especially when the gunpowder is lit by the flame of nationalism.

The Sicilian troops suffered demoralization as they marched northward, preparing to fight against the people claiming to represent Italy. Piedmontese armies, marching south, annexed the kingdoms of Parma and Modena. Continuing south, they forced the neutral powers Modena and Tuscany to ally with them. This was a mistake for the formerly neutral kingdoms. Their armies were overrun by Papal and Sicilian troops, and in the Partition of 1859, Paolo seized Livorno while the Pope took Firenze and Siena. Meanwhile, the French were busy not helping their Piedmontese allies in the European fighting. Their troops, bravely attacked undefended Sicilian Algeria. Paolo could really have cared less. He could make peace with the Piedmontese, and this would force the French to abandon the towns (total population 3) that they had captured.

The only problem with the annexation of Tuscany was that is resulted in a stalemate. Through some obscure diplomatic rules, Lucca had joined the Sardinian alliance against the Papal States but not Sicily. And the only way to Piedmontese territory was through Lucca.
 
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A Fool's Mission (1860)

"And with dust in throat I crave
Only knowledge will I save
To the game you stay a slave" - Metallica, Wherever I May Roam

Journal of Captain Antonio Tommaso

February 5, 1860

We now embark on the most foolhardy mission I have ever heard or seen. In my last five years, I have seen much warfare; the Sicilian government sends its most intelligent officers to observe new weapons and tactics and weapons in other wars. But this tops the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava in sheer stupidity. With the French domination of the seas, General Lucia is trying to sneak the 2nd Corps of 30,000 men across the Straits of Bonifaco to Massa. If they fail, they shall all perish. Which is why I am going to try to inject some reason into this expedition. I may only be a captain, but I think they consider me a rising officer – I should have some sway.

February 22, 1860

We finally managed to board the ships. The French were distracted – the intelligence service sent him a fake dispatch recalling him to Marseilles. We are arriving on land now. We are in God’s hands now.

March 10, 1860
Massa is ours. We march to Parma. Hopefully it will be undefended. God only knows – the generals refuse to send out scouts, fearing to alert the enemy. As if the Sardinians hadn’t heard about our attack already! I don’t think the generals heard of this minor invention called the telegraph – idiots, all of them!

March 20, 1860
I may well die here. After a long day’s march, we got up the next morning are marched till noon, when we met a Sardinian corps of twice our number, with artillery. Even Lucia saw that a retreat was inevitable. So back to Massa we go. Fortunately, we have scouts now, headed by yours truly. My opinion of the generals’ competence is growing – it has now reached the level of Medinia Sidonia. Or perhaps Ludwig the Mad.

March 30, 1860
Great. On my scouting, I discovered that the Sardinians have recaptured Massa. On the positive side, we don’t have to worry about falling into a trap. That increases the chance of our surviving this adventure from the chance of one snowball surviving in hell to the chance of two snowballs surviving in hell. Simply superb.

April 9, 1860
General Lucia just taken out by a sniper as we approached the Sardinians. They were waiting for us, like a wolf laying for his defenseless prey. As the generals bickered, I started issuing orders. Surprisingly, they listened. I am no Constantine Drageses; I still have a country, and do not wish to die for it. We diverted them by holding our defenses until nighttime, when we slipped into the nearest forest. My plan was in action.

April 16, 1860
Thank you God Almighty! We are safe, for now. As we slipped into the forest seven days ago, we left men guarding outposts protecting it. Each soldier is equipped with a small axe in case he needs to hide from the enemy by pretending to be a simple woodsman. The first night was spent cutting down the forest and taking a nearby port town – the forest led to the water. The Sardinians had not been especially concerned about the possibility of our reaching the sea, since our fleet was blockaded in Grosseto by the entire French fleet. The next day, we fought again, losing 2,000 of our valiant remaining 22,000 sleep-deprived soldiers. That night, Birnam Wood marched to Dunsinane. With supplies for shipbuilding, the entire army (and every man and boy in the town, though not by their choice) built the most makeshift rafts, canoes, and paddles seen in the recent history of mankind, and spent the next four days and nights paddling southward along the coast until we reached Livorno. We lost another couple thousand men in this occupation. If a canoe, packed to the brim with five or six soldiers, sank at night, they were all dead. But somehow most of us survived, and we are all safe. For now.
 

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A nice gritty account. It's a tough life, being a Sicilian soldier clearly.
 

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Excellent - two updates! :D Fortunate that the Sardinians tried to get help, for you and the Pope that is. Keep fighting the good fight and unify!!
 
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coz1 - Yep, the French are too busy capturing the Sahara desert to care about their territory. Actually, later on you will see the quite humorous thing I did to the French.

stynlan - yes, the life of a soldier was not easy then, especially when you can be drafted. This was not helped by one of my stupidest moves in the game, trying to get 30,000 troops to take out Sardinia-Piedmonte. I was really lucky I snuck them back alive. I should have had more foresight *hint hint*

By the waym the release of 1.03 will not affect the story. I have finished play. Now I am just writing, which should be faster - the last years were really long to play (you'll see).
 

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That's good to know calcsam2 - I'd hate for this to end too early. And forshadowing in your notes...please, we must know. ;)
 
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The Archbishop of Rome is Checkmated (1849-1860)

“Justice is lost
Justice is raped
Justice is gone
Seeking no truth, winning is all
Find it so grim, so true, so real” – Metallica, And Justice For All

Pope Pius IX wept. In the last decade, the Papal States had lost much, and he knew they would soon lose more. It had all started in 1849. Though a political moderate, revolutionaries had forced him to institute new reforms, and even temporarily ousted him. With the help of French arms, he was restored to control of Rome. But this marked him as a weak ruler – a death sentence in today’s Machiavellian Italy. His Sicilian “friends” had greeted his return with an invasion, and he had been forced to cede Viterbo, Grosseto, Perugia, and Ancona to them. This divided his territories, but he was no longer an obstacle to Sicilian northward expansion, and was left alone by them.

But the new threat came from the north rather than the south. Sardinia-Piedmonte, determined to claim the title of Italy – as if a government could represent all of the Italian people – had declared war on most of Italy, including him and Sicily. Sardinia-Piedmonte was joined by Tuscany, which was soon occupied by its enemies - both Sicily and himself. It had to be partitioned.

The resulting partition talks were the beginning of Pius's end. He had held the upper hand in negotiations, having occupied most of Tuscany. This included the entire border with Sardinia-Piedmonte. When the Sicilian ambassador had pointed out that if Pius annexed all of what he controlled, the Sicilians would be unable to offer help against their mutual enemy. Misled by his passions, he had haughtily turned down his former enemy’s demands. He had thought that the Sardinians and Sicilians were equally bad, and refused to appease one in order to fight the other.

It had been a dreadful mistake. If the Sicilians occupied part of the border, a successful offensive by them could result in a Papal States surrounded by Sicily. But Pius did not realize that the Sicilians were not prepared to make an offensive. And even if they did, Sardinian troops would have to stop their offensive against Austria (which had overrun Venice and was approaching Innsbruck) in order to protect their southern front. In that case, he stood a pretty good chance of being saved by the Austrians.

On the other hand, if the Sardinians made a successful offensive, it would probably leave its border with Pius undefended. In that case, he could strike, and force Victor Emmanuel and Cavour to the bargaining table. And if a stalemate resulted, the Sardinians would realize that their dream of a united Italy was dead, and court him. The Sicilians would do the same, simply to avoid an alliance between himself and Cavour.

But these were merely futile dreams, results of a road not chosen. His arrogance had prevailed at the bargaining table, and he had occupied the entire border with Sardinia. Unsurprisingly, the Sardinian armies overran his territories. He, Pius IX, had been forced sign over Bologna, Ferrara, and Firenze to the invaders. Which, of course, left the gate open to an all-out war between the Sardinians and Sicilians. But now, he was marginalized, regardless of who prevailed.
 

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A very nice interluding scene. Some real emotion there in the language and style.
 
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stynlan - thanks! But I must return to the plot. :)

Slow and Steady (1861)

If there had been a market for bloodshed, transactions would certainly have spiked in early 1861. In America, the entire South seceded, and war erupted, over the issue of slavery. The Ottomans bloodily repulsed Russian advances, gaining most of Armenia in the ensuing peace. The British invaded Russian Alaska, taking some territory, and proceeded, with France, to invade Mexico for defaulting on its debts. The Brazilians continued to slaughter the Argentinians – they had been at war since 1859 - eventually taking 13 provinces. But in Italy, the heart of the action lay.

In September 1860, the Pope had been forced to cede three provinces to the Sardinians, giving the warring Sardinians and Sicilians a border. Both sides regrouped for four months, but in January, the action began. The Sicilians fired the first shot, sneaking across the Mediterranean and seizing undefended Sardinia from the Sardinians. The Sardinians tried to retaliate by advancing on Livorno, but they were repelled after Sicilian reinforcements arrived.

As important as these events were in the short run, in the long run they were all overshadowed by one action. Paolo was good at that sort of thing – he would make lots of commotion above the table, so no one would hear him reloading his gun under it. Under the armpit of Africa, in this case. Paolo ordered a division to board the excuse-for-a-navy and head to Togo, to grab French claims. Meanwhile, massive recruitment put enough men under arms to press the victory at Livorno into a slow, but steady, offensive. Paolo was determined not to repeat his previous mistake of a rash offensive. By April 1861, Bologna and Firenze were in Sicilian hands, and the offensive was just beginning.

This, in fact, was the turning point. The capture of Bologna and Firenze, and new green Sicilian divisions at the front enabled the quick capture of Ferrara and Modena. In June, troops captured Parma and Massa, where only fifteen months earlier the quick thinking of a young captain – now a brigadier general – had saved the lives of fifteen thousand soldiers in frantic retreat.

But it was the deliberate thinking of Paolo that averted bigger disaster. While his one division was quickly scooping up French claims in West Africa, the French were overrunning Algeria even more quickly, due to the biggest overkill operation in recent history - the French had sent 100,000 men to overrun undefended Tunisia and Algeria. Paolo realized that once the French had finished, the next logical target would be Sicily, and then Naples. And, with the offensive slowing down as it had to go uphill and fight the troops that previously retreated before it, Paolo would not be able to capture Torino in time or shift enough troops to Naples without quickly losing all of his gains. So, when the Sardinian ambassador arrived with an alliance peace offer, he quickly accepted their offer of Modena, Bologna, and Firenze. So in the end, Paolo had obtained three provinces and four claims, kept Algeria, and flanked the Pope. Not bad for a two-year war.
 

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do all the Italian minor have claim on all Italy, Like the german minors do? Good to see "the rightful Italy" doing so well
 

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Some very good scenes there. Though I do wonder how you'll manage to rid Italy of the French infection.