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Jan 11, 2008
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Single Men - The Holy See MMU

Welcome again! Aaring has become my addiction, and apparently I can't go on without my regular dose. :D So let me introduce you to the world of political intrigue of...

The Papal States

Them being one of the most aared countries on these boards, I wanted to see what’s in the Papal States that makes them so special. Of course they’re doubly special in MM, since like KoSJ (or sorely-missed MMP Hansa), they have their own uniqueness. As they appear less suicidal than KoSJ, I decided it’s high time I tasted deadlock conclaves, Papal controllers’ pressure, curia mechanics and all the other stuff dharper’s Dei Gratia added to the game. I was inspired by the fast-paced, gripping Screaming Popes by merrick; the hilarious The Papal State:A Mission AAR for EUIII (In Nomine) by EUROO7; and I recommend the current Deo juvante, vinco - a Papal State AAR by adamclason, which I'm following. I decided my goals will be different though; and here I'm indebted to Opening the Papal AARchives 1453-1792 by Bingo Brett (played on MMIV), which I'm still trying to catch up with btw.


Surviving of course, but this shouldn’t be such a challenge as it was with Navarre or Danzig. What I’m not striving for is Italy formation or even land grab. Plausibility is the MM favourite phrase (well, cliché), so crusading to Holy Land, containing the Turk, promoting Catholicism, fighting heresy and keeping the Papal authority high is what I’ll try to achieve. A bit of role-playing is what you may expect, but I’m not going to go suicidal here, like dowing OE with a 3DIP Pope.


Encyclopaedia entries. I’m going to draw heavily from on-line resources. Gameplay notes will be in yellow. As Popes are expected to have short-ish pontificates: one Pope = one post. Instead of the events told in the chronological order, there will be a list of issues relevant to the given pontificate.

Mods and adjustments

This will be played on MMU, I’ve grown to become a MM fan(atic); with highly recommended ‘tolerance mod’ by CJL78. It slows down the super-fast conversions, in which OE, Lith and Pol excelled. To complement the changes in this mod and to imo bring plausibility to Poland’s starting situation I replaced their CAD with HT. Also, I removed Burgundian core on Calais to sort of push Burgundy’s expansion in another direction.

Issues / Bugs(?)

At times a Pope dies the vanilla-way, instead of MM death of the Pope -> curia (regency) -> conclave -> new Pope process. The vanilla-way doesn’t readjust the papal controller. I still haven’t decided how to go about it. I must thank bioes00 for helping me understand this issue.

House Rules

It’s my fourth take at the Holy See. First try and I was attacked by France, having obligingly provided it with ‘violated SoI’ casus belli, I’m still learning the HttT features, you see. I’m not adamant about not reloading, especially when I get some still-new-to-me HttT mechanics wrong, or when I hit the ‘accept peace’ button accidentally. I can admit to one intervention on AI’s side too. At one point I broke Portugal’s alliance with Grenada and Algiers, and Castile’s with Morocco. (So much for plausibility!) Anyway, if I cheat, you’ll be notified.

Comments and criticism are welcome. I played through till early 1490s and am faced now with an important decision to make. So I think I'll focus on writing for a while and when I get to Gregorius XIII, I'll ask you for advice.
Nicolaus V
6 March 1447 – 21 May 1457

The End of Schism

One of Nicolaus V’s achievements was the ultimate cessation of the Western Schism (1378 -1417) and the restoration of the authority of the popes. He brought about the submission of the last of the antipopes, Felix V, the former Duke of Savoy, and the dissolution of the Council of Basel (1439 -1449). Amedeo of Savoy stepped down to accept a cardinal-bishop’s hat in 1449; thus Nicolaus V let the former antipope save his face and secured cordial relations between the Papal States and the House of Savoy. Amadeo died in 1451; after prolonged negotiation his son, Lodovico, Duke of Savoy signed a pact of eternal friendship with the holy See.(Savoy accepts the alliance; The Papal States start allied with Venice, Genoa and Mantua)

The restored authority of the Holy See was further manifested by the coronation of Frederick III as Sovereign of the Holy Roman Empire, the first of the House of Habsburg raised to that dignity, crowned in Rome (1452).(a few years into the game: small state -> medium state)

The Fall of Constantinople

Tomasso Parentuccelli, before he became elected the Pope, had distinguished himself at the Council of Florence (1439 – 1443), where his familiarity with the eastern rite gave him a prominent place in the discussion with the Greek bishops. The struggle for East-West union, while promising, never bore fruit. The submission of Greek bishops was not sincere; most of them on their return to Constantinople openly rejected the decrees of the Council.

The ever-advancing Turks, having beaten Christian forces at Varna (1444) posed a serious threat to the Roman Empire. Constantine XII implored the Pope for aid. Nicolaus V sternly reminded him of the promises made at Florence, and insisted that the terms of union should be observed. As the Emperor professed his readiness to accept the decrees, the Pontiff decided to take action. In May 1452, Cardinal Isidore, a Greek enthusiast of the union, was sent as a legate to Constantinople. The act of union was celebrated on 12 Dec 1452, but the clergy and the populace cursed the Unites and boasted that they would rather submit to the turban of the Turk than to the tiara of the Roman Pontiff. Numerous riots broke out; soon the Ottoman forces encircled the city and the siege began.

Nicolaus V met his end of the bargain, but it was too little too late. After many obstacles and delays a combined naval force of the Papal States, Genoa, Venice and Naples set sail for the East, but before they reached their destination the imperial city had fallen and the Emperor Constantine was no more (29 May 1453).

Nicolaus V lost no time now; he called for an immediate counter-attack in the form of a crusade, but to no avail. Many Greeks fled the city of Constantinople and found refuge in the Latin West, bringing with them knowledge and documents from the Greco-Roman tradition to Italy that further propelled the Renaissance. However, Nicolaus V did nor live long enough to fully see how the Greek scholars armed with unimagined manuscripts changed the Papal States, and the whole Latin Europe.

Pax et Treuga Dei

The fall of Constantinople was a tragedy for Nicolaus V, the papal authority and the whole Christendom. The Pope endeavoured to reconcile the mutual animosities of the Italian states (Venice was still fighting with Milan); he implored the kings and princes of Christian Europe to sink their differences and to unite against the common foe and take part in a holy war. He invoked the idea of Pax and Treuga Dei, used his papal authority and employed the trained Papal diplomacy to bring about peace to different corners of Europe. (bureaucracy)

Initially, he was quite successful. Cardinal D'Estouteville sent to France negotiated a truce between the kingdoms of France and England and managed to uphold the truce even when Henry VI of England was proclaimed the King of Navarre. To placate the French D'Estouteville initiated the process for the rehabilitation of Joan of Arc.

On Nivolaus V’s initiative the peace talks commenced between the Republic of Venice and the Duchy of Milan and between the Houses of von Oldenburg (Denmark and Norway) and Stuart (Scotland and Sweden). Both these conflicts were resolved with status quo ante bellum.

Less successful was the Papal mediation between the prince-archbishop of Bremen and the Hansa; Hamburg retained control over the former archbishopric of Bremen land, but the Pope managed to regain the spiritual control. A new archbishop (no longer a prince) was nominated in the place of the former exiled one and took his seat along with pastoral and religious duties in the Episcopal palace. (Bremen attacked the Bishopric, Hamburg annexed the opm, the bishopric modifier in the prov)

Despite his efforts Nicolaus V failed to bring peace to Europe and rouse its Christian rulers to action against the Turks, who had meanwhile managed to subdue Albania, but were weakened by their long conflict with Ladislaus Posthumous of Hungary. Henry VI of England and Navarre started a campaign in Ireland and Charles I of Burgundy advanced his claims against Gerle, thus drawing Lorraine and Ladislaus Posthumous, now as the Emperor, into the conflict. All Nicolaus V could do was to condemn Charles I’s aggression as it diverted Ladislaus Posthumous from protecting the Balkans against the Islam advance.(Btw, Morea gobbled Athens)


Pax et Treuga Dei

The Rising Star

One of the biggest successes of the Papal diplomacy was alleviating the tension between the Prussian Confederates and Polish Kingdom on one side and the Teutonic Order on the other. Cardinal Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, bishop of Warmia (Ermeland), skilfully mediated between Poland and the Teutonic Knights. His intervention prevented the war and preserved the Order intact, although it had to agree to substantial concessions.


The Resolution of Toruń

Comtat Venaissin

The Comtat Venaissin, in Papal possession since the 13th century, together with the city of Avignon (sold to the Papacy by Countess Jeanne of Provence in 1348) formed unified Papal enclave encircled by possessions of the King of France and his vassals. Since the end of Western Schism successive French and Provencal rulers sought to annex the region. This, along with France refusing the repeal of the Pragmatic Sanction, dangerously deteriorated the relationships between the Papacy and France, especially when Louis XI took the throne. It’s possible Nilolaus V’s death prevented the looming war from breaking out, as Louis XI hoped to control the next Pontiff.(mission: protect against Provence)


Strained relations with Louis XI's France

Papal Patronage

Nicolaus V was a talented administrator; within the city of Rome, he introduced the fresh spirit of the Renaissance. His plans were of embellishing the city with new monuments worthy of the capital of the Christian world. He took in hand the cleansing and paving of the streets of Rome. Rome, once famous for the number and magnificence of its aqueducts, had become almost entirely dependent for its water supply on the Tiber and on wells and cisterns. The ‘Aqua Virgo’ aqueduct was restored on the Pope’s orders.

Under the generous patronage of Nicolaus V, humanism made rapid strides as well. The new humanist learning had been until then looked on with suspicion in Rome, a possible source of schism and heresy, an unhealthy interest in paganism. Nicolaus V was always generous to deserving scholars. If any of them modestly declined his bounty, he would say, ‘Do not refuse; you will not always have a Nicholas among you.

Nicholas V founded a library of nine thousand volumes. The Pope himself was a man of vast erudition, and his friend Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, later Pope Pius II, said of him that, ‘what he does not know is outside the range of human knowledge.

It was also Nicolaus V who first made Vatican Palace the worthy residence of the popes. Some of his constructions still remain, notably the left side of the court of St. Damasus and the chapel of San Lorenzo, decorated with Fra Angelico’s frescoes.

Meantime the Pontiff's own subjects caused him great anxiety. Several abortive attempts were made to set up a republic in Rome. Apparently, his mild government of his subjects had not been able to quell the spirit of rebellion, or foreign incentives were too persuasive.(influential bureaucrats in Rome, at the time of the Pope’s death delighted; my first slider move was towards centralisation: uneventful policy change, I also got +1 plutocracy due to ‘bourgeoisie request priviliges’, rr due to very high taxes; Gilded Iconography, like most culture tradition decisions in MM, is not rally that good: ct deteriorates instantly; I took it for roleplay/flavour reasons + 1% permanent prestige boost)


Chapel of San Lorenzo

The Revival of Monasticism

His spiritual and pastoral capacity was always a priority for Nicolaus V. He was almost entirely free from the bane of nepotism, only one of the cardinals he nominated was his relative. He spoke against corruption, improved the Papal bureaucracy, exercised great care in the choice of cardinals and relied on trustworthy and able men.

He sent Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, one of the most devout and learned men of his day, to North Germany; and the heroic Franciscan, St. John Capistran, to South Germany. They held provincial synods and assemblies of the regular clergy. If they had not succeeded in destroying the germs of the Protestant revolt, they certainly postponed for a while the evil and narrowed the sphere of its influence.

Nicolaus V promoted the revival of monastic life and donated heavily to restoration of many monasteries; he can also be noted for establishing at least one new religious order. At the same time his agents ransacked the monasteries and palaces of every country in Europe, scouring for precious manuscripts, which would have been eaten by moths or would have found their way to the furnace, had they not been rescued from their ignorant owners and sumptuously housed in the Vatican.


Nicolaus V issues a charter for the Franciscans

Dum Diversas

Nicolaus V issued the bull ‘Dum Diversas’ (1452) in response to a request from the Portuguese monarchy. The Pope understood the Portuguese ambitions and at the same time consider Portugal a potentially valuable ally. ‘Dum Diversas’ was essentially ‘geographically unlimited’ in its application, perhaps the most important papal act relating to Portuguese colonization. Issued one year before the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, the bull may have been intended to begin another crusade against the Ottoman Empire. More importantly, it seems to have been aimed against the Barbary pirates who plagued the Mediterranean. It read,

‘We grant you by these present documents, with our Apostolic Authority, full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and other property [...] and to reduce their persons into perpetual slavery.’​

Romanus Pontifex’, the bull of 1455, reaffirmed ‘Dum Diveras’ and also sanctioned the purchase of black slaves from the infidel. It is argued that collectively the two bulls issued by Nicolaus V gave the Portuguese the rights to acquire slaves along the African coast by force or trade. However, it has to be remembered that Barber pirates at that time frequently raided Christian coast for slave-hunt. In this light the bulls may be seen as either preventive measure or encouragement to retaliation, rather than approving of slavery as such. (Rome got hit with uncontrolled piracy: local penalties and -33%TE, I decided against any local or national anti-piracy measures)


The Papal States at the death of Nicolaus V

Treasury / yearly income: 68d / 25.30
Merchants: 1 in Venezia; 16.35/830.21
Fleet: 13: 8 galleys, 5 cogs
Army: 3k condotta
Manpower / discipline: 8.646 / 108.30%
Army / navy tradition: 8.50% / 0.00%
Prestige: 33
Stability: +3
Infamy: 0.0/19
War exhaustion: 0.0/11
Great to see you AARing again! Hopefully I will follow this - large English texts are still too tiring for me:( - because of this I actually never enjoyed the greatness of your Savoyard AAR.
Enjoyed your previous AAR, so consider me subscribed and following. :)
Super freaking awesome so far.
If I recall, Dei Gratia and thus by extension MMU had a method that allowed you to actually return Protestants to the Catholic fold. Will you be pursuing that, or try desperately to make Protestantism a nonfactor by limiting it to occasional OPMs?
Parcae, Athalcor, JacktheJumper, Boris ze Spider, Kolonel, Milites, Beamed Welcome! :)

Hopefully I will follow this - large English texts are still too tiring for me:( - because of this I actually never enjoyed the greatness of your Savoyard AAR.

Nice AAR so far, the only problem are walls-o'-text, but you can break them easily with more pictures, can't you? ;)

There will be longish texts. Alas do not despare! ;) I'm planning it as a combination of encyclopaedia-like and gameplay aar. To follow the gameplay part it should be enough to read what's there in yellow + check the hopefully informative pics. Heck, there has been like what, only three years so far; as Nikky obligingly decided to die at almost historically acurrate time. I assure you the next Pontiff's reign was not only longer, but also more action-packed; to portray which there'll be more pics.

Sees title, cues beyonceye music.
It'd be a lie if i told you I haven't heard about the lady before, but I haven't heard this song. Well, I think if I've heard any song by the lady in question, it must have been by (radio) accident. So no inspiration here (to my sincere relief :p).
I thought the title more straighforward, popes are single men, aren't they? :)

If I recall, Dei Gratia and thus by extension MMU had a method that allowed you to actually return Protestants to the Catholic fold. Will you be pursuing that, or try desperately to make Protestantism a nonfactor by limiting it to occasional OPMs?

I don't know the mechanism and had never played the Holy See before. So I'll have to play these things as I go. What I've noticed so far, I have a limited say here since it seems it's the papal controller who makes most of decisions.
Loved your previous Danzig AAR; This one should be interesting and educational, as I have never played the Papal States in MM either. Also love the inclusion of paintings and period imagery alongside the in-game screenshot elements.
I have been slowly, alas very, very slowly, reading through your Danzig AAR (I shall get to the end of it!). It is proving a very compelling and enjoyable read thus far and the start to this AAR is excellent. It looks as though this AAR will prove to be as good as the last. Thus colour me subscribed!
I use the white forum background and have to highlight the yellow text to read it, which is rather annoying :p

Nice AAR though, I've never played much with the papal states but I'm sure you can do something interesting :)
Chris Tylor, Omen, morningSIDEr, Rabid - Welcome! Great to have you following. The update is coming.

I use the white forum background and have to highlight the yellow text to read it, which is rather annoying :p
Pity. But i'll stick to yellow for gameplay notes. The Papal colours, you know.
Pius II
11 September 1457 – 14 March 1465


The tensions in the conclave of 1457 arose from the rapid rise of the effective power and influence of the hostile French monarchy. King Louis XI did not try to hide his support for Cardinal d'Estouteville, the obscenely wealthy archbishop of Rouen. The principal Italian states feared a rebirth of French interest in Italian affairs and tried to prevent the elevation of a pro-French pope at all costs. The official candidate of the Italian party was the stern and severe in character Cardinal Domenico Capranica. It appeared almost certain that he would be elected to the papacy. But Cardinal Capranica died suddenly in August, 1457, two days before the beginning of the conclave. He left all his property to ecclesiastical uses, saying, ‘The Church gave it to me; I give it back, for I am not its master, but its steward. I should indeed have reaped but little profit from the nights spent in studying ecclesiastical discipline if I were to leave to my relatives the goods of the Church which belong to the poor. (gift to the state)

The Italian party was left in a great confusion. Their support was split between Cardinal Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini and Cardinal Filippo Calandrini (the late Nicolaus V’s half-brother). The undecided cardinals promoted the candidature of Cardinal Bassarion, a converted Greek. In the first scrutiny Cardinals Piccolomini and Calandrini received five votes each, while none of the others obtained more than three. At this point French Cardinal d'Estouteville started an intensive campaign for his own candidature. His promises and bribes seem to have swayed enough cardinals to his favour to secure the required majority, so he was certain that he would obtain at least eleven votes on the following scrutiny. But the opposite Italian party also did not waste its time. During the night Cardinal Pietro Barbo called together all the other Italian cardinals and proposed to them that, of them all, the one most likely to obtain the required majority of two thirds was Piccolomini.

The results of the second ballot were a great disappointment for d'Estouteville. He received only six votes. Cardinal Piccolomini obtained nine votes, including the one of d'Estouteville, who hesitated to vote for himself but certainly did not consider Piccolomini a serious rival. The results announced, Cardinal Dean opened the customary procedure of the accessus (when the two-thirds majority has fallen to none of those voted for, each cardinal is granted the right to change his vote.) There was a long silence broken by Rodrigo Borgia who changed his vote to Piccolomini. Then the partisans of d'Estouteville made an attempt to adjourn the session, but Cardinal Tebaldi also changed his vote to Piccolomini, who needed only one vote more for the election. At this point Cardinal Colonna arose and called out before anyone could have restrained him, ‘I also vote for the Cardinal of Siena and I make him Pope’. The rest of the adherents of the Cardinal of Rouen could do nothing but change their votes too, and a few minutes later Cardinal Bessarion congratulated Piccolomini on his unanimous election. (sorry for this longish account, but first, on a Pope's death MMU introduces the conclave period when 4/4/4 Papal Curia rules (regency; check the pic for the penalties) and I felt like filling in this a-few-month gap with a story (of the, slightly adapted, real conclave), secondly, it introduces a few prominent characters of the future updates)


The Conclave of 1457

Weak Pope

Pius II had little support outside Italy, and Louis XI was outwardly hostile. Luckily for Pius II, France was just engaging against Burgundy. The seeming decrease in Papal Authority prompted Tuscany to attack Siena. Pius II, Sienese himself and the former bishop of Siena, was still to weak to intervene; on his behalf Lodovico of Savoy defended the little republic. Meanwhile Pius II started looking for a temporal protector. However, with the sudden death of Ladislaus Posthumous he seemed to have lost a potential ally. Friedrich V Habsburg, the new Emperor, did not hide his Italian ambitions. To the Pope’s displeasure he concluded the war with the Ottomans, even agreeing to minor concessions. (France dows Burgundy; Tuscany dows Siena, sadly I hadn’t issued a guarantee, this war is odd anyway: miraculously Siena manages to occupy both Tuscan provs and is still standing, Savoy, the leader, does nothing; Hungary concedes defeat but loses no land to OE)

Pius II realised that in the eyes of European monarchs we was just a pawn to be taken advantage of. This might have provoked his surprising move of despatching a delegation to Christian von Oldenburg and asking the King of Denmark-Norway for ‘guidance and assistance’. Looking for an ally so far away might be considered a folly, but at the same time it kept other parties, greedy to control the Papacy, at bay. Pius II no doubt used his contacts from his journeys North, and tried to rekindle Viking and crusade spirit in the hearts of Scandinavian nobles. (Norway got ‘lucky’ here, the control over Curia went swiftly from Norway to France, then England, Burgundy to – after the war - get back to England)

Pius II was indeed not sufficiently free from nepotism, but otherwise he served the best interests of the Church. He was constantly solicitous for the peace of Christendom against Islam, to which end he applied his most effectual diplomatic dexterity and cunning. (Twice I got ‘Papal relations’ event; once I ‘showered them with riches’: -10d, once ‘I threw them a few bones’: -2d, -1prestige; aristocrats appeared in Avignon; also note the newly-elected Pope can be pious, capable or serve the PC's interest, what's the difference here is still beyond me)

Indeed, let us hope rumour are untrue​

Renaissance Philosophy

Pius II, himself a versatile and voluminous author, with considerable renown even before his elevation, continued Nicolaus V’s policy of endorsing humanist thought. The Italians' hunger for Latin classics and a reintroduction of the Greek language was a major intellectual factor underlying the Renaissance. With the second wave of Greek refugees (fall of Trebizond, war in Morea) the new thought was really felt and translated into works of art as well as new architectural style. (started artisan workshops, I take cultural tradition decisions because I can, ‘Florentine school’ helps decrease infamy too)

The elegance of the new style​

Congress of Mantua

The central idea of Pius II’s pontificate was the limiting of the Muslim domination. To this end in August 1460 he summoned all the Christian princes to meet in congress in Mantua. At Mantua scant attendance necessitated a delay in the opening of the sessions until October. Even then but few delegates were present, and the deliberations soon revealed the fact that the Christian states could not be relied on for mutual co-operation against the Turks. France, Austria and Burgundy were at war, England was busy pacifying its Irish conquest and still at war with Brittany. Iberian kingdoms offered their goodwill but had a Muslim enemy at their doorstep. The only real success was bringing the end to Tuscany – Siena conflict, but even here it took till April before the parties signed the proper truce. (Granada breaks its vassalage, sensing a war, I intervene and break the alliances between Christian and Muslim states, Savoy finally peaces with Tuscany).

When it seemed the congress failed of its object, as no practical results of any importance were attained, two critical missives reached Pius II. First, the unbeatable war machine of the Ottoman Empire struck again, attacking Morea and Cyprus. Kingdom of France rushed to the Christians’ defence and for a while it seemed the idea of a joint crusade might be realised. But Venice and Genoa would not support France, instead their ambassadors reported on internal strife in the Mameluk Sultanate, where the populace had turned against the regents. Still at odds with France, and seeing greater glory in the possibility of freeing Jerusalem, Pius II declared a three-year crusade to liberate the Holy Land. (My scout naval patrols confirmed revolutionary rebels in northern Egypt, it’s now or never)

In Germany Friedrich V showed readiness to comply with the obligations assumed at Mantua, but foreign and domestic difficulties rendered him powerless. However, for his righteous venture, Pius II found support of his host Marquis of Mantua, his other allies: Venice and Genoa, and – surprisingly – his ‘protector’ King of Denmark-Norway. Lodovico of Savoy claimed he is in no power to enter another conflict, having just brought peace to Italy. (My allies honour the call, only Savoy chickens out; the Mameluks are allied with far-away Khorasan and Adal)

To placate Louis XI, who now almost single-handedly had to fight the Turks (while at war with Burgundy at the same time), Pius II wrote a letter to the Ottoman Sultan, in which the Pope attempted to convert him to the Christian faith. How much of this unthinkable deed was a staged act, how much a show of genuine zeal and how much calculated diplomacy is hard to ascertain.

Peace in Italy​

Expeditio Sacra (3 June 1461 – 9 April 1464)

Pius II endeavoured to stir up the enthusiasm of the apathetic Christian princes by placing himself at the head of the crusaders. He left Rome for the East, landed on Crete which turned out to be the base for military operations of the almost three-year conflict. His Holiness’s arrival in Crete, with His Catholic regiments, inspired many a local to think of reconciling with Rome. (Venice has just sent a missionary to Crete, chances: 7.4%; the Pope's millitary stats are decent, the only one that matters though is +1 to siege as I was going to avoid battles)


The war started with a naval victory, in which combined Papal and Venetian forces completely broke the Mameluk fleet. The coast and supply lanes got secured and Pius II disembarked to siege Libya. While the Mameluk forces were busy quelling the rebellion in northern Egypt, the Genoese regiments appeared in September and headed straight for Jerusalem. (The Mameluks have two main armies: 6/11/0 and 4/5/0 weakened by fighting the rebels)


Notified about a relief party approaching, Pius II gave up on Libya and sailed back to Crete to winter and recuperate. In spring 1462 he once again landed in Libya but soon, before August, had to run for the ships. But this very August brought the crowning glory to Christendom: Jerusalem fell. Pius II decided to split his forces and one party disembarked to besiege Aleppo, while the other was readying to once again try to break the impasse in the northern Egypt. (playing cat and mouse, dropping small parties here and there let me buy time for Genoa to do their work, managing my ships was a pain as attrition is atrocious, in fact I lost one galley by simply overlooking it, I broke even though as I’d captured one from the Mameluks before)


In October Venetian contingents finally made it and landed in Beirut, the fortress was taken in December. Meanwhile in Gaza the decisive operation of this war commenced: the Genoese ran into a numerous but wearied Mameluk force and by the end of January 1463 they had routed them completely. Before this happened the Mameluk allies deserted them and Pius II could easily secure Jerusalem for Christendom, yet he decided to fight on. (6/11/0 Mameluk army gets wiped out, thank you the Genoese; I conceded defeat to get Khorosan and Adal off my back and increase the warscore, 15% now)


The reason for this was Alexandria. The rebellion recently put down, and the Mameluk army away, the city defences were frail and Pius II decided to take advantage of it and started the siege. In the spring of 1464 a few armies assembled by Norwegian nobles turned up in Libya. In June Aleppo fell to the Papal and Hawran to the Genoese forces. The siege of Alexandria had to be, temporarily, abandoned though. However, the advancing Mameluk army didn’t march on to Libya, instead it turned back and set down to besiege the last revolted province: Diamientia. Instantly, Pius II was back at the crumbling walls of Alexandria. (Somehow AI wants to take the rebelled provinces first, Norwegians did come! Those Vikings!)


In October sad missives reached Pius II in his camp near Alexandria, the Kingdom of Cyprus was no more, the royal family found shelter in the Savoyard court. The last remnant of the Empire, Morea was reduced to a few strongholds on the Peloponnesus, having had to cede Achea and Athens. King of France, embittered, concluded his conflicts in status quo and got down to centralising his country. The war in Levant continued though. In January 1465 the Genoese took Gaza and Al Karak, His Holiness’s men two months later entered Dayr Az Zor and in April Alexandria surrendered. But at the same time the Mameluks broke into Diamentia too, and having secured the area they started marching towards Alexandria. Pius II decided it is time for peace. (France white peaces Burgundy in 1461, now their war with OE is over as Morea was the alliance leader, Auvergne is annexed; the Mameluks army is 4/5/0 strong and Christian armies are seriously depleted; but with the benefit of hindsight I think I might have persevered a bit longer and got more from this war)



Realising the three-year term of the crusade was expiring, and thinking not much else might be militarily achieved, Pius II settled down to negotiating the peace. Many of his advisors advocated keeping hold of the rich merchant city of Alexandria. The Pontiff however, didn’t see this holy war as a chance for the expansion of the Papal States. As an able and sagacious chief of the Church he was, he comprehended the conditions on which its monopoly of spiritual power could be maintained; his views were far-seeing and strengthening the Christendom was truly at his heart. (actually, I saved the game here and for a while played two parallel games, in one I demanded Alexandria, couldn’t ask for more, and although it made me rich, the game apparently wanted to punish me for the grab-land, so blatantly against my house rules; first I got two 'vanilla' pope deaths, than Venice became the Papal controller (for a very short time) and with the death of the next Pope I lost Venice as an ally, I do believe that allies obtained through diplomacy and not-Papal-Controller-event-triggered ones shouldn’t desert the Pope; anyway I quit this alternative scenario)

That’s why he demanded the strip of land known as Levant for his allies; Venice received the lands more or less corresponding the former crusader state County of Tripoli; Genoa, for its effort, was rewarded with the lands of Judea and Gaza and the title of the Defender of Jerusalem. Norwegians sailed back North with the loot, few were granted some land and stayed in the Near East. His Holiness contended with the increased prestige. (this peace resolution is more in line with my house rules, and the spirit of this aar)

For both merchant republics securing ports in Levant was a commercial opportunity neither of them could pass. But animosities resurfaced very soon, and Pius II had to mediate. Maintaining the balance between the two Papal allies was not easy but was crucial to Pius II’s policy. He tried not to favour neither of them. (I quit the Genoese league and didn’t join any other; frankly I could do with some help here as I don’t quite get HttT mechanics here, what are the benefits of belonging to a league? I have no trade NIs, Genoa has Merchant Adventures and Guild Privileges, Venice has NTP and SCP, I believe the ‘underdogs in trade’ modifier: -40% merchant cost, 25% tenacity and 12% competence chance AND being able to compete with everyone in a CoT is better than bonuses I get from belonging to a league; I granted Venice trade privileges in Avignon for +66% local production efficiency and -25 local trade income modifier and now all my three provs trade through Venezia where I’ll try to break in, taking advantage of my high prestige; in Levant Beirut trades through Venezia, Jueda – Kaffa, Gaza - Alexandria)

Pius II​

Piracy Scare

The Vatican archives revealed later that it was Pius II who sought rapprochement with both Muslim North African States and Barbary pirate lords. These fickle alliances secured the safety of sea supply lanes during the crusade and to some extend protected the Papal coast against slave-hunt raids. This conniving policy may contrast with His Holiness’s official stance, but such a trained diplomat and chameleon-like schemer Pius II was saw beyond religious zeal. (with Pius II's 7DIP I decided to risk enacting ‘Berber pirates support’, not so much for money and bonuses, as for the protection of my coast; it seems to have worked: in Dec 1458 I got ‘shipping activity normal’ event, and no more pirate attacks throughout Pius II’s reign, after the war I took the middle option in ‘A great pirate expedition’ event (no effect), I got ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘Strategic pact’ just before Pius II’s demise and said yes to both; in the Papal Curia period I got ‘Agreement with Tripoli’, which I signed; I hope all this limits the piracy even though I have no anti-piracy measures)

Colluding with Berbery pirates​

Treasury / yearly income: 82d / 36.39
Merchants: 2 in Venezia; 45.24/986.03
Fleet: 13: 8 galleys, 5 cogs
Army: 5k condotta
Manpower / discipline: 8.790 / 112.70%
Army / navy tradition: 17.80% / 0.00%
Prestige: 77
Stability: +3
Infamy: 8.20/19
War exhaustion: 0.0/16
The Norwegians in Egypt reminds me of my crusades in M:TW II as Denmark :). I actually conquered Levant and held it for some time against Turks, Khwarezm and Egypt but then the Mongols arrived and everything that remained under my control was Cyprus...
That was a quick return to writing... you are now an official addict authAAR :D

Just read the first pontiff's update and thought it was rather quiet, but I can already see it wasn't the case with second one :eek:

EDIT: nice crusade! But... The knights of St John were conspicuously absent; is the grand master pro-French?
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Awesome crusade, and quite realistic results :D

Don't worry about your decision between Alexandria and Judea, what sort of pontiff would prefer a city full of squabbling merchants and money lending Jews rather then the very place Jesus died and rose from the dead?

Actually, while I was reading and looked on the map with different countries occupying provinces, I sort of hoped you would give your allies a piece of cake. Sad you didn't release Kingdom of Jerusalem, though