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Respected senators,
I hope I will soon reach a decision on Carmagnola. In the meantime I beg you to ask yorself if you have thought this over. I agree that Carmagnola seems an able man. But the questions we must ask ourselves are three:
How are his teeth? Does he have any? That is to say, does he look like he is about to kick the metaphorical bucket tomorrow, or can we reasonably expect his services to be at our disposal for a decent amount of years? Remember that while it looks like we may be going to war soon, we are not yet at war, and haste makes waste.
Secondly, a personality such as Carmagnola's will surely draw attention to land-based combat at the cost of our naval forces. The Venetian navy embodies our rightful pride. Are we sure that this shift of focus will not impact the fighting morale of our seamen?
Thirdly, can we trust him? I know that he did not leave the Milanese voluntarily. But a man that turns on his, albeit former, master makes me uneasy.

Fool not yourself into thinking that asking such question is a sign of weakness. The wise plan ahead and try to see all consequences of their decisions.
Fellow Senators, honarable Doge Francesco Foscari,
I think we need to take a firm decision, with a vote, on what we should aim for in the Bysantine case. I see three different paths suggested here:
  • Support to help Constantinople survive.
  • Active intervention to secure Constantinople for the republic.
  • Intervene if the Ottomans make a move to capture Constantinople, and then take it for the republic.
In response to Senator Horvendile's request, I offer the information presently at hand.

Carmagnola was born close to 1390. He started his military career when 12 years old. At present, he is about 35 years old. Condottieri were mercenaries. They are not loyal except to themselves, but it is not unheard that some of them fight all their lives for the same patron, when they are well rewarded for it. The best ones usually change sides when the offer is good enough or when their career is not progressing according to their expectations as in this case. Many of them rise from the commons to the nobility, obtaining titles and considerable lands from their patrons. These lands work also as an insurance against defection. Philippo Maria Visconti has seized all the lands previously given to the Carmagnola family for his services.
This is fun, count me in.

Most Serene Doge, Fellow members of this august assembly,

You may have noticed I have so far refrained from speaking, as becomes the junior member of this body, that is shining with wisdom and experience. Yet, I may no longer remain still, in this momentous hour when the destiny of our glorious Republic is decided.

Decorum prevents me from casting my vote on whether or not the Republic should hire my cousin to lead her armies. Yet, I will urge you to consider that without his services, the duchy of Milan, that now so threatens our western border, would be nought but an insignificant backwater principality.

Carmagnola: A, hire

As some of greater wisdom have reminded us, WAR IS UPON US, whether we like it or not. Senator Lawkeeper's assessment is indeed true: we alone can protect the Christians in Constantinople, and indeed Thessalonica. And in so doing, prevent the Turks from mustering their eastern and western forces into one. The Lord is with us, who should we fear?

My friends, the spineless 'emperors' of Constantinople, abandoned by God, have dropped the Standard of Rome in the mud. There it lies, before you! Who shall raise it again? Need I remind you the title we bear, most ancient and august of all? We are the Senatores Rei Publicae. Is that going to be only a hollow name?
No, my fellow Senators, you know it is your duty, and in the Republic's strategic interest, to take the defense of Constatinople into our own hands.

EDITED for semantics.
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Considering you ARE Carmagnola, you shouldn't vote on your hiring. It's a clear conflict of interest. :p
Hastu Neon said:
Considering you ARE Carmagnola, you shouldn't vote on your hiring. It's a clear conflict of interest. :p

:D Welcome to real-world politics. :rolleyes:
Senator Norrefeldt,
I applaud your republican principles in asking for an election that at present does not look favorable to your positions. This appears to be a central issue in keeping our vital trade routes to the Orient open.
Let me rephrase your proposal so it is according to the actual options that our Republic has. If anybody finds the options don't reflect our posible actions, let me know and I will change them.


Read carefully all the options and their feasibility and consequences. Consider also their probability of failure and the consequences that it carries. The options are ordered from more to less aggressive against the Bizantine Empire alliance. For every option you should take a decision:

(F) Favored. That is the course of action you propose. Only two or less of the options can be favored by one senator.
(A) Acceptable. While not favored, you find that policy acceptable to your position. Only five or less of the options can be acceptable to one senator.
(O) Opposed. You strongly feel that Venice should not follow that path. Only four or less of the options can be opposed by one senator.

The reason to limit the options is to force senators to take an active posture in favor and against the policies.

  • 1. Declare war to Morea, annex Byzantium and help Athens annex Morea (7BB)
  • 2. Declare war to Morea, help Athens annex Morea. Reach peace with Byzantium and afterwards rise relationships with them, so when their vassalage is canceled, they can be incorporated to our alliance and perhaps protected (1BB). Some minting will be required.
  • 3. Rise relationship to Byzantium. Declare war to Morea (hopefully Byzantium dishonors), help Athens annex Morea. Keep relationships high and when their vassalage is canceled, they can be incorporated to our alliance and perhaps protected (1BB). Some minting will be required.
  • 4. When the Ottomans declare war to Byzantium, declare war to Morea. If Byzantium joins, try to snatch Morea and Byzantium from the turks (1BB, 7BB or 13BB depending on success). We should be aware that the Bey of the Ottoman Empire usually commands his troops.
  • 5. Wait until the Ottomans annex Byzantium and declare war to them with that CB. Try to reconquest Thrace and request it at peace (3BB). Of course, failure is an option here.
  • 6. Rise relationship to Byzntium and fund them. Hope that they are able to hold the turks on their own, and if not, too bad. Some minting will be required.
  • 7. Do nothing. Our interest lies somewhere else.

The following example, as always, is not my opinion, to prevent influencing the election. I remind senators that I have voice but not vote.
A vote should look something like:
Election 8
1O, 2A, 3A, 4F, 5F, 6A, 7O

RESULTS: Favored policies receive a +1 value, acceptable policies receive a 0, opposed policies receive a -1. Given the limitation in number of each type of policies, the system is tilted towards negative values to make it easier to interpret the results. There has been 8 votes:
1) +4
2) 0
3) -2
4) -3
5) -7
6) -7
7) -7

Given that the options were ordered by decreasing aggressiveness towards the Byzantium-Morea alliance, the senate clearly favors an aggressive stance.
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My vote [and my congrats for the conceptual work on the scenarios]
1O, 2A, 3A, 4F, 5O, 6O, 7O
Election 8 : Byzantine Empire policy
1F ; 2A ; 3A ; 4O ; 5O ; 6O ; 7O

Honorable Doge Francesco Foscari, fellow Senators, respected Consiglieri,

To do nothing is to invite doom into our very houses. The hated Turks are already on our side of the Dardanelles, and if we don't cut them off their craddle, we will soon see them inside San Marco, or building their galleys in the Arsenale. The Dardanelles are the major defense against them, and the Byzantines have already proven they couldn't hold them anymore.

Maybe not all Senator have a clear picture of the geography of Asia Minor, but Bursa is closer to Constantinople than Venice is. So close, barely 25 leagues, that a mounted messenger could make the trip in a day's ride. By land, Venice is at 400 leagues, and the double if you make the trip onboard a galley. The time we would need to simply be warned of the war, Constantinople would have fallen.

I don't disavow my previous endorsement of Doge Tommaso Mocenigo's deathbed advices : peace should be maintained as much as possible, as war is a plague for trade. But letting the Turks achieve greater dominance of the aegean area is also a plague for trade. Who can be sure that they will keep the Dardanelles straits open ? Granted, a closure would harm our most hated rivals, Genoa, more than ourselves, but then ? We couldn't achieve a supreme position in the Black Sea ourselves if the straits are closed. We have to act, before it is too late. And the only road that we can still tread is the path to war.

The Byzantines let the Gates of Hell slip open. The trickle will soon give rise to a flashflood, and no dam will stop it. The channel of the Po was easier to deviate astray than the Heathen Tide will be.

Those are my words, I thank thee for listenning to them,

Senator Dandolo

Oh, and a final note : my grudge against the Byzantines has nothing to do with family history. I have only the greatest good of the Serenissima Republica in my mind and as my goals. The control of the Dardanelles would be an asset for the Republic, not for us.
Well, yes, for us too, as it would insure a safe trade through them.
But we are the Republic, what strengthen us strengthens the Republic.
1 F, 2 A, 3 A, 4 O, 5 O, 6 O, 7 O

My respected fellow senators,

I do not feel our reputation will be too damaged if we take over the city defenses. Hoping for an alliance (2 & 3) (and/or peaceful annexation later on), on the other hand, carries unacceptable risks. What if the Turks succeed in occupying the city even for one day? They may force the emperor into capitulation.

Waiting for the Ottoman's initiative (4 & 5) is passive, we may be forced into war when we are not ready. Carmagnola will retire one day, and the Turks grow stronger every year.

Whatever your choice, we must choose, heed the words of Senator Lawkeeper. I shall only comment on the last two options, to remind you of why Constatinople is essential to our long term success, besides God's will and the solidarity with our fellow eastern Christians.

*The turks, our most dangerous enemy, won't gain the riches of the city, nor the Byzantine fleet.

*We will prevent them from setting up a rival commercial power in the eastern mediterranean.

*Tactically, we will be able to hold the straits without resupplying and with the protection of our forts, so we won't have to split our fleets unnecessarily. The Turks will be forced to fight us only with their western troops, no matter how many they will hold in Asia, unless they gain sea supremacy. Should we take over Thessolonica's defense later on, their expansion in the Balkans will be severely reduced.

*Finally, we'll be able to hold the straits against Genoa, and prevent them from reinforcing Kerch, should we decide to secure that center of trade in the future.

The prosperity of the Republic and the survival of Christendom have been laid at your feet. Choose now, knowing that one day you will be held accountable by the Highest Judge.

EDITED for punctuation
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Fear not your decision senator Horvendile and all the rest, because life is like a game, made of good and bad decisions, and with the right attitude both can be enjoyed the same. Think of the wrong decisions that we might take as added difficulties that will make us worth of praise when we overcome them. Who is to tell what role is reserved for the valiant count of Carmagnola at our service? Our enemies are already aware that our force is now increased. We shall keep a close watch on our new capitano generale, because the despotic and cruel Filippo Maria Visconti will exert pressure over Carmagnola to get him back in his service. Lets remember that his family still lives near Torino, in the Piedmonte, an area under control of the Duke of Milano.

But let me now express my wonder at the result of this event choice. Because not in a hundred years I thought I would find a single soul willing to exchange such amount of riches and inflation for a temporary leader that can command but one army. With that money and inflation I could rise and army of 22,000 foot soldiers and 4,000 knights, in addition to our forces, capable of laying siege to 2 to 4 provinces more. These forces would remain at our service for as long as needed, and would not disappear come certain date.

Imagine my surprise when not one but every senator showed support for such, in my eyes, wasteful use of resources. Let me add that this fulfills one of my most ardent desires: that of having a game different to the ones I usually play

Event decission 2 is officially closed.
Alas, I see that my family travels have taken me far from my post in the Senate at a critical moment. Usually at these times of festivness, I remain firmly lodged at my family villa, but my wife's father has celebrated his 70th birthday and he deserved a celebration of some magnitude. Thus, we travelled to the ancient city of Chicaggonelle (do not fret your minds if you cannot locate such a place for it does not oft lie on most maps that you may possess my dear friends). :p The weather is atrocious, though my young lasses are pleased to see rain fall softly as if small feathers; amazing to their minds used to warmer climes.

But to the situation at hand. I see that word has reached my ears far too late to have any impact on our decision to hire the mercenary. Is it so inconceivable to you that a decent leader of Venetian descent could not rise to glory? And at a cost of 2% inflation? Have you lost your minds? Alas.

And, now, to hear that some of you are so ambivalent about our own interest regarding the ancient city. Nay, I do hate the Greeks nor those living around Constantinople, but not in 1000 years could we prop up the dottering empire. We could spend every ducat in our personal finances and still that province WILL FALL. Have you not watched the ravaneous Ottomans swallow up other lands in the Balkans? Do you not realize that they will not allow us to remain a free Republic? Have you learned nothing of history?

And, regardless of your own information, my spies and personal confidents tell me that the Bey has already made plans to move his capitol to Constantinople should he conquer the city. Thus, this is not merely some desire on my part for Venice to conquer the world or merely eliminate the Greeks living on the Straights. But should the Ottomans move their capitol to Constantinople, then our only hope of EVER holding the straights would mean a prolonged campaign against the Ottomans in the hope of removing them from existance. To this, I disagree; though the Ottomans are a danger to us across the waters, in the place of Asia Minor, they can be our friend at holding other infidels at bay. Yes, once we remove them from the Balkans, we ignore them, leaving them to wallow and wrestle with their like-minded infidel friends. In doing so, this allows us to return our focus to Italy.

But if they take the Ancient City, we are doomed to a struggle that will last longer than our own lives. Thus, our consideration MUST be as to what is best for us. If taking over (and I NEVER said go to war with Byzantium) Constantinople is best for us, then it is. Let us go forward!

1F, 2A, 3A, 4O, 5O, 6O, 7O
Not to distract your eminences from the important issues discussed, but I'd like to state that I want all senators to feel at home in this Consiglio Maggiore. New senators that join us are always warmly welcomed, and senators that take leave of absence are missed, and when they rejoin it is appreciated. The motive for this message is to say that it is the policy of the Doge not to personally acknowledge any senatorial changes to emphasize the freedom of the senators to come and go. But this silent policy should not distract the senators from the high esteem in which they are held. This senatorial chamber is crucial for the Serenissima Repubblica de Venetia.
Election 8
1F, 2A, 3O, 4A, 5O, 6O, 7O

I don't have much to add to the points senators Lawkeeper. Carmagnola and Carlec have made.

Only that I can understand the senators who want to wait until Byzantium is attacked by the Ottomans and it seems sure that Byzantium will fall. Getting Byzantium then would be ideal, we would lose nothing and we would prevent the Ottomans from growing too strong.
But the risk of failure is too great. If our armies were on time, it is unsure if the Ottomans would let us command the siege. Their sultan surely wouldn't if he were present.

The safe way to stop the Ottoman threat is to strike now!
Inactivity is the worst possible solution. I rather have a decision against the values of my family than see the course of action decided somewhere else than in this august body of men.
Election 8 : Byzantine Empire policy
1O 2F 3A 4A 5A 6A 7O

Futhermore, I offer my nephew Andrea Nordino for arranging a marriage with one of the daugthers of Jannus, king of Cyprus. That would benefit Venice, and of course help secure the concessions he can grant my family on this island.
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Honorable senators,

Under advice from our new capitano generale della genti di terra, count Carmagnola, and considering the foreign policies already approved by the senate in regard to our enemies, on the 28th of February, 1425, we have declared the state of war between our Serenissima Repubblica and the Duchy of Milan, keeping our greek allies out of it.


Unlike Genoa and the Ottoman Empire, Milan constitutes the best target because we hold a casus belli against them, and because in his politics of alliances, Visconti has joined several german countries (Luxembourg, Palatinate, Wirtemberg, and Bavaria) and Naples. None of them holds military access from any other country and will not participate in the war. To prevent surprises we did not ask Athens to participate, since their help is not needed.

The war proceeded satisfactorily, and on the 28th of April, 1427, we have negotiated a favorable peace agreement with Filippo Maria Visconti. I will let our commissioner in the army of count Carmagnola, young Enrico Donato to give you an eyewitness report.

Even more good news. When in April 1425, the Pope declared war to Burgundy, Modena abandoned the alliance they had with them. Our embassy was able to convince Niccolo III Estensi, duke of Modena, of the advantages of joining our liberation war against the tyrant Visconti, and since then he has remained our loyal ally.


To complete our excellent period, and regarding our now strained economy, we have received a gift to the state. Half of it was spent in 2000 infantry and 1000 cavalry, to help wit the war effort, while the other half was spent in appointing a tax collector. We had to stop sending merchants because we lack the necessary funds. We are going to have to mint with the goal of improving our damaged relationship with Milan and incorporating them to our alliance to protect them from their previsible wars against the germans, italians, french and spaniards.


But there is also a little bit of bad news. As I was afraid, the war that the foolish Ioannes, son of the Basileio Manuel II, declared on Ghazi and Kara Koyunlu, taking advantage of his father's illness, has taken a turn for the worse. The imperial forces have been unable to achieve any significant result against Ghazi, since Smyrna was first taken and then lost. The mistake made by Ioannes, of sending all the troops to fight in Antalya, a province with terrible conditions, has been used by a powerful army of black sheep turks, that has come to the walls of Constantinople without resistance, and is trying to take her. I have given orders to Carmagnola to embark his army and go to the Bosporus, but it will take him about 5 months before he can get to Thrace. The warnings of senator lawkeeper Dandolo about the distance have resulted prophetical. Our involvement in the milanese war has already delayed us by four more months.


Our agreements with Manuel Palealogus died with him in 1425, and had not been renewed with his son. The session over the Byzantine policy is still open to debate. By entering a foolish war and letting his army to be destroyed, Ioannes has showed to be a Basileios incapable of defending Constantinople. Most senators were favorable to an intervention. If that is our final decission, we should give Carmagnola ample powers to depose Ioannes and take charge of Constantinople if he is still on time, or to attack the black sheep turks and recover Constantinople if it has already fallen.

Doge Francesco Foscari
Dear Doge Francesco Foscari,

We are listening great news from you. The report about the war against the Viscontis is full of useful information and the victory has been clear and undisputable. Also the alliance with the House of Este in Ferrara and Modena is very useful. But now, it's time to leave Italy in peace and turn our attention to Costantinople. With the capture of Mantua and the vassalisation of Milan, the "land front" can be considered quiet for a while. Costantinople is in great danger and we have to take it before someone else does!

Probably leaving it to the Qara Koyunlu faction could be in tactical terms a good solution, limiting for a while the expansion of the Ottoman Turks, but on a strategic point of view it could be a disaster for Venetian interests. If we want the city, we can take it now: it's undefended and the superiority of our commander in chief should give him priority in a siege with the Qara Koyunlu. If we stay at the window now, we would need to go well into Asia to gain a sufficient advantage with the Qara Koyunlu to be able to ask Costantinople...