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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Veldmaarschalk

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Hi,

This will be my first non-CK AAR.

Game: EUIII, patch 1.1
Nation: Salerno
Date: January 1st, 1492


This will be a continuation (part II if you wish) of one of my favourite AAR's

The Last Lombard Princes of Italy

My latest CK AAR's haven't really gone well, hopefully this EUIII AAR will
 

Veldmaarschalk

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The return of the Lombards​

Gaimar VIII
ruled 1483 – 1504​

01GaimarVIII.jpg
Gamair VIII,
king of Salerno,
prince of Salerno, duke of Apulia and Calabria,
Marquis of Abruzzi​

Gaimar VIII was the youngest son of king Arichis I. The marriage of Arichis with a pagan princess, Pereyslava of Cieszyn, had sent a shockwave through the Lombard empire. The people, lead by the clergy, believed that Arichis wanted to make paganism the state-religion, forbidding all Christian ceremonies and they were even afraid that he would murder all monks and priests within the empire. If this was ever Arichis plan, we don’t know since our sources about this time are scarce and unreliably. But what we do know is that this fear spread very fast within the kingdom, resulting in revolts all through the empire.

Arichis I, instead of trying to convince the people of his good intentions reacted to these revolts with a harshness and cruelty unknown to Europe until then. Nobody was safe anymore for the king and his wife, everyone who dared to speak up, was caught, imprisoned, tortured and eventually killed.

The situation grew so worse that even his closest friends were driven into the hands of the rebels. Independent nations sprang up everywhere in Germany, Spain, France, the Balkans and Greece.

A small comfort for Arichis I was the fact that not only his empire started to crumble, but also the Cuman-Ugric Empire in central and eastern Europe. The Poles, Hungarians and Russians all had enough of their pagan overlords. And the Cuman-Ugric Empire dissolved even faster then the Lombard one.

Arichis I died in 1460 and at that time, the Lombard empire was no more. His eldest son, Landulf VI now only ruled over Italy and Sicily, but even this he wasn’t able to hold. The people had enough of the Salerno’s, especially the rich and important towns in northern Italy, Milan, Venice, Genoa and Florence demanded more freedom and an end to feudalism.

Landulf VI did his best to resolve these problems peacefully, but the reforms he suggested weren’t going far enough for the people in the North, but the rich and powerful Lombard nobility in the south, were opposed to the suggested reforms, since it would mean that they would lose a lot of their influence in the affairs of the state. The Lombard nobility found a supporter in the younger brother of king Landulf VI, Gaimar.

And in 1482, a coup was staged in the capitol, king Landulf was brutally murdered in his own bedroom and his brother Gaimar was proclaimed the new king, Gaimar VIII. But this coup couldn’t prevent the loss of northern Italy, where the major cities now all declared themselves independent and formed the Lombard League

Gaimar VIII, though a supporter of the nobility never had the intention of overthrowing his own brother and he was totally shocked when the nobles put the crown on his head. The nobles now urged Gaimar to mobilise the army and retake the lands in northern Italy that was rightfully theirs they claimed.


Gaimar VIII, whose motto was ‘Real men fight, Sissy’s talk’ wasn’t a fool. He knew that the north was much richer then the south which meant that they could field much larger armies then his. and though the cities now looked divided an attack by him would make them unite against him, so he at first refused to listen to his nobles.

But his position was weak, the nobles wouldn’t listen to him and soon he found himself at war not only with the Lombard League but also with the kingdom of Aragon, who had allied with the Lombard League.

The war was soon over and a peace-conference was held, under the Papal guidance in Rome. Gaimar was forced to denounce all his claims on Italy and had to accept the independence of Genoa, Milan, Mantua, Modena, Florence, Venice, Siena and Urbino. And the kingdom of Aragon was given the islands of Sardinia and Sicily. Though Gaimar didn’t denounce his claims on these islands.

There was also a small cultural revolution, the Renaissance started to spread southwards and, painters, poets, writers all found a warm welcome at the court of Gaimar VIII who became known as a Patron of the Arts.

Now that the land was finally at peace, Gaimar VIII slowly but steadily started to reform the country. The power of the nobles was curbed, and though the feudal law was still dominant, more and more power came into the hands of Gaimar VIII and his advisors. His advisors were mostly foreigners at that time, from Germany and the Low countries, the most important among them were Hans Memling, Filips Wielant and Ulrich Fugger.

court1492.jpg

Ten years after the treaty of Rome, the political situation in northern Italy had changed, the republics that had sprung up now only existed in Venice, Genoa and Florence. In the other towns, local families had taken over control and were now ruling the land like in the old feudal days.


‘To his royal highness,
Gaimar VIII,
king of Salerno,
prince of Salerno, duke of Apulia and Calabria,
Marquis of Abruzzi


Your majesty, I must say that I find your suggestion to change the name of our kingdom from Sicily to Salerno, simply brilliant. Using the name Sicily without actually holding the island of Sicily is indeed a ridiculous. I will sent out messengers to all our ambassadors and consuls to inform them of our name change including the news that our flag has been changed to. From now on the beautiful blue flag with the white-cross of Salerno will now be flown on all our castles and government buildings.

Your ever loyal servant,
Filips Wielant, secretary of the interior.’​
 

Dysken

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Good to see a continuation of that AAR, one of my favourites actually. Good luck and may the Lombard flag fly over Italy once more!
 

coz1

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Nice set up, Veld. Good luck. :)
 

Storey

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Man that was a rough start. :eek: Good luck you're going to need it. ;)

Joe
 

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One of my favourites also. Great to see a sequel.
 

unmerged(24320)

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i'm in ! ! :D

excellent start ! ! :cool:
 

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It really sounds like I've missed something not reading the old CK one. This looks very nice. :)
 

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The reign of Gaimar VIII​


mapofitalyjp.jpg

Italy in 1492


In the summer of 1492, Gaimar VIII achieved a big diplomatic success, with the forming of the ‘Quadruple Alliance’, between the kingdom of Salerno, the duchy of Milan, the duchy of Urbino and the Margravate of Modena.

The 4 nations promised each other the following things

I. To mutually come to each others aid, when one of them was attacked
II. To stop the expansion of the rich merchant republic of Venice
III. Prevent any foreign nation from gaining control over any part of Italy
IV. To conquer back all Italian lands currently in the hands of the non-Italians​

To strengthen the alliance, marriages were arranged between the 4 ruling families.

In 1493, the duke of Milan, Giovanni Galleazo II, called upon his allies to support him in a war against the Swiss republic. This was much discussion between Gaimar VIII and his advisors. They all told him, that attacking the Swiss republic wasn’t something that was stated in the treaty, the Swiss didn’t hold any Italian lands nor were they plotting to seize any Italian land. This war was just a Milanese act of aggression against a peaceful neighbour.

But Gaimar VIII, thought differently. It was time he said that the Salernitian army proofed itself in battle and what better exam could there be then fighting against the famous Swiss pikemen. So the royal army, consisting of 2,000 heavy cavalry and 4,000 men-at-arms marched north.

The poor Swiss didn’t know what hit them and soon the Swiss field army was in full retreat and Gaimar’s army started to besiege Zürich, while the duke of Milan besieged Bern.

When after a short siege both cities were taken, a peace-treaty was signed. The Swiss republic would pay 50 ducats as indemnities to Salerno, while the province of Schwyz would go to the duke of Milan and hereby came an end to the 1st Milanese-Swiss War.


castellogisolfo.jpg

Castello Gisolfo



The royal palace of the kings of Salerno, Castello Gisolfo, was situated on a small promontory in the gulf of Napoli. Each Lombard prince and king had added or altered the palace to its own liking and Gaimar wanted to use the 50 gold ducats to improve the palace even more.

But Ulrich Fugger, the Secretary of Trade told him that there were better ways to use this money. The Salernitian fleet, he told Gaimar, was in a sad condition it consisted of just 5 old galleys. If Gaimar wanted to win back the islands of Sicily and Sardinia from Aragon then the fleet would have to be strengthened, so that it could at least transport the army to the islands.
Gaimar was easily persuaded, seeing the advantages of this plan and the order was therefor given to start building 3 new type of ships, ‘cogs’. With these ships it would be possible to transport a considerable army over sea.

Now that Italy was at peace again, Gaimar and his advisors had time to improve the internal situation of the kingdom, lots of money was spent on increasing the trade-revenues and subsidies were given to traders who wanted to gain a foothold in the commercial centres of Genoa and Venezia.

But pouring all this money into the economy didn’t seem to have the wanted effect, the Salernitian merchants had almost no success in trading and with all that money around, prices in Salerno started to rise.

Gaimar VIII, who was a military man didn’t know much about economics couldn’t understand that this was happening, but luckily for him and Salerno, his secretary of Trade did and on his advice in 1496 the National Bank of Salerno was founded. The purpose of the Bank would be to regulate the minting of gold and to see that the currency in used would keep its value.

While the economy stabilised itself, Gaimar his eye turned toward the sea, the cogs were built and his fleet was ready, all it needed was a man to command it. He found this man in Grimoald Farini, a man of low birth but with great knowledge of the sea, since he had been a sailor for almost his entire life.

In 1499 everything ready, to start the reconquest of Sicily, but when Gaimar was finishing his final draft for his declaration of war, news came from Milan. The 2nd Milanese-Swiss war had started and Giovanni Galleazo II requested Gaimar to join him again.

This of course wasn’t at all to Gaimar’s liking, he didn’t want a war in northern Italy, he wanted to conquer Sicily. He therefor, politely but firmly told the Milanese ambassador that he wished them all the luck but he would not tell his army to march north again.

The Milanese ambassador was furious of course, calling Gaimar and his advisors, ‘backstabbing, dishonest, hideous barbarians’. His duke would not forget this insult.

Soon it became clear to Gaimar that he had made a mistake, since both the duke of Urbino and the marquis of Modena had joined the duke of Milan, the ‘Quadruple Alliance’ had come to an end and all 3 nations blamed Gaimar for this.

In the north, the Venetian Republic was the real benefactor. Since while the Milanese army was fighting in the mountains, it took the opportunity to invade the Milanese province of Lombardia and Genoa.

Gaimar, cancelled his plan for the invasion of Sicily. Aragon was to strong to be attacked by Salerno alone, he needed new allies. But they were hard to find, and neither a royal marriage with Castille nor a trade-agreement with Venice convinced these two nations to accept Salerno as an ally.

But in 1502 his search for allies had finally succeeded, the republics of Firenze and Siena were willing to form a defensive alliance, though both republics were rich they were also small so Gaimar was very pleased when just a couple of months later he was able to convince Pope Pius III to form an alliance with Salerno. Pius III brought with him two other allies, the arch-bishop of Bremen and the Knights Hospitallers of Rhodes. These small nations of course couldn’t contribute much to the Salernitian effort, but the prestige of being a friend and ally of the Pope was still a good thing.

Then suddenly, Gaimar started to have doubts about his Sicilian adventure. The risk would be to great he said, Aragon was much more powerful then Salerno. The invasion might just as well backfire on him. No he said, we need to expand in Italy first, our fleet and army aren’t strong enough.

The duchy of Urbino would be the target he decided, it was a small, single province nation, completely surrounded by Salerno and his allies and Urbino was already at war, with Venice.

Urbino, was invaded in the summer of 1502 and since its army and duke were away Gaimar was offered no opposition and soon the Ducal capital, Urbino was in his hands. Urbino was annexed by Salerno and the former duke Guidobaldo was forced to cede his title to Gaimar.

When Gaimar returned to Salerno a victory parade was held, to celebrate the first expansion of the kingdom in decades. Envoys from all over Europe went to Salerno to congratulate Gaimar with his success, the most important of them was the ambassador of the king of France, Louis XI.

Gaimar could get a long very well with the sophisticated Frenchman and he was very pleased to announce that the king of France had agreed to a marriage between one of his sons and a cousin of Gaimar. The marriage deal also had a secret clause, Gaimar promised the king of France not to interfere in the war that was about to begin between the king of France and Pope Pius III.

The advisors of Gaimar were shocked when they heard about this secret clause, the Pope they argued was a good and valuable ally, to give this up for a marriage of a French prince wasn’t worth it. It was also a very dishonest thing to do, they said, not very honourable. Gaimar told them that the alliance with the Pope had served his purpose. If he would give the king of France a free hand then he was convinced that Louis XI would help him in the upcoming war against Aragon.

His advisors very much doubted if this would happen, the relations between France and Aragon were to good they said. And not honouring an alliance for the 2nd time in a short time would make Salerno look very bad in the eyes of the other rulers of Europe.

And they were right, when the king of France and his vassal-states declared war on the Papal State, the people in Europe were shocked when they heard that king Gaimar refused to help Pope Pius III. But Gaimar didn’t have to live long with this knowledge, in the summer of 1504 he suddenly fell ill and he died soon afterwards, to be succeeded by his eldest son, Landulf.

 
Last edited:

Veldmaarschalk

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Dysken said:
Good to see a continuation of that AAR, one of my favourites actually. Good luck and may the Lombard flag fly over Italy once more!

Thanks and that is indeed my goal, though the game may force me in another direction


Chief Ragusa said:
I seem to recall evil events befall Salerno Kings named Gaimar.

Correct, though Gaimar VIII has proven to be the exception to the rule

coz1 said:
Nice set up, Veld. Good luck.

Thanks

Storey Man said:
that was a rough start. Good luck you're going to need it.

Joe

Thanks, though the introduction didn't really happen in my game :) When I ended in CK I controlled half of Europe and North-Africa, starting in that position wouldn't be much fun I reckoned, so I made the empire fall apart

Snake IV said:
It really sounds like I've missed something not reading the old CK one. This looks very nice.

You can still read it ;)

GhostWriter said:
i'm in ! ! excellent start ! !

Glad to have you on board

stnylan said:
One of my favourites also. Great to see a sequel.

Thanks
 

Snake IV

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Veldmaarschalk said:
You can still read it ;)
Or so you would think. I am very bad at catching up on longer AARs or reading finished ones, I fail almost everytime I try. Therefore I am always so happy when I find an AAR by a great famous writer when it just started, like now. ;)
 

Rensslaer

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What an opportunity! I get to watch a Veldmaarschalk AAR from the very beginning! :D

I was very impressed by your work in "Last Lombards" -- I'll look forward to seeing this!

Rensslaer
 

coz1

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You had better watch all that alliance jumping or you'll get a bad reputation. However, you might be able to leverage an alliance with France that would surely benefit you against Aragon.
 

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It seems to be that Gaimar needs to learn how to stick to a plan. As I recall the name was not exactly wrapped in glory in the CK game.

Oh, and I spotted a small type: but he would tell his army to march north again. I rather suspect from the context he meant would not tell his army... ;)
 

Lord E

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Very good start, you have not set up an easy situation for yourself, but it makes a great story and so far it has been great to read. I look forward to more :)
 

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That was not a Gaimar. No Gaimar is that successful. I refuse to accept the king as a Gaimar. But I'm confident in Landulf and wish you luck in making this aar as great as the first one!:D
 

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Interesting Start V. Glad to read one of your AAR's again. And, what did you do to your old, awesome avatar?
 

Veldmaarschalk

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Snake IV
Yes, I know I have the same problem. Reading an entire 'old' AAR is pretty hard

Rensslaer
Thanks, hopefully your strategy guide helps me a bit in my game

stnylan and coz1
I tried to rollplay Gaimar as being a real Gaimar :). But somehow he did better then I expected

Lord E
Thanks and welcome

Nikolai
Well you know , EUIII is a whole new concept. No more scripted events and characters so the Gaimar's you knew are not the Gaimar's in this game :).
This Gaimar did pretty well for a Lombard

Singleton Mosby
I got a bit bored with it, so I changed it to fit with the AAR's that I am writing. I am still looking for a good, cool one that fits my name :cool:
 

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Veldmaarschalk said:
Singleton Mosby
I got a bit bored with it, so I changed it to fit with the AAR's that I am writing. I am still looking for a good, cool one that fits my name :cool:

Aha, now I understand.....:) PIc the personal Coat of Arms of a fieldmarshal you admire :)