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Zardnaar

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So you have chosen to play the most Serene Republic of Venice? Perosnally I have found Venice a lot of fun in EUIV. One has to work at it to avoid being annihilated and it is not as roll face on keyboard easy like the Ottomans or Austria for example. Anyway I will do a small pro/con list.

Pros.

Good starting navy
Expansion location
Somewhat wealthy
Merchant Republic
Level 3 docks in Venice
Has a variety of options for play style
Super galleys (cheap)

Cons
Neighbors (Austria/France/usually Ottomans)
Manpower can be an issue
Not the best location for colonial growth
Ottomans
France
BBB
Wild Turks
Bourbon dynasty
Central Asian horsemen
Franks
Big Green Blob

The cons can be ignored 93% of the time. Anyway some national ideas. Venice can go in multiple directions for the most part you can chose where you want to focus. Naval and trade seem obvious but Venice is not that good at a colonial empire. In theory one could go and colonize Indonesia and direct trade back to Venice via Alexandria the reality is the Ottomans/Mameluks make that a pipe dream at east early in the game. In any event one can make more than enough money from Venice as you do not need thousands of ducats a month. One can't spend them fast enough anyway. In general I think Venice has 3 no brainer options for national ideas.

1. Diplomatic
2. Naval
3. Defensive.

I normally take diplomatic 1st just so I can have decent relations with Austria/and Milan. Other early picks perhaps worth taking are economic and innovative as the earlier you take those ones the better they are. Mid game plutocratic and religious are not to bad. For religion protestant is excellent for Venice just difficult to convert and it helps to have the religious ideas. Religion helps anyway with stability and converting high value provinces like Austrian ones and Constantinople. Also gives you a holy war CB which can be useful early.

Early Expansion.
It can be difficult to expand as Venice early on due to being stuck between overlapping alliances and having Austria on your back. Send a diplomat to improve relations with Austria and Milan if you have a spare one. You can probably afford to hire an admin advisor as well. You do get a starting mission to take Ragusa which is a great choice for an immediate DoW as soon as the game starts, Its a freebie and after that one should try acquire Bosnia/Serbia as vassals which can be difficult if Hungary is getting involved. This is important for later in the game to have as much of the Ragusa trade node as you can. One wants to keep your aggressive expansion low at the start of the game. An early trick you can do very early is the old block the straits/DoW on the Ottomans once they have taken Albania and moved there forces into Anatolia. Similar to the Byzantine trick you will not gain any provinces just try and slow Ottoman expansion down. Ideally you will be able to make a peace deal with the Ottomans flipping a few provinces over to the Byzantines/Bulgaria.

You do not want to overdo the early wars with the Ottomans but you may be able to distract them enough to get Serbia/Bosnia area. After annoying the Ottomans be very careful in the future with them as your naval advantage is a temporary one unless you take the naval idea as your 1st or 2nd choice and can afford to build a large number of galleys. Barques are a bit pricey early on and you do not have that much trade power in Venice anyway. Once the balkens are semi secure move a merchant there and forward trade to Venice. You have 3 merchants and the one in Wien is probably wasting his time.

The other area one can expand early is southern Italy. Naples usually blows up and sooner or later you can fabricate a claim on Abruzzi or another province. Your Venetian army + maybe a few mercs should be able to deal with Naples or any Italian minor in southern Italy. Just be careful of whoever is the HRE if Mantua or another member of the HRE has expanded into southern Italy. Sicily is also nice but not required and Aragorn or Spain will likely be there at some points. Austria usually self destructs and allying with France can be a good idea. As long as you have a fleet they can't actually invade Venice itself. Only the Ottomans or France are likely to be able to match your fleet and actually try to do anything about it. Slowly expand into central and northern Italy. By 1580 or so you should have most of Italy under your control. You may even be able to form Italy! You generally want Italy anyway just because it is rich and you get more trade power in Venice once you eliminate some of the competition. It gives you resources to face the true enemy- the Ottomans!!!

To Italy or not.
I generally avoid forming Italy but if you want to form Italy you get a decent infantry modifier and reconquest CBs on what you do not already have. I'm assuming you want to do the naval/trade Venetian game though. One could focus on land and take some different national ideas perhaps and focus on expansion into Austria and ultimately France. You are still probably to weak vs France though and forming Italy you become a monarchy and lose a merchant and a diplomat. One could do that but it is probably to early IMHO.

The Sultans Neck. Wall of Text viva Venice.


In most games the Ottomans seem to blob like mad throughout the eastern Balkans and middle east. Do not count on any allies or help from the west as this is not EUIII with Britain/Castile/France thinking of having a middle east empire. In the early and mid game the Ottomans are usually worse than France (better units) and they have lots of them and rich provinces. To really take them on though you are going to need the naval national idea assuming you have not already taken it I normally take it as my 3rd or 4th idea. You are going to need a fleet to be able to block the Dardanelles and to keep the ottoman fleets out of the Adriatic Sea. You may even have the holy war CB for low AE penalties but the Ottomans can likely chop up any army Venice can field. Basically you have to destroy the Ottoman fleet, blockade the straits and siege out every province they have west of Constantinople. Rather than try and beat to many provinces out of them try and get key ones like Macedon which cuts them off in Greece. Each time you win a war make them release a nation in Anatolia as part of the peace deal. Helps if you have counter revolution idea and religion to convert the Sunni provinces. It is probably around 1580-1650 for the 1st major counter offensives vs the Ottomans. I generally try and make them release Anatolian minors around the coast of modern Turkey. War number 2-3-4 should try and cut them off in eastern Anatolia by making them release Syria/Irag and various Turkish minors. One can pick them off via fabricating claims, Greek and Bulgarian patriots should take care of the European side of things. Keep constant pressure on the Ottomans as they can recover and bounce back easily enough.

Trade.
Once you are expanding east and have the naval ideas and can have a large navy (spam level 3 shipyards in every coastal province) Venice can make around 100 gold per month via forwarding trade from Ragusa and Constantinople. The ottomans will usually forward trade from Alexandria. If you get a 4th merchant he can make decent bank by forwarding trade from the Crimea to Constantinople just have a fleet to transfer around 75% of that trade forward with no relevant provinces. You do not really need the trade idea as Venace unless you manage to punch through to Aden and beyond which would probably require a very aggressive player/ottoman collapse. 4-5 merchants will make you enough money. The extra merchants can come from plutocracy or Indian trade routes.

Late Game (18th century+)
By now Venice can probably mop up the Ottomans/ go crazy with rapid expansion in the east. Innovative and Administration lets you field very large mercenary armies. 50-60k mercenaries+10-20k of your own men and they can assault level 5 forts. Pure mercs are good enough vs level 2 an 3 forts in the east. France may invade you every now and then with 80k+ troops so your army+mercs can throw them back and wipe out the stacks in Italy proper. Once they have lost a few go rampaging through France itself with pure merc armies and assault out all the level 2 and 3 fort provinces. This causes you no war weariness and wrecks the French. Make them release Guyanne and other provinces in much the same way you dismantled the Ottomans.

That is basically it. Do not expand to fast early on and do not expect to be controlling Alexandria by 1600 (great if you can:). 3 games of Venice played so I am getting better each time. Last games techs in order.
Diplomatic
Innovative
Defensive
Religious
Naval
Plutocratic
Administrative
Trade
 
Last edited:

General Baker

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Juggernaught

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Thanks for the nice guide. If I am playing a Republic, my first NI pick would be Plutocratic. But Venice has special circumstances so it is ok to chose whatever you like, I guess. Diplomatic reputation kicks in pretty late in the idea tree to make impact on Ottos/Habsburgs.
 

kfijatass

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Thanks for the nice guide. If I am playing a Republic, my first NI pick would be Plutocratic. But Venice has special circumstances so it is ok to chose whatever you like, I guess. Diplomatic reputation kicks in pretty late in the idea tree to make impact on Ottos/Habsburgs.
Personally I'd take religion first and stab Ottomans in the back with the very first overextension of theirs.
 

Zardnaar

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Personally I'd take religion first and stab Ottomans in the back with the very first overextension of theirs.
Have you made this work?
 

nalivayko

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Have you made this work?
I've managed to defeat them a couple of items by 1492 - joining coalitions... The trick, of course, is to attack first and not wait for the Mamelukes to assume the leader role.
 
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Personally, I've found it possible to defeat Ottomans with pure Light Ships fleet (even before I've started going over forcelimits, which is too cheap). And with pure light ships fleet you can dominate Venezia, Ragusa, Constantinople and Alexandria while having not that many provinces by 1500 and have trade income of 40-50. And with such income you can kill whoever you wish with mercs.
 

Zardnaar

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I've managed to defeat them a couple of items by 1492 - joining coalitions... The trick, of course, is to attack first and not wait for the Mamelukes to assume the leader role.
I don't use coalition mechanics lol. Always scared they gonna blow up in my face somehow.
 

kfijatass

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Have you made this work?
Yeah, fairly easy. Get fuckton of galleys, be coalition leader and block turks away from Constantinople when they're east dealing with mamelukes or one of the Turkish OPM's. Chances they'll have armies to the left of Anatolia are really slim.
 

Alech

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Looking for some advice on enacting the "Form Italy" decision as Venice. Anyone know if I lose my Plutocratic idea line and if so do I get a completed Aristocratic line in it's place?

Any other bits of advice would be great as well.
 

Juggernaught

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No you don't lose your Plutocratic idea. But why form Italy and lose your awesome ideas? Your capital trade node will also move to Genoa.
 

The Blood Eagle

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Venice has the early-game advantage of being able to out-spam galleys on the Ottomans and take them out the same way the Byzantines do. Plus you start out with Greek as an accepted culture - and I think in Venice's case it won't ever go away regardless of empire size. Could be wrong on that, though.

Your capital trade node will also move to Genoa.
Which is completely lame.
 

hauptman

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My venitian game turned out to be entirely too easy.

Couple notes... Venice actually does not need the defensive line... their national idea is only 25% (instead of 50%) but that's good enough... I at one point through a triggered modifier had all my army weights reduced to zero ( I did take the def mil idea) so marching 75 regiments through the arabian desert caused zero attrition.. theretically i could have been using a thousand regiments and never would have lost a man.

Egypt and arabia are must haves, as well as greece. All your trade must go through there so might as well dominate them. Ragusa was, and still is my trade weak link... I loose far too much out of there... but i can bypass it for a month or two and let the other fleets wander off... very nice having the alaxandria node giving you multiple choices... Still it's best to have it goto constantinople most of the time.
 

smellymummy

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it's incredible lame that after all this time, a player can still screw up the turks by blocking the straights
 

The Blood Eagle

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it's incredible lame that after all this time, a player can still screw up the turks by blocking the straights
"My Sultan, the Venetians are setting our lands ablaze in Greece!"

"Well redirect some of our troops over to deal with it, we have plenty."

"But they have 12 galleys in the Bosphorus..."

*Mehmet II flees the city*
 
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HankHank

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What's a good naval ratio build for Venice? Are light ships a necessity for trade like other powers?
 

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I have been playing solely Venice as I love the constant anticipation and diplomatic challenge that comes with a) being non-HRE bordering the usual Emperor, b) competing with the 2 muslim powers for trade, c) holding the other italian powers in check, d) racing the other major powers (France, Spain, Portugal) to stay relevant. I have become pretty good at it, and I usually quit games because I am far too powerful. I would like to add some advice to your guide.

1) The main strength of Venice is that it is FLEXIBLE. You have the ability to expand into the rich Italian provinces with your strong army (and mercenaries), or into Austria during other wars. You can expand into the Balkans or snipe Greece from the Ottomans for Alexandria -> Ragusa -> Venice trade, which keeps the Ottomans poorer. You can use your merchants to influence the flow of gold around the Mediterranean, influencing the Genoa traders by never letting the money arrive. You can expand into Egypt to head toward India for trade. You can snipe Constantinople from the Ottomans and slowly outpace them. The only thing you can't really do is colonize the New World, but you can do that if you focus on it. Simply ask for fleet basing rights from Portugal and explore Brazil.

2) The main weakness of Venice is that she has strong enemies everywhere, and the more you expand/trade, the more people you'll piss off. You can't afford to fight more than 1 major power at once for awhile, and even that should require money for mercenaries.

Ok, some specific advice.

3) Watch your AE. You can't afford to let coalitions form against you like they did historically, as those coalitions may involve HRE Austria, France, Ottomans, and the Mamelukes, SIMULTANEOUSLY. That's scary!

4) Convert early if at all, and grab Rome if you do. And maybe Judea. I have tried staying Catholic and I have also tried converting to both Protestant and Reformed. I definitely feel that Protestant is the way to go as Venice. First, you should take Papal State territory early in the game as it is rich and does not involve Austria. Since you have: pissed off the Pope, all the other majors will remain Catholic (they have too much Curia control), and holding Rome as non-Catholic is worth Prestige and a Missionary, I strongly recommend converting. I find the -10% Idea Cost to be much better than +1 Adviser options. Money is money, you will have plenty anyway. Convert early to get lots of free conversions. In my current game, I am 100% Protestant, did NOT take Religious ideas, and have a lot of land in Italy, the Balkans, Greece & Islands, and Egypt/Syria. It was easy and painless because I swapped early.

5) Snipe Constantinople IMMEDIATELY, as well as grab Ragusa. The Ottomans will not know quite what to do once you acquire Constantinople, and that is a ton of money you get and they never see. I also snipe the rest of Greece, Diploannex my vassals, wait for the mission to take Cyprus, and then use that to take Rhodes. And use Cyprus to take Egypt piece by piece.

6) I recommend using Plutocracy, as you don't need the Military points for actual Military, and Plutocracy improves your economy with Mil points! And the finisher is gorgeous.

7) You do NOT need Diplomacy or Religious ideas. Take something in the Diplomatic area for your second branch (so you can spend Adm on cores and tech for more idea groups), I don't think you need Trade so early. Perhaps Naval to compete with the Ottos if they take it too. You'll need that morale boost, and the forcelimits help you trade!

8) Punish Austria and Ottos frequently. Whenever Austria is in a war, make sure you have a claim on one of their provinces (Gorz first), and then try to take some rich Italian minor. Get both provinces in one war, weakening the Austrians and killing 2 birds with one stone. When the Ottos get in an Eastern war, or the Mamelukes get into war with the Ottos, jump them. Block the Bosphorus against Ottos, destroy Mameluke armies when taking Egypt.

9) Don't form Italy unless you really need to reset your AE. Venice's ideas are better, and Venice is a better trade node (less sharing with France and Spain) to collect in. The other reason to form Italy is if you colonized, as the only way to get New World trade over to you is at Genoa. The route is Brazil -> Ivory Coast -> Timbuktu -> Tunis -> Genoa.

People are asking about ships, ideas, and culture. If you form Italy, you will NOT lose Plutocracy, but you will be able to also take Autocracy. You can always lose accepted cultures if the total tax income from that culture falls below a threshold. The exception is if you formed a culture-union country (like Italy), then your culture group is permanently accepted. Finally, I recommend always keeping a galley fleet + transports that is 1.5 times the size of your enemy's fleet. Split your light ships to the trade nodes so you have somewhere between 50% and 70% trade power in the node. Less % is more efficient, and above 70% is atrociously inefficient.
 

Highbinder

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Aug 9, 2013
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No you don't lose your Plutocratic idea. But why form Italy and lose your awesome ideas? Your capital trade node will also move to Genoa.
Thanks for the reply and info! The trade nodes are not an issue since I own most of them and can steer trade to where I want. Plus I can always move my capital again if needed. Which If I were to do would be the Iberian Peninsula since it has the best trade node. The only things I will miss from the Venice National line is the extra diplomat. I guess the extra merchant, trade bonuses and cheaper navy maintenance are nice but I hate losing diplomats!

I agree that switching to Italy early is a big mistake but in mid-late game when you have conquered all the big boys and you are so rich you are buying yachts just to light them on fire than why not form Italy and get super infantry and the ability to use the all mighty PU and not worry about Republic Tradition. Which I find RT to be much harder to keep high than Legitimacy with my playing style.