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diegoami

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I have already made a Venice AAR, starting year 1399, but I am not fully satisfied to how it went (too easy, too detailed writing). Now, on my quest to becoming a better player and AAR writer, I will make another Venice AAR, but this time start date will be 1453. Hopefully it will be less one-sided and less schizofrenic.
I will use similar same house rules as in my former AAR, and some more. Game version is DW 5.2, December patch.
Difficulty Level : Hard.

House Rules :
  • No gamey stuff.
  • Do not let voluntarily let the enemy occupy Venice to trap them.
  • Infamy not worse than 50% of the BB limit.
  • Be a Republic, but NOT a Republican Dictatorship.
  • Moderate roleplaying - "What would Venice do?". Try always to maximize income.
  • Be naval and trade-oriented. Move sliders and choose national ideas accordingly.
  • QfTNW and Press Gangs national ideas are not allowed. Land Military national ideas are not allowed (possibly except Engineering Corps). No restrictions on advisors.
  • In general, pick "Venice-like" NIs.
  • No revolutionary NIs.
  • Balanced research.
  • No war without Casus Belli.
  • Spy Missions "Incite Natives, Fund Patriot/Nationalist/Rebel" are not allowed, Spy Missions "Support Revolt" are.
  • One diplo-annexation at a time.
  • Only one war declaration at a time on one day. Answer call to arms and don't declare war separately, unless that would mean war against an ally.
  • When called to arms, don't be a lackadaisical ally and fight the war for real. Don't leave the war unless you are sure your ally can win on its own.
  • Can't hold on to unlawful provinces.
  • Do not release vassals to reduce infamy.
  • Try and fulfill missions, if it turns out to be too hard it can be cancelled (but I will have to keep track of it as a negative score).
  • Do not become DoTF, and avoid getting uncored provinces using the holy war casus belli, unless it is a defensive war.
  • Do not excommunicate.
  • Don't take uncored provinces from "civilized countries" unless they are very rich, they are in a strategic position and/or I am "pissed off" at the country who attacked (Venice or an ally). Undeveloped colonies are fair game though.

Since it turns out that on this settings I am struggling, if things go terribly wrong I will go back to a previous load file. But I will write about the defeat, which I will then tell as some form of narrative.
 
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diegoami

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1454-1499 : From Lombardia to Ragusa

The Doge Francesco Foscarini's Nightmare
1453-1462 : First wars in Italy and the Balkans
1465-1468 : First War with Austria
1472-1486 : Milan, Bosnia - and Burgundy
The XVth century French-Iberian wars
1491-1499 : New wars, new allies
The 1491 letter to the Doge from Grand Captain Goncalves
Country Profile : Croatia

1500-1541 : From Suriname to the Ivory Coast

1500-1510 : War with Poland, Lithuania and England
1511-1517 : Second War with Austria
Extracts from the Doge Michele Casanova' memoirs
1517-1526 : the fist Aragonese Crusade against Granada
1527-1530 : Third war with Austria
Country Profile : Münster
1531-1541: The big, bad inflation monster

1542-1564 : From La Plata to Serbia

1543-1553 : Some wars against the tribes
The Doge Foscolo's speech (September 1543)
The Doge Foscolo's speech (November 1548)
1553-1555 : Rich colonies in America and an angry Emperor
The first French-Bohemian war
1555-1559 : War with the Ottoman Empire and Austria
1560-1564 : Chur, Segu, and some more expansion
The Treaty of Trent

1565-1593 : From Powhatan to Transylvania

Schio's thoughts about the upcoming war with France
Labia speaks his mind
1564-1568 : First war with France
1568-1571 : Fourth War with Austria
1571-1581 : Second war with France
1581-1585 : Szolnok, Württemberg and North America
1586-1593 : Getting the cores

1594-1629 : Reformation and new allies

1594-1596 : First World War - sort of
1597-1599 : The Ottoman Jihad against Venice
1599-1605 : The Purge of Austrian Heresy
1606-1611 : Something shocking.
1613-1616 : The 2nd Reconquest of Wolof.
1617-1624 : Between two wars
1624-1629 : The war for Pressburg

1630-1639

1630-1639 : Second "World War" (1)

The AAR finishes here because regrettably I don't have the time to play any longer. But I played until 1671, and here are some screenshots.
 
Last edited:

Range

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Best of luck. And, as for you becoming a better ARR writer...I trust you'll do great...have fun in telling about your adventure.

I look forward in following along.
 
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unmerged(475128)

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I'll definitely follow this.
A couple of questions:
will you still follow this rule from your previous AAR: "Moderate roleplaying - "What would Venice do" ? I hope so.
what will your long term objective be? I guess it won't be the domination of every world CoT, since you won't use the QftNW NI.
Btw afer reading your previous Venice AAR I think you should play on very hard to make the game slightly more challenging and maybe lucky nation set to historical, so that the big countries are less likely to fail.
 

diegoami

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@Avindian, Range : Thank you for your encouragement !
@Uokko : hmm... you have a point. I should probably set lucky nation to historical, as they were in my last game.
I am afraid though that on very hard the game might be unbalanced and too difficult though, taking into the account the other house rules. The morale bonus the AI gets is outrageous and to compensate it I would have to focus on military more than I want to.
As for goals and role playing, I have not made up my mind yet.
 
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vasziljevics

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The morale bonus the AI gets is outrageous and to compensate it I would have to focus on military more than I want to.
well you have mountains and the AI is fool enough to attack you there so I'd say it's not that much of a problem just need a more careful army management which you are certainly capable of IMO (as your other AARs have proven it so far). tech is always on your side too even on VH. though this is obviously your decision not ours.

but role playing is always welcome!
 

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I do not see how trapping a enemy in a island by itself is gamey and TBH there is little you can do to avoid that the AI drops a megastack in Crete or Naxos besides having one there yourself if your navy is not already in place to avoid disembarks...

Anyway, good luck, diegoami. Let's see if you can do a better job beating down the Ottomans than our timeline Venice had ;)
 

diegoami

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@vasziljevics: Hi vasziljevics. I actually tried "Very Hard" and I end up consistently losing against armies half my size, when defending in mountains with a good general. I don't know, it just does not feel right. "Hard" is a good compromise, and I found out with these settings (Hard + Lucky Nations + House Rules + 5.2 changes) the game is already challenging enough for me. I have still some flaws in my playing style and while I could get away with them on Normal, on "Hard" I end up being punished for them.

@Uokko, Ricardo Rolo : It might not be gamey, but I don't like to have to rely on tactical tricks to survive - that's not my idea of fun.

@Ricardo Rolo: Hi Ricardo Rolo, and thank you, let's see how it turns out !
 

diegoami

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So it will be "Hard" difficulty level, "Historical Lucky Nations".
I have relaxed the infamy rule, now it will be "Infamy cannot be more than the 50% BB limit", otherwise it turns out to be too crippling.
And of course I will try to do some moderate Role Playing.
 

diegoami

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The Doge Francesco Foscarini's Nightmare

Venice, in 1453, has already some terraferma : Venice, Treviso, Verona, Friuli, Istria, and just a province left in the Balkans : Dalmatia. And Crete. It has the vassals Naxos and Corfu, and as an ally Naples.

On day one, we offer an alliance to Austria, who is the Emperor as well. We work our way towards entering the HRE, improving our influence with them.
We are at war with Milan, a war which will give us the opportunity to get some infamy - and influence.
Our mission is to build a proper fleet - so we queue galleys and cogs...



After a while, we get a third ally, Bohemia. It is not necessary to call the allies to arms, as in August 1455, Milan is completely occupied and can be vassalized.



But soon after that, Austria gets the mission "Our claims in northern Italy" - a nasty casus belli against Venice. They break their alliance and won't accept military access. Entering the HRE is now not possible and we will have to prepare for a war against Vienna.



Austria is in personal union with Hungary and allied with Scotland. Hungary is a war with the Ottomans though and having a hard time. In case of war against Austria, we would have Bohemia, Naples and Milan at our side.
It is probably better to declare war ourselves and hope to beat them tactically.
We plan on building a line Trent - Treviso and hope to lure the Austrians in Treviso and beat them there.



In September 1456, we hire some mercenaries and declare war on the Austrians. Our plan fails at first. The Austrians attack in Treviso and defeat our troops there. The Milanese invade Tirol and we send some support troops there.



Luckily, the Austrians get overconfident and we manage to get the upper hand in the Italian theatre by November 1456.



But that's no reason to cheer, as their main armies are engaged in Bohemia and will come back to Italy sooner or later.



By May 1457, it seems that we can go on the offensive and we even consider a push towards Vienna. But the Boheamians are outnumbered and that is probably too optimistic.
In the meantime, Hungary has peaced the Ottomans, releasing Croatia, and is bringing more troops into the theatre.



For some reason, now England is fighting at the Austrian side. Which means that the seas are not safe any more and we can even expect the capital to be invaded.



In June 1457, we are seiging Southern Austria.



But the English start showing themselves and invade Dalmatia.



By August 1457, Venetian troops even reach Wien and seem to be able to hold their ground in Southern Austria.



But it turns out that spreading our troops too thin was a deadly mistake. The Austrians start the Autumn Offensive and relieve their provinces from the Venetian sieges. Our small armies don't manage to help each other. At last, in December 1457 Venetian troops are decisively beaten in Steiermark. We are forced to retreat from the Austrian mainland.



What is left of the Venetian troops retreats towards Italy. The English, meanwhile, have landed in Parma as well. Austrian troops engage us in Lienz in January 1458 and we don't even get a defensive bonus.



The Venetian troops are defeated and have to retreat. Meanhwile, Bohemia has peaced Austria, releasing Silesia and annuling their treaty with us.



A Venetian army is then routed in Friuli. There is now no army to stop the Austrians from invading Italy. And the English sit still unchallenged in Parma and Dalmatia.



Before the warscore gets even worse, we cut a deal with the Austrians and release Milan. Back to square one, but at least Venice has managed to hold on to all of its provinces.



The Doge understood that focusing on allying with Austria and entering the HRE had been a mistake and he should have instead got other allies. He was afraid they would involve us in endless wars, but the Austrian threat was real and a counterweight was needed. Switzerland allied with Venice, but that was probably not enough.
To finance the wars, Venice had taken 4 loans, which would cripple the Merchant Republic's economy for several years.



....

The Doge Franceschetti woke up. After a while he understood - it had been a bad dream. But he suddenly felt that God had chosen this way to give him a message and show him the way he should lead the Merchant Republic. He should start planning for a war against Austria from day one and he should be aware that, on difficult level "Hard" and against lucky nations, he should pay a lot of attention to tactical issues.
 
Last edited:

Range

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Yeah...Austria is a tough act to stop. I should have warned you. Also, they're not to be trusted.

You're in a tough spot to begin with.

Good read...keep it up.
 
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unmerged(475128)

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The Doge Franceschetti woke up. After a while he understood - it had been a bad dream.
Prudent Kaiser reference :)
In the next episode will you talk also about your trade league? Trade rights and league invites are very important
 

Ricardo Rolo

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Ouch, that hurts :( Really bad luck with the Austrian mission timing , but then again, it is almost inevitable that they will get it sooner or later. What really hurted was the unforeseen cascading alliances in the side of Austria ( both the brits and the hungarians ), that meant that you were in the bad stick of the stick both in the sea and in land.

In the end you are right, you need to somehow beat Austria ( and hopefully get the HRE to anyone else ) as soon as possible, even if to free your hands regarding your ambitions both in terra ferma and in the Levant. Besides that, not much of advice TBH, besides that Portugal by this time already has a sugar province running with no fortifications at all ( Madeira ), that is quite a interesting moneymaker for you and a interesting base in the Atlantic. Even if you don't want to outright conquer it, getting the trade rights of it would be nice :D
 
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diegoami

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Hi everybody, thank you for the feedback

@Range : Yeah, now I have learnt myself that there cannot be peace between Austria and Venice
@Uokko: I think I will talk about trade league as soon as the military situation has settled :)
@Ricardo Rolo : Yeah, it hurts, but at least now I have a challenging game - be careful what you wish for ! Austria in these settings seems to be on steroids. Thank you for the tips, we'll see what I can do.
 

diegoami

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1453-1462 : First wars in Italy and the Balkans

Now, second try - I will probably allow myself only a "nightmare" and then the second try will have to be the real thing.

...

On the first day, the Doge Franceschetti allied with Bohemia, Bavaria, Switzerland and Austria - we were already allied with Naples. Would things go better than in his dream ?



He had been tasked with the mission to vassalize Bosnia. Tuscany answered the call to arms of Milan, who was at war with Venice. To cap things, a pretender revolt broke out after a slider move towards centralization. To deal with all this as soon as possible, he called his allies to arms.



The war was easy. By May 1455, also thanks to the help of our powerful allies, Venice had occupied Milan, Tuscany and Bosnia.



Therefore by June 1455, Venice had three new vassals : Milan, Tuscany and Bosnia. And the old ones, Corfu and Naxos. Vassalizing Ragusa was the next mission.



Luckily, Austria hadn't received the "Italian mission" yet and was trying to secure her "Imperial borders" (get a royal marriage with Burgundy). Therefore, Venice managed to enter the HRE.
Venice declared war on Ragusa and dragged her allies into the war, even if beating Ragusa, Montenegro and Serbia was not a problem.



But before the war could be won, the Merchant Republic had to intervene in another conflict. Mantua was still at war with Milan, who was without an army.



Therefore, in March 1456, Venice declared war on Mantua using the Alliance casus belli, and the Emperor didn't intervene, as the Merchant Republic was in the HRE.
We were again at war with several minors, but thanks to our powerful allies, the result was not in doubt.



In October 1456, Ragusa was vassalized and therefore another mission was fulfilled. A series of boring "Improve Relations" missions began. But after those, a real nasty one came : vassalize Styria (Görz and Krain), who was inside of Austria's sphere of influence.
By December 1459, though, we had occupied Savoy, mainland Genua, and we were seiging Rome, that had fallen but had to be reseiged as the ally who had taken it had made a separate peace.
Meanwhile, Mantua now belonged to Milan and therefore was also in our sphere.



Our plan was to vassalize Genua, but it was too big, and instead we had to make them release Byzantium (Kaffa) and Corsica. The province Kaffa was quickly taken by the Crimean Horde, and therefore Byzantium was short-lived. The Doge wondered whether it would have been a good idea to grab a Crimean province and try and colonize the Horde, but considering the problems Venice would face in the future, it probably wouldn't have been a good idea.
Instead of Genua, Albania was vassalized, who had annexed Montenegro and had become a two-province minor.



By February 1462, Venice got what she wanted. The Papal State and Savoy had also been vassalized. Infamy was at 10.3, which would hurt our trade in the short term. But you may notice that Austria wasn't an ally any longer. Regrettably, they had the mission "Our claims to Northern Italy" and cancelled their alliance with Venice.



We, instead, had the mission "Vassalize Styria", which was in Austria's sphere of influence. Austria had an impressive string of allies, including Hungary, England and Poland.
Thanks to several donations to the state, we had a lot of money. Meanwhile, after the first round of wars, this was the situation in Europe in February 1462.

 
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Range

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Austria...Austria...Austria...they aren't going away. And, since they don't have a navy, all their military funds is used toward land forces.

I never played Venice and now I know why.

Good AAR my friend.
 
Last edited:

diegoami

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Austria...Austria...Austria...they aren't going away. And, since they don't have a navy, all their military funds is used toward land forces.

I never played Venice and now I know why.

Good AAR my friend.
Thank you my friend :)

It isn't that bad, when, and if, you manage to get rid of Austria.
 

diegoami

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1465-1468 : First War with Austria

In March 1465, we had recovered manpower, although not fully - manpower is a big problem in 5.2. Thanks to an advisor, we had a significant morale bonus. We had several allies : Bohemia, Bavaria and Switzerland, and when you have allies, you have to use them, otherwise they may involve you in wars you have no stake in. It is better that YOU involve them in YOUR wars.
We felt, therefore, that it was a good time to declare war on Austria, as our allies were ready to join us.



Actually, we declared war on Styria, to vassalize it as in our mission. I am not sure if I checked Austria's allies first - in June 1465, Venice and allies were at war with Austria, Poland, Lithuania, England and some Italian minors.



Would Venice manage to get what it wanted out of this war ? On paper it looked bad, as we were outnumbered, but on our front, at least, it would seem that Austria would have a hard time. Our goal was limited, after all. We would have to vassalize Styria, and for that, occupying one of their provinces would be enough. Then we would have to finish the war somehow.



On the Bohemian front, things looked hairy, as Boemia would have to fight against Austria, Poland and Lithuania. Bavaria was helping, but that was nowhere near enough.



In January 1466, Austrian troops were active in Switzerland, Bavaria and Bohemia. But on the other hand, Venetian troops were seiging the southern Austrian provinces. Bohemia was in no condition to defend itself. Meanwhile some of our vassals were seiging the Italian minors in the rival coalition.



The war dragged on into the year 1467. Poland and Lithuania accepted a white peace and were out of the war pretty soon, which provided some relief for Bohemia. But Bavaria and Switzerland, on our side, also opted out of the war, which meant that a lot of Austrian troops could be redirected to fight against the Venetians. Now the Merchant Republic was struggling to defend his homeland.
A major battle was being fought in Krain, Styria, while the other Styrian province, Görz, had at last fallen to Venetian troops.



It was hardly looking better on the Southern front. The English had landed in Parma and Dalmatia, and Dalmatia had already fallen. Austrian troops had penetrated into Brescia and Cremona. Ferrara, Siena and Ancona were occupied by our troops, while Modena still resisted. The British fleet was patrolling the Mediterranean sea - Venice's ships tried to challenge it, but were unsuccesful and lost several galleys trying.



But the occupation of Görz allowed us to vassalize Styria and fulfill the mission. The game gave us the mission to liberate Dalmatia. Now it was only necessary to find a way to finish this war, that Austria and England wanted to fight on since they thought they were stronger - fancy that. After some good tactical manoeuvers, Venice managed to rout a major Austrian army and gain local superiority in Northern Italy - and even challenge the English in Parma.

Siena, Modena and Ferrara were still occupied - the Merchant Republic would choose to vassalize the two-provinces minor Ferrara, who had annexed Urbino and controlled Ancona as well.



By September 1467, there were no Austrians left in Northern Italy and it seemed that Venice could counterattack. An English army was still present in Bosnia, a vassal, and English-occupied Dalmatia was being seiged by our vassals. Meanwhile, Modena had fallen.



During this war, Venice had tried to find some way to hit back at England, but could not find any. All this time seemed that England could attack Venice with impunity, while the Merchant Republic had no way to fight back. It was with great relief, then, that an agreement could be reached with England - Venice would have to give up four spherelings for peace. It was a major defeat, but at least the English were off our backs and we could concentrate on fighting Austria. We also in this way fulfilled our mission (liberate Dalmatia) and we got a new one : "Defend against Austria", that is finish the war.

Soon after that, Bohemia gave up too and therefore all of the Austrian troops who were on the Bohemian front could be redirected southwards. As the overconfident Venetian troops were marching towards Wien, they were intercepted by a major Austrian stack.



Venice's manpower had been drained and would take decades to recover. War Exhaustion was skyhigh, while Austria hardly had any - that comes from being lucky and an AI on "Hard" difficulty level. The Doge, after listening to his advisors, sued Austria for peace and payed a small tribute - this way, Venice technically lost the first war against Austria, even if it had a positive warscore.

There were some members of the Council of Ten, though, who felt that Venice wasted an unique opportunity to defeat Austria decisively.



A war, as a consequence of which two vassals (Styria and Ferrara) had been gained, could hardly be considered lost.
Austria's power base and prestige hadn't even been dented, though. They had proved to be a tough enemy and in the next wars, who would surely come, they would probably be just as tough or even worse.



Venice received a new mission - incorporate Milan in our realm. That would mean incorporating also uncored provinces and since it is not allowed neither to have unlawful provinces nor to release vassals, Venice would have to leave the HRE.
 
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