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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Seelmeister

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Very interesting game, the Ottomans are certainly emerging as a significant dnager, how are their tech levels at present?

I agree with Chief Ragusa, that core in Austria could be very valuable, hopefully the next war they become embroiled in won't be so one sided and will offer you the opportunity of a cheap conquest.

Bohemia looks to be a lses valuable ally now, ideally you'll be able to take your core from Austria and improve relations after that, but in the short term Poland could be a useful ally for when the Turks inevitably come knocking for those Balkan provinces of yours. Hungary could also be a useful ally, they generally field a decent sized army and at very worst would buy you some time in a war against the Turks.
 

diegoami

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I think Casanova as Doge ought to improve your manpower. Looking at your advisors, I believe Venice has discovered the secret of eternal life and none of them are Venetian. Portugal looks to be one war from destruction and Castille two and then Aragon will have to fight France.

That's one scary Ottoman empire. Algiers, too looks more powerful. The two ought to clash. The Ottomans are doing their thing on the Mamluks. So much of Vebetian wealth is tied up in CoTs the Ottomans control that a war would serioulsy cost Venice. The Ottomans would suffer , too, but not as much as Venice. For the Ottomans ,you need a strong Austria-Hungary and a unified Poland-Lithuania.

However, Venice has a core on an Austrian province and you try to claim all your cores. With the manpower Venice has available, compared with Austria and that's not close to an even fight -in Austria's favour. Venice does have lots of vassals. The states in her vicinity not controlled by Venice are Croatia, Siena, Moden, Genoa, Naples and Sicily. There are three provinces belonging to England and both the English army and navy make getting those provinces back, rather daunting. Genoa has a CoT and it should belong to Venice. The mission to incorporate Ferrara is a nice one, but you can't do anything about it for 10 years. Cancelling the mission should therefore be possible as it is not achievable in the next 5 years. Maybe you'll get a Conquest on Genoa.
Thank you for your feedback Chef Ragusa, building barracks and other manpower improvements are my top priority. I am actually hoping I can stay at peace with the Ottomans. In the worst case, there is luckily the independent Croatia (I will make a post about it) which will work as a buffer and Italy shouldn't be invaded.

I won't cancel the mission to diplo-annex Ferrara, there is no overwhelming reason to do so.

We'll see about Trent, there are still 25 years until the core disappears and of course it is a matter of honour !

Very interesting game, the Ottomans are certainly emerging as a significant dnager, how are their tech levels at present?

I agree with Chief Ragusa, that core in Austria could be very valuable, hopefully the next war they become embroiled in won't be so one sided and will offer you the opportunity of a cheap conquest.

Bohemia looks to be a lses valuable ally now, ideally you'll be able to take your core from Austria and improve relations after that, but in the short term Poland could be a useful ally for when the Turks inevitably come knocking for those Balkan provinces of yours. Hungary could also be a useful ally, they generally field a decent sized army and at very worst would buy you some time in a war against the Turks.
Thank you for your feedback Seelmeister, Hungary is regrettably in a PU with Austria and therefore cannot be allied with. Poland also cannot be allied with because they have already three allies, and three good ones : Sweden, England and Lithuania. Austria is allied with Hungary, Holstein, the Palatinate, Brandenburg and the Teutonic Order, so they are also set. There are not many countries left that are willing to ally with us.

The technological situation is kind of worrying, Land Technology will be a very high priority.

 

unmerged(58610)

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I accept that you're not going to be changing missions. I do believe that the game should not be throwing up missions that cannot be achieved for at least 10 years, because you have just diplo-annexed.

The sooner Poland inherits Lithuania the better for Venice! An alliance beckons. Taking Trent off Austria is going to be hard. Have you been looking to play the trade game with the Ottomans in exclusive rights agreements and the like? The more they benefit from trade, the less likely they are to engage in warfare against Venice.

Your house rules state no military NIs. It seems to me kind of wrong to then use the slider to maximise land tech and to have two advisors who help you militarily. I'd have expected trade and production to be favoured. In your position, I think I'd be doing what you're doing. Having said that,I think I'd be lookingto bring Croatia into Venice's orbit -trade, sphere of influence, alliance and then aa vassal.
 

Ricardo Rolo

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Venice is looking to be in a very problematic position indeed ( well, not worse than the initial 1453 one, but still ... ). The Ottomans must be contained, but doing that would probably wreck Venice finances, while getting Trent is not advisable with the current Austrian situation. Besides that, there is the menace of a French intervention any moment ( They have been playing Iberian games, but that can change anytime ) and the wild cards of Hungary and England. You can't be hostile to all of them at the same time and you can only prevail against one of them ( well, maybe you could smash Hungary with relative ease, but TBH as long as they don't mess further with you than Croatia, you have no reason to do so ), if you atleast assure that the rest will not intervene. The best scenario would be Austria and Hungary going in a Crusade vs the Ottomans ( or the Ottomans going Holy war vs Hungary and Austria goes to help ) while France is on yet another Iberian war, but that is far from assured ...

In other words, you need to curry either Austria, the Ottomans or France. I know you have got a indirect agreement with the French via Aragon, but that will only hold as long as France does not get a core in Roussilion :p. On the other two ... well, at this time I would favour the Ottomans and try to get a away of getting that core out. If you can do that, you can reverse stances if the situation shows favourable to that ...
 

diegoami

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I accept that you're not going to be changing missions. I do believe that the game should not be throwing up missions that cannot be achieved for at least 10 years, because you have just diplo-annexed.

The sooner Poland inherits Lithuania the better for Venice! An alliance beckons. Taking Trent off Austria is going to be hard. Have you been looking to play the trade game with the Ottomans in exclusive rights agreements and the like? The more they benefit from trade, the less likely they are to engage in warfare against Venice.

Your house rules state no military NIs. It seems to me kind of wrong to then use the slider to maximise land tech and to have two advisors who help you militarily. I'd have expected trade and production to be favoured. In your position, I think I'd be doing what you're doing. Having said that,I think I'd be lookingto bring Croatia into Venice's orbit -trade, sphere of influence, alliance and then aa vassal.
Actually I am not that unhappy about the mission, it gives Venice time to recover manpower and grow economically - a vassalize mission on a province in the Empire would mean war with the Emperor, and the Merchant Republic may not be ready for that.

My research is pretty balanced, I am not "power leveling" in Land Technology, but I have at least to keep pace with the other European powers. I picked up the best advisors I could find in the world market - the game pauses every time a country gets annexed so I have an opportunity to hire them. But if I had the culture, I'd create other kinds of advisors, of course.

The Ottomans won't accept trade agreements, regrettably.

Venice is looking to be in a very problematic position indeed ( well, not worse than the initial 1453 one, but still ... ). The Ottomans must be contained, but doing that would probably wreck Venice finances, while getting Trent is not advisable with the current Austrian situation. Besides that, there is the menace of a French intervention any moment ( They have been playing Iberian games, but that can change anytime ) and the wild cards of Hungary and England. You can't be hostile to all of them at the same time and you can only prevail against one of them ( well, maybe you could smash Hungary with relative ease, but TBH as long as they don't mess further with you than Croatia, you have no reason to do so ), if you atleast assure that the rest will not intervene. The best scenario would be Austria and Hungary going in a Crusade vs the Ottomans ( or the Ottomans going Holy war vs Hungary and Austria goes to help ) while France is on yet another Iberian war, but that is far from assured ...

In other words, you need to curry either Austria, the Ottomans or France. I know you have got a indirect agreement with the French via Aragon, but that will only hold as long as France does not get a core in Roussilion :p. On the other two ... well, at this time I would favour the Ottomans and try to get a away of getting that core out. If you can do that, you can reverse stances if the situation shows favourable to that ...
Well, there are many things to be worried about, but Venice has teeth, too! I am sure there are going to be wars with Austria, as we have a core on Trent, and they are bound to intervene as an Emperor every time we attack a province in HRE.

As for the Ottomans, we are merchants, and we don't start wars if we don't have to. We are actually making a lot of money in Thrace and Alexandria, and money trumps religion for us Venetians. If they attacked us, England as a DoTF would probably intervene, as they already did during the previous Ottomans Jihad.

I don't see a conflict of interest with France so far, and I consider them to be on my side, as they are the enemies of my enemies (Austria, England, Burgundy).
 

diegoami

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The 1491 letter to the Doge from Grand Captain Goncalves

We have found this letter in The State Archives of Venice, that will cast some light on the Republic's decision making process.


Venice, 23 June 1491.

Illustrious and most excellent sir Doge of Venice Leonardo Flangini,

as requested, I am sending a thorough analysis I made of the possible military consequences of declaring a war against Austria today, claiming our core on Trent and helping our ally Bohemia in this time of distress.

Our ally Switzerland let us know that they wouldn't join us in this war. We are already at war with Bavaria, that used to be our ally too. Which means that we could only rely on the help of our vassals.

The army of Austria is more powerful than Venice's in every aspect : leadership, manpower, morale and war capacity. Venice's chances of winning a war against our Northern neighbour are very slim, unless we were led by God himself or somebody close to him.

I will now write how I would expect such a war to play out. I don't think we would be able to invade Austria and we would be actually in the situation of having to defend our motherland. I have attached some maps I have drawn myself to drive my point home .

December 1491:



June 1492:



February 1493:



Two years into the war, our Balkan provinces would be probably occupied. Bohemia couldn't be possibly relieved, and even our Italian provinces would be threathened.



We would be looking at a bad military situation and at a negative war score, as shown in the attached battle report. I have to remind the most illustrious Doge that we need superior numbers and a defensive bonus to have a chance to defeat the Austrians.


I don't think we could get out of this war without having to cede something, like for instance giving up the vassalization of Styria.
Our economy and standing in the world would also inevitably suffer.



While Venice would definitely survive, at this stage I strongly advise against declaring war on Austria, as we would end up being weaker as a result.

Sincerely,
your most humble, devoted servant
Grand Captain Bartolomeu Goncalves.
 

unmerged(58610)

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You've a fair few vassals there.

You've shown that war now would not be a good thing for Venice. However, Modena stands out like a sore thumb as being Venetian free. War with Austria will have to wait until they get to fight an equally powerful alliance and start losing.
 

Ricardo Rolo

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War with Austria will have to wait until they get to fight an equally powerful alliance and start losing.
True enough ... The only way you can beat Austria at this point would either be Austria get into a war and then you jump out or Venice getting more strong allies bordering it besides Bohemia ( say, Hungary ) and even then the prospect would be at best 50:50.
 

diegoami

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You've a fair few vassals there.

You've shown that war now would not be a good thing for Venice. However, Modena stands out like a sore thumb as being Venetian free. War with Austria will have to wait until they get to fight an equally powerful alliance and start losing.
I agree that Modena should be also a vassal, Tuscany and Papal State troops seem to be confused by it when they have to go north-west.

True enough ... The only way you can beat Austria at this point would either be Austria get into a war and then you jump out or Venice getting more strong allies bordering it besides Bohemia ( say, Hungary ) and even then the prospect would be at best 50:50.
We'll see. Venice is not supposed to be able to beat easily Austria so it is regrettably expected I might not reach all my goals.
 

diegoami

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Country Profile : Croatia

Before we go on and tell the story of Venice in the XVI century, we will have a short look at our neighbor, the proud kingdom of Croatia.

[HR][/HR]

Meet the Ottoman Empire - by 1499, it had inherited the Mameluks throne as well. The Ottoman Empire ruled over Anatolia, Egypt, Middle East, the Balkans and Morocco. If Venice had to fight against them, we wouldn't be able to prevent them from invading our Balkan provinces, as they had the bigger fleet and bigger army.



But what would prevent the Ottomans from invading Italy as well ? Well, the independent and neutral state of Croatia. That's what they call a "buffer state".

Croatia is a friendly country (we are very high relations with them, due to a "Improve relations mission") and Croat is an accepted culture in Venice (and now that I can see that, I ask myself why I even established Settlement Policy there ???). In fact, Dalmatia, Istria and Ragusa are Croat.



How was this state born ? Back in the year 1456, Hungary was at war with the Ottoman Empire, and it was obvious who would turn out to be the winner.



In fact, November that year, Croatia became independent - and an ally of the Ottomans. If things had stayed that way, now the Turks would have an open road to Italy.



What happened ? In 1460, The Ottomans started a Jihad against the Knights in Rhodes. Croatia was involved, and ended up being at war with Aragon, Naples, Portugal and England.



The Anti-Ottoman coalition, of all places, chose Croatia as the place where to land their troops. Their capital Croatia fell after an Aragonese assault, and their war score went down the drain.



At the same time, the Infidels had successfully invaded Algiers.



By the time Ottoman troops had arrived in Croatia, the Balkan nation had already opted out of the war. Their alliance with the Ottomans had been cancelled and they were ready to take part in the politics of Europe.



Algeria was out of the war as well, while the Knights had lost their independence and by 1463 Rhodes belonged to the Ottomans.



The Jihad ended. The Ottoman Empire kept expanding and became the strongest country in the world by the year 1499, the "scourge of God".

By this time, Algiers had annexed Tripoli and had became dangerous as well. Luckily, the two countries were not allied with each other at this time.

But the Ottomans were defender of the faith and guaranteeing Algiers, while Algiers was allied with Granada.

A merchant came back from Thrace bringing an updated map of the OE in 1499.

 
Last edited:

Range

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I fell behind in following. But, I've caught up.

I especially liked how you weaved a letter (two posts ago) into the story line...very colorful. I also enjoy how you keep the reader informed on how other countries are taking shape in world

Great read.
 

Ricardo Rolo

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Oh, I withdraw what I said about containing the ottomans :p They are way too powerful at this point for you and most likely even for the full force of the HRE to manage. Well atthis pint they seems busy with the remnants of the middle East hordes, but I would be very uncomfortable with that border in Bosnia with them ... it reminds me too much of the Portuguese situation in the 1399 start :p
 

diegoami

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@Chief Ragusa: Indeed! Even scarier than the historical OE.

@Range : Thank you! I am always looking for new ways to AAR and add some narrative to the gameplay.

@Ricardo Rolo : Yeah. you better not wake up the sleeping beast. But do they really have to be our enemies ?

I noticed it's always the same people who give feedback. If anybody else feels like commenting every now and them, I promise I won't bite :p.
 

unmerged(58610)

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Our Ottomans had Algiers, Candar and East Africa down to Mombassa. So yours has a little bit to go before it gets there -including chunks of your state and other parts of Europe. And yes they will attack. And that Otto state has a bit to go east as well.
 

Seelmeister

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That is a very interesting game. Iberia is in pieces, a very strong Ottoman Empire, and a not insignificant Algiers. I hope you can secure some allies against the Ottomans!
 

diegoami

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Our Ottomans had Algiers, Candar and East Africa down to Mombassa. So yours has a little bit to go before it gets there -including chunks of your state and other parts of Europe. And yes they will attack. And that Otto state has a bit to go east as well.
True, they are probably going to become even stronger. But I think they are a little before their time...

That is a very interesting game. Iberia is in pieces, a very strong Ottoman Empire, and a not insignificant Algiers. I hope you can secure some allies against the Ottomans!
Thank you ! I hope so, let's see how it turns out !
 

diegoami

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1500-1510 : War with Poland, Lithuania and England

There came good years for Venice. Peaceful years. Manpower could be recovered and money could be made. People were starting to get used to peace, when suddenly, in 1502, Bohemia started the reconquest of Silesia - and called Venice to arms.



Venice will always support her allies. The Merchant Republic sent her troops to Bohemia, to support the ally against the combined forces of Poland and Lithuania.



By January 1503, the combined Venetian-Bohemian troops had decisevely beaten the Poles and were set to win this war.



But there came another war. Aragon started the war of aggression against Castille, and we got called to arms there, too. In this war, France was at our side, while England was our rival. France was fighting a parallel war against Burgundy and Portugal.



In October 1504, French troops had descended into Iberia - and this was to be called the 4th French-Iberian war. French-Aragonese were soundly defeating Castille.



At the same time, English troops had been routed in Italy and our vassals were about to occupy their provinces, who once belonged to Naples.



Meanwhile, England had peaced Scotland and grabbed one of their provinces, Ayrshire. We saw this war as an opportunity to weaken England and we were happy to help France weaken their (and our) historical enemy. We had never forgotten the English invasion of Parma and Dalmatia.
But on the sea, we were struggling, and we were consistently losing the naval battles and had to retreat to the ports of our friends.



An audacious plan was devised in Venice. We would try and sneak Venetian troops to Britain while their fleet was busy fighting in the Mediterreanean. We managed to send there 16k troops, but just as we were about to disembark a second stack the English main fleet popped up.



The reason we even tried that was that we knew the British fleet was in the Mediterranean and had landed a stack of their own in Parma - our troops were not prepared to deal with that as were busy in France. But we did send an army of observation to Cremona.



Our fleet was defeated and we didn't manage to land the second stack. We tried again, but we failed. And we tried to bring back the troops back from England, but we failed again. At last, the English troops engaged us and it seemed that our stack was doomed.

In the process, we lost about 20 ships, and it was obvious that our galleys were no match for England's heavy ships. We had also a very poor admiral. After the war, we would have to draw some lessons from that.



After a long "Anabasis", the Doge Casanova managed to bring the stranded troops to safety, to the friendly country of Scotland, where they would stay until the end of the war.



While we were busy trying to save our stack, things had changed in Europe. Aragon had peaced Castille and grabbed several provinces, consolidating their status as a superpower.



Meanwhile Bohemia had peaced Poland at last and had two new provinces, and we expected it to go back to being a superpower as well. Bohemia had made Poland release Ukraine.



The only country we were still at war with was England, which could not be invaded, but which also was not able to hold on to their continental provinces.



Their stack in Parma had surrendered and soon all of their provinces in Italy would be occupied as well.



In October 1507, France had pulled out of the war, and we were still at war with England.



It was brought to the Doge's attention that the English had several undeveloped colonies in Africa. We knew that the English were keeping their main fleet in London, and would probably not venture out.



Therefore, another audacious plan was devised. An expedition was sent to Africa to try and grab the English colonies.
By 1509, the provinces of Arguin and Trarza had been occupied.



By the time the war was over, in the year 1510, Venice had managed to grab all of the English colonies in Africa. It is rumoured that King Henry VIII threw his advisor out of the window when he heard about that.

It was this way that Venetian Africa was born.



England had also to accept a humiliating peace. The province of Calais became Aragonese, and Wales and Cornwall had to be released. As a result, Aragon had become even stronger, thanks also to Venice's efforts.
But regrettably, the English could not be kicked out of Italy.
This was Europe in July 1510.

 
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vasziljevics

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a bold move on the side of Bohemia - they are lucky to have so generous allies...

heh - and a nice move on your side in Africa. though I personally would not consider those provinces worthwhile at all.

also I tried the same thing (ie. sneaking into armies) in England as Portugal yesterday but I failed too - even I had bigger fleet (initially...) I kept losing against the better admiral of England. I peaced out before my army could had been routed.
 

Range

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England always gives me trouble at the start. But, if you get the upper hand over their navy you've got them...you can starve them out of their island provinces...gain money and points...in order to be in position to take provinces in war. Otherwise, if you don't put their capital in trouble it's very hard to get anything from them...anyone's capital is the key.

Great reporting.
 
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