"Viva San Marco!" - Why Venice deserves more

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Van Kasten

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Hi everyone, it is my second thread delving into Italian gameplay flavor, with the hope that these changes will convince more players to have fun and “feel the flavor” while playing in the Italian peninsula.

In this thread, I’m gonna talk about the Most Serene Republic of Venice: how it’s modeled in game and what are my suggested changes

The Most Serene Republic of Venice

1240px-Flag_of_the_Republic_of_Venice.svg.png


-A brief (but not so brief) introduction

I will not bother you with the birth and the expansion of the Republic of Venice in its first centuries, but at the starting date of 1444 Venice controlled quite a bit of land and was a trade colossus before the Ottomans conquered Constantinople first and the Portuguese circumnavigated Africa later. The Venetian government was composed only by patricians, individuals who were part of wealthy families of merchants. These man had sea and trade experience thanks to a state-wide tradition of education (in which I’m not delving into) and were loyal to the Republic. Venice was also the capital of an highly secular state (for the time), in which tolerance was common practice and the Pope had little power (the clergymen were loyal to the Republic). There was an instance when Venice was interdicted because the judges refused to let two priests be judged by a papal court. And don’t let me start talking about the Arsenale. The main point is that: Venice deserves more than the standard “merchant republic” government type.


-The problem with the factions

In the standard “merchant republic” template, there are 3 faction representing the Aristocrats, the Merchants and the Guilds. But in Venice the Aristocrats and the Merchants are the same people! This can’t be right, it has to be changed. But with what?

Now, another bit of history. The Republic of Venice had 3 administrative divisions: the “Dogado” (Venice and some cities around the venetian coastline), the “Stato da Mar” (the territories, cities and colonies in the Mediterranean) and the “Stato da Tera” (the mainland provinces in Italy).

Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose to replace the factions with these three backbones of the Venetian Republic. The mechanic is simple but unique nonetheless. With every new ruler in Lubeck comes an event in which the player chooses which bonuses to have in those 4 years. This is a basis for what I’m proposing:

With every new Doge, the player will receive an event in which he will choose in which “area” to focus his rule. Each of these 3 options will bring a flat bonus for the country, a local bonus and a scaling bonus. The local bonus will take effects in the provinces which will be the focus of the Doge’s rule, while the scaling bonus will affect all the nation but will scale bases on the focus area’s development with respect to the others. For example, the player chooses to focus on the “Stato da Mar” and the development in that area is 55% of the nation’s development (counting autonomy) than the scaling bonus will be multiplied by a factor of 0.55. Now I’ll list the three areas, how to recognize their provinces and what the bonuses will be:

1) DOGADO (to put it simple, this area is in fact only the capital itself, Venezia)

- Flat Bonus: -0.2 yearly corruption

- Local Bonus: -10% development cost

- Scaling Bonus: +10% administrative efficiency

Focusing on the Dogado means pulling attention away from all other territories to enrich the capital and to promote fair governing. A look inward, we might say. The scaling bonus is for reasons of balance: it will grow only when Venice lose land and will be max when Venice only controls one province (or all the others are at 100% autonomy).

2) STATO DA MAR (to put it simple, every coastal province not in Italy or in Italy but disconnected from the rest or provinces that border only Stato da Mar provinces)

- Flat Bonus: +10% global trade power

- Local Bonus: +10% defensiveness

- Scaling Bonus: +10% trade efficiency

Focusing on the Stato da Mar means focusing on promoting trade colonies and overseas territories. A look outward. The scaling bonus is for reasons of reward: it will grow only when Venice gain new provinces in the Stato da Mar.

3) STATO DA TERA (to put it simple, all the rest*)

- Flat Bonus: +5% morale of armies

- Local Bonus: -0.05 autonomy change

- Scaling Bonus: +15% manpower

Focusing on the Stato da Tera means undertaking an expansionist agenda in the mainland. The scaling bonus is for reasons of reward: it will grow only when Venice gain new provinces in the Stato da Tera.

*this could be restricted to all mainland provinces in Italy or having a land route to a Stato da Tera province. This could mean that the sum of the developments could not be the whole development of the nation, thus punishing a large ahistorical Venice.

It is worth noting that the moment a non-coastal province of the Stato da Mar is connected to the capital it becomes Stato da Tera. The same applies if a coastal province in Italy is connected to the capital.

-The election of the Doge

743px-Antonio_Diziani_-_The_Sala_del_Maggior_Consiglio,_Doge's_Palace_-_WGA06352.jpg


In the standard “merchant republic” template, an election takes place every 4 years. In the case of Venice, the Doge ruled for life. The election was complex and therefore not easily manipulated. My proposal is simple: every time a Doge dies, a new one with random stats will be generated. This “Dogedom” can be a Tier 1 reform identical to the Merchant Republic one but with a Doge ruling for life.


-Government Reforms

This kind of election will create a problem. The third tier of government reforms for republic lets you choose between shorter election cycles and longer ones. But in this case those reforms would be completely useless! However, if the developers could change the second row of reforms for Venice, my proposal is already stated: all the 3 option above can be modeled as separate tier 3 reforms! The name should be these:

Second Row of Reforms -> “Serenissima Signoria’s administration”

· “Uphold the Old Traditions”: enables Venetian parliament (fixed amount of seats with flavour names), -1 global unrest (kindly borrowed from @Paland0)
First of all, the doge should rule for life and start with some random stats, since the real election process was random and with so many steps that manipulation was impossible. As the Venetians were distrustful, the power of the doge was constrained (e.g. no royal marriages, per se no strong position, ...). However, the long time a doge ruled made him know many other representatives and through this he usually was able to influence the politics of Venice. To represent this there should be random events decreasing your republican tradition in favour of increasing the ruler stats of the doge (I'd say 10 republican tradition for 1 stat point). RT should still increase yearly. Additionaly, a parliament mechanic should be implemented, whereby a new legislation is passed every 4-10 years, there is a fixed number of parliament members (not tied to a province).

The actual governmental functions were in the hands of various institutions with competing powers and competence. To name some (the assignment is modern, and therefore might not be 100% accurate):
  • Maggior Consiglio (legislation)
  • Senato
  • Consiglio dei Dieci (executive)
  • Colleggio dei Savi (~cabinet)
  • Quarantia (judicial)
  • Inquisitori di Stato (judicial)
  • Serenissima Signoria
I would suggest taking the Serenissima Signoria consisting out of 10 members (doge, 6 members of the Minor Consiglio, 3 highest justices of the Quarantia) as a parliament, since having so many institutions will be no fun. The Serenissima Signoria was the highest representative government body of Venice's sovereignity (proposing bills, calling in the Maggior Consiglio, foreign policy, presiding in every other institution, substitute the doge after his death, ...). Additionaly, the number of representatives is low enough that there are not that many buttons to press. Another possibility could be taking the name of every government body instead, what also would result in a modest number of parliamentary seats. Finally, the death of a Doge increases republican tradition by 10.

· “Empower the Counsellors”: -10% advisor cost, +1 possible advisors
This reform could provide shorter National Focus cooldown and a reset of the National Focus everytime a Doge dies. This will give more versatility in Monarch Point generation. Moreover, it should provide -5% advisor cost.

· “Empower the Doge”: +5 max absolutism, -10% stability cost

Furthermore, I dare say the Tier 8 republican reforms are quite unbalanced, but I’m not here to complain. I’m here to offer a third reform, available to Dogedoms and Merchant Republics (and maybe Veche Republics) only. This reform is proposed because none of the existing ones is applicable to Venice or other merchant republics, and also for roleplaying purposes (since +10% morale will always be better):

· “Patrician Reform” (only the Patricians can vote): +1 leader pool, -50% cost of Admirals


-Mission Tree

Missioni_Venezia.png


The standard Venetian mission tree consist of the standard missions plus four unique ones divided in two branches. In the first branch you have to first go against Genoa and then against her colonies in the Black Sea. Wait what? To really disrupt Genoese Trade you would have to go for their colonies first and then for the heart of the republic. I know that cheesy players will always conquer Genoa to disrupt its trade but if we want at least some claim of historical accuracy we have to swap them. Don’t worry, I thought of a Mission Tree myself. I tried to include more play styles and tried to avoid things such as “Build three churches” or “Have three allies”. This is my proposal.

Venetian Mission Tree.PNG


There are multiple branches for conquest in Italy and trade expansion. Of course, more mission could be added, but it felt like they were not as linkable as the one I’ve put. I also tried to avoid mission chains like “Conquer area X” then “Conquer area Y” then “Conquer area Z” (and so on) because it felt extremely boring. Please, be free to judge these missions, but remember what I wrote here.


-Some flavor events

Venice has many flavor events, especially in the first years of the game. I just want to add a few, form the end of the XV century to the half of the XVIII century.

- Ottaviano Petrucci event for Venice

This event will fire only once, between 1490 and 1510

“Ottaviano Petrucci”

“Ottaviano Petrucci was an italian noble who came to Venice in 1490 to learn the art of printing. He approached the Doge in 1498 asking the exclusive right to print music for the next 20 years, which was granted. He was the first in Italy to ever print a book of sheet music form movable type. His first publication was the “Harmoniche Msuces Odhecaton”, a collection of 96 chansons, printed in 1501. In the next years he perfected his technique and the quality of his works. In 1509 however, was forced to migrate to Fossombrone, in the Papal States, because of the War of the League of Cambrai. The he asked the permission to print to the Pope, but after a few years the permission was retracted because of his disinterst towards organ compositions.”

· Option A: “We will grant you the permission!”

Gain 5 prestige

Gain 10 administrative points


- Wool Boom event for Venice

This event will fire only once, in the Age of Reformation, Venice owns Brescia (Bergamo), year is at least 1540, MTTH 25 years

x 0.75 if Milan province has devastation

x 0.75 if Firenze province has devastation

x 0.75 if Brescia (Bergamo) province has prosperity

“Wool Cloth Boom”

“Following the Italian Wars, major centers of wool cloth trade and production such as Milan and Florence were on the decline. This allowed minor centers to prosper, and in particular our city of Bergamo is taking the lead of this production boom. Envoys from the ‘Arte della Lana’ claim that in the next 50 years our wool production could even quadruplicate! Every year more of their merchant and artisans asks for citizenship in Venice, hoping to take advantage of this situation and to export their products to the Levant. How should we act in this situation?”

· Option A: “They can stay and make us rich”

Gain 0.2 yearly income


· Option B: “Task them to make Bergamo prosper even more”

Brescia (Bergamo) gets province modifier “Wool Cloth Boom” (+1 goods produced, +5 trade power) until it has prosperity


If: ruler has personality trait “Industrious”

· Option C: “They can stay and make us even richer”

Gain 0.3 yearly income



- Ludovico Dolce event for Venice

This event will fire only once, after Printing Press has spawned but before 1570

“Ludovico Dolce”

“Ludovico Dolce was a broadly-based Venetian humanist and prolific author, translator and editor, and was one of the most active intellectuals in 16th-century Venice. Over the course of thirty-six years Dolce was responsible for 96 editions of his own original work, 202 editions of other writers, and at least 54 translations. He worked to make information available to those who could not study Greek and Latin. Following a productive life as a scholar and author, Dolce died in January, 1568.”

· Option A: “A prolific work indeed!”

Gain 10 administrative points

Gain 25 support of Printing Press Institution in Venice


- Andrea Palladio event for Venice

This event will fire only once, between 1560 and 1580, MTTH 10 years

“The architecture of Andrea Palladio”

“Andrea Palladio was a Venetian architect. Influenced by the classic architecture, by Vitruvius in particular, he is one of the most influential people in his field. He worked only in the Republic of Venice, but his style spread all across the world. He did not use expansive materials, but nonetheless his buildings and villas are famous for their beauty, harmony, and the ability to express the social status of their owners. In ‘The four books of architecture’ he wrote his rules and proportions. His style influenced later generations, and was appreciated in France, Great Britain and also to the United States of America.”

· Option A: “His style is truly magnificent!”

Gain 10 prestige

Gain country modifier “Palladianism” (-10% Build Cost, -10% Build Time) for 20 years


- Antonio Vivaldi event for the Venice

This event will fire only once, between 1705 and 1740, MTTH 10 years

“The marvels of a music genius”

“Antonio Vivaldi was one of the most renowned baroque composers. Called “the red priest”, he has been the most influential and original Italian musician of the time. His most famous work, The Four Seasons, is seen as one of the most iconic piece of the period. Even composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach were inspired by him. However, he didn’t achieve him fame in Italy until long after his death.”

· Option A: “Truly magnificent music”

Gain 10 prestige


- Cesare Beccaria event for Venice

This event will fire only once, Venice has embraced Enlightment, MTTH 10 years

“Dei delitti e delle pene”

“One of our thinkers recently published a short book about crimes and punishment, and how the latter is handled in our society. His work, already translated to French, will surely cause quite a shock in the public opinion of their governments. He states that the certainty of the punishment is more important that its intensity, and that every man on trial is innocent until proven in court. He also criticizes the efficacy of torture and capital punishment, which he considers inhuman treatments. What shall we do with this book?”

· Option A: “We should implement his just ideas”

Gain 5 prestige

Lose 10 absolutism

Gain national modifier “Embraced Beccaria’s thinking” (-5 max absolutism, -1 national unrest) until the end of the campaign


· Option B: “Total absurdities! Ban the book!”

Lose 5 prestige

Gain 5 absolutism

Lose 10 military points

Gain +1 national unrest for 10 years

That is all, my friends. Please, share your thoughts and doubts with me, and see you on my next thread ;)
Special thanks to @Paland0 for his valuable opinions and suggestions.

EDIT: added an alternative effect for the "Empower the Ducal Counsellors" government reform.
 
Last edited:

B92FS

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This would require a special unit only for Venice which has bonuses in naval landings and capturing coastal forts. This could be useful in Singleplayer but in Multiplayer would be very marginal. I’m all for it, but I do not think this is the dev’s opinion as well.

I would love it! It would be great in couple with a special ability to Venetian galleys to bombard coastal fort (similar to how it works with artillery: spend some military point to breach the walls). Would simulate the tactics used during the Morean war!
 

Fluffy_Fishy

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This would require a special unit only for Venice which has bonuses in naval landings and capturing coastal forts. This could be useful in Singleplayer but in Multiplayer would be very marginal. I’m all for it, but I do not think this is the dev’s opinion as well.
Considering they used to cut through Janissary corps like butter that may spike an interest.

The other military thing worth mentioning is probably the use of cannon, being the nation that constructed by far the most high quality of bronze artillery in the world during the game period. Venetian small arms weren't too shabby either.
 

Canute VII

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I would love it! It would be great in couple with a special ability to Venetian galleys to bombard coastal fort (similar to how it works with artillery: spend some military point to breach the walls). Would simulate the tactics used during the Morean war!
If at all, this should only be possible against outdated forts (?)
 

B92FS

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If at all, this should only be possible against outdated forts (?)

May be ok, but in multi-player it turns useless

Considering they used to cut through Janissary corps like butter that may spike an interest.

The other military thing worth mentioning is probably the use of cannon, being the nation that constructed by far the most high quality of bronze artillery in the world during the game period. Venetian small arms weren't too shabby either.

Any information about the use of Venetian cannons on land battlefield? After what Van Kasten say ("The best artilleries were used on ships and on fort defense. So I can comprehend why in-game this fact has been neglected.") I did some research on the web, but I did not find anything.
 

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Any information about the use of Venetian cannons on land battlefield? After what Van Kasten say ("The best artilleries were used on ships and on fort defense. So I can comprehend why in-game this fact has been neglected.") I did some research on the web, but I did not find anything.
There isn't a huge amount in online resources, there are a few little snippets on academia.edu though, the most notable works tend to either come from Carlo Beltrame or Marco Morin, both have published some pretty invaluable texts.

The basics are that Venice produced both iron and bronze artillery, their main manufacturies were in the Venetian arsenal itself which made the high quality bronze weapons, while more typical standard iron artillery was cast in Brescia and Treviso. Venice managed to get ahead of the curve and stay ahead of the curve, taking in influences from south germany, france and england to produce some of the most impressive artillery technology going. They imported the highest quality gun making copper from Hungary and the best tin from Britain and funded a large amount of experimental metallurgy. This was also supported by the commissioning of polymaths, and later mathematicians and early scientists to be at the forefront of ballistics science such as Galileo and Niccolo Tartaglia.

The Venetians got into such a significant lead by the end of the 16th century they were forced to close off the lucrative artillery export trade because it was deemed too important that they maintain their technological advantage, closing off deals supplying ordinance in huge quantity to nations like Spain. Despite closing off this trade they continued to lead the way in gun casting, and ballistics until the golden age of English artillery, when iron guns became more important due to technological advances made by the English during the civil war.

Probably the most significant cannon of the republican foundries was the gun known as the tirar bombe, which was similar but superior to the paixhans gun but developed almost 150 years beforehand, the technology was centuries beyond the curve and went on to directly influence the design of the paixhans gun itself but also the famous russian unicorn cannons, with some limited technology sharing given to the Russians in order to help deter the Ottomans, and the paixhans being the result of study undertook with captured examples of the gun during the french occupation of Venice in 1797.
 

Hawkslime

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May I ask what program did you use for diagrams in the original post?
 

Van Kasten

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May I ask what program did you use for diagrams in the original post?

Basic Microsoft PowerPoint.

I would love it! It would be great in couple with a special ability to Venetian galleys to bombard coastal fort (similar to how it works with artillery: spend some military point to breach the walls). Would simulate the tactics used during the Morean war!

Easy, you can just create an event which fires if Venice has completed Maritime or Naval Idea Group (and maybe a Dip Tech requirement) that progress faster when blockading and during naval combat that gives this modifier:
- if you are sieging a coastal fort that faces and inland sea and if you blockade it with enough galleys (the blockading power of the galleys only must be larger (non equal) to the blockading value of the province) then you get these modifier to the siege:
+ 1 blockade impact
+ 20% siege efficiency

Being a free and non-timed bonus I’d say it should suffice. Maybe coupling it with a Fanti da Mar unit would make blitz amphibious landing in the Mediterranean feasible. That said, I won’t count on that being implemented or represented in any way right now. But you can mod it.
 

Vizconde-I

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Well I just tested the new Venice government and so far it’s absolute garbage. I can choose between 3 medium-bad leaders for 25 republic tradition costs which get very old. After 2 election I was down to almost 57 republic tradition ...are u kidding me paradox..?
edit: if u let the lottery choose u dont lose tradition but u cant choose a good leader...
 
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B92FS

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Well I just tested the new Venice government and so far it’s absolute garbage. I can choose between 3 medium-bad leaders for 25 republic tradition costs which get very old. After 2 election I was down to almost 57 republic tradition ...are u kidding me paradox..?
edit: if u let the lottery choose u dont lose tradition but u cant choose a good leader...

Also have the 20 provinces limit and -50 maximum absulitism
 

Vizconde-I

Sergeant
Jan 22, 2018
70
0
Maybe we can make a good summary of suggestions for the coming update to germany and Italy because venice needs a lot of updates/improvements as we mentioned in here.
I mean we should suggest the most important stuff and changes that could be done without paradox has to invest too much time in one faction.
 

Van Kasten

Major
25 Badges
May 2, 2018
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Maybe we can make a good summary of suggestions for the coming update to germany and Italy because venice needs a lot of updates/improvements as we mentioned in here.
I mean we should suggest the most important stuff and changes that could be done without paradox has to invest too much time in one faction.

There are already threads which contain lists of suggestion threads for the various areas of the world, and I remember this Suggestion was in the European Megathread.

No need to “dumb-it down”. The dev promised us a gigantic update (they took a entire year to make it) so I do not expect any less from them.

The time required to think about how to improve Venice is less than the time used to review the various suggestions and implement one or more of them or a mixture of them.