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Thread: ITALIAN cities (Venice & Pisa)

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    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default ITALIAN cities (Venice & Pisa)

    I. General information

    This thread is meant to gather all information about the faction and to conduct discussions on the faction related issues.

    The entries should be developed by both the SSHIP team and the interested players.
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; July 04, 2020 at 08:59 AM.

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    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default [F] - Venice

    II. Strategy & gameplay

    If you've played the game with this faction and have insights how to help fellow players, please write a proposal for this section.

    An AAR on a completed Pisa campaign by Alavaria is here.

    Before you play a campaign you should know that the aggressive pope is probably the most challenging issue for the gameplay. Reading the following threads may help you with finding your way how to deal with him:

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...agressive-pope
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...-with-the-Pope
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; April 09, 2020 at 08:45 AM.

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    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default [F] - Venice

    III. Provinces

    Provincial titles:

    General explanations to be found in the relevant thread on the PTs.
    Catholic: generic Latin term "Comes ... -ae" everywhere.
    Orthodox: generic "Knyaz ... -sky"
    Muslim: generic "Emir of".
    Coast of arms: from the base SS6.4 unless explicitly described here.
    Names of provinces:
    from the base SSHIP unless explicitely described here.


    City of Venice is slightly too big for 1132. Obviously it was a large one but at that time it still struggled to estabilish it's dominance in the Adriatic. Even the highly unreliable sources quoted on Wikipedia give 58k in 1100.
    A good read on the history of Venice is Roger Crowley's
    City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas


    Quote Originally Posted by Elendil 03 View Post
    Ancona, for example, is is "Spoleto". Why not "Marche"?
    Cagliari names:
    - Calari - for everybody
    - Castello di Castro - for Pisa
    - Càller - for Aragon
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; March 31, 2021 at 01:20 PM.

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    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default [F] - Venice

    IV. Faction specific features (Crown, Offices, Bloodline, Traits, Buildings)

    I'd be in favor of changing the name Venice (faction, not city) into La Serenissima.
    I've got no idea about Pisa (was there any special nickname?)

    The Crown of Italy is discussed in this entry, the maps are also there (and in-game).


    The Offices are described in this thread.

    Venice and Pisa has access to some buildings that may be not available to every faction.
    (note: this might be important for getting certain traits).

    Venice Patricians : not checked yet.
    Pisan Patricians: not checked yet.

    Specific traits: not checked.

    La Serenissima:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 







    Pisa
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Crown for all Italian factions:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Unique building for Pisa:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; July 17, 2022 at 05:13 PM.

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    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default [F] - Venice

    V. Starting position in 1132 (incl. settlements, armies, generals, traits, political situation)

    to be developed in due course

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    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default [F] - Venice

    VI. Units

    to be developed in due course

    Genoese Crossbowmen | Most Sought-After Mercenaries of Europe

    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; June 12, 2022 at 07:03 PM.

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    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default [F] - Venice

    VIII. Reserve

    to be used if needed

  8. #8

    Default Re: [F] - Italian Cities (Venice & Pisa)

    A little note about italian armies, its easy to do and i think that it is historical
    - Add italian unit of "marinae" recruitable in the basic building of port for all italian factions( papal states, venice, sicily and pisa) or maybe do them recruitable for all Italia settlements( i think that is better first option) , also maybe add for Jerusalem faction ( they were a mix of french, german, italian and other europeans people)
    Marinae were basic troops of sailors, and mainly were italian good sailor that lived in colonies or italian cities.
    For the rest of factions "marinae" could be recruitable in an italian trade quarter building( first level) and in italian trade headquarters( second level) be recruitable marinae and urban crossbow militia, for simulating the good use of italians about crossbow and urban militias.
    Byzantines(Constantinople) or huge cities( maybe Palermo or Seville) could have a 3 level of this building with more trade, more fleets available but more unrest and unhappy for foreigns lives in their cities and also be recruitable gasmuli( best quality or crossbowmen) or pavise crossbowmen( when event is coming).

    -About italian militias i think that you have to "differentiate" with the rest of factions, italians and state cities had good militias and maybe could be cheaper or with better stats in comparison with the rest of urban militias of Europe
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  9. #9

    Default Re: [F] - ITALIAN cities (Venice & Pisa)

    Is anyone interested in a Pisan campaign strategy? I already formulated one from several of my playthroughs, but it's somewhat cheesy.

  10. #10
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: [F] - ITALIAN cities (Venice & Pisa)

    Quote Originally Posted by officialdeo View Post
    Is anyone interested in a Pisan campaign strategy? I already formulated one from several of my playthroughs, but it's somewhat cheesy.
    Everybody is interested. It'll be a nice moment to compare it with Alavaria's strategy.

  11. #11

    Default Re: [F] - ITALIAN cities (Venice & Pisa)

    The obvious problem with Pisa is that it's the weakest out of all 4 Italian factions. It is a one province minor that has little time and room to expand. Conquering the neighbouring city of Florence seems intuitive, but as you keep playing especially on higher difficulties, you will realise that you're always fighting an uphill battle whichever way you want to expand (assuming you don't try to take out the Papal States). Hence the AI Pisa rarely, if ever flourishes in most games.

    First, you need to transport the two merchants residing at the Levant to Constantinople. You are one of the best spice traders in the game, and you need to build a war chest. Pursue a trading partnership with the Romans and Venice. Do not trade with the Sicilians.

    Second, build up your army as strong as you can for a takeover of Genoa. The problem is you need to do this as fast as you can before Venice does, while you are stuck with two merchants. So none of those merchant exploits will help either. What you need to do is send your army to raid either Napoli or Palermo. If you roleplay as a benevolent ruler or deem this cheesy, you might as well skip this strategy.

    Third, after you have reappropriated Genoa, set it as your capital. Genoa, as it happened to be in real life, is a city with better economic potential, and you are a republic dependant on gold and mercenary, for now. It is better to pour your resource into Genoa. At this point, Milan is sometimes still independent, but the Germans will soon come down the Alps. Do not even think of trying to take Milan; it is a waste of your resource and time to consolidate due to cultural difference and even more difficult to defend against Imperial onslaught. France is not strong enough at the point to take German attention away from North Italy. Therefore strike an alliance with the Germans, since they do not have direct ambition to conquer either Genoa or Pisa. If you are lucky enough that Florence is still untouched, this is the perfect time to conquer it.

    Fourth. Now, you have fixed your starting condition and can compete with Venice, who usually possesses Verona and Bologna at this point, for control of North Italy sans Milan. But I personally find this a bad move since eventually the Germans will be upset due to their ambition, not to mention being sandwiched between the Germans and the Sicilians. A better choice to expand is across the Mediterranean by means of a naval invasion of Tunis. Bide your time until the Sicilians move north or east across the Adriatic.

    Sometimes you may be lucky enough that South France is still independent due to England and France duking it out. If you want to transform your maritime republic into a land empire in Caesarean fashion, this may serve an interesting challenge for you.Whichever way you choose, you will have enough stacks to completely sweep away any faction in Italy.

  12. #12

    Default Re: [F] - ITALIAN cities (Venice & Pisa)

    "serenissima" is referred to the republic, not to the city in itself, so I wouldn't agree with modifying Venice into that name. Also because nobody in Italy would refer to Venice with that name (it's only a nickname, a title, just like "great" or "holy")

    I would call it Venèsia or Venexia (the most popular variants of dialect from Veneto)
    Last edited by kaiser29; April 12, 2020 at 04:23 AM.

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    Thorbjorn Jagelund's Avatar Foederatus
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    Default Re: [F] - ITALIAN cities (Venice & Pisa)

    I haven't conch concluded a full campaign with Venice, but from the custom battles I've played, I think Venice needs a buff on the infantry department to compete with her neighbours.

    1) Venice has no cavalry advantage throughout the eras when compared to her immediate neighbours in the Italian peninsula and certainly not when compared to the byzantines, which is a natural target of the maritime republic. Only distinct cavalry the Venetians get is cavalry militia, which is a rather good, heavily armoured shock cavalry. Their militia quality however, like almost all troops available in the early game, makes them suffer from poor morale in the field.

    2) As I mentioned on point 1, typically by Italian States, "strong" militia is not a huge advantage or even a disadvantage sometimes. In vanilla game, Italian States have the luxury of keeping stronger militia units free of upkeep, but when the mod takes away the free upkeep aspect -as it makes no sense-, what Italian States got is our disciplined soldiers with no obvious great benefits. This would somewhat be dealt with the carrocio standart, but this would present its own problems. Standard is slow and will slow down the entire army on strategy map. Unless the walls of a city is torn down, which won't happen most of the time in the early game, standard doesn't fit through the gates iirc. This means that fighting with your general, the only unit with a morale boost aura, VERY risky, especially during the sieges, and prepare the conditions for negative traits like coward, which would decrease the troops' morale even further.

    3) When expanding in the early game, the problems above shouldn't hinder the gameplay as dramatically as I make it look to be. However, high and late era wouldn't be a walk in the park either. Unless you're rushing, your neighbors will probably be Pisa, HRE, Papal States, Sicily, and Serbia/Byzantium. Pisa will get an advanced skirmisher in both militia and professional form, namely Genoese crossbows. It is hands down the best skirmisher unit in the entire peninsula, if not in the whole continent. They will also get patrician cavalry in the late game, whose charges are devastating and armour superior. Sicily starts with a castle and a favourable position to expand to Africa and get a fortress. They will have access to heavy cavalry, heavy infantry, all the crossbows Venice has and professional pavise crossbowmen on top of it. Also the Berber units after the Africa conquest. Papal States has the papal guards, which are buffed up spearmen, also you really don't want to be in the pope's crossbars, because you'll be controlling cities which can be severely affected by excommunication. You don't want to attract to much attention from HRE too, since the empire vat territories can be used to finance stacks of armies on your tiny Island city. Serbia, as of 096, doesn't pose much of a that to the Italians in general, because they are too busy trying to survive the expansion of Byzantine behemoth and occasional Hungarian raids. Byzantines won't bother you in the early game but as soon as you gain territory in the Greek peninsula or even Dalmatia, they will notice you, and in really game Byzantine empire rules.

    4) So, what does Venetians get to overcome the challenges throughout the game? Generic Italian militia would be by your side almost every step, so get used to them. Average early professional units can be trained, but due to the geography of your starting position, you won't have access to any castle in the early game. Potential targets would be al-Mahdiya, Corinth, Casteddu and crusade targets; with each target coming with its own share of problems. High era is when you start to get the faction-specific units. There are only two however, namely Fanteria Pesante and Pesante archers.

    Fanteria Pesante is a late era heavy infantry with war hammers and pavise shields. They are effective against armoured units, which is a big plus in the late game since even the chickens on the most remote villages get covered in plate armour. They are, however lacking in stats and get beaten by the high era chivalric knights in the field 6 times of of 10. Chivalric knights is a good unit to compare it to imo, because of their similar stats and features, numbers in each unit and it gives a chance to test the shield wall and effective against armour features of Fanteria, because chivalric knights lack both. From my tests in field and sieges battles, both attacking and defending, Fanteria has some specific advantages over a similar generic unit: shield wall helps defend choke points in siege defence, high shield value in defence stats help tolerate missile fire to some extent, and morale is quite good. Other than these advantages, the unit is interior at best to its contemporaries and maybe on par with the units of the high era.

    Pesante archers is a high era bowmen, which is quite unique in the peninsula, since everybody is in love with the crossbows. They are heavily armoured and lay stakes, which means they don't need to be guarded against cavalry and stand their ground against light infantry and perhaps heavy infantry -if you are desperate to hold the line, this could work but heavy infantry will have a field day butchering your archers-. These are all good don't get me wrong, but are these really the first aspects you'll look in an archer unit? What about their missile damage, for example? They are lacking in damage, only at 5, they can stand up to archer fire, but against superior crossbows of Pisans for example, they will perform poorly. They do about faster than crossbows, as all archers, but in my tests they lost on level ground with no cover. They lack the pavise shields of the crossbows and this shows..

    In the VERY late game, they do get arbalesters iirc, which is the pinnacle of crossbows and always good to have on your side, so no complaints there. Having a great variety of siege engines and artillery is a nice boost, too. Stradiots are another plus to the late era roster, but they are not as game breaking as they are in the vanilla game.


    To conclude this horribly organised summary of the points, I have a few humble suggestions to give the most serene republic her own identity by mainly buying the unique units to at least to hear to head with their counterparts. I'm not trying to "buff my favourite faction" because they are in my top 10 at best, but they seemed a bit weak to me in the overall roster.

    Pesante units strike me as an elite corps defending the overseas interests of the Republic. This could be reflected by increasing the defence skill of the Fanteria Pesante and lowering their charge damage and maybe increase their attack slightly. This would improve their hand to hand combat abilities and make them slow but armoured tank-like forces. Their attacking capabilities in the field wouldn't change by a large margin, but they would be more effective at defending.
    Another idea is to give them the feature to raise the morale of nearby troops but make them more expensive to recruit and maintain. This would allow for militia-heavy armies with an elite Pesante core to defend far away settlements which would be otherwise hard to sustain and reinforce.

    For Pesante archers, I would say increasing the missile attack is the only way to buff the unit, at the expense of its melee capabilities of necessary. Their price and maintenance cost could be increased of needed, but for them to compete with the crossbows, an attack of 6, maybe 7 is needed imo. 7 could be too much but 6 would definitely be welcome.


    Also, as an unrelated note, every time a Pisan army marches to battle under the shadow of their rival faction's standard, a little bit of me dies inside. Even when you click on the unit, it says standard of Venice... I know there is no voice line for Pisan standard, but not saying anything like some of the units is better than this.

    Anyway, I tried to take game balance into account but I don't know the historical roles of the units I discussed. The changes I propose might be over the top of game breaking, so intense testing is needed, which I barely did. So there you go, waiting for your thoughts.

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    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: [F] - ITALIAN cities (Venice & Pisa)

    Quote Originally Posted by kaiser29 View Post
    "serenissima" is referred to the republic, not to the city in itself, so I wouldn't agree with modifying Venice into that name. Also because nobody in Italy would refer to Venice with that name (it's only a nickname, a title, just like "great" or "holy")

    I would call it Venèsia or Venexia (the most popular variants of dialect from Veneto)
    My question was about the name of the faction, not of the city.

    Concerning the name of the city - which form was used in the Middle Ages?

  15. #15

    Default Re: [F] - ITALIAN cities (Venice & Pisa)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorbjorn Jagelund View Post
    3) When expanding in the early game, the problems above shouldn't hinder the gameplay as dramatically as I make it look to be. However, high and late era wouldn't be a walk in the park either. Unless you're rushing, your neighbors will probably be Pisa, HRE, Papal States, Sicily, and Serbia/Byzantium. Pisa will get an advanced skirmisher in both militia and professional form, namely Genoese crossbows. It is hands down the best skirmisher unit in the entire peninsula, if not in the whole continent. They will also get patrician cavalry in the late game, whose charges are devastating and armour superior. Sicily starts with a castle and a favourable position to expand to Africa and get a fortress. They will have access to heavy cavalry, heavy infantry, all the crossbows Venice has and professional pavise crossbowmen on top of it. Also the Berber units after the Africa conquest. Papal States has the papal guards, which are buffed up spearmen, also you really don't want to be in the pope's crossbars, because you'll be controlling cities which can be severely affected by excommunication. You don't want to attract to much attention from HRE too, since the empire vat territories can be used to finance stacks of armies on your tiny Island city. Serbia, as of 096, doesn't pose much of a that to the Italians in general, because they are too busy trying to survive the expansion of Byzantine behemoth and occasional Hungarian raids. Byzantines won't bother you in the early game but as soon as you gain territory in the Greek peninsula or even Dalmatia, they will notice you, and in really game Byzantine empire rules.

    4) So, what does Venetians get to overcome the challenges throughout the game? Generic Italian militia would be by your side almost every step, so get used to them. Average early professional units can be trained, but due to the geography of your starting position, you won't have access to any castle in the early game. Potential targets would be al-Mahdiya, Corinth, Casteddu and crusade targets; with each target coming with its own share of problems. High era is when you start to get the faction-specific units. There are only two however, namely Fanteria Pesante and Pesante archers.
    How far into the game have you played? Pisa rarely if ever threatens other Italian factions; I even devised a (cheap) strategy so other players can play with a better starting condition. The trick to staying off HRE's radar is to not conquer Milan because then they will be too overextended to conquer Bologna as well and you can engage in an asymmetrical war.

    I don't know if you haven't tried dominating Dalmatia but that's your best bet of expansion and transformation from a mere merchant republic. If you can consolidate Rascia (or even upgrade it if you are really good at micromanaging governors), you should have a stable staging ground for raids into Sicily and Greece. Plus, Ragusa can be converted into a castle if you want to rush things more quickly.

  16. #16

    Default Re: [F] - ITALIAN cities (Venice & Pisa)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    My question was about the name of the faction, not of the city.

    Concerning the name of the city - which form was used in the Middle Ages?
    "serenissima" was a title given to several republics, and means "most serene". a faction called la serenissima wouldn't mean anything, it would be something like "the greatest", "the mightiest", etc etc

    i recall reading ancient writings in historical places and roads reporting the forms "venexia" and "venèsia". but obviously, during the middle age the venetian dialect (like every other italian dialect) changed a lot depending on the year and on who was writing... even now, padova and venice speak a different kind of veneto-dialect

  17. #17

    Default Re: [F] - ITALIAN cities (Venice & Pisa)

    In the webpage of medieval kingdoms have many units rosters, maybe this can help for "adjust" the units roster for several factions, for example take a look venetians.
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...%29&styleid=54

    And i agree about you change the pisan carrocio, they should have carrocio with their pisan flag and also in my previous post i said that italians factions should have strongest militias in the game, maybe unique militias called italian militias or something...
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  18. #18
    Thorbjorn Jagelund's Avatar Foederatus
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    Default Re: [F] - ITALIAN cities (Venice & Pisa)

    Quote Originally Posted by officialdeo View Post
    How far into the game have you played? Pisa rarely if ever threatens other Italian factions; I even devised a (cheap) strategy so other players can play with a better starting condition. The trick to staying off HRE's radar is to not conquer Milan because then they will be too overextended to conquer Bologna as well and you can engage in an asymmetrical war.

    I don't know if you haven't tried dominating Dalmatia but that's your best bet of expansion and transformation from a mere merchant republic. If you can consolidate Rascia (or even upgrade it if you are really good at micromanaging governors), you should have a stable staging ground for raids into Sicily and Greece. Plus, Ragusa can be converted into a castle if you want to rush things more quickly.
    I've never played with Pisa and didn't play as Venice for a really long campaign as I've mentioned. However, in the current campaign I'm playing as France, Pisan dominance in the Tyrrhenian Sea was quite an achievemnt tbh. Entire coastline from Nice to Pisa was under their control, and they also had Florence, Casteddu and Tunis at some point. The only thing that took them down was an alliance including HRE, Sicily, Venice and Papal States. Until that point they were the wealthiest faction, as they normally are capping around 100k, and I don't realize any difference between the AI models of the Italian factions, so I anticipate that wealth could very well be transformed into stacks of militia after militia. All of these events were happening in the first 100 turns of the game.

    If we take a look solely at the rosters of the Italian factions, I think it is not up for debate that Venice is the weakest. They are quite similar, but Pisa and definitely Sicily have the edge with their unique units nonethless. The reason why Pisan campaign and Venetian campaign are difficult is different from one another. Pisa has a weak and vulnerable starting position next to the power hungry Pope and needs to consolidate rapidly. However, taking Genoa isn't all that hard with the relatively weak garrison it has, and after that Casteddu and Africa lies for you and Sicily both, whoever brings the pope on their side and acts quicker gets the settlements. You don't even need to take Florence, as it will be a border with Papal States and later HRE and Venice. Pisa's early weak position can be greatly increased by expanding carefully yet relatively quickly.

    Venice, on the other hand, will effectively be a buffer state between HRE and the rest of Italy. If you don't conquer Verona and Bologna quickly, even the Sicilians come all the way from south to get a share. If the player is controlling Venice, Pisa and Papal States most likely ally and get ready for you have borders with them. Pope will either attack Ancona and excommunicate you or the Sicilians depending on the owner, and carry on from there; or directly bee-line for your closest settlement if you expand too quickly.

    Maybe our different experiences could be explained through our play styles. I play on VH/VH with the home rules plus some more rules I invented to try to give the AI a chance to fight. I'm also trying to keep my reputation positive or relatively neutral for role-playing purposes and it is really inconvinent for me when the entire map bum rushes me. It is not impossible to play with despicable rep and looting and sacking, but I find this way more amusing out of sheer personal preferance.

    The reason I don't dominate anywhere in the early game is once you take a settlement your reputation takes a hit because you get stronger. When you pass certain thresholds on settlement numbers, the relations between you and your neighbours take quite a significant hit. You can still choose the military option and come on top, since the battle AI can still use some improvement despite the obvious effort put in compared to the Vanilla AI.

    I'm playing another campaign with Venice atm and will update if anything I've written turns out to be false.

  19. #19

    Default Re: [F] - ITALIAN cities (Venice & Pisa)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorbjorn Jagelund View Post
    I've never played with Pisa and didn't play as Venice for a really long campaign as I've mentioned. However, in the current campaign I'm playing as France, Pisan dominance in the Tyrrhenian Sea was quite an achievemnt tbh. Entire coastline from Nice to Pisa was under their control, and they also had Florence, Casteddu and Tunis at some point. The only thing that took them down was an alliance including HRE, Sicily, Venice and Papal States. Until that point they were the wealthiest faction, as they normally are capping around 100k, and I don't realize any difference between the AI models of the Italian factions, so I anticipate that wealth could very well be transformed into stacks of militia after militia. All of these events were happening in the first 100 turns of the game.

    If we take a look solely at the rosters of the Italian factions, I think it is not up for debate that Venice is the weakest. They are quite similar, but Pisa and definitely Sicily have the edge with their unique units nonethless. The reason why Pisan campaign and Venetian campaign are difficult is different from one another. Pisa has a weak and vulnerable starting position next to the power hungry Pope and needs to consolidate rapidly. However, taking Genoa isn't all that hard with the relatively weak garrison it has, and after that Casteddu and Africa lies for you and Sicily both, whoever brings the pope on their side and acts quicker gets the settlements. You don't even need to take Florence, as it will be a border with Papal States and later HRE and Venice. Pisa's early weak position can be greatly increased by expanding carefully yet relatively quickly.

    Venice, on the other hand, will effectively be a buffer state between HRE and the rest of Italy. If you don't conquer Verona and Bologna quickly, even the Sicilians come all the way from south to get a share. If the player is controlling Venice, Pisa and Papal States most likely ally and get ready for you have borders with them. Pope will either attack Ancona and excommunicate you or the Sicilians depending on the owner, and carry on from there; or directly bee-line for your closest settlement if you expand too quickly.

    Maybe our different experiences could be explained through our play styles. I play on VH/VH with the home rules plus some more rules I invented to try to give the AI a chance to fight. I'm also trying to keep my reputation positive or relatively neutral for role-playing purposes and it is really inconvinent for me when the entire map bum rushes me. It is not impossible to play with despicable rep and looting and sacking, but I find this way more amusing out of sheer personal preferance.

    The reason I don't dominate anywhere in the early game is once you take a settlement your reputation takes a hit because you get stronger. When you pass certain thresholds on settlement numbers, the relations between you and your neighbours take quite a significant hit. You can still choose the military option and come on top, since the battle AI can still use some improvement despite the obvious effort put in compared to the Vanilla AI.

    I'm playing another campaign with Venice atm and will update if anything I've written turns out to be false.
    I play on H/VH (since it's too immersion breaking for diplomacy to take too much a blow every single turn, game theory wise it's a lost cause to play nice when everyone's Machiavellian), but I fall somewhere between roleplaying in strategy and min-maxing in battles, e.g. favouring certain army composition. This might be a problem for other players that strictly roleplay with their faction.

    I don't disagree though with the notion that Venice may need some more boost to make it more unique, distinguished from its neighbours.

    Oh, and the Papal States definitely needs to be toned down. Diplomacy demanding Ancona handed over first, then the sword where the pen fails. I think it's definitely doable for the team?

  20. #20
    Thorbjorn Jagelund's Avatar Foederatus
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    Default Re: [F] - ITALIAN cities (Venice & Pisa)

    I haven't played on H/VH for a long time so I'm not sure I can compare the difficulty difference between VH and H, but I agree that there are some aspects of VH that some players would find tedious and grindy. I personally like when everyone plans for my demise, but this hinders my expansion rate and limits my choices most of the time, which I'm fine with.

    I quite like the aggressive Papal States, since it represents the greedy expansionist policies of the later popes like Alexander VI and Julius III. The friction between the Papal States and HRE, and every other small faction picking a side is quite nice and historical most of the time. If Papal States and HRE decides to make an alliance however, good luck to anyone who's unlucky around to face their armies.

    If Pope asks you to do something or compromies, especially in the early game, you do whatever it is to be on the good side of the old man in Roma. That's just how it is until you're strong enough to face excommunication and Holy Leagues coming your way. Also expanding too quickly, and this is even more sever in Italian factions, is the quickest way to lose reputation and get unprovoked attacks from the Pope. If you expand too quickly in Italy, you might as well try to assassinate the Pope with a plastic fork because your reputation will take just as much of a beating and you'll get excommunicated sooner or later. You can edit the game files yourself to make the Pope less agressive in your campaigns, just edit the faction_standing_descr.txt file in a way that Pope doesn't get the negative effects on you when you expand, but this might be a rather long project, as there are some many triggers.

    The way to survive and somewhat roleplay with the Italian factions is expanding in the mediterrenian, just like you said in your Pisa post. I don't think it is cheap, really because it's the only peaceful way to exist. Leave the Italian peninsula to AI factions, Lombardy to HRE, and sooner or later Pope will become restless in Roma and excommunicate someone who's expanding into the mainland. Then you can promise to attack that faction as a gift to the Pope, or even ally yourself with him if your diplomatic position allows so. That's how you conquer Italy imo. Wait for someone else to get it while you get overseas territories, then ally with Pope and be the Liberator, The Good Guy, Presever of the Holy Trinity, whatever you wanna call it and get the settlements. If ,somehow, Roma gets conquered -as it sometimes happens when a jacked up Sicily gets excommunicated and attacked by the Pope-, that means getting Roma and gifting it to the Pope will go a long way in forging a lasting alliance between you and the greedy old man who is now camping in the mountains with whatever pathetic army he's got.

    I'll try to make a Venice guide once I've played long enough in the campaign, but these are my foresights with relatively little experience as the factions and mostly observing the AI handling all the Italian factions while I'm half a world away. If Alavaria is still active, I'd love him to comment on this subject, as he definitely has something up his sleeve to conquer the world in 170 something turns as Pisa.

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