Friday, 20 March 2015

Italian Wars

I continue here presenting the quasi-final draft for the reform of the variant Rinascimento that I outlined yesterday.

This is the map:

click to expand

As you can see, I finally decided against the inclusion of all those extra-Italian powers, France excepted. I also redrew the Ligurian Sea as a single province and in the last minute corrected the border of Basilicata in favor of historicity but mostly to allow France the power to take Naples unhindered... unless Naples gets active help from Aragon or Genoa. As Naples can fall back to Benevento, this is by no means the end of Ferrante.

Detail of powers, centers and units:

CROWN OF FRANCE & HOUSE OF ANJOU: Charles IX (nominal) & Jean II of Valois-Anjou, Duke of Lorraine and claimant King of Naples.
  • Marseilles (Mar) - fleet
  • Asti - army
  • Salerno - army
  • Eastern Tyrrhenian Sea - fleet (unsupported)
Charles had just been crowned when the game begins and he was just 10 years old, being under the control of the intolerant Catholic House of Guise. John of Anjou was related to both and hoped to regain the regnal title of Naples, lost by his father René, organizing a campaign with the support of Genoa that was initially successful thanks to the support of many rebellious Neapolitan nobles but which he failed to bring to success eventually.

The game begins when the claimant is able to take Naples after defeating King Ferrante with the support of local nobles.

René of Provence, father of Jean and former King of Naples was also in 1466 elected to rule Catalonia, in the context of the popular uprising against John II. Jean of Lorraine was murdered in Barcelona, apparently poisoned by agency of his arch-rival John of Aragon, in 1470.

Note it's possible that in a revision I change France for House of Valois-Anjou (Provence) as the power being played. France proper did not play any role in this period. However I have to check who exactly controlled Asti at this time and revise that province accordingly (if need be, it will become the armed Neutral Monferrato).

CROWN OF ARAGON: Joan II the Faithless
  • Cagliari - fleet
  • Palermo - fleet
  • Siracusa - fleet
John of Aragon is believed by some to have inspired Machiavelli's The Prince more than Cesare Borgia or any other ruler. He is the merciless forger of the Trastamara (later Habsburg) megalomaniac pan-European crown. In order to achieve his goals, for example in Navarre, he had no qualm in murdering all his first marriage children one after the other.

His ruthless ambition eventually paid him badly, having to fence a revolt at home in favor of the French and Anjou.

DUCHY OF SAVOY: Louis (Ludovico) I, after 1464 Amadeus (Amadeo) IX the Happy.
  • Chambery - army
  • Torino - army
  • Nizza - fleet
In 1450 Louis had unsuccessfully tried to conquer Milan, while it was under republican government. He received the Holy Shroud from his Cypriot in-laws. His son Amadeus was epileptic and did not effectively rule the realm, leaving it in the hands of his wife Yolande of Valois, who in 1476 took part in the Burgundian Wars in France, being disputed which side she was actually with.

Historically Savoy was always a transit point for French forces to enter Italy, not having played any major role before the unification of Italy in the late 19th century, when that coy attitude of centuries finally paid the house with the Italian crown.

  • Genoa (Gen) - fleet
  • Savona (Sav) - army
  • Corsica - fleet
Historical notes: Genoa was a republic led by doges elected for terms of two years. At the beginning of the game the title was held by Paolo Batista Giudice Calvi, who died soon after, then Batista Cicala Zoaglio, etc. (see: Wikipedia: Doge of Genoa).

Genoa was already in decline, having lost most of its overseas possessions to the Ottomans. Just before our game, it had been ruled as a French dependency by John of Anjou, who used it to reach Naples with his army, but the Republic was restored with support of Milan. However in 1464 Milan changed sides and invaded Genoa, holding it as French fief. It was held by either Milan or France for the rest of the century until it was captured by the Old Nobility with Aragonese support in 1522, which later arranged a formal independence under the Habsburgs.

Anecdotally, somewhere in the streets of Genoa in this year of 1461 there is kid, aged 9 or 10, named Cristoforo Colombo. When he grows up he wants to be a sailor...

DUCHY OF MILAN: Francesco I Sforza (until 1466), then his son Galeazzo Maria.
  • Milan - army
  • Pavia - army
  • Piacenza - army
  • Parma - army

Francesco I, a Milanese condottiero raised in Naples, as famous for his brawn as for his brains, fought many campaigns for various masters, notably the House of Valois-Anjou, before successfully plotting against the Ambrosian Republic of Milan, becoming the new Duke by decision of the city's Senate. He was never recognized as such by the Emperor.

Once in power he established strong alliances with Florence and Naples, switching sides in the dynastic dispute and becoming an enemy of the Valois-Anjou. He restored the Republic of Genoa in 1461 but invaded again in 1464 as French vassal, keeping it under his control since then.

His son Galeazzo is better known for his patronage of musical art and very especially for his cruelty and womanizing tendencies. He was murdered in 1476. He was nominally succeeded by his son Gian Galeazzo but in practice by his brother Ludovico il Moro, another famed Milanese strongman.

REPUBLIC OF VENICE: Pasquale Malipiero (-1462), Cristoforo Moro (1462-71), etc.

  • Venezia* (V.) - fleet
  • Brescia - army
  • Verona - army
  • Padova - army
  • Spalato - fleet
* Venezia is an island that also includes the Lagoon of Venice, bordering Treviso, Padova, Rovigo and Gulf of Venice only by sea. All movement in or outside Venice must be done by fleets, convoying armies in or out of Venice is only possible via Gulf of Venice

Unlike the doges Genoa those of Venice ruled for longer time. In our game the main one is Cristoforo Moro, who was largely busy with campaigns against Turkey in the Aegean and Albania. He also had to face challenges from Italian neighbors who ambitioned Venetian lands in Terra Ferma (NE Italy).

HOUSE OF ESTE: Borso (-1471), then Ercole I (1471-1505)
  • Ferrara - army
  • Modena - army

Borso was mostly allied with Venice and enemy of Milan and Florence. He was a patron of the arts mostly for political reasons. He was succeeded (by means of a Venetian supported coup) by his half-brother Ercole, known as the North Wind or the Diamond, who married with Eleanora of Naples, establishing a long lasting alliance with the Trastamaras/Habsburgs. In 1482-84 he fought a war against the alliance of Venice and the Pope, who claimed Ferrara, which he ended by diplomatic means, ceding border lands to Venice (Rovigo in the current version of the map, which I may need to repaint brown for the sake of historicity).

REPUBLIC OF FLORENCE: Cosimo de Medici (-1464), then Piero il Gotoso (1464-67), then Lorenzo il Magnifico (1469-92).
  • Firenze - army
  • Pisa - fleet
  • Arezzo - army
The Republic begins the game still in life of the founder of the Medici powerhouse, who was allied to the Francesco I of Milan. Upon the death of this one, Ferrara supported a military attempt against Piero, but the coup failed for lack of popular support. Another attempt was led by Venice in 1467, when Piero sought the help of the Duke of Urbino.

The reign of Lorenzo is best known for his patronage of the arts, being a key figure of the Renaissance. After executing the Bishop of Pisa for taking part in a murderous conspiracy, he had to face the rage of the Pope and his Neapolitan ally. Lorenzo solved the conflict by risking his life going in personal visit to Naples, where he patiently turned Ferrante to his side.

STATE OF THE CHURCH: Pius II (-1464), Paulus II (1464-71), Sixtus IV (1471-84)
  • Roma - army
  • Spoleto - army
  • Ancona - fleet
  • Forli - army

Pius wrote an erotic novel and condemned slavery on newly baptized Christians. Paul was a Venetian who lived in Venice even as Pope and felt trapped by the conditions imposed to his power by the cardinals on his election. He was a populist anti-humanist who did nothing of relevance.

Sixtus IV however was a very strong man. Native of Liguria, he was the most able cardinal appointed by his predecessor, having led the Franciscan Order before being crowned as Pope. His right hand was his nephew Girolamo Riario, Lord of Forli and Imola and Captain General of the Church, who plotted unsuccessfully once and again against Lorenzo de Medici, in the hope of becoming Lord of Florence. 

Besides attempting to expand the Papacy at the expense of Florence and Ferrara, Sixtus also sanctioned the African slave trade, although he kept his predecessors' demand of respecting the freedom of those who had converted. He also developed Rome and patronized the arts.

KINGDOM OF NAPLES:  Ferdinand I, also know as Ferrante.
  • Napoli - army
  • Reggio di Calabria - fleet
  • Bari - fleet
Historical notes: Ferrante faced a major revolt that almost cost him the throne. Later, in 1478, he allied with the Papacy against Florence. But Lorenzo de Medici traveled to Naples and managed to gradually persuade Ferrante to abandon such alliance.

In 1482 he joined Milan and Ferrara against the Pope and Venice. In 1985 he faced a second rebellion, this time aided by the Pope.

In 1493, a year before his death, he realized that France plotting a renewed and more vigourous attack against Naples and tried to warn other Italian rulers of the danger such campaign, trying to rally them in a united front but failed.

  • Genève (in doubt)
  • Mantova
  • Bologna
  • Rimini (Rim)
  • Urbino
  • Lucca
  • Siena
  • Taranto
  • Ragusa (Rag)
  • Tunis
  • Ravenna (Rav)
  • Spoleto

Center count: 44
→ needed to win (simple variant): 23

Centers by region:
  • Northwest: 12
  • Northeast: 11
  • Center: 9
  • South: 7
  • Periphery: 5 (3 West, 2 East)
The border between the NE and Center is somewhat arbitrary (no clear buffer zone) but in any case controlling all the North (as arbitrarly defined by the Romagna-Marche border) gives victory, while controlling center and south, still requires of seven other centers (for example Tunis, Sardinia, Corsica, Rimini, and Forli), so in a N-S endgame clash, the area of Romagna seems decisive, as well as the periphery.

I would think this is quite balanced in principle. There are 5 northern powers, 4 southern/central powers and one (France) which is split. Again it seems balanced.

Another way of counting: West vs East:
  • West: 27
  • East: 17
Hence on this axis the West holds the key to victory. This means that if any single power manages to control the Thyrrenian and Western Med, as well as much of NW Italy, it will be surely very close to victory while controlling the Adriatic and NE Italy alone (typical Venetian) is not. There are 6 western powers (incl. Milan), 2 eastern powers and 2 intermediate ones (Papacy and Naples), so I guess it's fine.

Another way: coastal and continental areas:
  • Western coasts: 15
  • Adriatic coasts: 8
  • Inner North (incl. Padova): 16
  • Inner Center and South: 5
Hence Inner North and Western coasts weight more but Inner North and Adriatic would also grant victory, so the Adriatic, joined with Venetian land might remains a power house and it is good that Venice is somewhat balanced since the beginning by the Papal and Neapolitan fleets.

So far, so good.

No comments:

Post a Comment