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:
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)
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).
Joan II the Faithless
- Cagliari - fleet
- Palermo - fleet
- Siracusa - fleet
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
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
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...
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.
- Venezia* (V.) - fleet
- Brescia - army
- Verona - army
- Padova - army
- Spalato - fleet
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).
- 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).
- Firenze - army
- Pisa - fleet
- Arezzo - army
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.
- 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
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)
- Rimini (Rim)
- Ragusa (Rag)
- Ravenna (Rav)
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)
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
Another way: coastal and continental areas:
- Western coasts: 15
- Adriatic coasts: 8
- Inner North (incl. Padova): 16
- Inner Center and South: 5
So far, so good.