Faction Overview: Venice, by Awesome Eagle

Saluti e accoglie il comandante nobile. Your presence has been foreseen for years but we are now very happy to see you in person. Your able generalship shall lead our rich nation to victory! Before we begin however, we must give you an overview about our lands, army and current positions, so you will know how to best utilise our nation and achieve VICTORY!.

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Contents:


Our Lands

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We, noble sir, are Venetians, the Merchants of Italy. We as a people are known for our financial skills and we will utilise this talent to build a large empire and destroy our enemies beneath our perfectly tailored boots. As Venetians our capital lies in the city of canals, Venice. Venice is situated in Northern Italy and is located on an island. Our city is connected to the mainland by a bridge that in turn makes our city easily defendable. Our second city is Ragusa, a castle located on the east coast of the Adriatic. This castle will be very valuable in our wars in the Balkans and should be developed for better troop production. Our third and final city is Iraklion, located on the Isle of Crete. Iraklion is only a small town but is bursting and should be upgraded with walls to increase income and recruit more able troops for influx into our armies. Our reputation for being the Merchants of Italy is well earned, as in our cities we are able to build Merchant Banks in our cities, which will greatly assist the traders in the region and stimulate our economy by giving an increase in trade and income.

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Whilst containing three regions, our empire is spread out and under developed. However both of these problems will be solved in the near future. There are several nearby settlements which are inhabited by lowly rebels and their induction into our empire will greatly help and allow us consolidate our empire. However my general, there are many threats to the peace and security of our nation. Firstly, our Italian cousins the Milanese are a grave threat to our toehold in Italy. The remnants of the Holy Roman Empire still threaten our possessions as well, however their main powerbase lies beyond the Alps and we will do well to monitor the passes. Another threat comes from the remains of the Byzantine Empire. Their rulers are looking to restore their dominance in the Mediterranean and may look to steal our lands.

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Our Armies

Over centuries of warfare we have developed very strong armies made of dependable troops. Our nation boasts some very proficient heavy infantry and militaia troops, although we do not have access to a wide range of cavalry. Our best troops can be produced from castles so the restoration and development of our castle at Ragusa will be very beneficial. On the whole, our army is quite similar to our other Italian cousins with a few additions.

Infantry
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It is in our infantry that we boast our armiesí main strength. We have several basic types but also more advanced types of Infantry and they have different roles in our armies. Our armies, however, have a notorious problem in that they suffer from inferior morale. Our troops suffer from inferior morale as their main motivation for fighting for our glorious nation would be the acquisition of coins and not out of love for our nation. Thus we shouldn't put our utter faith in the steadfastness of our men over superior or equal opponents but this can be somewhat remedies by the addition of a Standard to our army which will increase the morale of our units and arm them with a fighting heart. From our castles we can produce:

  • Peasants: Mere peasants armed with simple weapons, are excellent cannon fodder.
  • Sergeant Spearmen: Professional warriors drawn from the lower classes. Carry a large shield and a spear and form a solid defensive unit. Useful in defending the flanks from enemy cavalry attacks.
  • Armoured Sergeants: Professional warriors drawn from the lower classes and armed with a large shield, a spear and wear mail armour. Very solid defensive unit able to withstand attacks from both cavalry and foot soldiers.
  • Dismounted Feudal Knights: Knights that have dismounted and fight on foot. Make excellent heavy infantry.
  • Dismounted Men at Arms: Nobility and commoners well equipped in plate armour, swords and shields. These men are tough fighters and are very capable of holding any line and are the elite of Milanese infantry forces.
  • Carroccio Standard: The Carroccio is a wagon holding the cityís standard and is defended by an elite group of infantry. The standard acts as a centre point for the army and increases the morale of units nearby. This unit can only be recruited by the addition of Council Chambers to a city.
  • Venetian Heavy Infantry: Well armoured and equipped with a war hammer, these men are our special infantry. Our heavy infantry is very effective at attacking the enemiesí armoured troops and should be used in this role. These men form a very powerful line and are elite in our armies.
Cavalry
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Whilst not having a large selection of cavalry and elite knights, we still have developed an otherwise effective corps of cavalry to guard our flanks and chase enemy routers. Our basic cavalry choices can also be augmented by the addition of a Knights Templar or Hospitaller Knights guild in our castle which would allow for the recruitment of eitherís special unit. From our castle we can produce:

  • Mounted Sergeants: lesser armed cavalry that ride in the company of the knights. Although not comparable to real knights, they can still perform well against a lesser armed or routed enemy, and unlike elsewhere in Europe use lances.
  • Mailed Knights: Basic heavy cavalry, heavy armour and a good charge, able to be used in a close combat role.
  • Feudal Knights: Knights that dominate the battle field. Trained as warriors from birth, these men are armed with a heavy lance, strong armour and have a powerful charge.
  • Men at Arms: nobility and commoners who band together to produce a powerful unit of heavy cavalry. These men are well protected and have good weapons, have a powerful charge and are difficult to kill.
  • Broken Lances: Mercenaries recruitable from city walls, these men are encased in plate armour, and pack a heavy charge. However, they're not as reliable as feudal knights, as they're more concerned about their payday rather than losing their lives for you.
  • Stradiots: Albanian warriors dressed in Turkish fashion and wearing padded or light armour. Armed with a spear and mace, these light cavalry are uniques troops, renowned for their ferocity and lack of discipline.
Missile

Although not as well known in missile troops as our Milanese cousins, we have developed a fine corps of missile troops to rain death upon our enemies from afar. We havenít taken to the crossbow as devotedly as the Milanese and our Venetian archers still use the bow as their missile weapon. From our castles we can recruit:

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  • Peasant Archers: Peasants that have been levied into the army and armed with a hunting bow and a knife. These men should be kept out of hand to hand combat at all costs.
  • Peasant Crossbowmen: Peasants equipped with a crossbow and a knife to provide mass missile fire. Unarmoured and should be kept out of hand to hand combat at all times.
  • Venetian Archers: wearing tough European armour and equipped with a powerful Asian style composite bow, these men rain death on the enemy. These men also carry a sword for close combat but these men shouldnít be used in this role.
  • Mounted Crossbowmen: First used to combat the more proficient mobile missile units of the east, the mounted crossbowmen units use smaller crossbows than the infantry so they pack less of a punch. However their mobility will allow them to flank an enemy unit and fain fire on their unprotected rear thus causing the enemy great casualties. These horsemen are not suited to be used as melee cavalry but may be useful in chasing down routed enemy units.
Militias

We venetians are Italian and can thus recruit some powerful militias to garrison our holding and keep order in our spreading empire. These militias can be useful in a supporting role in battle and can be recruited by building a barracks in a city. From our cities we can produce:

  • Italian Militia: Armed with a short spear and shield and can be useful in a supporting role.
  • Italian Spear Militia: Spear Militias are comprised of experienced troops with some armor and long spears, making them a good defensive unit on the battle field.
  • Pavise Crossbow Militia: Wealthy townsfolk trained to use the crossbow and equipped with decent armour and a pavise shield on their backs. These men should be kept out of close combat as they will wither in a fight.
  • Cavalry Militia: Wealthy citizens that are well equipped and might be mistaken for knights. However they lack the experience and training of knight and should only be used to flank and chase down routers.
  • Pike Militia: Modestly trained, these pikemen can hold a defensive position very well. However these men lack armour and will be very vulnerable to enemy missile fire unless accordingly upgraded.

Seige

Siege weapons can be built when you construct a Ballista maker in a castle or city. These weapons allow armies with them to immediately assault a settlement without having to wait the regular 2 years to build siege equipment.

  • Ballista: A giant crossbow that hurls huge javelins that can take down small walls and piece any armor.
  • Catapult: A catapult throws large rocks at walls and troops, does a lot of damage to both.
  • Trebuchet Result of the evolution of siege machines, very powerful machine that hurls huge boulders and even throw rotting cows.

Our Current Situation

Currently sir, we have a small spread out empire but our power may be increased quickly with the acquisition of several settlements under the control of dubious rebels. At the current moment, we have 3 rebel settlements that we are targeting for quick conquest. Our first target that is most close to our homelands is the Village of Zagreb. Zagreb is located directly east from Venice and capturing it will allow for more stability and defence in the region as well as increasing our coffers. Our second target is the strategically important village of Durazzo located south east of our castle of Ragusa. This village, although small, will be an important bulwark against a possible expedition by the Byzantines who wish to reclaim lands in the West. Durazzo will be an important trading town in the future with its key position on the Adriatic and numerous land boarders of overland trade. Our third possible target is located on the Isle of Rhodes, north east of our town of Iraklion. This castle will be key in withholding against the Byzantines and will greatly increase our naval power in the region.

To accomplish our early goals we have a large army that will be invaluable in the quick conquest of new territories. However, this large army also requires us to expand as it places a large strain on our finances and if combined with some building programmes will bankrupt us in a few years. Firstly, in our capital of Venice lie our faction leader Doge Domenico, 2 battalions of Peasant Archers and 4 battalions of Italian Spear Militia. This is the defence force for our capital city and will be more than adequate for our first years of conquest. Our second army lies east of Venice and consists of Councillor Bartolomeno and his body guard, 3 battalions of Italian Spear Militia and 2 battalions of Peasant Archers. This army is ideally situated to undertake the immediate conquest of Zagreb, which will be very beneficial to our nation. Our third army lies in our castle of Ragusa and consists of Alessandro Selvo and his bodyguard, 2 battalions of Italian Spear Militia and a battalion of Peasant Archers. This army will undertake the conquest of the village of Durazzo but will need reinforcements. Buying the services of several mercenaries or sending reinforcements from Venice maybe our course of action but it is up to you commander. Our fourth and last army lays in Crete in the town of Iraklion and consists of Cristiano Selvo and his bodyguard, 2 battalions of Italian Spear Militia and 1 battalion of Peasant Archers. This army should soon board ships and undertake the invasion of Rhodes but more units will need to be recruited to safeguard this province.

Venice may have the most powerful navy currently in the Mediterranean. Our navy consists of 8 Galleys, separated into 2 fleets of 4, with one situated next to Venice in the Adriatic, and the other situated just north of Crete. Our navy will be very beneficial in transporting our troops around our empire and bankrupting our enemies into submission by constricting out enemiesí sea trade. The current size of our navy means that we may not need to invest into it for a few years and focus on our land forces instead, but we will need to keep pace with changing times and build bigger and better ships soon.

To fulfil our mission to attain a vast empire we have several men in our employ who are willing to risk life and limb in our pursuits. In our employ we have the spy Victor Calza, the merchant Tusco Delogu, the diplomat Guido Batlle and the Cardinal Oliverio Gusti. Each of these men have their uses and all will be essiental in our rise to dominance. This, my general is the current situation of our nation and some knowledge that may be very benefitial to you.

We Holy Christians

Since the spreading of Christianity in the Roman Empire, we and our lands have been Catholic. Since we are Christians we have the ability to build churches in our towns and castles. Churches not only increase public order, but they slowly turn the populace to Christianity. This will be of real benefit in our wars against the Orthodox Byzantines and will elp to make conquered territories more Venetian. Being Christians also allows us to participate in Crusades. Crusade may allow us to acquire a foothold in the wealthy Middle East and massively increase our wealth and prestige. Our position in Italy and our faith also come with draw backs though, as it may put us into direct confrontation with the pope, and all Christendom would look down upon us in the event that we try to acquire Rome.

Mods

We Venetians feature greatly in many mods such as the Retrofit Mod and the Mongolphobia Mod, which slightly modifies our nation and give many tweaks to balance our nation.


Thus nobile comandante you have been briefed on our nation, on our lands, on our armies and on our faith. All this information will be valuable to you as you attempt to negotiate the long road to Victory!