In which Venice strives to retain its cultural superiority and maintain the integrity of its chosen format, but is sabotaged at every turn by characters who think being funny is as easy as referring to the works of others.
A reasonably good session for me, in which I conquered some bits and bobs of the Middle East from the dying remnants of Syria, and started to explore the Indian Ocean. Alas, all the islands are either out of range or already colonised by Egyptians. Egypt has also ‘dibsed’ – this is formal diplomatic speech on the Upper Nile – uncolonised Africa, and has taken Expansion to make good his claims. All the western European powers (Afrika, England, Denmark, Venice) have taken Exploration; Russia is doing Defensive and needs it badly. Germany is on Influence, which seems odd to me, but perhaps he intends to abandon it when he has absorbed his vassals? Byzantium has Naval, presumably in preparation for disputing control of the Med with Afrika.
A navy allows you to hopscotch hostile landmasses; unfortunately, it turns out that the Kilwa Sultanate had one too. With heavy ships! My Med fleets could have dealt with them easily enough; this is why we need a Suez canal. My light exploration fleet with a few transports was driven off, and my cunning plan of landing on Zanzibar and blocking the strait while I built up my forces did not come off. However, while Venice is not counted a Great Power in Europe, it still commands resources these coastal sultanates can only dream of. I’m about to teach the AI what it is to fight a civilised nation.
Meanwhile, the Powers of the world clash; Germany has driven deep into Russia – which for some reason has allowed its military tech to remain at 4, while I am at 6 and so are these damn African savages – and Persia has broken into India, prompting the construction of a coalition against it. Byzantium objects to the Afrikan pirates throttling its trade, Mongolia uses the phrase “unfriendly acts” in reference to Germany’s invasion of Russia, and everyone looks askance at the rapidity of the English expansion into Brazil and down the west coast of Africa. It looks like we’ll have an eventful third session.
Europe, 1470. Note the German occupation of Hungary.