VIET adds a whole slew of new Republics, offering more variety and different challenges for those tired of vanilla's rather meager selection. Additionally, the new republics provide extra competition, which has a nice balancing effect.
General Changes to RepublicsEdit
While merchant Republics behave more or less as they do in vanilla, there are a number of important changes and tweaks to them in VIET.
- Many new Republics spread throughout the world.
- Inability for Republics to declare holy wars, muslim invasions, or county conquests.
- Tweaked republic elections so there's more uncertainty.
- Increased costs of trade posts
- Increased difficulty in seizing and usurping trade posts.
- Additional requirements for the Coastal Republic CB
So, in general, it's harder to expand as a Republic - both through force and through trade - compared to vanilla, though it's not impossible or even that difficult in the hands of a skilled player. There are also more Republics to compete with, so dominating a certain region of the world economically won't be as easy or simple - on the other hand, the same goes for these rival Republics.
There are many new Republics scattered across the world, ranging from the cosmopolitan Hormuz to the isolated Iceland. A good number of the new patrician families in these Republics are historical or semi-historical, and even those that are fictitious are nevertheless based on the real life circumstances of the Republic in question. Each family also generally has a unique starting position at the 1066 start; for instance, one family might be that of three enterprising brothers who are rising stars of the Republic, while another might be a decadent, insane family with incestuous siblings headed by an batty old merchant who went crazy after he lost his wife.
When it comes to adding new Republics, like new cultures, I try not to add too many Republics solely for the sake of adding them. Republics in VIET will generally be spread out and each will be unique in some way. This will, for instance, rule out smaller historical republics such as Gaeta that aren't necessary due to the existence of nearby Pisa and Genoa, or many major trade cities that were centers of trade but not politically significant by themselves like London, Constantinople, or Acre.
In vanilla, the northern seas are often completely dominated by Gotland which becomes ahistorically too powerful. VIET adds in several merchant Republics to balance things out, as discussed below.
- Brugge was historically one of the most prosperous and well-connected trade centers in the wealthy region of Flanders. In VIET, it is playable from the 1066 start as a vassal of the Kingdom of France, and is dominated by five Dutch families.
- Hamburg was one of the major cities of the Hansa. While it is playable from the 1066 start, which is ahistorical, I've done so because 1) a Hamburg mini-mod was available so I figured why not; 2) I wanted to represent northern Germany's economic clout before the Hansa; and 3) I wanted another competitor for Gotland in the region. It is ruled by five German families. The current iteration of Hamburg in VIET is based on Thure's excellent Free City of Hamburg mini-mod.
- Iceland was never a major trading power per se, but it was a Republic of sorts, and one whose politics were - at least in a general sense - similar to the way the merchant Republics work in CKII. As such, it is included as a playable, King-tier Republic from the 1066 start. The AI usually doesn't expand it that much, but perhaps a skiled human player could turn this isolated backwater into a major trading empire. The Republic of Iceland as seen in VIET is taken from Teutonic Trash's Þjóðveldið Ísland (Icelandic Commonwealth) mini-mod.
- Novgorod will be included in the near future when I integrate neondt's Novgorod Republic mini-mod. It will be playable from 1136; if you started a game before then, it will most likely form via event, similarly to the Hansa. Historically Novgorod was a major trade power as well as political force in eastern Europe.
- Saaremaa will be included in the near future and will be playable both at the 867 start and from 1066 until the early 1200s. It will include 3 Finnish Pagan, 1 Norse Pagan, and 1 Baltic Pagan patrician family. Historically it was a major trading center in the region, probably even wealthier than Gotland, and a base of operations for the so-called eastern Vikings, who were mainly Baltic and Estonian raiders and pirates who operated like their more famous Scandinavian counterparts.
In vanilla the Mediterranean hosts Venice, Pisa, and Genoa as merchant republics. While these three still remain quite powerful in VIET, they will face tough competition from several new Republics.
- Amalfi is already playable in vanilla CKII at the 867 start, but will also be made playable from 1066-1075 in VIET, although it will be rather weak and difficult.
- Ancona has been made a merchant Republic in VIET, but contains no playable
- Oran was historically founded in the 10th century by Andalusian merchants. It became an important Muslim trading power in the Mediterranean. In game, it has several playable families: 2 Andalusian Arabic, 2 Berber, and 1 Sephardic Jewish families.
Historically during CKII's timeframe the Indian Ocean was the hub for maritime trade in the Old World - in fact, the majority of maritime trade probably passed through here during this time. Unfortunately vanilla CKII doesn't represent this whatsoever, for various reasons; VIET, however, adds in seazones to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, allowing for the possibility of merchant republics and trade there. While historically the trading powers of the region didn't behave exactly like the "Republics" of Italy and elsewhere, I felt that ignoring their impact on world economic history was not an option, so I've added a number.
The "Republics" in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea are, in general, arguably the most cosmopolitan of all the Republics available, hosting a wide variety of religions and cultures. Even those dominated by certain groups have, at the least, the possibility of spawning courtiers who come from a variety of backgrounds, including those of the Swahili and Indian Hindu variety.
Currently, these Republics are in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea:
- Hormuz was a small but powerful state centered around the city of Hormuz that prospered heavily and drew much of its power from the Indian Ocean trade. In terms of history, of all the "Republics" in the region it is probably the most like the Italian maritime Republics at least on a superficial level. It is playable from 1066 and has a great variety of fictional patrician families to choose from, including: Persian Sunni, Persian Shiite, Persian Zoroastrian, Bedouin Arabic Sunni, and Gujarati (Indian) Hindu. Of all the Republics anywhere, it has the greatest diversity in terms of playable cultures and religions.
- Somalia was historically divided into several powerful Islamic states (each often dominated by a certain dynasty) that grew rich on the Indian Ocean trade. In game these states are represented as one "Republic." The Somali "Republic" boasts four historical dynasties (though some of their members are fictional); all five patrician families are Somali Sunni. It is playable from 1066 onwards.
- Yemen, like the other states mentioned above, was another predominantly Muslim state that drew much of its economic and political power from the Indian Ocean and Red Sea trade. In-game it is playable from 1066 and has five Bedouin Arabic patrician families based on five historical dynasties that ruled it - four are Shiite and one is Sunni. The version of VIET is based on jordarkelf's Aden republic mini-mod, though with a number of changes.