- +10% Infantry combat ability
- +1 Diplomatic relation
- −10% Idea cost
- +1 Yearly prestige
- −10% Development cost
- −15% Mercenary maintenance
- −5% Technology cost
- +10% Global trade power
- −10% Stability cost modifier
- +20% National manpower modifier
A relatively young state, the Duchy of Milan was founded in 1395. Since then, its rulers have fought hard within the state as much as beyond its borders to establish their authority. Lombardy's cities are however only reluctantly accepting of ducal rule and are likely to attempt to seize power for themselves and establish a republican form of governance, should they get the chance. On the other hand, the ambitious and highly skilled mercenary captain Ludovico Sforza has made a reputation for himself during the latest struggles. He too would seize any opening to further his own ambitions. Instability is sure to plague Milan until these tensions can be resolved.Finally, the competing expansionist powers of France and Austria eye the Duchy, and are likely to view it as the prize should one achieve supremacy over the other. Milan will have to pick a side carefully, while ensuring that it is not so beholden to them that it loses control of its own fate. In particular, Milan will have to decide whether to remain a part of the Holy Roman Empire, which has gradually seen its control of Italy slipping away, or whether to seek independence from it and strike out its own path. The success of Milan shall be dependent on the careful balancing of its diplomatic relations - and on securing a more successful outcome to its wars than in the first half of the century.
- Main article: Milanese events
If Milan has a regency or low legitimacy it is possible to institute the Ambrosian Republic in Milan. This action will give Monarchy type neighbours a Casus Belli on Milan allowing them to force Milan to return to the monarchy government type. The Ambrosian Republic gives Milan access to a unique government form with increased morale for its soldiers and greater tax income.
Milan can form the nation of Italy.
Form Italian Nation
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As the heart of the Renaissance, our nation is blossoming culturally. We have just entered the beginning of what looks like a prolonged artistic rebellion, especially in the field of architecture and literature. The cultural evolution is not aiding our country in maintaining peace within our borders however. Our country is continuously stricken by foreign states seeking power and territorial gain.
Italy does not exist.
If the country is AI-controlled then it:
If the country:
Milan is one of the stronger Italian countries at the start of the game. Although starting out with only 6 provinces, it possesses a solid economy, good manpower reserves, and most importantly, quite a few opportunities to expand.
As Milan is surrounded almost entirely by HRE members in the beginning, an early alliance with Austria could be advantageous. An allied Emperor will generally not interfere with Milan's expansion inside the HRE, so long as Milan itself remains within the HRE. This situation is likely to change in 1490, when the Shadow Kingdom event causes all Italian countries to leave the HRE. From outside the HRE, it will no longer be possible to attack HRE countries (e.g. Switzerland) without incurring the wrath of the Emperor, even if the Emperor is an ally.
If there's something even more important than a powerful and versatile army for Milan, that is diplomacy. As yet another princedom hungry for glory trapped within the HRE jungle, Milan must gather a reliable set of allies to succeed; not only for using them to aid you in conquest but also to deter the bigger fish from attacking.
It is usually better if Milan avoids threatening the southern German states too early, as the sheer number of princes will greatly speed up the formation of a coalition against Milan.
Milan should immediately pick Venice as a rival (As Venice will almost always rival Milan too), with the objective of reconquering Brescia. If Austria has ambitions to conquer Venice, then allying Austria to get them to fight Venice would be an easy way to defeat Venice, since Venice isn't an HRE prince.
Mantua is a very easy province to take, and will provide Milan with a useful amount of tax when conquered, but you must be careful about upcoming revolts. Same goes for Ferrara, albeit it is a little bit less vulnerable because of its 2 provinces and the ability to acquire more allies. Lucca and Florence should be the next targets, but watch who they're allied with. If they're allied with a relatively powerful nation, wait for a moment of weakness, then spring on them before any other nations decide to do so. After steamrolling Siena, The Papal State will be a tough challenge, since if the curia controller dislikes Milan, then declaring war on the pope will cause you to get excommunicated faster than you can say "deus vult". For this reason, it might be worth considering switching to Protestant or Reformed to avoid the excommunication penalty, as well as the global relations malus with Catholic nations for being excommunicated. When it comes to Naples, it is generally situational. If Aragon or Castile turned Spain diploannexes Naples, then it will be necessary to declare war on those nations. Otherwise, if Naples is independent, then go kill them as long as they aren't in touch with any powerful allies. If Naples decides to ally, for example, Albania, Tunis, and Cologne, then go ahead and murder Naples.
Surprisingly, Switzerland is a fairly easy target as well. A pair of decisive battles (use mercenaries if necessary) will leave the Swiss army exhausted and unable to counterattack, allowing Milan to capture a province or even two.
Savoy is a decent ally which will assure Milan's security from other north Italian states, albeit it can get annoying to honour said alliance as Savoy often embarks itself in wars against (or is the target of) Burgundy, for instance.
Austria will assure Milan's independence much better than Savoy, but unlike Savoy, Austria will not help Milan if you call them as an ally against a member of the HRE. It's nice to have them as a defensive ally, though - as long as they stay emperor, of course.
Genoa can, again, be either a friend or a foe. As a friend, Genoa can provide protection for Milan, but prevents a possible conquest against them in pursuit of a seaport. As a foe, this is possible, but Genoa's power must not be underestimated, for its various provinces in the Mediterranean and commercial clout in Crimea more than make up for their only 2 provinces on the Italian mainland.
Hungary will serve as a good counter against Venice but be wary of the fact that allying them comes with the potential risk of running afoul of Austria, since Austria may sometimes enter into competition with Hungary with the ambition of establishing a personal union over them. Making an enemy of the emperor of the HRE can be a very dangerous situation.
The Ambrosian Republic
In 1447 or if Milan at any point ends up in regency or has low legitimacy, this will trigger an event granting them the opportunity to adopt a unique government form known as the Ambrosian Republic. This is a very powerful government form as it will increase Tax income and Army Morale by 10% and 5% respectively, and both bonuses support each other well. The Tax Income bonus is a good asset because Milan already starts off with a good economy and has plenty of opportunities to make it even better, and the bonus can thus translate into quite a bit of additional money for Milan to use. The Army Morale bonus, on the other hand, can be helpful for fighting wars to conquer more land, allowing one to use the Tax Income bonus to obtain even more ducats from owned lands.
One should be careful, however, as the Ambrosian Republic comes with some risky strings attached since adopting it will cause all neighboring Catholic Monarchies to gain a Casus Belli on Milan to force them to return to monarchy, which can be a very dangerous situation if Milan either doesn't have powerful allies or a powerful military to repel the aggressors.