Milan

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Milan
Milan.png
Primary culture
Lombard (Latin)

Capital province
Lombardia (104)

Government
Feudal Monarchy Government monarchy.png

State religion
CatholicCatholic.png

Technology group
WesternWestern technology group
Milanese ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+10% Infantry combat ability
+1 Diplomatic relation

Idea cost.png Renaissance Prince

−10% Idea cost

Prestige.png Patron of Music

+1 Yearly prestige

Development cost.png Lowered Power of the Barons

−10% Development cost

Mercenary maintenance.png The Age of the Condottieri

−15% Mercenary maintenance

Technology cost.png Encouragement of Philosophers

−5% Technology cost

Trade power.png Merchant Princes

+10% Global trade power

Stability cost modifier.png Rulership through Enlightened Principals

−10% Stability cost modifier

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+20% National manpower modifier
{{{name2}}} ideas
missing versioning

Traditions.png Traditions:

+10% Infantry combat ability
+1 Diplomatic relations

Idea cost.png Renaissance Prince

-10% Idea cost

Prestige.png Patron of Music

+1 Yearly prestige

National tax modifier.png Lowered Power of the Barons

-10% Development cost

Mercenary cost.png The Age of the Condottieri

-20% Mercenary cost

Technology cost.png Encouragement of Philosophers

-5% Technology cost

Trade power.png Merchant Princes

+10% Global trade power

Stability cost modifier.png Rulership through Enlightened Principles

-10% Stability cost modifier

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+20% National manpower modifier

Milan is a country with the Lombard culture and the ability to form Italy. Its starting religion is Catholic. Milan starts the game with the high base tax province of Lombardia, giving them a larger base tax than most small countries. Milan starts in the first bookmark, 1444.

Events

Main article: Milanese events

Ambrosian Republic

If Milan has a regency or low legitimacy it is possible to institute the Ambrosian Republic in Milan. This action will give some large neighbors a Casus Belli on Milan so they can restore the monarchy, while Milan gets a unique government form that gives them increased morale for its soldiers and greater tax income.

National decisions

Milan can form the nation of Italy.

Strategy

Milan is a very interesting choice in Italy. While it is not as wealthy or powerful as Venice or Genoa, and does not have the technological advantages or weak neighbors of Tuscany, it has a high quality military and the opportunity to expand in multiple directions.


Starting Out

Note: This guide may not be as useful as it was in 1.7, due to vassal-annexing being nerfed. It is still a valid strategy, albeit slower.

Milan starts out in the center of northern Italy, with a decent sized army and three wealthy provinces. It also has a core on the neighboring of Brescia, belonging to Venice. The first steps a player should take are to build up their military, preferably with a large amount of infantry due to their cost effectiveness and Milan's starting bonus, and attempt to secure an alliance with either Austria or Hungary (both of who want Venice's provinces). If you have secured an alliance with either of them (or both), you should declare war on Venice and make your ruler a General.

Venice represents a unique opportunity for expansion in the Italian peninsula, since though owning a numerous amount of HRE provinces, is not a member of the HRE and you will not incur Austria's wrath for attacking them. If you have allied with either Austria of Hungary, and they have joined the war, try to let them take on the Venetian army while you carpet siege their Italian provinces. If you need to take loans to continue training troops or hiring mercenaries, then do so since the Venetians will be able to continue sending troops at you until all of their provinces are occupied.

If you can, try to take as many of their HRE provinces as possible in peace so Austria will not be able to take expand in the peninsula or take Venice itself. After that core your new provinces and wait for your War Exhaustion to go down, your manpower to recover and pay off the loans. After that a number of possible paths of expansion are open.

Likely rivals/victims after taking Brescia include Genoa for their province which borders you, Mantua, Ferrara, and eventually Tuscany. However, your next victim for expansion will often depend on who they ally, as your location in south central Europe means that these small nations which would normally be a snack will partner with anyone from Castille to the Ottomans to Muscovy. Always try to have Austria on your side, and remember that declaring a no-CB war against any HRE member state will automatically give the current emperor a call to arms to defend said state. Always fabricate a claim before moving in.

Try to keep good relations with larger states such as Savoy or Bohemia until you're completely sure you can take them, since they're very powerful compared to their neighbors and will also help you eat up your weaker enemies - but don't hesitate to make aggressive acts towards a Savoy/Bohemia who's been chunked by France/Poland.

After achieving a border with France they'll almost always start developing hostilities towards you and they'll want many of your provinces, but early on France's annexation of HRE states and nations like Brittany or Burgundy can often lead to the westernmost HRE states starting up a coalition against them. Don't hesitate to join this when it occurs; an Austria-led (since they'll ideally either be in the coalition or allied with one or more of the HRE members) invasion of France with reasonably strong members like you and Savoy in the wings can prove devastating and will weaken what will hopefully be one of your major opponents later in the game.


How to expand (different auto [Belgian] ) My tactic with Milan is much more aggressive, you need to expand everywhere at least a little bit to diffuse the AE get (do not expand at the same place twice within 5-10 years)

I'm guessing you play in normal (too aggressive for difficult) so here are the steps:

  1. There's a huge bonus if Savoy is not your rival, you need their free pass on the land to expand on Lübeck so please restart until they are.
  2. Put your leader as general, choose the mission "ally with Mantua", gain your diplo points then make them rivals, same with Serbia (brown) and Genoa (yellow)
  3. Ally with Ragusa (yes you heard me), Tuscany and Ferrara and make relation better with France and Austria until you can at least ally one of them (both if one if friendly, you can pull out your agent after the one and put it in again before the end of the month (double bonus)
  4. Conquer your rivals, and then it becomes fun. Since Mantua is already married to Brandenburg and will ally with it, you can declare war, vassalize Brandenburg and slowly expand to Lübeck relatively early on. Don't forget to improve relations with neighboring countries- you don't need powerful coalitions just yet.
  5. Another path you can take is if Serbia attacks Ragusa, they will call for help and you will be at war with Serbia AND the Byzantines (hopefully). See where I'm going? Annex/vassalise Serbia, expand to Byzantine (they can't go on Ottoman territory so they can't really defend their precious capital. You can then vassalize Byzantine or if they are already at war with the Ottomans, just take their precious Constantinople. You can then expand to other nations closer to Timurids and you cut a leg of the Ottomans who will never fight an alliance of France-Austria.
  6. You NEED to VASSALIZE early on if like me you take administrative ideas to get the -25% annexation cost bonus so until 1460-1470 you can't really annex land)
  7. Then you need to cut the legs off France, go easy and with a lot of diplomacy. Take Provence and vassalise what's rest of them, next to Brittany and Lorraine. Take your time, don't forget that enhancing diplomacy goes quicker if they are closer to 0 so limit to 50 the random countries and 100 to France, once they are pissed, re-enhance, but don't go under 0.
  8. Here you are, you have at least achieved 1 -2 of these objectives and you can now cut other alliances than Austria or France preferably by making Ferrara and Tuscany rivals.
  9. Have fun dominating the world! (warning, diplomacy is VERY IMPORTANT)

The Ambrosian Republic It's likely that this event will fire, either during your war with Venice or during peace. While it is up to the player as to whether or not they choose to adopt the Republic, this guide will assume that they do since the Ambrosian Republic gives a good +5% Morale Boost and +10% National Tax Modifier, enabling Milan to field a better and larger army.

The downside is that many powerful neighbors, chiefly Austria and France, will get a casus belli to restore the Monarchy. If France is still at war with England, at war with Burgundy, Savoy or Austria, you will not have to worry too much about French intervention just yet. If your alliance with Austria holds you will not have to worry about many powerful German nations declaring war on you at once. While some other nations in the vicinity, such as Savoy, Switzerland, Bavaria or Tuscany might get a casus belli as well, you should be able to hold off against them if you have the necessary allies. If France is in a position to intervene you should try to gain as many powerful allies, and natural enemies of France, as possible (such as Castile, Burgundy and Austria).

If you have survived the inevitable wars, then you should be in a good position to expand. Central Italy is most likely still divided, and to the West lies Genoa and Savoy. If Naples has broken free from Aragon or the Papacy and Urbino have not been conquered, you could always try to expand there to give you more time before you start invading Imperial territory and ultimately turn Austria (or whoever might be the Emperor) against you.

Whatever path you choose, Italy is ripe for the taking and forming, as long as you can maintain good relations with the Emperor to the north.


Idea Groups The best Idea groups for Milan to take in the early game, since they compliment Milan's starting Bonuses and the Ambrosian Republic well, are Quality and Defensive. Get the first three ideas from Quality, which will also unlock you first idea which will give you a discount on getting any future ideas, and shift over to Defensive. It advisable to invest up to the fourth idea in Defensive, though going up to the second is acceptable. After that it would be better to focus your military points on technology and choose your next ideas to be either Economic or Innovative (to synergize well with Milan's civil side). If you want to continue investing your military points in ideas, Plutocracy is a good group to invest in.