By Mike Bennighof, Ph.D.
The Seven Years’ War left Italy virtually
untouched, with a pair of Tuscan regiments
fighting alongside the Austrian army but otherwise
no direct involvement by the Italian states.
Kings game left the Republic of Genoa
off the map, rolling the Genovese economy
and armed forces into those of Piedmont-Sardinia.
And we had the best of reasons: A separate
Genoa box wouldn’t fit.
But Genoa boasted a regular army of almost
10,000 men, a small fleet (with the ability
to expand) and a vibrant economy based on
banking. The republic fought on the Bourbon
side during the War of the Austrian Succession
(1740-1748), facing Austrian conquest, a revolt
of the middle class citizenry against the
Austro-Piedmontese occupiers, and a revolt
by the clans of Corsica against the Genovese
merchant class. Genoa occupied the entire
coastal strip from the French border to that
of Tuscany, keeping Piedmont landlocked and
effectively dividing the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia.
The republic also flew its flag over (“controlled”
certainly does not apply) the island of Corsica,
enduring constant anarchy before finally selling
it to the French in 1768.
The republic’s strategic position
assured its involvement in any wars between
Bourbon and Habsburg: French armies could
bypass the mountain passes, stout fortifications
and well-drilled army of Piedmont by taking
the coastal route from Provence to invade
Austrian-ruled Lombardy or Tuscany. And its
bankers tended to favor the French and Spanish,
giving the Senate (elected from the same familes
that ran the banks) every incentive to make
sure their clients won their wars and avoided
Today’s variant adds Genoa to Soldier
Kings. This addition includes a small
map and some playing pieces, plus a few chart
modifications. The addition of Genoa changes
Italian strategies quite a bit, as there are
now two routes from France into Italy. The
map addition is not an overlay, as it’s
too large to actually fit on the map; if using
this variant, place it near the Soldier
Kings European map and use these boxes
and connections in place of those on the map.
Genoa’s alliance modifiers are:
- Britain: 0
- France: +1
- Prussia: 0
- Austria: -1
- Russia: 0
- Spain: +2
- Turkey: -1
- Netherlands: +1
If the Gold Club Serene Empire variant is in play, Genoa may never be allied to Venice.
Genoa’s starting forces are one army
and one fleet. It has a recovery number of
You can download
the new map overlay here.
You can download
the new playing pieces here.
Add the Genovese to your game! Order Soldier Kings right now.
Mike Bennighof is president of Avalanche Press and holds a doctorate in history from Emory University. A Fulbright Scholar and award-winning journalist, he has published over 100 books, games and articles on historical subjects.
He lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife, three children and his dog, Leopold.