|At the start of the Grand Campaign – 14 October 1399|
|Government type||Despotic Monarchy|
|Number of provinces||1|
|Center of Trade||none|
|Other accepted cultures||none|
Trebizond originated as one of the Byzantine breakaway states after the capture of Constantinople by the Latins of the Fourth Crusade in 1204. In fact, the Byzantine Empire as it is in 1399 was restored by one such splinter state (the Empire of Nicaea) after they recaptured Constantinople.
Situated on the eastern Black Sea coast of Turkey, at times also holding territory in the Crimea, Trebizond historically managed to outlive the other Byzantines until they were finally annexed by the Turks in 1461.
In 1399, Trebizond shares borders with Candar, the Ottomans, the Timurids and Georgia. That means that two Muslim juggernauts can come knocking on your Orthodox OPM door any moment, while you have only one co-religionist neighbor that could possibly come to your help.
- Fairly good sliders for trading
- Big neighbors are occupied with each other
- Plenty of different religion, lower tech group neighbors
- Accelerated Turkish -> Greek culture conversion
- Core on Kaffa
- Tiny and poor
- Probably need expensive mercenaries to survive
- Can't use Byzantine tricks (block strait & use rebels to get cores back)
- Many powerful hostile nations nearby (Ottomans, Timurids, Mamluks, Golden Horde,Candar)
Heir to the Throne
Compared with In Nomine:
- Trade has become slightly harder for independent OPMs in HTTT. It will not be as easy as before to get a foothold in Venice or Genua, since the local trade league members will cooperate to get you out.
- On the other hand, the 4.1 patch introduces a Trebizond core in Kaffa. If Trebizond manages to capture it, perhaps with rebels, it will be a valuable immediate boost to yearly income. Also, this will be relatively safe from the Timurids.
- Finally, some extra possible revolters have been introduced in Anatolia (Mentese, Saruhan, Ramazan) which might weaken the Ottomans somewhat.
The first priorities for Trebizond will likely be to set up a trade empire to boost your income, and then gather a mercenary army to take out one immediate threat; Candar. They are the only candidates remotely close to your size, and moreover, if you don't attack them they will take the initiave themselves. Capturing Sinope and perhaps some ducats will be invaluable to increase your manpower pool and force limits.
Beyond that, anyone will need a mixture of luck and clever opportunism to survive. Once a player manages to survive the first few decades and possibly create a medium sized empire, he will be well positioned for a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Expand North to create a safe power base next to your Orthodox kin; West to reap the profits of the European Renaissance; South towards the Holy Land (with valuable bonuses for holding Jerusalem and Mecca); or East to emulate Alexander the Great and Marco Polo, to the boundless riches of India and beyond.
To somewhat alleviate the horrible geopolicital situation of Trebizond, one might consider starting a campaign in 1405 instead of 1399. The Ottomans are just going through their first interregnum and are in a state of near civil war, with massive revolts in Greece. Meanwhile to the East, Timur has just died, leaving his empire in turmoil and causing Ak Koyunlu and Kara Koyunlu to declare independence. While these Turkic nations are still much larger than Trebizond, they will be not as terrifying to share a border with as Timur himself.