Eu4 Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Eu4 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man Patch 1.18 Revolutionizes EU4 Gameplay Fri, 21 Oct 2016 10:33:02 -0400 Stefano Bonacchi

The name Europa Universalis literally means "Europe is Universal" in Latin, even though the game itself lets you play the whole world. The title refers to how European nations divided the world amongst themselves during the age of exploration.

And that was well-represented in the game....until the most recent patch, 1.18. This update changed several fundamental things about how the game plays, and how countries balance out with each other.

Originally, there were "tech groups" groups of nations that were helped or hindered to a certain degree while researching new technology. For example, Chinese tech nations started on par with Europe, but quickly fell behind due to a 60% malus to tech cost.

That all changed with Patch 1.18, however, because tech groups no longer exist. They've been replaced by institutions, a mechanic which has shaken the gameplay to its very core. Since there will be no more westernization and related maluses, native countries are going to be a lot easier to play. Not powerhouses, mind you, but certainly not doomed in the case you don't have the right DLC and perfect play.

What Rights of Man and Patch 1.18 Have Changed

Rights of Man brought us something we asked for since day one -- the ability to abdicate, which is a lifesaver when your ruler is a complete moron but your heir is basically Jesus.

It also gave us Queen Regents, a way to circumvent the harsh penalties associated with having an underage ruler. Normally if your ruler dies and the heir is less than 15 years of age, a council of the nobles will rule in your place.
They get a -1 penalty in all stats -- meaning that a 0/0/0 council is actually possible in 1 case out of 3, and that is very bad on its own. That country is also prevented from declaring war until the ruler comes of age, which can be a bit of a bother in a game such as Europa Universalis IV, where war is very important.

This is why Queen Regents, whose stats get no penalties, who are known firsthand, and who act as rulers for all intents and purposes are indeed a fantastic addition. The fact that they also give you a nice opinion bonus with the country they came from is just icing on the cake.

A feature of the new expansion that I liked less than the aforementioned ones, but changes the game drastically, is Major Powers.

Major Powers are still a bit broken at the moment, in that they can join unbalanced wars on the weaker side even if they don't know a war is taking place or that the warring nations even exist. This is basically what happened in the above picture, where the Ming Dynasty China fights in the Hundred Years' War to help the English against the Frenchmen, despite not knowing what a Frenchman is.

However, the Major Power function -- bugs aside -- is still a nice addition to the base game and makes for more fluid and engaging diplomacy where you can threaten minor powers into behaving, just as the historic great powers of the time did.

The expansion also brought us a lot of new flavor events for the Ottomans, mostly regarding the Sultan's Harem and his ability to choose an heir -- thus making Ottomans even stronger and offering a whole host of new religious mechanics for fetishism and Coptic Christianity. All of this combined makes them feel more fleshed out and engaging.

Last but not least, the expansion brought us -- among other quality of life enhancements -- character traits, similar to the Crusader Kings 2 ones for rulers and generals. And there's a fair number of easter eggs among them. (For example, idiot AI rulers will randomly give absurd commands to their troops.)

Character traits range from very useful to very bad, and make for a nice addition that increases the strategic depth of the game.

The 1.18 patch itself has still added some nice changes to the gameplay as previously mentioned. Technology groups do not exist anymore, and Institutions will spawn randomly after a set date. Those who embrace them will have cheaper tech, while those who do not will have their tech costs increased by 1% every year for each institution they lack. This can add up to a lot in the long run, but it still helps Middle Eastern and East Asian countries keep from falling too far behind in tech. And this can, as always, make way for some funny historical shenanigans.

Troop groups are still there, however, and previously Western tech nations will still have the best troops by the late 18th century. But the equalization of tech levels, the removal of westernization and the great debuffs it brought during the process makes for a much different and much stronger game balance.

The second very significantly game-changing addition made by this patch is the ability to change your primary and accepted cultures at will by spending diplomatic power. This makes forming the Roman Empire more than just a bragging rights reward and it generally allows better micromanaging of empires for faster religious conversions to the "True Faith" and lesser revolt risk due to nationalism.

All in all it is a great patch and will be loved by anyone. (Unless you liked genociding North American Natives, in which case you'll have to work harder for your goals.)

The Best 7 Perfect Historical Leaders Based on Europa Universalis IV's Standard Thu, 14 Apr 2016 10:23:57 -0400 StratGamer48

Europa Universalis IV is a grand strategy game that features historical events and people. Its developer, Paradox Interactive, is doing their best to simulate global history from 1444 to 1821. Within these 377 years, there were many great rulers and generals from different parts of the world who rose to power. In game, Paradox gave historical rulers stats with 0 being the lowest to 6 being the highest based on their administrative, diplomatic and military performance. If a ruler has 6 monarch points in all three skills, it means the ruler is perfect in all perspectives. Technology research will be faster if rulers have higher monarch points.

There are seven "perfect rulers" throughout the whole game. As all of them are "perfect rulers", I ranked them on their availability in game and their fixed military stat for firing, shocking, maneuver and siege, which are rated by their performance in historical battles. I will refer to them as the "four military stats" in the list below. 

7. Mori Takachika

Takachika is the Daimyo of the Mori Clan in1837. In that period, the Tokogawa Shogunate were facing imperialist threats from the Western world. At first, he was loyal to the emperor and tried to expel foreign imperialists and let Japan stay in isolation. However, it resulted in defeat at Shimonoseki. Afterward, he proposed to westernize and became a major player in the Meiji Restoration. 

Takachika is only playable if players modified the timeline in game. Even though he is playable, it isn't until the very end of the game and he can hardly be used, hence the reason I put him in last place.

Mori Takachika statue in Yamaguchi, Japan

6. Noriaki Uesugi

Noriaki is the Daimyo of the Uesugi Clan. He is the shogunate who united Japan from the Nanboku-Cho, a period of time when there were two imperial courts rivaling each other and claimed to be emperor of Japan. They were the Northern Imperial Court of Ashikaga Takauji in Kyoto, and a Southern Imperial Court of Emperor Go-Daigo in Yoshino. In 1392, the southern court declined being united by Noriaki. Later, he started a centralization reform and eventually held more power than the Takauji.

Unlike Takachika, Noriaki's timeline is placed before the game starts. If players modified the timeline, they still can use Noriaki until his death. At the same time, neither of them are playable without  modification.

Statue of Nariaki Uesugi in the Golden Pavilion at Kyoto, Japan

5. Pyotr I Veliky

Known as Peter the Great, Peter is the Russian Tsar who studied shipbuilding in the Netherlands at a young age and initiated a revolution against the traditionalist and westernization of Russia. Also, he won the Great Northern War, which resulted in the rise of the Russian Empire and the decline of Sweden and Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth after claiming Baltic ports from Sweden.

Peter is actually a playable "perfect ruler" in 1682. Because he lacks a fixed military stat, he is ranked after the following Top 4.

Portrait of Peter the Great

4. Henry VI

Known as "Henry the Great" and "Good King Henry", Henry VI rebuilt France after destruction from the French War of Religion. In the administration, he promoted education, agriculture, and expeditions to Canada. Nevertheless, he is known for his benevolence and love for his subjects. He is one of the few kings loved by the people during the French Revolution.

Henry VI is a playable French king in 1589 and has a 4,4,2,0 in the four military stats. With such stats, he definitely is able to "make France great again" after the French War of Religion.

Portrait of Henry IV 

3. Akbar I

Similar to Good King Henry, Akbar the Great is Known for his expansion of the Mughal Empire, religious tolerance and a centralized taxing system on military and subjects. Akbar also rewarded his officials based on merit instead of ethnic and religion background. He conquered most of neighboring powers during his military campaigns.

Akbar has a military stat of 4,4,2,2. He is evenly matched as Henry IV, but as he conquered other neighboring factions, a 2 in siege is given by Paradox.

Drawing of Akbar the Great

2. Gustav II Adolf

Gustav is one of the best generals in the list as he innovated new formations and weapons for the Swedish army. In the Thirty Year War, the Protestant League usually referred to him as "Lion of the North" since he defeated Catholic armies multiple times. One of the notable examples would be the Battle of Breitenfeld in which he defeated a much larger Catholic army. As a result of the battle, German Protestant states ensured their freedom of religion not being prosecuted by the Catholic Church. In the same time, Sweden became a strong and influential power in Europe.

Gustav's excellent performance in the the Thirty Year War led Paradox to give him a 6,5,6,1 in military stats.

Gustav II Adolf being presented in EU4 loading screen

1. Frederick the Great

Frederick's reign is an example of Enlightened Absolutism. As a monarch, he modernized the Prussian bureaucracy, civil service and encouraged religious tolerance. Similar to Gustav, his achievements in the military are more famous than administration. Frederick led Prussia to win the Seven Year War, which historian argue is the first world war as European colonies and natives were fighting as well. In North America, it is known as the French-Indian War. Although he did not make Prussia as strong as great powers like Great Britain and France after the Seven Year War, Prussia was able to maintain their state of existence before entering the war. 

Paradox rated Frederick 6,6,6,1. It means he is the most prominent general in the battlefield within this list.

Frederick the Great and his generals during the Seven Years War

Almost made it to the list

There are more great leaders in this period of time other than the seven I listed above. Perhaps they had some "flaws" in their political life, so Paradox did not rate them with 6s across the board. However, they are indeed great leaders in history. Here is list of "Almost Perfect Historical Leaders Based on EU4 Standard" and their major achievements: 

  • Gjergj Skanderberg, (6,5,6) Albania, 1443, defended Albania from Ottoman invasion for 20 years
  • Elizabeth I, (6,6,5) England. 1558, economic reform, defeated Spanish Armada and united religion in England
  • Minjo, Kaffa, (6,5,6) 1390, founder of Kaffa, first to innovate a method for roasting coffee 
  • Ang Chan I, Khmer, (5,6,6) 1516, defended Khmer from Siam and conquered land from it
  • Zhu Di, Ming, (5,6,6) 1402, won succession war at Jingnan Campaign, conquest of Vietnam, defeated Northern Yuan and initiated treasure voyages
  • Ismail, Morocco, (6,5,6), 1672, defeated Ottoman invasion and stayed independent, reconquered North African port cities from Spain
  • Abbas I, Persia, (6,5,6), 1587, military reform and reconquered lost territories from Uzbek, Ottoman, Portuguese and Mughal
  • Catherine the Great, Russia, (6,6,5), 1762, conquered Polish-Lithuanian, Persian and Ottoman territories, patron of art, literature and education, and issued paper money
  • Suleiman the Magnificent,  Ottoman, (6,5,6), 1520, conquered Persian, North African, European and Arabian territories, reformed education, taxation and criminal law
Origin of Europa Universalis IV's Global Empires' Tradition, National Ideas and Ambition (Part 2) Mon, 28 Mar 2016 18:11:23 -0400 StratGamer48

I recently posted the Origin of EU4 Global Empires Part One. In part one, I briefly described England, France, Russia and The Ottoman Empire. Today, I am here to with part two, covering global empires like The Netherlands, Castile/Spain, Portugal, and Austria and their tradition, national ideas and ambitions.

1. Netherlands

The Netherlands is a form-able nation that doesn't exist in the beginning of the game. Any Dutch or Flemish cultures nation can form it after meeting the criteria. 


+50% Naval force limit modifier, -10% Shipbuilding time

  • The Dutch Republic used to have large trading fleets and were the dominant trading power in the the East Indies and the Americas.  The Dutch can build up a large fleets quickly with this tradition in game.
National Ideas:

1. Found the Amsterdam Wisselbank+0.10 Yearly inflation reduction

  • The direct translation of Amsterdam Wisselbank is Amsterdam Exchange Bank, it was one of the earliest central banks in the world. In reality, the purpose of central banks is to maintain stability of currency, controlling interest rates, money supply and to oversee the commercial banks. In game, this central bank is doing its work on reducing inflation. 

2. Dutch Trading Spirit: +1 Merchants, +10% Trade Range

3. Polders−10% Development cost

  • Polders are constructions that are build in water and able to drain all the water and claim more usable land when the tide is weaker. It is too technical for me to describe in words so I make it as an image below to show how polders work. More land means more options for development and hence it offers such bonus. 

4. Instructie voor de Admiraliteiten: +2 Naval leader fire

  • The direct translation of this phrase would be "instruction of the admiral". This is most likely referring to Michiel de Ruyter, one of the most famous admirals in the Netherlands. He fought multiple naval battles in the first, second, and third Anglo-Dutch War and won multiple victories. In game, this boosts the naval strength to the end of the game.

5. Embrace Humanism: +3 Tolerance of heretics

  • In EU4, the term "heretics" refers to different branches of the same religion group, such as Catholics and Protestants. Both are in the same branch of Christianity but have different values. One of the famous Dutch Reformed Catholic humanist thinkers, Desiderius Erasmus criticized Martin Luther and the Catholic Church. In game, all three branches get along well.  

6. Army Sappers+10% Siege ability

  • Sappers are military engineering units who build bridges, forts, and siege requirements. The Dutch Brigade is a notable military engineering unit in the Peninsula War. In game, they can help the army to win siege battle faster.  

7. Platoon Fire+10% Infantry combat ability

  • The Dutch army had pioneered a firing tactic known as Platoon Fire. It allows three ranks of musketeers to fire simultaneously by firing and loading in rotation. In game, this tactic strengthens the Dutch army.  
+15% Trade efficiency
  • Overall, the Dutch are merchants with strong security. With a military and commerce bonus, the Netherlands can be a strong and wealthy nation.


 2. Castiles/Spain


+15% Morale of armies, +1 Missionaries

  • Historically, Spain formed alongside Castiles, so they share the same national idea. In game, Aragon, Navarre and even Portugal can form Spain. In the beginning of the game, the Spanish kingdoms almost finished the reconquista after being ruled by the Moors for centuries. The success of the reconquista may be due to higher morale from the religious war with the Moors. In game, add a missionary to Spain as Spain converted the conquered regions into Catholicism.
National Ideas:

1. The Reconquista: +5% Discipline 

  • As with the tradition, the reason of the successful Spanish reconquista was the Spanish kingdoms having stronger army than the Moors. Higher discipline and morale were essential for a stronger army. 

2. Spanish Inquisition+2% Missionary strength

  • Although the Inquistition is considered an intolerant event in modern society, it was indeed an efficient way to convert Muslims and Jews into Christians after the reconquista through violence

3. Inter CaeteraCan fabricate claims on any overseas province, +1 Colonists

  • The Inter Caetera was issued by Pope Alexander III for the Spanish kings right to claim lands south and west of the Azores. This resulted the Spanish claiming and colonizing most of South America and Latin America in the new world. In game, Spain can make claims on any non-European province and add an extra colonist. It is a very powerful bonus for colonial expansion. 

4. Devout Catholicism: +2 Yearly Papal influence

  • King Philip II of Spain is a devoted Catholic and supported the Inquisition. Also, he organized the Spanish Armada to attack the Protestant English.

5. Treasure Fleet+10% Provincial trade power modifier, +15% Global tariffs

  • Treasure fleets are ships that carry goods between the Spanish colonies and Spain. In game, it strengthens domestic trading as the provinces have more wealth. At the same time, as trading with colonies increases, tariffs are very likely to increase.  

6. A Spanish Armada+10% Heavy ship combat ability

  • Indeed, the Spanish Armada, funded by Phillips II,  was the strongest and largest navy force in the 1500s.

7. Siglo De Oro+1 Yearly prestige

  • The direct translation for Siglo de Oro is "Spanish Golden Age". The Spanish controlled a vast land from California to the Southern tip of Argentina. They had also taken the Philippines. It was a strong and wealthy empire until Latin American Revolution.  In game, a prestige bonus is given due to this large colonial empire.  


+25 Global settler increase
  • It is possible to describe Spain with three words, "faith, war, and colonies". Its intolerance and aggressiveness is hardly considered as ethical but that was how it is in history. Paradox Interactive is doing their best to simulate it.

3. Portugal

+5% Trade efficiency, +30% Trade range
  • Portugal's conquest of Goa, renting Macau as a port in China, colonization of Brazil and West Africa and the spice trade gave it an early globalization commerce.  With these bonuses, it would be easy for Portugal to achieve the same in game.
National Ideas:

1. Legacy of the Navigator+25% Colonial range

  • Portuguese navigators had explored and mapped the coast of Africa, Brazil, India and Canada. In this period, famous explorers such as Bartolomeu Dias crossed Cape of Good Hope into the Indian Ocean. Later, Vasco da Gama traveled to India. Since explorers can travel farther in game, the Portuguese can colonize even more land.

2. Afonsine Ordinance+10% Goods produced modifier

  • This is a period of time when war and conflicts ended. Portugal entered a time of peace with neighboring nations, discovered India and began the Portuguese Empire. It was considered a fortunate period. In game, this "fortune" is having the ability to produce more goods that will last to the end of the game.

3. Feitorias+10% Global trade power

  • Although feitorias's translation is "factory", it refers to trading post during this time period. They can be warehouses or a market in foreign land. More feitorias means more international trade. In game, it gives an extra bonus on trading with foreign nations. 

4. Encourage the Bandeirantes+1 Merchants

  • In the 17th century, Portugal encouraged settlers to have venture into Brazil to seek fortune. At first, commerce involved selling natives into slavery but later turned to gold, silver and diamond mines. Either way, it increased trading. This time, the game offers an extra merchant because it is bad game design to have two ideas that offer the same bonus.

5. Royal Absolutism: −15% Build cost

  • Pedro II was the first ruler to introduce Absolute Monarchy into Portugal. At the same time, Pedro is an architect, therefore Portugal can have a discount on future constructions in game. 

6. Land before Faith+15 Global settler increase

  • Portugal got it priority correct! The Jesuit Jesuit missionaries only converted a small portion of Japanese, Chinese and Indian population into Christianity. However, the colonists got their jobs done by settling down in foreign soil and being able to trade with the nations in the Far East. In game, the colonists can build their colonies faster.

7. Open up the Guilds+10% Trade efficiency

  • Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo was a Portuguese statesman who realized Portugal was less advanced than Europe in the Enlightenment Age. He had started the Pambaline Reform to regulate production quality and encourage colonists to venture into Brazil. In game, this economic reform give Portugal a better trading bonus.

+20% Global tariffs

  • Compared to Netherlands, Portugal liked to focus more on trading and sailing than engaging in wars. Geographically, Portugal is located at the edge of Europe. In history, Portugal had long term alliance with major powers like Spain and England. There aren't many chances for Portugal to get involved in wars.


4. Austria


+10% Morale of armies, +30% Better relations over time

  • Today, Austria is a small landlocked European nation located in Central Europe. Before the Napoleonic wars, it used to be the center of the Holy Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Empire is not technically an empire but instead a collection of states. Its Austrian Habsburg Dynasty had a royal relationship with houses within all colonial powers in the list of part one and part two. Austria's army also stopped the Ottoman army at Vienna. Hence it has +10% morale bonus better relationships with its "cousins" in game.  
National Ideas:

1. Imperial Ambitions: +10% Imperial Authority, −15% Diplomatic annexation cost

  • As Frederick III was elected to be the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (HRE), it was given imperial authority bonus in game to make annexation of HRE members easier. 

2. Military Frontier-10% Fort maintenance, +15% National garrison growth

  • Austria was on the front line against the Ottoman Empire. Historically, the Ottoman expansion on Europe was stopped at Vienna. Hence this bonus allows Austria build more forts with more garrisons.

3. Fugger Banks+0.05 Yearly inflation reduction, −1 Interest per annum

  • The Fugger family were prominent bankers and venture capitalists in the 15-16th century in Europe. They were once able to replace the Medici family in banking and became the wealthiest family in Germany. In game, their bank helps reduce inflation and interest rates from loans.

4. Habsburg Dominance: +2 Diplomatic reputation

  • The House of Habsburg was once in the same dynasty with Spain, England, Russia, and Germany. Most of the global powers were related to the Habsburg family. In game, this offers a diplomatic reputation bonus to Austria with its strong political influence.

5. Edict of Restitution+2% Missionary strength

  • This is another mention of the conflict between Protestants and Catholics. This edict was created to convert Protestants into Catholics and tried to stop Catholics being secularized. In game, this bonus allows Austria to convert other faiths faster.

6. Austrian Court: +1 Diplomatic relations

  • As mentioned above, the House of Habsburg was super influential in Europe. With this bonus, Austria can have one more relationship with another nation in game.

7. Hofkriegsrat+30% Reinforce speed, +3% Discipline

  • The Hofkriegsrat is the court war council of Austria. It is a council of generals and officials who finance warfare and deploy the army. In game, it helps the empire to reinforce units faster and with more discipline.

+50% Chance of new heir

  • Even in WWI, three cousins (Great Britain, Russia and Germany) related to the Habsburg were fighting each other. Austria integrated with Hungary to form Austria-Hungary. This long lasting bloodline dynasty shaped its strong influential power in Europe. Overall, Austria is a nation with strong military and diplomatic power. 

This is the list of eight historical global powers and the explanation of their traditions, national ideas and ambitions in Europa Universalis IV. I did consider writing about the Polish-Lithuania Commonwealth as it is usually one of the strongest nations in the game. However, Austria has better networking ties with other global powers . I will cover the Commonwealth in the next post,  in which I will be talking about regional powers.

Origin of Europa Universalis IV's Global Empires' Tradition, National Ideas and Ambition (Part 1) Fri, 25 Mar 2016 06:38:03 -0400 StratGamer48

Europa Universalis IV is a grand strategy game developed by Paradox Interactive. The time setting of this game is in the year 1444, when the Byzantine Empire was declining and ending the Medieval Age. It runs all the way to 1821, the year of Napoleon Bonaparte's death. Any nation on the map is playable, and players also can create own custom nation via the El Dorado DLC.

Before taking a peek into the game's global powers, I have to define three terms on the title:

  1. Tradition: Two bonus abilities given to nations based on their heritage and history
  2. National Ideas: The seven national ideas gained for unlocking ideas from idea groups. There are total of 21 idea groups in the game separated into 3 different categories -- Administrative, Diplomatic and Military. No matter which groups players choose, picking 3 ideas from a group will unlock one national idea.
  3. Ambition: After players unlock all seven National Ideas, they can receive a unique bonus when unlocking the ambition

In addition, the game's AI will try its best to stimulate a nation's behavior based on history. Hence, the following nations are going to become global empires:

1. England/Great Britain

They share the same national ideas. Scotland can form Great Britain too, but historically, it was formed by England.  


+33% embargo efficiency and +20% Morale on navies

  • In 1588, the English navy defeated the Spanish Armada, the largest and strongest fleet in Europe at that period in time. Then the English navy became the largest navy in the world, until it was surpassed by the US after WWII.
  • Historically, Britain had strong navies, and lots of colonies in most parts of the world with different varieties of resources. Hence their strong market power has stronger embargo impacts.
National Ideas

1. A Royal Navy: +10% Heavy ship combat ability, +0.25 Yearly navy tradition.

As mentioned above, English navies were the strongest in that era, and heavy ships are the strongest and most expansive ships in game. Also, if the navy has higher navy tradition, it's even stronger. These conditions help the English to dominate the sea in-game.

"Journeys of the Tudors, accompanied by countless courtiers, attendants and their servants devastated the country."  -- A Companion to Tudor Britain

2. The Eltham Ordinance+15% National tax modifier. 

This ordinance was a reform that tried to save the unnecessary royal expenses from tax money. This means more money would be spent on something productive in-game.

3. Secretaries of State+1 Diplomatic relations. 

Since Henry VIII, England has had two secretaries of states to deal with domestic and foreign affairs. In-game, players can deal with one more foreign nation.

4. The Navigation Acts+10% Trade efficiency. 

This is a set of laws based on Mercantilism. It tried to protect England and its colonies' trades. For example, only English ships can be used in domestic trading, and colonies are limited in trading with foreign nations. In-game, players can see the advantage by increasing trade efficiency.

5. English Bill of Rights-1 National unrest, +10% Global tariffs. 

The English Bill of Right was created for separation of power, restricting the royal powers in 1689 after the Glorious Revolution. At the same time, it guaranteed some rights to English citizens and the Parliament. Decreasing unrest in-game can show its efficiency. Later, acts for colonial settlements were issued by the Parliament, such asthe  Townshend Act and Stamp Act. Perhaps this can explain the tariff part.

6. Reform of Commission Buying+5% Discipline 

Buying ranks in the British Army was common in history. However, after this reform, the soldiers only can buy infantry and cavalry ranks up to colonel. It ensured whoever bought the rank would stay in the army until they reached the break-even point of the purchasing cost. At the same time, it ensured the higher rank officials were promoted by merit and seniority. In-game, this shows through enhancing the army's strength. 

7. The Sick and Hurt Board+5% Ship durability

It is the British Navy's responsibility to provide health care to the sick sailors and prisoners of war. This can ensure the sailors' general health. When sailors are healthier, the navy is more durable. In-game, players can see the effect on ships with "higher hitpoints". 


+1 Leader(s) without upkeep

  • Historically, the British had a large colonial empire. Hence, having an extra admiral or general in-game can help them expand as much as they did historically.

2. France

In the EU4 gaming community, France is known as the "Big Blue Blob", with its blue color on the map and its constant conquering of neighbors. Usually, it is one of the strongest powers in Europe and owns a significant number of colonies.


+20% National manpower modifier+1 Diplomatic reputation

  • France had the first permanent army in the 1420s, and they were paid by wages instead of levying peasants. They were recruited in urban areas, which ensured the supply of soldiers.  
  • French was the most commonly used language for diplomatic actions in this period of time, with its strong political power in Western Europe. In later period of the game, France still maintained its strong political influence.
National Ideas

1. French Language in All Courts+15% Income from vassals, −10% Diplomatic annexation cost

As mentioned in the tradition, French was a common language for diplomatic action. Surely it had big influences on its vassals. In the early 1400s, vassals like Toulouse became part of France. Decreasing the cost of diplomatic annexation explains how France integrated its vassals so quickly.

 2. Elan!: +20% Morale of armies

A word that originated in France, it originally means "throw forth with vigor, enthusiasm, and liveliness." An army with elan is less likely to run away and will be able to fight longer in battles -- unlike the French army in WWII.  

3. Estates General+10% National tax modifier

The first estate is theprivileged 1% clergies, the second estate is the nobles, and the third estate is everyone else in France. They were summoned to solve the French financial crisis by King Louis XVI. Historically, it lead to the French Revolution, and Louis XVI got overthrown by the people. But in-game, it seemed like they found a solution peacefully.

4. Native Trading Principles−50% Native uprising chance, +50% Native assimilation

While the Spanish wiped out most of the Aztec and Incan populations in the New World, the French were trading fur with the natives of the Mississippi River with little conflict. As a result, France owned a large colony with trading posts in the Mississippi Valley and formed alliances with some native tribes.  In-game, this can reduce conflicts with natives and make for quicker expansion while colonizing.

5. Vauban Fortifications−20% Fort maintenance

Vauban is a famous French military engineer who served as King Louis XIV's adviser.  His model of fortification influenced on fort building and sieges for the next century.  In-game, reducing fort maintenance allows France to build more forts and better security at the border. 

6. The Philosophes−10% Technology cost

Most modern philosophical ideas originated in France. Jean Jacques Rousseau's idea of Freedom of Speech, and René Descartes's foundation on Rationalism are notable examples of modern ethics. At the same time, philosophers were expects in math and science. In-game, reducing technology researching cost shows the contributions of the philosophers. 

7. Liberté, égalité, fraternité: +2 Tolerance of heretics, +2 Tolerance of heathens

A spin-off of idea 6. This is the motto used in the French Revolution. It means "freedom, equality, and fraternity." In-game, heretics and heathens are people with different religions. In game, it can increase religion unity to prove the tolerance of different religions within France.


+5% Discipline

  • Higher discipline means a stronger army. This is also how Napoleon swept Europe in the Napoleonic Wars.

3. Moscovy/Russia

Historically, Russia was formed by Moscovy, and hence it has the same national ideas as Russia. In-game, Novgorod and Tver also can form Russia. 


+25% National manpower modifier, -20% Infantry cost

  • The Russian army is known for its large size and quick recruitment. Most soldiers were recruited in rural areas, and most of the Russian population were peasants before the Industrial Revolution. In-game, that's how Russia get its large quantity of reserves with cheaper recruitment.
National Ideas

1. Sudebnik-15% Core-creation cost

A set of laws set up by Ivan III, its purpose is to centralize the Russian state. The laws includes criminal justice and property rights. In-game, this is shown by making it easier to turn new conquered provinces into core provinces.

2. Found the Streltsy+50% Land force limit modifier

"Streltsy" means shooting in Russian. This was created by Ivan the Terrible, when he needed to fight with his neighbors constantly. These units were recruited from rural peasants, and Russia had a larger army size. In-game, it's presented as making limit of the army size higher.

3. Oprichnina+10% Manpower recovery speed, -20% Culture conversion cost

This is the secret police created by Ivan the Terrible. Their purpose is mass repression, executions, and watching the aristocrats (mostly from the newly conquered Novgorod). Perhaps these units were added to the Russian army and were able to repress dissidents quickly, and it's shown in-game by recovering reserves and changing other cultures.

4. Abolish the Mestnichestvo+10% Production efficiency

Mestnichestvo is the Russian governance system in the 15th-17th century, wherein officials with seniority got to dictate the government. Peter the Great abolished it after reforming the state. Historically, it gave flexibility by promoting outsiders. In-game, this policy makes Russia more productive with their new officials.

5. Siberian Frontier: Auto-exploration of all territory adjacent to owned home territory, +1 Colonists

After defeating the Khanate of Sibir, Russian cassocks explored and expanded to East Siberia quickly. Within a century, the Russians had expanded to Northeast China and Alaska from the Urals Mountains. In-game, it shows such efficiency with extra colonists and auto-exploration.

6. The Table of Ranks+0.5 Yearly army tradition

These ranks were made by Peter the Great. They are formal lists of military ranks to resolve the boyars' and nobles' power struggle. This table cleared the inner conflict. In-game, it presents with a stronger army.

7. Broathen the curriculum of the Cadet Corps-10% Technology cost

The Cadet Corps was set up in St. Petersburg by Empress Anna. Its purpose was to educate 8-15 years old boys to become military officers. This means more educated officials will be serving the government. In game, these graduates help Russia in technology researches. 


+50% National manpower modifier

  • This an enhancement of the tradition, to allow Russia to have a bigger national reserve in game.

4. Ottoman Empire

This is the only non-colonial nation in this part of the list. However, its large size and army, and its vast wealth, shaped it as one of the strongest nations from collapse of Constantinople to the Industrial Revolution.


+5% Discipline, +3 Tolerance of Heathens

  • The Janissaries were the imperial army of the Ottoman Empire. They were known for their internal cohesion, set up by strict discipline and following order. The game shows their strength with higher discipline.
  • The Ottomans were more tolerant to non-Muslims than most Muslim countries in that period of time. The non-Muslim subjects were given freedom of religion and not persecuted by the Sharia.

1. Millets-33% Core-creation cost, -15% Accepted culture threshold

Not the grain millet, but a set of Muslim Sharia laws.  Within the Ottoman world, it was used to protect minorities. In-game, it makes it easier to turn new conquered provinces into core provinces that are less likely to have ethnic conflicts. 

2. Ghazi+20% Manpower recovery speed

Ghazi is a title for Muslim warriors that engaged in religious war. In the Ottoman Empire, Ghazi is a glorious title for high military ranks of officials who fought against non-Muslims. Perhaps the title encouraged people to join the army, as it helps the the Ottomans have better reserve recovery rates in-game. 

3. Timariot System+15% Cavalry combat ability

Timariots are similar to European medieval knights -- they are cavalries that own fief. They also use their own equipment in war. However, they must obey the Sultan. In-game, these well-equipped cavalries can fight better.

4. Autonomous Pashas-10% Cost of reducing war exhaustion

Pashas are titles given to generals or high-ranking officials in the Ottoman Empire. It is similar to knighthood in Western Europe. In-game, war exhaustion is how much the nation wants to get out of war. If it gets too high, there will be rebellions. Giving autonomy to the Pashas is like giving them partial responsibility for reducing war exhaustion in game. 

5. The Law Code of Suleiman+10% National tax modifier

Historically, Suleiman the Magnificent had done many reforms. Notably, taxation reform of the Christian serfs made the nations gained extra tax income. In game, this contributed as higher national tax. 

6. Tulip Period: +10% Trade efficiency

The Tulip Period is a period of time when the elites and high classes have a high demand of tulips in the early 1700s. Tulips also represented privilege and social status. In game, these wealthy classes bought it too much and increased national trade quotas.

7. Found the Imperial School of Naval Engineering-10% Ship costs

This was a four-year military school built in Istanbul. Its purpose is to train naval officers mentally and physically. With more talented naval officers, ship building should be cheaper, in-game and in reality.


+33% Land force limit modifier

  • The Ottoman Empire is known for its large army from the fall of Constantinople to the Industrial Revolution. 

I am going separate this list into two parts, as this is too long already. The next part will include Netherlands, Castile/Spain, Portugal, and Austria. They were also global powers in this period of time.  

As there were more political entities in the past than the present, I can't research and cover them all. I will still try to cover regional powers like Persia, Ming, Qing, Uzbek/Bukhara, Venice, Bengal, Kongo, Japan, Ayutthaya, Incas, Aztec and Kongo in the following articles (just not the next one). 

Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum DLC offers naval updates and more Fri, 25 Mar 2016 04:55:55 -0400 StratGamer48

In April 5, 2016, Paradox Interactive is going to release its 8th DLC, Mare Nostrum, for its best selling grand strategy game, Europa Universalis IV.

Mare nostrum means "our sea" in Latin. Hence, this new DLC is more focused on navy and trading features. In the same time, there will be more modifications on provinces to make world conquest harder, an espionage idea group, the ability to rent armies as mercenaries, and playing beyond 1821.

For naval updates, players can give missions to the fleets instead of micromanaging them. The DLC is going to make players more like a ruler of a nation instead of a captain. Also, recruiting sailors is now possible, where before building a navy used to be merely just building ships. In the same vein, coastal raids will be possible for nations to harass their enemies' coastlines. 

One of the new features for trading is that small Merchant Republic nations can finally form trade leagues. This new feature allows more small nations to become strong merchant guilds (like the Hansa) to protect their mutual interests. 

Besides modifications on the sea, there are more provinces added in the Sub-Sahara Africa and Ireland. Check out the comparison of old and new Ireland below:

The new Ireland is going to have 4 more province than before

More accessible provinces so an African warlord now can cross the tropical forests and the savanna to the other side of Africa. 

Condottieri in Italian means professional mercenary or freelancer. The Condottieri is a new added system for renting a mercenary army, with a price being paid every month. Also, allowing the player to play beyond 1821 is surely a game-changing mechanic (no pun intended). As in previous versions of EU4, games automatically end at 1821.  Last but not least, espionage got some newer features like stealing maps from other factions, making your rivals have a more corrupt government, and forming a spy network. Basically conspiracy stuff.

Overall, each update is adding more to the EU4 world in simulating alternative history. And this time it filled up the emptiness in naval features, enhanced espionage, more provinces, business deals with the Condottieri, and trade league features.

Europa Universalis 4: Preorder one of the Grandest Grand Strategy Games! Wed, 05 Jun 2013 07:52:42 -0400 CSLJames

As a huge fan of grand strategy games, this last month has been an absolute joy for me.  With both Total War: Rome 2 going on preorder and Europa Universalis 4 being teased out on stream, I'm stoked. As of a few hours ago, Europa Universalis IV (EU4) has finally gone up on Steam and is available for preorder.

If you're not familiar with the franchise and/or the genre, grand strategy games are exactly how they sound: they're games involving heavy strategic elements that typically have you ruling over some domain or territory, expanding your might across nations. Europa Universalis is especially good, as it doesn't delve too far into politics/economics and keeps the game simple and easy to play.

Preorder links are below!