Europa Universalis 4: A Guide for those unfamiliar with EU3 - r/paradoxplaza (2024)

Crusader Kings 2 was successful in a way that most other Paradox franchise games hadn't been. It brought in many new players and breathed new life into Paradox Interactive. It does not however really do much to prepare the players for what comes next. The main Paradox franchise is Europa Universalis, and most of their grand strategy genre games are subtitled as being 'A Europa Universalis Game'. From Crusader Kings to Hearts of Iron, they share certain basic features but are all mechanically different in order to reflect the nature of the time period they are designed to represent. As such, if you got into the series with Crusader Kings 2, you may find yourself at a loss with Europa Universalis 4.

As such, I am writing this guide as years long veteran of the franchise, but this guide is written deliberately for people who are new to the series, and are utterly unfamiliar with EU3. If you have played other games in this franchise, this may still be helpful in some ways to introduce key differences between EU3 and 4, but my focus will be largely on how the game relates, or does not relate to Crusader Kings 2.

To begin, we will start with the Demo. Our options contain one Great Power, the Ottoman Empire, one Trade Republic, Venice, the leader of the Holy Roman Empire, Austria, and one fledgling colonial power, Portugal. Each of these will showcase key elements of the game by their inherent focuses; Expansion, Trade, Diplomacy, and Exploration.

Part One: Nobody's Business but the Turks

Begin the game with The Ottoman Empire. The first thing to notice after the game begins is the map. The Ottoman Empire, sitting half in Asia and Half in Europe, has much different knowledge of the map than it's European counterparts. While it's knowledge of northern Europe and Russia is lacking, it is aware of the whole of India and much of the coastline of Indochina and Indonesia. As such, it can engage with diplomatic relations with these powers far before Europeans can.

The second thing to notice is that you are at War. This is not conveyed in a much different way than in Crusader Kings 2, there is a shield bearing a coat of arms in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, to the left of the map, that shows the current war with Moldovia. If you click it, you should see a familiar display showing the status of the war, battles won and lost, and accrued war score.

Presuming you have zoomed into the map close enough, you will see your armies marked in green, and your enemy's armies marked in red. If you've played CK2, these numbers may seem frightfully small. In EU4, all armies are standing armies akin to retinues in CK2, and similarly, cost money to support. They are composed of subunits called brigades, consisting of 1000 men each. You can hire as many brigades as you want to, provided you can pay for them, however if you exceed a certain limit the support cost will increase by a large percentage for each unit over that limit.

To see your support limit, click your country's shield in the top left corner, which will bring up a menu similar to what you may see in Crusader Kings 2. From the tabs along the top of this menu, click the military tab represented by the helmet overlaid atop a sword. This will reveal your country's military status. There is a great deal of information presented here, but right now just focus on one number, the Force Limit. There are two Force Limit numbers, one for Land and one for Navy, they both work in the same way. For the Ottomans, you will have a limit of 60 land brigades, but currently only have 50 deployed. Being at the top of the food chain as you are, it isn't necessarily important to consistently have your armies filled to the force limit.

You will see on the Moldovian border, two of your armies of 16 thousand men each conveniently waiting for you to give them the order to move in and annihilate the pathetically small Moldovian defenders. I'm sure I don't have to tell you what to do. Take one, move it in, be sure to appoint a leader to the attacking army to minimize your losses. To do this, simply select the army and click the area reading No Leader, and select a general from the list. Different values for their Fire, Shock, Manuver and Siege scores are represented by pips. Having more pips in everything is obviously better. Mouse over them to get tool tips for more details on what each does, but it's not important right now.

One of the generals will have an Icon that has a crown. This is your nations leader, in this case, Sultan Bayezid II. You can specifically recruit your nation's leader to serve as a general, but this is not often advised. As in CK2, it is very possible for your leader to die on the campaign. On the other hand, this is not nearly as crippling as it can be in CK2. In this age of centralized states, you won't have any disgruntled dukes seeking to usurp your throne or declare independence at the first sign of weakness.

As you move your army into Moldovia, your army will swiftly crush the Moldovian resistance and begin occupying. Rather than a simple timer ticking down, you will see a percentage score next to the occupying army. This represents the probability that the province will become occupied at the start of the next siege phase. The siege phases are time pulses that occur every time the progress bar to the left of the percentage score fills. This percentage score will begin in the negatives and slowly progress into the positives. There is a chance for the province to become occupied after ANY siege phase in the positive, even if it's at 1 percent. As a practical matter, it will often take longer. If the percentage ever reaches 100, it will always reach occupation in the next siege phase.

You may encounter random events and pop ups I do not receive during this waiting period, so treat them as you see fit, and wait for the end of the siege. When the occupation is complete a few things will happen quite suddenly. Along the notification bar at the top, a flag will drop down reading Call of Peace, informing you that the war has been won, and the people want you to sue for peace, and if you don't you will gain War Exhaustion at an increased rate. War Exhaustion is a percentage score that grows as you send men to their deaths in wars abroad. This is a mechanic of issuing war exhaustion if you don't sue for peace after winning the war is designed to punish certain gamey aspects people could abuse in EU3. War Exhaustion is quite punishing if the score rises too high, sparking mass revolts, which can raise it further when your armies fight the rebels, as well as generally reducing income.

In order to sue for peace, click Moldovia's only province, to bring up the provincial menu. After taking a moment to familiarize yourself with the information presented here, click the diplomacy button. Here you will see a variety of different diplomatic actions that you can take arranged by type in easy to navigate drop down menus. Sue For Peace, however, is highlighted in red, and right at the top. Click this, click full annexation from the demands menu, and send the demand. They should immediately accept, having no other choice, and immediately, they will be annexed whole.

At this point, notice two of your neighbors have their armies indicated as allies by their blue highlight. Wallachia and the Crimean Khanate begin as vassal states to the Ottoman Empire. Vassal states do not function like they do in Crusader Kings 2, and instead represent complete political domination of one independent country over another. They pay 50 percent of their taxes directly to you, and you are responsible for protecting them from outside threats. Though they will fight as your allies, their smaller budget makes them individually weaker than they would be independent.

Finally, since we've just won this opening war, it's time to pause and assess our situation on the whole. Displayed along the top left, little hanging tabs display urgent information in much the same way as they did in CK2. Their urgency is shown by color, green being least urgent.

To the far left there's probably a yellow one notifying you of possible revolts. Others are more simple notifications and reminders, truce with the Mamlukes expiring, free adviser slots, can build buildings, no current mission, etc. To start with, hire some advisers by clicking the notification button. They come in administrative, diplomatic, and military flavors. You can hire one of each. They come in many varieties boosting different specific stats, but importantly, give a boost to administrative, diplomatic, and military power, by one, two, or three points. The country starts with a base of 3 points, your ruler adds his stats on top of these, and your advisers add to that to get a final total. Your Ruler has a max of six in each stat, and as such, the stats max out at a score of 12. As a practical matter, this is almost impossible to reach, particularly in the early game.

Your current ruler has a score of 3 across the board, and advisers in any department with a score of 3 are few and far between, not to mention ridiculously expensive to hire maintain. Even advisers with a score of 2 can be quite costly. Anyway, at the end of every month, your final stats from your ruler and your advisers are added to pools of administrative, diplomatic, and military power points, that function as currencies for almost every important action you take, in fact, if we paid attention earlier, you'd have seen even demanding the annexation of Moldovia required a number of Diplomatic power points. They are also used to invest in new technologies, hire generals, improve stability, reduce war exhaustion, and many other things that will come up as you play.

For now, my letter count is approaching 10000, so I end with this; take some time to sort out how to reduce revolt risk and improve relations with the Mamlukes as an assignment.

Europa Universalis 4: A Guide for those unfamiliar with EU3 - r/paradoxplaza (2024)
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