June 14, 2021

11 AMAZING Tips For EU4! (I Wish I'd Known When I Started)

Here’s my most packed video yet! Lots of stuff for new and even veteran players to learn!

If you’ve never played EU4, it’s a humongous grand strategy game, where the world is divided into tons of countries, almost all with unique abilities and strategies! With super complicated mechanics and endless ways to play each country, the conquering never stops, with Quarbit Universalis!

Quill18’s Beginner Guide:
My Beginner Guide (old):

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  • Thanks for the vid man great advice for a new player.
    Do you have any advice for building credit then purposefully declaring bankruptcy?
    Why should I avoid that?

  • Another tip: getting bankrupt is not much of a bad idea. I've went bankrupt more times than I have taken loans, and I can say it actually saves your economy

  • After 1500 I actually learned sth here. I never used the prepare for war button. I only ever increased trust.

    Also what I wish I knew was the terrain. For some reason it was always too fiddly for me to use the terrain mapmode with its weird colors. But recently I actually went to the trouble of figuring it out which took about a minute and tried to use it to my advantage. And I also tried to only take defensive battles both in wars and with rebels which didnt always work out but it made my life so much easier and more fun. Especially river crossings but also mountains are not obvious on the normal maps I would use and often taking a slightly different route might massively save manpower and win battles more decisively.

  • What is the point of the video behind the narration? It's going too fast to tell what is even happening and doesn't seem to have anything to do with the narration.

  • This video is old, but still great 🙂 I've played 2400h myself. Here's a couple of more tips that people may have overlooked, which has been very useful:

    – 1: Trapping enemy armies.

    A lot can be done with a stronger navy and some deviousness. For instance, hire a mercenary or two (you may get unlucky and get a large attrition tick, you need 1000 to siege a province), place him on the other side of a strait near their large stacks so they'll go for him (preferably occupy the region with it). Keep your navy docked in the same sea province. You need to have an army able to beat the armies that are not trapped nearby. You need to occupy the province the enemies walked across from, before they return after liberating the province you occupied with your mercenaries. Send your navy out after they went to liberate, but before they return.

    – 2: Culture, you, your vassals and effeciency.

    Regions with an unaccepted culture gives large penalties to taxes, manpower, gives lots of unrest, and makes the provinces much harder to convert to your religion. In addition to going for trade node provinces and estuaries, you should look to annex provinces of your own culture, or provinces of the same culture group, which doesn't have as severe penalties as completely foreign cultures. Your vassals gets the same penalties of course, so if you are going to conquer areas of a different culture group, you should preferably ready up a vassal of that culture group to feed the land beforehand.

    ALSO, as you might have noticed when making trade company regions: You can not culture shift a province that is not of your religion. Non-accepted culture gives -2 missionary strength. So note how these are tied together as well.

    – 3: Coring costs:

    You probably know that you can have so and so many states. Well, once you add a state, every region you will get within the state province in the future will force you to pay the full coring cost when coring. In other words, it might pay off to be careful with which states you add, to think about if you really are going to want pay the coring cost for other regions in the province in the future. You can always remove a province as state before conquest of course. For instance, if you are reaching your state limit and are going to do a couple conquests, you might not want to add that one region of one state when your next conquest will have richer provinces etc. etc. I usually let provinces with mostly (or exclusively) grain, livestock, naval supplies, fish, tropical wood, or similar (depending on age and events which lowers or raise their trade value) remain as territories. Or if I want to preserve admin mana for a while, I just wait with stating altogether in newly conquered provinces until separatism wears off, or if I need to raise autonomy due to rebels;

    – 4: Autonomy and revolt risk:

    Some while ago, you could create a state (would usually lower autonomy in newly conquered/cored provinces to 50%), raise autonomy for -10 revolt risk, then remove the state so it goes back to being a territory, while keeping the -10 revolt risk. You can no longer do this, the -10 modifier will be removed when you remove the state status. However, you can still use this – being mindful of which provinces you state that is – to help managing your territories.
    You probably know that raising autonomy becomes a big no-no during Age of Absolutism and after that. Which makes this another tip-in-tip:
    Raise autonomy in the provinces your comfortable with 10 years or so before the age of absolutism, so that you can lower it again for a nice boost to absolutism when that age starts.

    – 5: Selling ships:

    Boy, did I avoid this one for a long while. Then I played pirate Malaya (Palembang) and with a capture ship focus. I mean, you capture so many ships, then you sell what's over force limit (doubtful you'll need to go over it, but depends on country I guess), you can even sell them to some of your enemies, then just recapture the same ships you sold when warring against them lol. It's expensive to have a large fleet, but you can also recoup quite a bit of those losses.
    The ships you want to sell have to be docked within supply range of the country you try to sell them to. The range of which you can raid coasts seem to be the same range. Note that minors will often buy ships too (and are less likely to be near forcelimit which makes them reject a deal, if they are small or newly lost a war or sea battles – be that you or somebody else), the median price seems to be 10 or 20 for a transport or light ship. Nations in debt won't buy.

    – 6: Destroy Ming:

    There are many scenarios where they can be your big bad bully. Save up some mil power and money, hire mercenaries and use scorched earth. Scorched earth gives 5 devastation in a province, and using it with merc (spam) can also help hamper their armies speed towards your armies. This is more of a desperate measure or one-time thing to cause a Mingplosion, but it can be worth it. Not getting stomped and crippled for 10 years, or being able to gobble up one of the new spawns, can be worth more than an earlier tech. Sacriliege, I know.
    Note that occupying a province gives ticking devastation too.
    So just go for those forts where you absolutely HAVE to, if at all. You can also "sacrifice" an ally on the other side of Ming to try force a collapse, by having them occupy some provinces on the other end and generally be a distraction.

    – 7: The Ottomans:

    They're just hard to stop. If you don't start next to them, they will blob. I saw them 13 000 ducats in debt before 1650, expected them to collapse, almost declared war, then I saw them embrace institution and recover after like 5 years. Don't know what more to say. Even supported rebels (had too much money) but they just got stomped before they even got to occupy anything.
    Only complete occupation, rebel force spawns, and a followup war can defeat them. If you are one of those who love the excruciating pain of WC, then I guess they won't be a problem lol.

    – 8: Fort defensiveness:

    Salt boosts a province's defensiveness. Might be another one I forgot. Build forts preferably in mountains that have salt if any.
    Jungle might also give a -2 siege (can't remember), but Hills, Forests and Marshes gives -1. For optimal deterrence, overlap forts so that there's (almost) always another fort 2 regions away. Armies can move in and out of fort's zone of control but NOT THROUGH a zone of control – that is, they can't pass 2 zones controlled in succession. The armies will have to visit/siege the fort before that. Use this to setup a nice defensive network if you need that. They can be a great delay in a 2-front war, making you able to focus down one enemy at a time in wars where the odds otherwise would be firmly against you.

    You can also try to "tower defense" them by leaving paths open trough low-dev high attrition regions to try bait funnel them through.

    – 9: Siege:

    Unfortunately, I can't remember the exact numbers. But each of these gives incremental bonuses to siege dice rolls:
    2 cannons, 4 cannons, 6 cannons, 8 cannons (again I'm sure these numbers are not correct, but you can check them in-game while sieging a fort or something – or check wiki). If there are no enemies nearby, just put cannons in the siege and detach the rest (leave enough manpower total of course) so they don't take attrition.

    – 10: Trade:

    I won't go into the different terms. But I can tell you that having trade power downstream will also grant you more power upstream. This is how nations like Portugal and Spain can pull lots of money from nodes where they don't even have a single province. This is why there's advantages to conquering both down and upstream. Controlling all nodes downstream one section will ensure nobody can pull trade out, while conquering upstreams lets you pull more goods towards your own node. Most campaign will see a grey zone of both.

    – 11: Estates:

    Nobility estate boosts local defensiveness (remember those salt/mountain fort provinces?).
    Temple boosts local missionary strength.
    Burghers boosts local trade power. (estuaries and harbors are their friend).

    If you don't like the local autonomy regardless, I can tell you that you don't have to ever grant them a single province, and still be able to juggle them at 75+ influence for the mana for a loooong long time if you're lucky. You just need enough to be able to hire admirals and generals and advisors, and you should be good. Oh yeah and if you get the event where faction demands control of a region, you can, if fitting, remove it as a state and accept their demands, and no estate can be added since it's a territory.

    Some last random ones:

    Silk (?) and cloth lowers local development cost, and maybe cotton too? I always mix these up. But point is, look out for +trade power or -local dev cost trade goods for your future focus regions in additon to just the terrain and if there's an estuary or harbor. Goods produced raise total value in a node so that's nice too (in addition to the money you earn straight from production).

    The magic number for regions required for a vassal to be more likely to develop their land is 5. There's exceptions. I can only remember seeing Jake talk about this in one of their Dev Clashes. No source. But it seems to work. Of course… whether they have spare mana is also a factor. Hordes rarely do much to their land, but again, there's exceptions. I am confident their rivals comes into play too. In my Ashikaga vassal swarm play, my rival vassals seemed to want to outdevelop each other, if they were about evenly matched in strength, to gain the upper hand. Even if they owned below 5 regions.

  • I have 1405 hours in EU4 and I have never used the 'prepare for war' button, so I had no idea that it gave your ally +20 reasons to join your war. That is honestly massive!

    I did not expect to learn something new about the game, but there we go. Thank you!

  • In my current campaign, I had to let go off my belowed von Wittelsbach dynasty cuz that 6/6/6 Arenstroff looked darn good. I ended up having him around 50 years with +3 stability. Now preparing to conquer the other half of the world

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