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Europa Universalis 4

Discussion in 'Gaming and PC Discussion' started by Taure, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    We're always talking about this in IRC so I thought I'd finally make a proper thread for it.

    For those who don't know, Europa Universalis 4 is a grand strategy game made by Paradox, the same people who made Crusader Kings 2. It follows on from CK2 in the timeline, taking you from 1444 to 1821, covering the age of early exploration and colonisation, as well as the emergence of the modern state. That's probably the main difference between EU4 and CK2: in EU4 you play as a state in the more traditional sense of the term, whereas in CK2 you played as a family dynasty. The other major difference is that EU4 is truly global in scope. You can play as anything from France to minor Japanese Daimyos.

    Like CK2 there's a moderately steep learning curve (especially on the trade side of things), but it's not quite as hard as CK2 (probably because of the more familiar idea of playing as a state). The interface is also really good.

    Needless to say, re-playability is massive.

    Anyway, the idea for this thread is for general chat.

    What do people think of the Coassacks DLC? I haven't got it yet as I'm nervous about estates making the game much more difficult, and also I'm waiting for bugs to be worked out.

    What's your playstyle? Hardcore achievement hunter or role play? I lean more towards role play: I like to start a game, use the console (or custom nation designer) to fiddle with various countries to create an alternate history scenario and play that out.

    About to start a game as Brandenburg with intention of forming Prussia. What idea groups do you thing are best for this? I'm leaning towards:

    1. Humanist (stability for when you go Protestant and for all those conquered territories; military points best go into tech in early game so shouldn't take a military idea first, especially as national ideas give a military boost; also gives -10% idea cost for all future ideas)

    2. Quantity (Necessary to counter Brandenburg's small size in early game)

    3. Economic (Need to fund that expanding army)

    4. Offensive (Time to stack military bonuses with national ideas to really start stomping militarily)

    5. Influence (Aggressive expansion and diplomatic reputation reductions are useful, the extra relation will help with HRE dynamics)

    6. Quality (More military bonus stacking)

    7. Defensive (By this time fort costs will be massively inflating as you upgrade them, also more military bonuses)

    8. Innovative (Mainly for the reduced advisor costs, as late game advisors are bloody expensive)

    By completely ignoring exploration, colonisation and trade you can really go nuts with stacking a fuck ton of military bonuses to become a land army powerhouse.
     
  2. Captain Trips

    Captain Trips High Inquisitor

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    EU4... I have somewhat of a Love/Hate relationship with this game. I remember how I once recreated the Incan Empire and conquered even more then they did IRL, then the spanish came and my empire were dead in less then 40 years.. Would play again.
     
  3. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    If you're playing a HRE nation like Brandenburg then you should probably try to max out the Offensive tree first. You're going to need it for the early wars and gobbling up Pommerania/Teutonic Order. After that you'll want the Diplomatic idea tree because you're going to need all the diplomats you can get to try and keep the Emperor from going batshit over the number of territories you keep taking.

    Avoid Administrative ideas until you've got a solid lead on everyone else close to you. You can't afford to fall behind in those when you're in the HRE.

    Since you're looking to form Prussia it'd probably be a good idea for you to take your territories out of the HRE around this point. Only do this if you've got a solid alliance with France, England or one of the Nordic countries (if they've blobbed as they usually do), otherwise you'll get stomped by the Emperor.

    After your third idea the board is fairly open, but the Reformation should have fired recently so you'll want to go Religious. Going Protestant is always a good idea for Prussia and the free casus belli on all neighbouring heretics is just a godsend at this point. The stability cost modifier alone is well worth it, given the number of events that drop stability during the Reformation.

    After that I just take them on an as needed basis. Another military idea would be a good idea, given that you're going to start competing with opponents like Russia, Poland-Lithuania and France around now.
     
  4. Al'Akir

    Al'Akir Third Year

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    The BEST opening ideas group for Brandenburg is Influence. Than you either choose administrative if your aim is to form Germany as early as possible or economic.

    First of all max Influence group to open that juicy +20% morale NI. And diplo is useless at the start anyway. Here you'll get 20% AE reduction, combining with your NI you'll get 40% which is HUGE in HRE.

    And you deffinitelly don't choose mil ideas as first or second because you need military points to quickly level up your infantry and get that maneuver increase. And as Prussia in singleplayer you can play without military ideas up till the end.
     
  5. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    I've only played Ottomans since Cossacks (and a few failed Custom nations), but the estates are chiefly only a problem if you make them a problem (for me: by hiring cheap-ass level 3 advisors and then getting a bad event). I do think they're a good addition, though.

    Humanist's main draw for a HRE state - the idgaf about religion - only comes online when the Reformation hits, unless you manage to expand into Muscovy or the Orthodox area of Lithuania. It's not a bad idea group, but grabbing it first just seems like a waste. I'd go Innovative first, then Humanist third (and scrap Economic), or Influence first, Humanist third, Economic fifth. One of Inno's main draws is the tech cost reduction, and, to a lesser degree, certainly in the HRE, the merc cost reduction. (And the WE reduction is amazing as well, but not as much for Europe.) Influence, as you said, is amazing in HRE politics.

    You might also want to have a look at Aristocratic, rather than Quantity. More expensive (because no cost reduction), but it comes with cheaper Mil tech, even more army tradition decay reduction, and an extra Diplomat, which is fairly good because you're stuck on two Diplomats until you get Prussia or you somehow finagle your way to Emperor and two reforms. If you go Innovative first, however, you are wasting one of the ideas in Aristocratic.

    Point of order for future reference, btw: Brandenburg's starting Duke is 3/3/2 and heir is 2/2/1 (aka cannon fodder). Going military second might not be the best.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  6. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Al'Akir I disagree. The early Offensive rush may put you behind on infantry for a time, but given the number of small nations around you you'll easily be able to catch up using the neighbour bonus, at which point you'll be one of the powerhouses in the HRE due to your hilariously powerful generals. Never underestimate the +20% force limit modifier, either. You need a large army to deal with the Baltic alliances and Bohemia.

    Also, Diplomatic is much more useful than Administrative because while the AE reduction is good, the Diplomatic Reputation bonuses serve essentially the same purpose and are useful during peacetime as well. It's also useful for messing about with who becomes Emperor. Even if you're not shooting for it yourself you can target key allies of the current Emperor and try to let one of the other nations take his place for a while. Given that the Emperor is your single biggest enemy to expansion, making one of your allies the Emperor can help to weaken Austria to a large degree.

    Oment Going Offensive gives you that bit of leeway for when you get a shitty ruler, since you're looking at at least decent generals, possibly even awesome ones if the rng likes you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  7. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I disagree about putting Humanist first being bad. Four main reasons:

    1. The idea cost -10% is more powerful the earlier you get it. If you go Humanist first then it saves you 1960 monarch points in total, which translates to 3 free tech levels (depending on when you get them) or a fuck ton of province development.

    2. The -2 National Unrest and -10 Years of Separatism are great for creating internal stability, well before the reformation hits. There's no point getting influence for the Aggressive Expansion decrease if all that extra territory comes with a load of instability that means you're too busy sitting on provinces with unrest to go to war.

    3. You're going to need it (or religious) for the Reformation anyway.

    4. It's not a military idea so doesn't soak up military points you need for early mil tech.

    RE: Diplomatic, two reasons for not going for it:

    1. Though I'm in the HRE, I'm not playing a HRE game. I don't intend to try for emperor and the Teutonic Order is my primary early game target, which is outside of the HRE.

    2. As I am inside the HRE, the Emperor can only demand unlawful territory off me if I haven't cored it. Which means all I need to do to avoid getting on Austria's bad side (until the reformation) is make sure I only take territory in wars that I can core immediately (having begun the process of coring a province counts as having cored it for the unlawful territory mechanic).

    Re: Administrative/Innovative: I generally avoid debt and mercenary use, so these aren't so useful for my play style. I'm not going for a WC, so there's no real need for me to take as much territory ASAP. There are some players who like to blob at all expense, focusing on outward expansion at all costs, keeping their nation on the brink of stability. That's not me. I value pretty borders over blob, and I like to have my house in order before I commence a new war. My goal in this game is to more or less form the historical Prussia and invest heavily in province development so I'm rich as fuck. Once I've got the historical Prussia I may conquer some more territory for border clean-up, but I have no desire to (for example) take over the whole HRE.

    The only clock I have running is that I need to gobble up the Teutonic Order before Poland-Lithuania gets it (fortunately I have allied Poland and am calling them as my ally in wars against TO, which means they are have a truce when I do, meaning they can't conquer TO while I'm at peace with them).
     
  8. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    The idea cost saves you 1960 points over the entire game and gets you the ideas a bit faster. Getting Innovative reasonably early - say tech level 8 for everything, saves you more. The revolt risk from separatism I rate irrelevant - raising LA drops it to 1 % + WE - Stab + 2 if outside of culture group, IIRC, for Catholics, with some extra for OE. That doesn't exactly scare me. Probably agree to disagree type thing.

    Also, irrelevant now (because you're not getting Austria as an ally if you have PLC as one), but Unlawful Territory doesn't fire if you have the Emperor allied. IIRC, it can fire if you're coring, but not if you or the Emperor are at war.
     
  9. Banta

    Banta The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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    The value of these two groups comes from them saving you points and not so much the mercenary stuff (though that is a nice bonus). Innovative keeps prestige higher, war exhaustion lower, and saves you monarch points by reducing tech cost. If you're going to take Innovative, take it early to save the most points possible. Administrative saves admin points by lowering coreing costs and admin tech costs.

    For an HRE state, Humanist or Influence are the best two groups to start with in either order. If you want to take a military idea group instead, I usually recommend either Defensive (especially since you are a small nation to start with) or Offensive. Aristocratic isn't a bad option to take early-ish because you get to have better and more cavalry off the first idea, you save on points with later ideas, and you get another diplomat. Quantity and Quality are more mid-game military ideas; take them once you get the snowball rolling.

    Economic isn't a bad idea group, but Trade is better for pure monetary gain.
     
  10. Hawkin

    Hawkin Minister of Magic

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    I'm a achievement hunter. I get bored without a goal in this game, and achievement become those goals that I set myself before starting a game.

    My most recent one was Sun God - Owned all of South America as the Inca, but I hit a little snag when there were no european on the continent until 1605. I wasted so many points just waiting for them to show so I could westernize, tech up and then just go banana on colonization. Still, I think I have a chance to complete it. Here's a screenshot of where I am at now.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    1605 is late. Really late. I had Westernised in 1571 in my Sun God run. It still looks doable, though - three colonists are decently fast, and you've nearly sealed the interior. As long as that happens, and you're able to get enough warscore from killing stacks while kicking people off the continent, then yes. Doable.

    My three most recent achievements - barring incidental completion of random achievements - are Dar al-Islam with the Ottomans, No Trail of Tears, and This is Persia! starting as Qara Qoyunlu. As for my current game... I think you might be able to guess which achievement I'm hunting on this one: http://imgur.com/a/m41Bn
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  12. Smore

    Smore Second Year DLP Supporter

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    I play primarily as hardcore achievement hunter. I am apparently incapable of developing my own goals, and need them set for me by Paradox.

    The problem with HRE nations is you won't be conquering much territory directly. The AE gains in there are massive, added to the unlawful territory modifier, so you'll be making vassals and then annexing them especially to begin with. You'll want Influence a lot sooner for the annex reduction. Even with the TO being your primary enemy to begin with, you'll end up in conflict inside the HRE.

    I didn't bother with Humanist or Religious as Brandenburg, but I can see why you would. I just made sure I was the first nation to turn after the reformation begins, and got the Centre of Reformation. That does most of the conversion work for you. The idea reduction cost is nice though.

    It was a while ago, but I'm pretty sure my ideas list went:

    Influence - Economic - Quantity - Diplomatic - Quality - Offensive - Defensive

    And I didn't get to 8, because I don't often get that far. Formed Prussia, dismantled the HRE, formed Germany, quit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  13. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Begining to get pretty annoyed at how messed up fort zones of control are since the latest update. Paradox really needs to prioritise fixing that bug asap.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  14. Smore

    Smore Second Year DLP Supporter

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    Yup. It's the lack of consistency that bothers me. If they worked incorrectly all the time I could compensate for it, but sometimes they work fine.
     
  15. AmishGoat

    AmishGoat Squib

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    I am towards the end of a Prussian run myself (1738) and went Quantity->Humanist->Quality-> Administrative->Offensive->Trade->Defensive->???.

    @Taure I'd be curious to see how well going humanist first works out if you care to share. Not sure if the idea cost reduction evens out with the early military advantage.

    Normally though I tend to push humanist to the third or fourth idea group (depending on location) since just having the first two ideas can tide you over during the reformation.

    On a different note, does anyone have any good suggestions for countries outside of Europe? I've mostly played western nations so far and I think I'd like to try something father east.
     
  16. Hawkin

    Hawkin Minister of Magic

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    I've played Japan way back, it was certainly an interesting gameplay. Where everyone is busy on the continent, you have no choice but to fight to unite Japan. Once you're united, everyone else is pretty much bigger than you, so you have to choose your fight carefully. I liked it.

    I also tried Bengal not so long ago. First time I was playing in India, and it's fun.

    Inca was fun, if I bit dull after full conquest and waiting for the european, just colonizing and killing revolt.

    I also tried the timurids long ago, to form persia. You can easily become one of the more powerful nation in the world if you can handle the ottomans early on.
     
  17. Matian

    Matian Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  18. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    Bahmanis or Vijawhatsitspelled in India are fun to play - the first one rather more challenging due to a hostile diplomatic net, though their ruler and heir are amazing. Likewise challenging is Qara Qoyunlu because you're hemmed in between several hostile nations. (Though you can get the Ottomans to befriend you if you play your cards right - involves giving up their core.) In the same vein, Ethiopia works. Cherokee is not as hard as a native American start makes it out to be - the great powers tend to be on the slower side in this patch - but it's quite boring. Lastly, Timurid --> Mughal is a good introduction to Horde mechanics without manual reforming.

    One of the games I've been meaning to play, but haven't yet, is Tunis, which looks like it could be a lot of fun whichever way you go. Korea and Dai Viet are also on that list.
     
  19. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Prussia game so far in pics:

    http://imgur.com/a/Z64Ir

    Check out Burgundy and Milan.

    Damn reformation didn't trigger until 1540.

    Deciding what my new goal should be. Elimination of Poland, maybe. I'm not too enthusiastic about the formation of Germany... Europe kinda gets a bit boring if any single state can dominate it to that extent.
     
  20. AmishGoat

    AmishGoat Squib

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    I've heard good things about India, probably gonna try one of those. Japan I've done a pseudo run of (custom nation in Japan), so I'll probably wait a bit.


    Looks pretty cool, but probably requires more attention/skill than I have.


    Indian ones sound cool, though I've never even considered QQ before. Might have to give that a try as well. Ethiopia and Cherokee sound like there might be very long waiting periods.

    As for Timurids, gonna wait til I get the Cossacks and then that's the first one on my list I think.


    Thanks all for the recommendations.


    That Burgundy is awesome! Milan could be impressive if it continues expanding.

    In my game I went straight for Russia/Muscovy at this point. IT looks like your Muscovy is fairly united so that would be an entertaining fight. Otherwise yeah, Poland is the way to go. Though if you crush Poland you will be close to dominating.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016