GamingHyena's Europa Universalis 2 FAQ v1.04
So, tired of getting beat by France? Maybe sick of the endless revolts? I created this FAQ to endure the pain so you don't have to. Sure, some of this in the manual, but who wants to wade through all that? Besides, I provide hints that actually work.
Table of Contents:
1. For the Rookies
8. Winning the Game
This FAQ cannot be put on any website, public or private, without express permission of the author. Want permission? E-mail: Happyhyena2000@yahoo.com. Also, if you send me any tips
I can use, I will be sure to credit you in the FAQ. Check out my website for reviews and more walkthroughs at gaminghyena.tripod.com/
Copyright 2003 All rights Reserved
v1.00 Initial Release.
v1.01 Minor spelling errors and typos fixed.
v1.02 Spacing and indents added to make FAQ easier to read.
v1.03 Added list of sites where FAQ can be posted.
v1.04 Revised list of sites. (3/20/03)
For the Rookies:
This game can be a little overwhelming when you first start out, so a great starting country is Austria in the Grand Campaign. Almost all the historical events are positive, and you have a decent economy. Austria starts out with a ready-made alliance with a decent country (Hungary, just ask to join them) that's at war with one of your neighbors (Venice). This gives you a chance to take some costal territories, learn how to fight with a partner, without having to worry about different religious factions. Since Austria doesn't participate in the colonial battles, (at least, not in real life) you can devote all your attention to one area of the map. Also, since Eastern Europe pretty much stays Catholic, stability and religious infighting shouldn't be a huge factor early in the game. If you are having difficulties in the game, I would suggest Austria as a good training nation.
Also, building improvements are vital to advancing in the game. A nation with several Manufactories of all kinds gives you the freedom to temporarily withdraw funding for one category (say, to boost Stability), while still allowing the other categories to advance. Although expensive, the sooner you build Manufactories, the better value they become.
Inflation can become a large problem if you're not careful in managing your economy. It raises the prices of the things you need to buy, and can be quite hard to get rid of until you research the appropriate technology. Generally, inflation has two root causes, having a surplus in the monthly treasury and inflation from gold. Unfortunately for you, having a deficit in the monthly treasury doesn't seem to reduce inflation, so its best for your economy to have 0 surplus (or as close as possible). Trying to survive only off your yearly income you get on Jan 1st of each year (which doesn't count towards your inflation level) can be hard going at times, particularly when you are at war. Still, the best way to get rid of inflation in EU2 is not to get it in the first place. Some inflation will inevitably occur (like when you start colonizing the New World with its large gold reserves), but if you can keep it under 10% you should be doing fine. Some of you may be thinking you can reduce inflation by simply not getting gold producing territories, but these territories produce far more gold than inflation and generally help your economy more than they hurt.
Later on you can promote mayors to governors (Infrastructure Level 5). Each governor you make reduces inflation by 1%. The thing to remember is that it's a one shot bonus: if you convert all mayors to governors and then get inflation you're out of luck. That's why its important to only produce governors when you need them so you don't run out of territories whenever inflation rears its ugly head.
Anytime you need money you can get a loan. Usually they come in 200 gold increments, which can be a problem if you only need 20 gold. Plus, you can only pay them back 5 years from the day you were loaned the gold, and since the game doesn't tell you the loan's coming due, loans can be a real headache. Their interest drains a couple of pieces of gold from your treasury every month, which adds salt to the wound. If you must take a loan, write down on a piece of paper the day you got the loan, plus the day it's due. Hopefully you won't forget and have enough time to save up before the loan comes due again. If you are unable to pay your debts and max out your loans, you go into bankruptcy, which can be a real blow to your country (especially if you are at war).
If you are a small country, you can max out your loans, buy a large army or improvement, and declare bankruptcy. Since the game doesn't repossess you assets, you can abuse the system for free money. Sure your army morale will suffer for a few years, but if you can ride that time out it can be a good way to jumpstart your military or investments. I once jumpstarted the Papal States rise to power by building a large army and a Manufactory in this very fashion. Although I had to wait a few years because of the drop in morale for my troops, it was worth it in the end.
Even the best run empire occasionally gets revolts, so lets examine the roots of revolts and how to deal with them. Revolts are occasionally made through a random event, and generally there's no way to prevent these. Simply grab a nearby army and send them towards the affected territory. Revolts should always be dealt with quickly, or else they tend to spread across your empire and eventually territories will declare independence. The only thing that should command higher priority than a territory in revolt is a foreign invasion. However, most revolts can be avoided simply by reducing the revolt risk. You can reduce your overall risk by keeping your stability at +3. Remember that the larger your empire, the more expensive it is to build up your Stability, so try and build several Fine Arts Academies to help out. Also, if for whatever reason you experience a severe drop in Stability, don't hesitate to dump your entire treasury into improving Stability (i.e. move the Stability slider to the max).
You can generally reduce the improvement time to a couple of months, which can be vital if several of your territories suddenly develop a high revolt risk because of the drop in Stability. When you view each territory, one of the statistics you see is the revolt risk. If you hold your mouse over the revolt risk line, it will eventually show you all the positive and negative modifiers that affect this territory. Generally you will see something like (+3 Religion +1 Cultural Differences -1 Manufactory), which gives the territory an overall 3% chance of revolting (3 + 1 - 1 = 3). Although sometimes the revolt risk is beyond your control (like when you conquer a territory, the territory automatically develops Nationalism), there's usually something you can do about it to help out. Lets take a look at some of the positive and negative modifiers for revolt and see what can be done about them.
Religion (actually, religion can be positive or negative modifier depending on your country's attitude towards the religion) Cultural differences (usually +1, occurs when the territory has a different culture than your capital, not much you can do about it)
Bailiff (+3 but an optional upgrade which boosts taxes in that territory, which makes it a tough decision on whether it will hurt more than help) Chief Judge (-1 and increases income, helps take the edge off the bailiff upgrade) Neighboring Rebels (usually +2, and means one of the territories surrounding this one are in revolt. Take out the neighboring rebels if they are in your country. However, if your territory is on the border and your neighbor's territory is revolting, there's not much you can do about it)
Nationalism (can range from +3 to +1, and happens whenever you conquer a territory. After a few decades, it goes away, but in the meantime just station troops in the occupied territory until Nationalism go away. A territory with Nationalism will always have a revolt risk regardless of the other modifiers.) War Weariness (starts out +1, but can quickly grow. Happens when your country as at war too long, regardless of whether or not you are actually fighting. Depending on your domestic policies, War Weariness can start several weeks to several months after war is declared.)
Religion can be your most powerful ally against revolt; a religion with maximum toleration can have a -11 affect on revolt! Unfortunately, you must be intolerant to other religions to achieve maximum toleration. (To change tolerance, click on your country's national shield in the upper left corner, and then click on your country's religion emblem) Usually its best to only allow 1-2 religious minorities in your empire at once. Any more can take a chunk out of stability. If you have a religious minority (Reformists are good for this one) in your empire with only one or two territories, try sending missionaries there to convert them to your state religion. Once they are all gone, put the slider for that religion at minimum. Since you don't have that minority in your empire any longer, you can safely put them at minimum with no loss in stability. In fact, all the other religions will increase their stability.
Tolerance of various religions within your empire also affects other countries with that same religion (if you start persecuting Muslims, then the Ottomans aren't going to look too kindly on you). Here is a list of the religions and their affects (it's actually right out of the manual pg. 72):
Catholicism: +2 diplomats/year +1 missionary every 2 years. Bonus in Stability and Production Efficiency.
Counter-Reformed Catholicism: +2 diplomats/year +1 missionary/year Bonus in Stability, lowers Tax Value. Ability to convert countries by force into Catholicism.
Protestantism: +1 diplomat/year +1 colonist/year Lower Stability. Bonus in Production Efficiency and Tax Value.
Reformist: +1 diplomat/year +2 colonist/year +1 level of Morale for army and navy. Bonus to profits of merchants. Lower Stability and Tax Value.
Orthodox: +1 colonist every 2 years. Bonus in Stability. Not affected diplomatically by change in religion.
Shia Moslem: +1 level of Morale for army and navy. Bonus in Stability. Lower Tax Value.
Suni Moslem: Bonus in Stability.
Confucianism: Bonus in Stability. Lower Tax Value. Lower Trade Efficiency.
Hinduism: Bonus for morale in army and navy. Lower Stability.
Buddhism: +1 Missionary every 2 years. Lower Tax Value. Bonus in Stability.
So:which one do I choose?
Well, since you can't be any religion you want, you will probably only have two or three choices. Catholicism is a good default choice for Europe, since most countries stay Catholic. Counter-Reformed Catholicism is a bit overrated, since there are restrictions on forced conversion and it lowers your tax value. Protestantism is a good choice for Western Europe, but you don't want to be, say Austria, and stuck in the middle of a bunch of Catholic Countries. Reformist, with its army/navy bonus, is only good if you want to go to war. European countries, because they only have one slider for Muslims, can easily conquer the Middle East since they don't differentiate between Shia and Suni Muslims. Finally, remember that changing state religions (except from Catholic to Counter-Reformed Catholic) mess up your stability and relations with other nations, so if you do plan to change religions, only do it once per game and make it permanent.
Diplomacy will make or break your kingdom, so its best to master diplomacy early on. Reputation is your bread and butter in the diplomacy biz, so make sure and keep yours at very least tarnished for as long as possible. Why should you care about reputation? Other countries will invade you if you have a bad rep, and your allies won't help out. Since one country generally can't take on an alliance in this game, keeping your reputation alive will help keep your kingdom alive. Here are some other tips Strategy First doesn't want you to know about diplomacy:.
NEVER be outside a strong alliance. Your alliance should always include one of the traditional great powers (i.e. England, Russia, Spain, France, or Austria). Make these powers happy at all cost. Often they will ask you to declare war on some other country. Unless that country is in a position to swamp you, declare war on them. If you don't, then your reputation takes a hit, stability takes a hit, and the alliance dissolves, leaving you in a lurch. Just because you declare war on someone doesn't mean you actually have to fight them. If you wait a few weeks, you can usually exit the war with a white peace. Also, if a country breaks away from another because of rebellion, then it will automatically declare war on the parent country. Often, that parent country will ask you to declare war on the new country. Do it, and annex the new country. It's an easy way to gain territories at your ally's expense, and they'll thank you for it! War Weariness resets the second you aren't at war with anyone. Use this bug to your advantage by timing your wars right. After you finish off one country, sue for peace. The second you get peace declare war on your next enemy. By rotating out your enemies, you can also devote your entire military to fighting only one country at a time.
Another really cool bug you can exploit works if you are entering a risky war with one of your neighbors, and you are afraid of losing. Generally, a few days after you begin the war you enemy will come and demand a small sum for peace. Instead of responding to that offer, drag it off to the side somewhere and go to war. If you are winning and want out, just decline that initial offer for peace. You can then send them a diplomat and ask for whatever you want. However, if the war goes badly for you, then accept the original peace offer and all you'll be out is the original peace offer.
A related note goes to fighting alliances. If you make peace with the leader of an alliance, then you make peace with everyone. Note that if the alliance declares war on you, then the leader is whichever country declared war, while if you attack an alliance, the leader will be whichever country you declared war on. Therefore, when fighting an alliance, it is best to attack the alliance leader last. For example, if I am Austria and am fighting Poland (leader) and Lithuania, I should attack Lithuania first. Why? Because if I can take out Lithuania first and grab a few pieces of land for peace, then I am still at war with Poland, and can then grab land for peace from her as well, resulting in more land for me than had I simply attacked and made peace with Poland first. Likewise, make peace with the leader first if the war goes badly. If Lithuania now occupies half my territories, and Poland owns nothing of mine, then I should try and make peace with Poland. Since peace with Poland also means peace with Lithuania, you can shop around and see which country has the best deal for peace.
You should generally wait to see what the computer is offering before deciding on whether or not to deal. While you can only demand the territories you control (or those considered part of your national provinces), the other country can offer any territories it owns. This means you might just want to sit on them for a few months to see if they will offer some territories you otherwise couldn't reach. The colonial powers will often offer a slew of colonies in exchange for their European territories back, and this can be a quick way to jumpstart your colonial empire. The only downside to this is that every colony big enough to be a city will develop Nationalism, and if a far flung colony revolts you may not be in a position to do anything about it.
Remember that the stability penalties in the game also apply to the computer. They also suffer from war weariness and a drop in Stability should they attack your without reason, same as you will. Therefore, it's not a bad idea to maintain good relations with people you don't intend to attack immediately. Trade agreements and royal marriages are even better. That way, when the computer tries to attack you suddenly, it will increase the chance it will have to deal with revolts at home in addition to your armies.
You'll do best in Europa Universalis 2 if you make your decision making process as if you were actually running a country. Because of this, there are three questions you should ask before you go to war.
1. Can I win quickly?
2. Can I win cheaply?
3. Will the gains of war be worth it?
These questions may seem obvious, but asking them has saved me from many a fruitless war. The computer is not stupid, and will attack you if a long war with another country is sapping your strength. Sometimes it can be best to take a short-term loss to avoid a long war against a superior foe.
Although shaping your domestic policy is generally something that should be left to your own preference, there are some sliders that are important. Quality should always be at maximum. This will give you the best armies the best chance of winning. Offensive and Defensive doctrine should be kept as neutral as possible. This is because a completely offensive doctrine negatively impacts your siege rating, which makes taking towns difficult. A completely defensive doctrine robs your armies of shock value, making them useless in combat. Leaving it neutral allows you to take towns and kill armies. Land should be emphasized over Sea unless you plan on being almost exclusively a colonial power (like Portugal or England). Because taking territories and fighting armies is what this game is all about, and because sea battles can be largely avoided, Land should always have priority. Many nations can get away with never building a single ship. However, since England is so reliant on her navy due to her island nation and need to colonize, England should slightly emphasize Sea over land (same with Portugal).
Because it can be a major hit to your reputation to militarily annex a country (no matter how big or small it is), it can be effective to wait until another country annexes those little countries, and then invade the big country. It only takes a few annexations before your reputation goes down the toilet, no matter how small the country was that you annexed. By letting the other guy take the hit in diplomacy, you can safely take the same territories without the cost. This works well in Northern and Southern Europe, where little one-territory countries are common.
Although most games of EU2 rarely adhere to history, it's a good idea to know what countries grow powerful in real life and when. Historical events often give these countries bonuses that correspond to their real life counterparts (i.e. Austria gets a historical event annex Hungary at roughly the same time as they did in the real world). Since many of the great powers start out fractured, you can really put the hurt on them quickly by allying with their neighbors. For example, a good Ireland/Scotland alliance against England will generally retard England's rise to power, while allying with Aragon against Castile in the 1400's can really screw up Spain later in the game, especially if you can prevent their unification in the late 1400's. In one game I was playing as Austria, I allied with Savoy and Burgandy against France early on. France never recovered, and stayed broken up until the end of the game in 1819. The best part is that since you generally don't have to commit any troops yourself to the conflict, just set up the alliance.
Even if the war goes badly for your allies you won't be affected.
Winning the Game:
Believe it or not, it is quite easy to win a game of EU2 without dominating the globe. This is because of the somewhat quirky system of victory points the game uses to determine the winner. Here I've detailed some easy ways to boost your victory score.
Perhaps the easiest way to boost your victory score is to do the diplomacy missions. One mission in particular, Keep _____, gives you twenty victory points simply for keeping one of your own territories for five years. By doing this mission alone, over and over for the Grand Campaign (400 years) will give you 1600 points by the time its all over! (20ptsX 80missions=1600pts) This can give you a major boost over your rivals by itself. Other easy missions include "Royal Marriage with ______", and the somewhat harder "Vassalize _____."
Manufactories also provide easy bonus points, although these can get rather expensive. Still, manufactories provide a lot of useful bonuses in addition to victory points, including an increase in stability for that territory, a yearly bonus of gold, and they each add +5 gold towards a particular technological category.
War is a pretty easy way to grab victory points as well. Winning battles, conquering territories, and forcing a change in your enemy's state religion will net you victory points. However, wars can be risky, and can damage your credibility in the long run.
Finally, being elected the Holy Roman Emperor is a good way to gain victory points. The only problem is that you must have good relations with all the electorates and meet certain requirements to be elected HRE. Plus elections don't come at regular intervals, making them very hard to plan for. So, if you do get elected Emperor, sit back and enjoy your good fortune, but try not to make it part of your plans.