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England strategy

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This article is accurate for the latest versions of EU3, Napoleon's Ambition, and In Nomine v 3.2.
Please help update this page to include information on the HTTT and DW expansions.

England
In Heir to the Throne, Grand Campaign start.
Basic Stats
Government type Feudal Monarchy
Tech Group Latin
Number of Provinces 19
Capital province London
Trading Centers None
State Religion Catholic
Primary Culture English
Other Accepted Cultures None

Sliders

Centralization <▪▪▪▪▪▫▪♦▪▪▪>
somewhat decentralized
Decentralization

Aristocracy <▪▪♦▪▪▫▪▪▪▪▪>
quite aristocratic
Plutocracy

Serfdom <▪▪▪♦▪▫▪▪▪▪▪>
some serfdom
Free Subject

Innovative <▪▪▪▪▪▫▪▪♦▪▪>
quite narrowminded
Narrowminded

Mercantilism <▪▪▪▪♦▫▪▪▪▪▪>
slightly mercantilistic
Free Trade

Offensive <▪▪▪▪▪♦▪▪▪▪▪>
balanced
Defensive

Land <▪▪▪▪▪♦▪▪▪▪▪>
balanced
Naval

Quality <▪▪▪♦▪▫▪▪▪▪▪>
somewhat quality oriented
Quantity

England is a nation that can easily dominate the map in a variety of ways. The two country guides offered below explore two scenarios where the Player forsakes their lands on the European mainland or tries to defend and expand them respectively.

With the addition of the trade leagues in Heir to the Throne, there may be some unexplored avenues for profit and, thus, power. If you think you can contribute in that regard, or in any other, please try and update this guide.

Contents

In Nomine

England is a nation that can easily dominate the map in a variety of ways. The (adapted) guide below will focus upon a particular combination of both a trading England and a colonizing England that emphasizes early-game security to build up for a powerful mid and late-game dominance.

It is vital to have a significant naval presence around the British Isles.

England must be played carefully during the early part of the game, because only here is England truly vulnerable.

You commence a Grand Campaign at peace, with a 7k army in England and an half decent general. On the Continent you possess Calais and Gascogne, two provinces that the French both have cores on and dearly desire, and Labourd. If you do nothing, France will wage war on you, sooner rather than later, and its superior manpower will generally wear you down. France's extreme advantage in both manpower and army size (you can't send nearly as many units to battle on the Continent as they can) means that, sooner or later, the French will be able to defeat you if they are truly interested in fighting. On a slightly smaller scale, the same can be said for Burgundy.

Having stated the military situation England finds herself in, there are five very relevant things that bear mentioning from the diplomatic viewpoint:

  • Your alliance with Portugal is useless relative to the wars with France and Bourgogne, as Portugal is probably not going to fight on the continent. At most it will send ships (that you already have in exuberance for the scope of this war). They have no army nor manpower at the start of the game.
  • France is allied with Scotland. Burgogne is allied with Brittany.
  • France has cores on Gascogne and Calais.
  • Burgundy, the only nation on the Continent that can both get to France early on and stand a chance of winning, also has a core on Calais.
  • Your high province count, your policy sliders and your low badboy requirements make you a likely candidate for papal controller. Congratulations!

What you should do before unpausing the game and why

Grab a merchant compete chance bonus if you can, or a naval/trade tech advisor if not. You start with a level 4 artist that increase stability investment. Stability and trade income will matter a lot as time passes.

Send all your starting merchants at Lubeck (you are part of the Hanseatic trade league). Both Antwerpen and Ile-de-france may be unavailable soon enough. Sending all your merchants at Lübeck will net you a sizeable trading income boost, allowing you to get rolling quickly.

Send an insult to Scotland. Do it again when you can until your relation drops below 50.

Move your slider. Good options are Free Trade (additional merchants, chance and efficiency), Narrowminded (+ colonial growth), Free Subjects (to counter the tech malus from narrowminded). Centralization is never wasted but you will get a good kick start in it soon enough.

Building additional land regiments is optional. You usually have enough or close to enough to beat the only rivals you will initially meet on the field: Scotland and the occasional rebel. Any other threat should be dealt with by sinking their invasion armies. You won't need more men until you start colonizing, but feel free to up your army to what you feel comfortable with. A smaller army is less expensive to maintain, and in the early game money equals speed equals power.

Having a Military Access is no longer a top priority. You can get one from Portugal if you intend to go anywhere but the east coast of North America. If that's the case, you can ask Norway for a military access at a later date.

You can then decide if you want to get rid of your continental domains. If so, sell them to France, Brittany, Bougogne or someone else (Aragon?). Try to differentiate your clients to maximize both profit and future conflicts in the continent. Giving Brittany Gascogne will provide another excuse for France to go to war with them, as well as deny France a small amount of revenue and manpower. It will also force Brittany to attempt to get military access through France, which usually turns out badly for Brittany, meaning that they'll be too occupied to bother you. Giving France Calais will give Burgundy a Casus Belli on them, which will tie up the two closest Continental superpowers to you with their own affairs - meaning that now neither one of them will want to bother you. It may be useful to hold on to Labourd for a little longer, as it is not a French core (yet) and is closer to the Western African coast for colonization purposes.

It must be noted though that no matter what having those few provinces occupied will not prevent you from getting a white peace with both Burgundy and France if you wait long enough. Therefore, the choice of getting rid of them can be postponed as long as you don't mind the war exhaustion building up and the other unpleasant side effects of a long war.

After unpausing

Set your Treasury slider to give you 0 ducats per month, your coffers start full and your end-of-the-year tax income is so high that you can safely live off of it for a few years. In the meantime, you should pursue two objectives: get ready to colonize and form British Nation.

Prepare for Colonization

For the first objective you need to get the Quest For the New World (QFTNW) Idea. That means you need both an idea slot (Gov tech level 4 for the first one, circa 1410, or 9 for the second, circa 1455) and the tech requirement (trade tech level 7, circa 1440). I do not suggest holding off for QFTNW as a first idea, but doing so would let you start colonizing 15 years earlier. Good options for a first idea are National Trade Policy, that increase your trade revenue and compete chance, or Press Gangs, that cut ship costs by half. You should not need a National Bank at this point.

In addition you need to keep up your naval tech, as it determines how far you can colonize.

Start thinking about building scouting mini-fleets, I personally enjoy using them in blocks of three. When headed by an Explorer, these will scout new seas and lands to colonize. The others will be put to anti-piracy duty. Having more than one ship in a fleet helps the fleet at large survive better against pirate fleets while maximizing the amount of land you can protect. Once you have the required technology (Naval level 9), exploration should be done by small light ship squadrons as they are much faster and can thus reach farther without making port.

Once you are all set and have an objective, get a Conquistador and launch for your destination (more on that later).

Forming Great Britain

There is an excellent page on Great Britain unification at the aforementioned link.

The quickest way to do this is through a mission: Conquer Scotland. It requires relations worse than 50 and no vassalization to appear, so keep that in mind. I tend to seek this mission early on, fulfilling or canceling all other missions until I get this. If you do get it, take one province each of bth regions (The Highlands and Ayrshire, for example) to get cores on the rest and a no-infamy CB on Scotland. If you still have domains on the continent (you probably shouldn't, except maybe Labourd), let France wash over them until you get a white peace. After a couple more wars you should be able to annex Scotland and form Great Britain, and shortly thereafter get all Irish minors. All in all you will have gained hardly any BadBoy, especially if you resisted the temptation to get Ireland before the cores.

Alternatively, you can launch a gradual diplomatic assault on Scotland, but this approach has become obsolete with the mission system.

One thing I strongly advise against doing is going to war with Scotland to take the provinces needed to form Great Britain without the mission. Doing this will drive up your badboy (death to your trade), and will actually slow you down. It might become necessary to refrain to get any occupied provinces in an early war until you get this uber-important mission. Note that in Divine Wind this mission won't be available until 1603, so the least painful way to form Great Britain early is to vassalize Scotland, then diplo-annex them ten years later and finally unite Britain fifty years after that.

Trading

As you get pairs of merchants, have them sent at Lubeck and some other CoT. If you got rid of Calais early on, Antwerpen should be available. France will probably embargo you anyway because of their alliance with Scotland. Due to your low badboy you stand an excellent chance at acquiring a strong trading foothold.

Colonising

The first step is discovering your destination. Since the colonization system overhaul, you are limited in your colonization efforts by your naval tech. That leaves only two options: west and south. Actually, since you will most certainly be limited in your early colonization choices, you can do both.

Once you've hired an Explorer and a Conquistador, build/detach a fleet of three Cogs and begin recruiting three Latin Knights units (these will eventually be led by your Conquistador to discover land provinces). Once this transport fleet is built, move the Latin Knights into it and prepare to move it.

If you want to go west, send your scouting fleet to port in Iceland (the closest place to the North American north coast at this point). From there, you can discover several key sea zones from which you can begin colonizing Greenland. Note: Norway has a province you get a core on after forming GB. If you already waged war on them, they might not be willing to let you in their provinces. This is not a problem: leave the horses at home until you discover the coast of Greenland, then go back and pick up the army.

If you go south, you may choose from several provinces. Islands are easier to grab (less populated) and defend, but tend to have cheaper goods (Fish, usually). Portugal starts with Madeira and has missions for the Azores and the Canaries, but if you can beat them to it, go on and do it. Green Cape Island is also at the limit of your colonial range and should be developed first in order to get a core and "hop" to more profitable lands.

Please note that your colonial range determine the provinces you can reach and colonize starting from the closest core province. Therefore, it's probably advisable to start from Greenland and North America and work your way down. Anyway, an advisor that boosts colonial range can be very helpful at this stage to get that "last mile".

North American Colonizing

If you elect to go for North America, starting from Greenland, gradually work your way down the coast, colonizing as you go. Your may compete with Portugal after a while, but you should have a relatively clear dominance by the time you encounter someone else. The natives here are not numerous nor particularly aggressive, so killing them off is comparatively simple.

Southern Colonizing

You don't get to colonize South America and the Caribbeans until later in naval tech, and Castille and Portugal will most likely be there already. If you really want to speed up you efforts on the region, you may want to grab a colony in a war. Remember to go for the "Assimilate Colony" provincial decision if you intend to keep it in the long run.

Eastern Colonizing

If you elect to go towards the East (India and China), you will need to establish several cores, for colonist hopping, and naval bases, so your fleet can recover along the way. My recommendations for these are St. Helena, the Cape, and Diego Garcia. Taking and colonizing these three provinces (even if only just enough to get a positive growth within said provinces) will give you control of the primary route between Europe and Asia in this time period. You probably won't get to Diego Garcia before midgame starts, but don't worry - once you seize control of the Cape, you have established control of the fastest route to Asia. This will ensure your dominance of the trade lane. Be sure to kill the natives to increase the colonists' success chance.

Native Nations

New World and African tribal nations can be annexed immediately for 1.6 Infamy (less than straight vassalization). I personally do that and then release them as vassals so that they do not drag down my research or vex me with riots. Watch out for disloyal vassals though.


// Updated up to here

Midgame

Midgame for England is the time when you are sufficiently set up to begin colonizing in earnest (usually around 1485 or so). It is strongly advisable to accept all alliance offers made from minor countries at this point, as France, Castille and Portugal will all have colonies by now that you can seize.

Colonizing

North American Colonizing

If you elected to colonize the northeastern coast of North America, there is no reason to stop doing this. The comparatively short time required for a colonist to arrive, coupled with the high population growth, means that getting one colony to city status won't take nearly as long as it would elsewhere. The manpower boost from these colonies is good as well, and once the cores start showing up, the port facilities there will allow for entirely colonial-produced discovery missions to other future colonies.

Caribbean Colonizing

If you elected to colonize the Caribbean, by now the area has begun to get crowded as other countries stake their claims to various parts of the territory. Strive for dominance over one complete island (Cuba for example), by sending one colonist to all three parts and then upgrading one to city level. Doing this will prevent another nation from obtaining a colony bordering yours, which causes more trouble than it's worth from Boundary Dispute events. Assuming you have accepted various alliance offers from minor nations, you should be able to carefully pick your wars to seize nearly-developed colonies from other European nations.

Eastern Colonizing

If you elected to go East, right about now is when you'll be reaching Diego Garcia and just hitting the southern tip of India. I recommend starting a quick war with Ceylon and force-vassalizing them for an income boost and safe harbor close by (note that having set your tolerance for Eastern religions beforehand will dramatically improve your chances of getting a fast Military Access from a nation should your ships be about to die). Once you have vassalized Ceylon, you now have the option of going for either India's riches or China's. India is closer and incredibly lucrative, China is further away and even more lucrative. Either of the two will benefit you immensely.

Trading

As your income from colonies and overseas possessions increases, trade becomes less important for England as the nations that earlier vexed you with Shrewd Commerce Practices will now do the same with National Trade Policy. At this point in the game, I recommend you pick one trading center (usually Vlaandaren) and send all your merchants there.

Warfare

As the mid-game progresses, you may find yourself drawn back into war. There are two sorts of wars - colonial wars and continental wars.

Colonial wars are, as the name suggestions, primarily fought over colonies. Assuming that you have maintained a decent military presence in your area of colonization (you are free from Continental concerns and so can keep almost no land forces there), you should have no trouble taking your enemy's colonies from him, whether it be via seizing or peace deal. Be very careful, however, to

keep an eye on the Channel to make sure that nobody is attempting to slip an army onto the British Isles - if they manage to do this, immediately devote all your resources into chasing them off again. Under no circumstances can you let someone other than yourself get a foothold on the Isles.

Continental wars are those fought against nations without any colonies in your area, such as German or Italian minors. Should you find yourself stuck in a war with one or more of these, you can generally get a white peace very quickly. If you find the war dragging on, use a small portion of your military might to force a white peace upon your opponents - taking anything on the Continent or even force-vassalizing someone is nearly always more trouble than it's worth, and, more importantly, usually less lucrative than spending the same amount of money on founding a new colony.
A strong navy will ensure your dominance throughout the game. You almost always want to be producing at least one ship somewhere, just to be on the safe side. An England with a fleet of more than 250 ships at the end of the game is not uncommon. Having this many ensures that, no matter where England's interests are endangered, a significant part of the Royal Navy is there to ensure that those interests are secure.

Late game

I define late game for Great Britain as being the time in which you have established a colonial empire of sufficient size and strength to begin actively warring for additional space with significant nations native to the region in which you have colonized.

It is a VERY good idea to have Great Britain formed before moving onto this step so that your enemies cannot use Scotland as a base of operations in the event of you acquiring too much badboy from colonial pursuits.

Colonizing

North American Colonizing

If you elected to colonize the North American continent, you should be beginning to think more along the lines of "take the province from the Native Americans" rather than "colonize another province". As you should ideally have everything within a few screens of the coast explored by now, it will be very difficult for the Indians to run wildly about your territory, especially as you have forts and they do not have infantry capable of matching any of your units. Beware the high cost of missionaries, however. While you should still colonize nearby provinces, by no means should you lose sight of the fact that the Indians control quite a bit of land that would be better off in your hands than theirs.

Caribbean Colonizing

If you elected to go for the Caribbean, you should have been able to seize/colonize enough to have a sufficient base of operations to begin an assault on either Central or South America. Of the two options, Central America is likely the easiest, and is only slightly less lucrative than South America proper. It is also possible to attack both by coming down from a newly-annexed Central America to crush the Inca Empire and so secure a vast quantity of riches.

Eastern Colonizing

If you elected to go for the East, now is when you can begin actively expanding your empire and forcibly taking over lesser nations. Force-vassalizing here is probably better than going for annexations unless in the case of an incredibly lucrative province (like Taiwan or Ryukyu). Beware, however, that what the Eastern nations lack in technology is more than made up for by their incredibly high manpower. A major secret to dramatically weakening their ability to damage your forces is to wait until you have something that can attack in the Fire phase (Land Tech 4 for cannons and 9-10 for Maurician Infantry) before starting a major war with, say, Ming.

Trading

At this point in the game, trading for all but a few nations has become entirely focused on obtaining and holding monopolies - something that you probably don't want to worry about. While incredibly lucrative if done correctly, your lack of both Trade Tech (relative to other nations) and trading-oriented National Ideas (again, relative to other nations) mean that your merchants will quickly be competed out. Having no merchants anywhere at this point, while certainly not a good idea, is entirely survivable.

Warfare

Colonial wars with other European nations will very rarely happen in this phase, assuming you scouted well and acquired most of them mid-game. As colonial provinces can be (at this point in the game) quickly brought up to the fort level of a comparable European province, any province you run into should be treated as a Continental province for the sake of simplicity.
Continental wars are far more likely to occur, as nations such as Germany, Russia and Italy form or come very close to forming. This will provide enemies on new fronts for your old friends France, Burgundy and Spain. It is not altogether unusual to get an alliance request from one of these three to fight the rapidly-developing Saxony, Austria or Ottoman Empire. In the event that this happens and they drag you into a war on the Continent, it is now of the most vital importance to keep the Continental powers roughly equal. Nobody having a clear dominion over the continent means that your efforts in other parts of the world will go unmolested. Beat your opposing alliances' armies and then try to get out of the war with less than a province going to your allies if at all possible. Should you not be the leader in the war, be very careful in your actions so as not to upset the rough equilibrium as Germany, Italy and Russia develop.

Miscellaneous Tips

  • In continental wars, never take a province on the Continent. It will gain you an immense amount of unwanted badboy as well as giving your much more land-oriented opponents a target that is unprotected by your superior navy.
  • Attrition in newly-discovered provinces is extreme, do not wander too far before obtaining a base to resupply and reinforce at.
  • When colonizing Asia, an excellent place to make a base is the Spice Islands - they usually go untouched by their neighboring nations for a very long time, and there are enough of them to make quickly recruiting armies practical.
  • Asian nations are very good at assaulting forts due to their massive amounts of infantry. This means that forts are still necessary, but that they also do not stall these Asian nations for nearly as long as nations in other parts of the world.
  • Natives in the Americas tend to form one big alliance with all the nearby tribes - this can be devastating if you don't bring enough forces to the table from the start.
  • Inflation is best managed by being exceptionally careful with spending early on and by a quick National Bank. Using Merchants as a primary income booster early on also helps to mitigate this. With HttT, you can also hire an advisor to the same effect.

England for War Mongers: a 1420 start

You are in a really good position. You control 6 French provinces and France is at war with you and the Burgundians. You have a nice sized Army in Normandy. Play into this. Make peace with Brittany. Add 6k troops and bring up your army in Gascony. Let the French take you southern provinces temporarily. Used your unified army to crush the French. Move from North to South and siege all of the French cities. Once you win the War take 3 provinces and make France release a Vassal. Repair BB and ally with Burgundy or Spain. In 5 years repeat the process above but this time declare war on a vassal. Rinse and Repeat above strategy. Suck up to Spain so they don't BS you. Isolate France diplomatically and take 4 more provinces. Your BB will be bad so take another 5 years to repair it. Fight a 3rd and 4th War with France and take the remaining provinces. You will usually have to fight little French allies like Lorraine but just vassalize them. Build a COT in England and another in France before you take the capital.

You're now in a great position you control England and most of what we know as France. Repair your BB and tech up. In the late 1440's go on the march again. Take Scotland and Ireland and Brittany who will usually be Allied. Feel free to vassalize these to decrease bb. Repair BB again and continue to suck up to the Spanish.

Fight wars of opportunity and annex vassals. Now control the British isles and all of France. Your the French-British basically. By annexing your greatest rival, (France) you are in a shrewd position. You now have the manpower of France as well as the Navy of England. Best of all your main rival ie England is yourself. Spain will be a problem by this stage. They will have taken Morocco and be on the war path. You have a number of choices.

  • Fight Spain, removing competition for Colonization
  • Take Italy
  • Ally with Spain and defeat the Muslim nations

Merry Old England: the original EU3 "Vanilla" guide

England is a nation that can easily dominate the map in a variety of ways. The guide below will focus upon a particular combination of both a trading England and a colonizing England that emphasizes early-game security to build up for a powerful mid and late-game dominance.

It is vital to have a significant naval presence around the British Isles.

England must be played carefully during the early part of the game, because only here is England truly vulnerable.

You commence a Grand Campaign in the latter stages of a war with France and Brittany. On the Continent you possess Calais and Gascogne, two provinces that the French both have cores on and dearly desire. Your sizeable army in Gascogne can take several of the nearby provinces if you are a skilled commander, but France's superior manpower will generally wear you down. France's extreme advantage in both manpower and army size (you can't send nearly as many units to battle on the Continent as they can) means that, sooner or later, the French will be able to defeat you if they are truly interested in fighting.

Having stated the military situation England finds herself in, the diplomatic bears mentioning. There are five very relevant things that bear mentioning from the diplomatic viewpoint:

  • Your alliance with Portugal is useless relative to the war with France, as Portugal is not participating in this war.
  • Though France is allied with Scotland, Scotland is not at the present at war with you.
  • France and Brittany are not allied with one another, so technically you're fighting two separate wars against two other countries who happen to share roughly the same position.
  • France has cores on all of Brittany's provinces, as well as Gascogne and Calais.
  • Burgundy, the only nation on the Continent that can both get to France early on and stand a chance of winning, also has a core on Calais.

What you should do before unpausing the game

Hire advisors that increase stability investment and merchant compete chance.

Make peace with Brittany by both ceding them Gascogne and renouncing your claims thereon. Note: In 1.3 you cannot do this. Instead, give up a core, even the measliest 6% one will probably work.

Make peace with France by both ceding them Calais and renouncing your claims thereon.

Move your slider towards Free Trade.

Send all your starting merchants at Flanders.

Begin building Galleys for scouting mini-fleets, I personally enjoy using them in blocks of three. Get military access from Norway (save this diplomat if Brittany or France reject the peace deals, if they accept this can be very helpful)

Delete your army in Gascogne once peace with France has been made. Note: In 1.3 the AI is more warlike so you might want to keep the army in case Scotland declares war on you.

Get Military Access from Norway if you intend to colonize the Eastern coast of North America, or from Portugal if you intend to go anywhere else.

Why you should do it

Hiring these advisors will both rapidly improve your stability and trade income, two things that will matter a lot as time passes.

Giving Brittany Gascogne will provide another excuse for France to go to war with them, as well as deny France a small amount of revenue and manpower. It will also force Brittany to attempt to get military access through France, which usually turns out badly for Brittany, meaning that they'll be too occupied to bother you.

Giving France Calais will give Burgundy a Casus Belli on them, which will tie up the two closest Continental superpowers to you with their own affairs - meaning that now neither one of them will want to bother you.

Moving your slider towards Free Trade will get you additional merchants and colonists - exactly what you need wrapped up in a nutshell.

Sending all your merchants at Flanders will net you a sizeable trading income boost, allowing you to get rolling quickly.

These mini-fleets are, when headed by an explorer, incredible scouts. Having more than one galley in a fleet helps the fleet at large survive better against pirate fleets while maximizing the amount of land you can discover.

Deleting your army in Gascogne, instead of moving it back to England, means that you save that much in maintenance costs, and in the early game, money equals speed equals power.

After unpausing

Set your Treasury slider to give you 0.1g per month, your end-of-the-year tax income is so high that you can safely live off of it for a few years, and you'll need to be thrifty until you get your first Idea up and running. Set the remainder of your available money into researching Government Tech to get said Idea, which should be Quest For the New World (QFTNW). This will finish sometime in 1455 or late 1454, which is about when you'll have enough money to hire an Explorer and a Conquistador.

Once you get QFTNW, throttle back down on Government Tech and improve Stability back up to +2 - the additional merchants per year will dramatically improve your trade income potential. Once you have hit +2, begin investing somewhat equally in Navy and Production tech, with whatever is left over going into Trade. Once you get Production Tech level 1 (Workshops are good), invest equally in Naval and Trade techs.

Trading

As you get pairs of merchants, continuously send them at Vlaandaren and Lubeck. Due to your low badboy (from getting out of the war with France and Brittany and not getting into others), you stand an excellent chance at acquiring a strong trading foothold. You will probably not be able to compete for outright dominance of a trading center with the smaller states that get Shrewd Commerce Practices, striving for 3-4 merchants in Vlaandaren, Lubeck and Andalucia is not at all a bad idea and will be sufficient to give you a solid income boost.

Colonizing

Once you've hired an Explorer and Conquistador, build a fleet of three Cogs and begin recruiting three Latin Knights units (these will be eventually led by your Conquistador to discover land provinces). Once this transport fleet is built, move the Latin Knights into it and prepare to move it.

If you got Military Access from Norway, send your scouting fleet to port in Iceland (the closest place to the North American north coast at this point). From there, you can discover several key sea zones from which you can begin colonizing key provinces.

If you got Military Access from Portugal, things get a bit trickier. The Caribbean is comparatively wealthy and easy to take (most of it), but this wealth pales in comparison to that of India and China, which are both much further away and harder to take over.

North American Colonizing

If you elect to go for North America, starting from Iceland, gradually work your way down the coast, colonizing as you go. Your :speed at colonizing is matched only by Portugal, but they insist on going for Africa and South America rather than North America, so :you should have a relatively clear dominance by the time you encounter someone else. The natives here are not numerous nor :particularly aggressive, so killing them off is comparatively simple.

Caribbean Colonizing

If you elect to go for the Caribbean, use the "Find Province" button to find the province of "Moron" and send your explorer fleet there. Keep close track of the vitality of this fleet, you'll probably need to retreat back to the Azores at least once before actually making it there. While your exploring fleet explores the sea zones from the Azores to Moron, move your transport fleet down to the Azores and send it to the port there to allow the cogs to heal. Once you've discovered the rough outline of Cuba, begin using your exploring fleet to flesh out the pathway from the Azores to Cuba - any time that the slow cogs can save in getting there will be a blessing. It is always better to spend more time fleshing out your sea lanes rather than risk losing a transport fleet. Cuba's central location within the Caribbean and its low revolt chance will make it an excellent jumping off point for future colonization efforts in that region.

Eastern Colonizing

If you elect to go towards the East (India and China), you will need to establish several naval bases so your fleet can recover along the way. My recommendations for these are St. Helena, the Cape, and Diego Garcia. Taking and colonizing these three provinces (even if only just enough to get a positive growth within said provinces) will give you control of the primary route between Europe and Asia in this time period. You probably won't get to Diego Garcia before midgame starts, but don't worry - once you seize control of the Cape, you have established control of the fastest route to Asia. This will ensure you dominance of the trade lane. Be sure to kill the natives to increase the colonist's success chance.

Midgame

Midgame for England is the time when you are sufficiently set up to begin colonizing in earnest (usually around 1485 or so). It is strongly advisable to accept all alliance offers made from minor countries at this point, as France, Castille and Portugal will all have colonies by now that you can seize.

Colonizing

North American Colonizing

If you elected to colonize the northeastern coast of North America, there is no reason to stop doing this. The comparatively short time required for a colonist to arrive, coupled with the high population growth, means that getting one colony to city-status won't take :nearly as long as it would elsewhere. The manpower boost from these colonies is good as well, and once the cores start showing up, the port facilities there will allow for entirely colonial-produced discovery missions to other future colonies.

Caribbean Colonizing

If you elected to colonize the Caribbean, by now the area has begun to get crowded as other countries stake their claims to various parts of the territory. Strive for dominance over one complete island (Cuba for example), by sending one colonist to all three parts and then upgrading one to city level. Doing this will prevent another nation from obtaining a colony bordering yours, which causes more trouble than it's worth from Boundary Dispute events. Assuming you have accepted various alliance offers from minor nations, you should be able to carefully pick your wars to seize nearly-developed colonies from other European nations.

Eastern Colonizing

If you elected to go towards the East, right about now is when you'll be reaching Diego Garcia and just hitting the southern tip of India. I recommend starting a quick war with Ceylon and force-vassalizing them for an income boost and safe harbor close by (note that having set your tolerance for Eastern religions beforehand will dramatically improve your chances of getting a fast Military Access from a nation should your ships be about to die). Once you have vassalized Ceylon, you now have the option of going for either India's riches or China's. India is closer and incredibly lucrative, China is further away and even more lucrative. Either of the two will benefit you immensely.

Trading

As your income from colonies and overseas possessions increases, trade becomes less important for England as the nations that earlier vexed you with Shrewd Commerce Practices will now do the same with National Trade Policy. At this point in the game, I generally pick one trading center (usually Vlaandaren) and send all my merchants there.

Warfare

As te mid-game progresses, you may find yourself drawn back into war. There are two sorts of wars - colonial wars and Continental wars.

Colonial wars are, as the name suggestions, primarily fought over colonies. Assuming that you have maintained a decent military presence in your area of colonization (you are free from Continental concerns and so can keep almost no land forces there), you should have no trouble taking your enemy's colonies from him, whether it be via seizing or peace deal. Be very careful, however, to

keep an eye on the Channel to make sure that nobody is attempting to slip an army onto the British Isles - if they manage to do this, immediately devote all your resources into chasing them off again. Under no circumstances can you let someone other than yourself get a foothold on the Isles.

Continental wars are those fought against nations without any colonies in your area, such as German or Italian minors. Should you find yourself stuck in a war with one or more of these, you can generally get a white peace very quickly. If you find the war dragging on, use a small portion of your military might to force a white peace upon your opponents - taking anything on the Continent or even force-vassalizing someone is nearly always more trouble than it's worth, and, more importantly, usually less lucrative than spending the same amount of money in founding a new colony.
A strong navy will ensure your dominance throughout the game. You almost always want to be producing at least one ship somewhere, just to be on the safe side. An England with a fleet of more than 250 ships at the end of the game is not uncommon for me. Having this many ensures that, no matter where my interests are endangered, a significant part of the Royal Navy is there to ensure that England's interests are secure.

Forming Great Britain

There is an excellent page on Great Britain unification at the aforementioned link.

In practical terms, this is best accomplished by a gradual diplomatic assault on Scotland. Forming a Royal Marriage early on is an excellent idea, as well as getting Military Access. Occasional gifts when you can spare both the gold and a diplomat is also an excellent idea.

One thing I strongly advise against doing is going to war with Scotland to take the provinces needed to form Great Britain. Doing this will drive up your badboy (death to your trade as you won't be getting any of the trading-related National Ideas for some time), and will not garner you much of an immediate overall benefit. It might also drag France into war with you, which would normally be an excellent time to steal French colonies, but managing a two-front war is a difficult thing to do and so not advisable.

Late game

I define late game for Great Britain as being the time in which you have established a colonial empire of sufficient size and strength to begin actively warring for additional space with significant nations native to the region in which you have colonized.

It is a VERY good idea to have Great Britain formed before moving onto this step so that your enemies cannot use Scotland as a base of operations in the event of you acquiring too much badboy from colonial pursuits.

Colonizing

North American Colonizing

If you elected to colonize the North American continent, you should be beginning to think more along the lines of "take the province from the Native Americans" rather than "colonize another province". As you should ideally have everything within a few screens of the coast explored by now, it will be very difficult for the Indians to run wildly about your territory, especially as you have forts and they do not have infantry capable of matching any of your units. Beware the high cost of missionaries, however. While you still should colonize nearby provinces, by no means should you lose sight of the fact that the Indians control quite a bit of land that would be better off in your hands than theirs...

Caribbean Colonizing

If you elected to go for the Caribbean, you should have been able to seize/colonize enough to have a sufficient base of operations to begin an assault on either Central or South America. Of the two options, Central America is likely the easiest, and is only slightly less lucrative than South America proper. It is also possible to attack both by coming down from a newly-annexed Central America to crush the Inca Empire and so secure a vast quantity of riches.

Eastern Colonizing

If you elected to go for the East, now is when you can begin actively expanding your empire and forcibly taking over lesser nations. Force-vassalizing here is probably better than going for annexations unless in the case of an incredibly lucrative province (like Taiwan or Ryukyu). Beware, however, that what the Eastern nations lack in technology is more than made up for by their incredibly high manpower. A major secret to dramatically weakening their ability to damage your forces is to wait until you have something that can attack in the Fire phase (land Tech 4 for cannons and 9-10 for Maurician Infantry) before starting a major war with, say, Ming.

Trading

At this point in the game, trading for all but a few nations has become entirely focused on obtaining and holding monopolies - something that you probably don't want to worry about. While incredibly lucrative if done correctly, your lack of both Trade Tech (relative to other nations) and trading-oriented National Ideas (again, relative to other nations) will mean that your merchants will be quickly competed out. Having no merchants anywhere at this point, while certainly not a good idea, is entirely survivable.

Warfare

Colonial wars will very rarely happen in this phase with other European nations, assuming you scouted well and acquired most of them mid-game. As colonial provinces can be (at this point in the game) quickly brought up to the fort level of a comparable European province, any province you run into should be treated as a Continental province for the sake of simplicity.
Continental wars are far more likely to occur, as nations such as Germany, Russia and Italy have or are very close to forming. This will provide enemies in the backyard for your old friends France, Burgundy and Spain. It is not altogether unusual to get an alliance request from one of these three to fight the rapidly-developing Saxony, Austria or Ottoman Empire. In the event that this happens and they drag you into a war on the Continent, it is now of the most vital importance to keep the Continental powers roughly equal. Nobody having a clear dominion over the continent means that your efforts in other parts of the world will go that much unmolested. Beat your opposing alliances' armies and then try to get out of the war with less than a province going to your allies if at all possible. Should you not be the leader in the war, be very careful in your actions so as to not upset the rough equality as Germany, Italy and Russia develop.

Miscellaneous Tips

  • In continental wars, never take a province on the Continent. It will gain you an immense amount of unwanted badboy as well as giving your much more land-oriented opponents a target that is unprotected by your superior navy.
  • Attrition in newly-discovered provinces is extreme, do not wander too far before obtaining a base to resupply and reinforce at.
  • When colonizing Asia, an excellent place to make a base is the Spice Islands - they usually go untouched by their neighboring nations for a very long time, and there are enough of them to make quickly recruiting armies practical.
  • Asian nations are very good at assaulting forts due to their massive amounts of infantry. This means that forts are still necessary, but that they also do not stall these Asian nations for nearly as long as nations in other parts of the world.
  • Natives in the Americas tend to form one big alliance with all the nearby tribes - this can be devastating if you don't bring enough forces to the table from the start.
  • Inflation is best managed by being exceptionally careful with spending early on and by a quick National Bank. Using Merchants as a primary income booster early also helps to mitigate this.

Missions

The "In Nomine" expansion added custom missions for most major powers. England has several, but at the beginning most revolve around getting your hands on Ireland, Scotland or Normandy. In particular (as in 3.1), if you have a relation of less than 50 with Scotland you may be given the mission to conquer it. This is very useful to get cores in the two southernmost provinces of Scotland, needed for the "Form Great Britain" decision, which in turn provides cores for the entire British isles.


FAQ

Q: Why do you hate war so much?

A: I don't. In most of my games I'm incredibly warlike, far more so than I should be (my Qara Koyunlu games end in disaster for this reason). For England, however, I have found that the fastest yet safest strategy is to avoid big wars altogether to avoid unnecessary loss of income and/or colonies.

Q: What National Ideas do you recommend and in what order?

A: I'm glad you asked.

  1. Quest for the New World
  2. National Bank
  3. Deus Vult (if going for Asia due to the variety of different religions there)
  4. Viceroys (if not going for Asia)
  5. National Trade Policy

The thing to notice about the above ideas is that they are all based around the idea of improving income. This is because the more you have to research with, the faster you'll be able to build things like Weapons Manufactories to let you catch up on tech in areas you've been neglecting (like Land and Production Tech).

Q: Are the research-improving buildings worth it for England, even though England is in the best tech group?

A: Yes. The research lines for England are very specific - Trade and Naval will give you the ability to survive because you won't be fighting many land wars, hence there's little reason to invest in land tech early - directly opposed to every Continental nation who will do the exact opposite. The fastest way of catching back up while still maintaining your edge in Trade and Naval tech is to build these buildings.

Q: Say one of my colonies just became a city. What buildings should I build in it and in what order?

A:

  1. Fort(s)
  2. Workshop
  3. Fine Arts Academy (the stability is excellent for avoiding those pesky -1 hits for helping out an allied country)
  4. either Weapons Manufactory or Naval Equipment Manufactory (depending on available funds and the need for land tech vs. naval tech)
  5. whatever one you didn't build above.


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