Europa Universalis IV Catch-All

Metredneck wrote:
BushPilot wrote:

Novgorod starts as a relatively strong trade nation, while Muscovy does not. Muscovy, on the other hand, starts in a stronger military position. I think your choice is clear.

I thought it was too, but was concerned with aggressive expansion and had no idea at what point it could become a problem.

50 is the number to watch out for. Having less than 3 nations with more than 50 isn't usually a problem (in other words, if it's only Novgorod then it's no big deal), but more than that and a coalition will start to form. As with everything in EUIV it's more complicated than that, but it's a good rule of thumb to start with.

I'd say best advice I could give is always be wary of your rivals around you and what claims they have. The computer knows how to take advantage of you, and will do so when you are at your weakest. As Spain, I got into a war with France which ended up with a lot of casualties, the Ottomans took full advantage and declared on me the minute my man power was almost out. So, sometimes it might be tempting to take on another big nation, but just remember that every other nation around you is a vulture. I wouldn't let you put you off doing it, but you do need to be calculated in how you declare wars (you can even use it to your advantage if you notice another nation who are in a bloody war!)

My general rule for fighting is never attack anyone in the woods - it usually ends up with you losing a lot of units!

Bush Pilot is right about the aggressive expansion too, it's something within itself. Usually, taking one European settlement results in a LOT of AE. Keep in mind though (this is a very basic example), that France doesn't care if you take a settlement somewhere in Asia, nor do the Persian care if you take a settlement in Europe.

Clusks wrote:

I'd say best advice I could give is always be wary of your rivals around you and what claims they have. The computer knows how to take advantage of you, and will do so when you are at your weakest. As Spain, I got into a war with France which ended up with a lot of casualties, the Ottomans took full advantage and declared on me the minute my man power was almost out. So, sometimes it might be tempting to take on another big nation, but just remember that every other nation around you is a vulture. I wouldn't let you put you off doing it, but you do need to be calculated in how you declare wars (you can even use it to your advantage if you notice another nation who are in a bloody war!)

Absolutely, much of the strategic gameplay of EU is avoiding getting into those weakened situations, and leaping on your neighbors when they do, at least when you are small. Alliances with larger powers can help you avoid being taken advantage of, but they can't be trusted unconditionally, they will occasionally refuse your call, or help in name only. Certainly they are useful deterrence though.

Thanks for the help, guys.

Novgorod is nearly crushed, though Russian Denmark took more of it than I'd like. I was able to capitalize on the Great Horde raiding Kazan to pick up several territories there. The Horde is now my rival, but haven't bothered me too bad yet.

For anyone following this thread with a similar level of inexperience, I'd reiterate that you learn a lot by trying to solve the problems in front of you. I had a major cash flow issue, and was able to learn more about trade that helped a little, but the major breakthrough was when I realized that I had been annexing vassals which brought their armies into mine without raising the land force limit accordingly, so I was about 50% over my limit (35/25).

After disbanding 10k units my army maintenance is much more manageable.

Oh, and debasing currency helps, but I suspect the corruption is hurting me more than I realize, that combined with the annexation has spurred several small revolts, though my oversized army crushed them without too much problem.

I'm afraid this game has finally got its hooks in me, about 40 hours total in over the years, but only about 10 since I started this recent attempt.

Yeah corruption and the admin cost of a large empire (and making it homogenous to reduce cost/corruption) will start to bite as Russia.

Just wait for the Reformation!

Metredneck wrote:

Oh, and debasing currency helps, but I suspect the corruption is hurting me more than I realize, that combined with the annexation has spurred several small revolts, though my oversized army crushed them without too much problem.

Be careful with debasing currency. It has the advantage of allowing you (to a certain extent) to decide when to pay the costs of the extra money, but in the long run debasing currency usually costs a lot more than taking a loan. I would pretty much only consider debasing currency if I'd otherwise go bankrupt, or if I was already ahead of time on tech and I had some pretty sweet buffs to corruption decline. There are also good events associated with low (less than 1) and especially zero corruption, while there are punishing events associated with high corruption.

BushPilot wrote:
Metredneck wrote:

Oh, and debasing currency helps, but I suspect the corruption is hurting me more than I realize, that combined with the annexation has spurred several small revolts, though my oversized army crushed them without too much problem.

Be careful with debasing currency. It has the advantage of allowing you (to a certain extent) to decide when to pay the costs of the extra money, but in the long run debasing currency usually costs a lot more than taking a loan. I would pretty much only consider debasing currency if I'd otherwise go bankrupt, or if I was already ahead of time on tech and I had some pretty sweet buffs to corruption decline. There are also good events associated with low (less than 1) and especially zero corruption, while there are punishing events associated with high corruption.

Very punishing. I don't think I ever used the mechanic more than once or twice in all my games and it was only as a stopgap if I needed to finish a war so I could get back on the path to solvency quickly.

I feel like I want to play EU4, but I don't know how or where to get started. I played some of the original Europa Universalis, but never got a chance to get back into the series. Have been playing a fair amount of HOI IV, and Stellaris lately, and been wanting to play EU, but every time I go to buy it, I look at the dizzying array of DLC and just feel lost. Everyone talks about how much the game has changed/improved since launch, and that's great, it just makes it tough to figure out how to get started later.

Yeah, I guess what I want is to get on the ground floor of EU 5 like I have with the other Paradox games and follow them as they develop, but the way EU4 keeps going it makes you wonder how long that'll be.

So, like where do I start?

I suck at EU4, and have never played it quite enough to get really comfortable with all the mechanics, so I may be able to help a bit.

I think you have to just dive in. There are lots of tutorial type youtube videos, by Quill or Arumba, but they tend to be right up to date with DLC. The mechanics changes get deployed onto the vanilla game, so 3 year old videos will be out of date on some things, but the later videos will have have extra mechanics you don't have access to (estates and so on).

I'd say dive in as Castille with the eu4wiki open and try things out. There is a mission arrangement which will give you short/medium term goals to aim for that gives a bit of focus. The alerts will point you towards bits of the control dialogs - use the wiki to see what to do about revolts, or rivals, or to improve relations with another country. That will drip feed the different mechanics, so you pick it up bit by bit as you need to.

The monarch points (admin, diplomacy, military) are your primary currency to do stuff. Your leader and advisors give you some every month, and you spend them to level up.

Yeah, but buying it, do I just grab the base game and give it a go (it's on sale right now over on Bundle Stars), or are there DLC that are must have's, ones I should stay away from as a new player etc? I have the same sort of I want to play, but want the best experience, but don't know where to start feeling that I do whenever I try to play a Bethesda RPG's and look at the hundreds of mods out there, never knowing which I should/shouldn't install

Skraut wrote:

Yeah, but buying it, do I just grab the base game and give it a go (it's on sale right now over on Bundle Stars), or are there DLC that are must have's, ones I should stay away from as a new player etc? I have the same sort of I want to play, but want the best experience, but don't know where to start feeling that I do whenever I try to play a Bethesda RPG's and look at the hundreds of mods out there, never knowing which I should/shouldn't install

There was a list somewhere in the thread. I picked up all the major gameplay ones and I didn't really download any 'extras' unless I caught them on sale

There are regular sales on the DLC - I'd grab the vanilla game and get the DLC later, but if you're set on picking up DLC right now the important ones are Cossacks, Art of War and Common Sense. Everything else is specific to certain countries or cosmetic.

I'll add to the "just get vanilla and get DLC on sale later if you're enjoying yourself" advice.

I didn't know Cossacks was considered essential though. I've skipped it because it seemed to be the one piece of DLC that Three Moves Ahead was down on. I guess I should reconsider when I pick up EU4 again.

Skraut wrote:

Yeah, but buying it, do I just grab the base game and give it a go (it's on sale right now over on Bundle Stars), or are there DLC that are must have's, ones I should stay away from as a new player etc? I have the same sort of I want to play, but want the best experience, but don't know where to start feeling that I do whenever I try to play a Bethesda RPG's and look at the hundreds of mods out there, never knowing which I should/shouldn't install

At this point, just start with the base game and see if it clicks.

Oddly enough, most of the DLC does not hugely impact the base game all that much. A lot of it changes things in certain circumstances that, if you do not hit them, you would never even know about (i.e. when playing as a Merchant Republic, you kind of want the Res Publica DLC but if you don't play as a Merchant Republic, don't bother with it). Other DLC changes things if you know what to look for, but starting out you may know what to look for so vanilla is fine. In any case, the basics of the game remain the same, so learning them in the base game is translatable if you decide to get some of the DLC.

If you do decide to get any DLC, here is a buying guide I put together a while ago (so it is not 100% up to date, but does cover most of the DLC, it is missing Rights of Man (meh to buy, I mean there is some good stuff in there but it is mostly minimal tweaks IMO so not essential but nice to have), Mandate of Heaven (buy if interested in playing in East Asia otherwise skip), Third Rome (buy if planning on playing in Russia otherwise skip)):

https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/...

And of course ask any questions you may have, there are a lot of folks around who love to help out.

I started with the base game and trust me, there is plenty in it to keep you going for some time. I played roughly 50 hours before I bought any DLC.

Conversely I have 67 hours logged in EU4 and still don't really feel like I know what I'm doing, so swings and roundabouts...

Thanks all, I picked this up, and am a couple quick games into it. I'm, well, not good, but have been enjoying learning all the things not to do

This sounds so epic!
Kings of the castle: the forty-person strategy game of Europa Universalis IV held in a Polish fortress, part 1

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/201...

jrralls wrote:

This sounds so epic!
Kings of the castle: the forty-person strategy game of Europa Universalis IV held in a Polish fortress, part 1

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/201...

Wow. I think epic may actually be an understatement. That looks amazing.

So anyone want to sell my on this? Looking for a nice strategy or 4x game and this is one of the few big ones I've never played. It's on the steam sale now at a decent price.

How micro managey is it? Are any dlc's required? Level of difficulty? Anything I should check out first?

What's there to say? If you like grand strategy games, it's top of the heap. Crusader Kings 2 is similar, but focused on people and dynasties as opposed to empires and armies.

I'll defer to others on their favorite DLCs, I don't have an active game going at the moment.

I still think the most difficult part is getting to grips with the interface which isn't bad, there's just a lot going on. Even coming from EU3 and Crusader Kings 2 when this first came out I said to hell with trying to figure it out on my own and watched about an hours worth of Youtube videos. Elysium has some series on the GWJPlays channel so maybe take a look at one or two parts in them to see if it's something you'd like.

It's the type of game where I think most of the systems (combat, diplomacy, trade, etc.) are actually pretty simple but there's a lot of them and they interact with each other.

It is a great game, one of my favorites ever. If you jump in I'd say just go with Vanilla now and start looking at DLC the next time it goes on sale, if you're still playing.

master0 wrote:

So anyone want to sell my on this? Looking for a nice strategy or 4x game and this is one of the few big ones I've never played. It's on the steam sale now at a decent price.

It's one of the best grand strategy games ever made. It ruined the Civ series for me (although Civ V helped a lot too). Big caveat: it is not a Civ-like. If you want to paint the map, probably best to look elsewhere otherwise EU will frustrate you. And it is not a 4x game at all.

master0 wrote:

How micro managey is it? Are any dlc's required? Level of difficulty? Anything I should check out first?

It is not generally micro-managey at all. Sometimes it is, like when you have a two front war and rebels start to pop up all over the place. There are some assists to make it less micro in some cases but there will be periods where you are doing a lot of things. On the other hand, there will be periods when you will do almost nothing.

No DLC required. I recommend playing a game or two of vanilla. If you like the game, consider some DLC that interests you. I humbly present my EU4 DLC buying guide for your consideration if you want some DLC now or for later if like the game and want to get some DLC then.

Level of difficulty is an good question. I think the UI is pretty good, which helps make the learning curve not that steep. There are a lot of systems but they are not that bad. When and how they combine, that is what makes the game so interesting. I think one of the hard things for new players to grasp (aside from don't try to paint the map and where is the button to do this thing) is the multiple currencies and how to use them and when to use them. I guess the other big change from most games is that, sometimes, the best thing to do is nothing. Which is the reverse of pretty much any other game. Doing nothing is super helpful in a lot of ways.

Anyway, if you get it and have questions, post here, there are a lot of people with a lot of time in this game that would love to answer.

tboon wrote:

Anyway, if you get it and have questions, post here, there are a lot of people with a lot of time in this game that would love to answer.

There are so many different systems and ways to play that trying to provide a complete tutorial is pretty pointless. That said, tboon is right, people here will be helpful in getting you running (myself included).

The game can involve a lot of micro-management if you let it, but it's not necessary for most things unless you are an obsessive min-maxer. If you don't want to micro, you can usually spend large portions of the game intervening very little and still do just fine.

One note is that the in-game tutorial was pretty out of date and not very helpful when I started playing 5 patches or so back. I recommend trying to find something on youtube that is pretty recent (post patch 1.18 "Prussia" - Oct 11 2016) instead.

I bounced off this game 2 or 3 times at first, but now I think it's the best strategy game I've ever played. The formula that worked for me was playing a bit, then watching a few videos, then playing a bit, etc. It was also very important to learn that losing a fight or a war is usually not nearly as big a deal as in something like Civ. Also, be very selective about what nation to play for your first game - the starting positions of different nations are intentionally out of balance (i.e. don't take a tiny nation to learn things slowly or you'll just get gobbled up by a large neighbour in the first war).

Disclaimer: I've played a lot of EU 3, and the other Paradox games (especially the HoI ones) but haven't jumped to EU IV yet.

master0 wrote:

How micro managey is it?

Tboon is right that there is very little micro-management, there are aspects that require your intervention on a timely manner (most notably if moving armies around to force/avoid surrenders instead of retreats), but in most cases you have time to make decisions. Research points accumulate for a bit so you don't have to choose another topic instantly after the previous is completed, stuff like that. Additionally your control over clock speed and pausing ensures that things are less likely to get away from you.

Anything I should check out first?

In the past generations the common recommendation for the Paradox Grand Strategies has been "if one of the time periods REALLY jumps out at you more than the others, play that one first. Otherwise play EU first, because it has the most general and least specialized mechanics". That's probably still a good way to go, but I have heard that Stellaris feels a lot more like a 4x game, and is pretty easy to get into, so if you like Scifi strategy games picking that up first may be a good idea?

Level of difficulty?

So... this is the hardest question to answer, and that is partly because of the wonderful way that EU (etc) are different than a game like Civ (or Stellaris even). First off, from a mechanics standpoint there is a lot going on, and because of that it's a bit hard to figure out the important stuff. Reading (I prefer that to watching) Let's Plays of this or EU III can help with that, and I've heard that the tutorials in EU IV are less hot garbage than previous games.

However, the documentation is pretty good at this point they are pretty good about having pop-ups or info pages when you rollover or click keywords. Definitely don't be afraid to limit the amount of information you are getting. If you find yourself clicking away a type of pop-up 3-4 times in a row, that's fine! Next time it comes up right click and tell it you don't want to hear about it again. (For example, I don't care to gt notifications when wars that don't involve me or my allies start or end, and I don't need those sort of alliance updates either).

Now, getting to the actual game itself. It's hard to say how easy or difficult it is because there isn't a rigid victory condition like Civilization et al. You aren't going for a "Victory" in a literal, defined sense. You're going for your own abstract victory (That's not to say you can't have near total victory, I have read several AAR where a nation does indeed take over all or most of the globe, but that's not typical). Additionally, the barriers that you have and your ability to overcome them changes a lot based on your Nation.

So, if you want to take over all of Eurasia, that's pretty difficult, it's even more difficult if you start as a dinky poor country rather than a large rich country. Usually I am just "trying to do better than real life", which is a lot easier. For example in my last EU 3 game I just wanted to make Poland into a power house, rather than get kicked around and knocked into scraps. Other times I'll have even less than that vague desired endpoint. I'll just play, seeing where events (big E and little e) take me.

I came late to the series and say the vanilla game is more than enough to see if you're going to enjoy it, the dlc adds a lot, but the base game has more than enough for plenty hours. I always say with most games that common sense is you shouldn't shill out on dlc from the off - you don't know if it'll be for you.

The worst part of the game is the first few hours, unless you just get it straight away, most people seem to learn how to play through trial and error, I certainly did! When you start it's recommended to play as someone like Castille or the Ottomans, as you'll at least get a good lesson on how the mechanics work without being overrun straight away.

I'd argue most Paradox games are an acquired taste, but eu4 is worth every penny once you get it. There is a lot to "get", but that comes in time, I wouldn't be discouraged at the start if things go wrong. One thing I found useful is playing the game after some YouTube tutorials, seeing what went wrong and watching some players on twitch to see how they play, a lot can be over the top, but they tend to drop the odd good hint like never attack an army that's in the mountains!

With micro management, I'd say most of it becomes apparent when you have a bigger empire and colonies. Although plenty say that there isn't much, many of the menus can be off putting at first, but get a decent grasp of what they're all about with YouTube or something and eventually they'll make sense.

Also, if you have a Steam friend that plays, see if they are interested in Streaming. It's worked really well for friends or brothers interested in something I'm playing and coming in for a look at the systems and whatnot. (I haven't done that for EU in particular, but it's worked well for City Skylines and a couple other games)

EU IV was my first Paradox game and I found it intimidating at first. I loved the idea though and started to watch YouTube vids of Arumba and others to figure out how things worked.

I didnt play on Iron Mode the first games, so I could save right before I made a decision which had me worried. This helped with learning the game, but I must say I now like Iron Mode because in games like EU and CK the road you take is more important than the destination. You failed somewhere? You got years to change it.

Every game is a story, your story!

For micromanaging: at first I wasnt aware of a lot of stuff, but still managed to play. Later on I figured out some of those and started to use them - it will not spoil the game fully if you skip things, but will make for a better game if you at least know they exist.

I am not playing EU IV anymore because CK2 is my favorite. I love the personalities in CK2, instead of the country approach in EU IV. I miss the option after a war to put your demands in though (you started a war to conquer one province and conquered his whole country: will mean in CK2 that you can demand that single province, where in EU IV you can use points to demand all kind of stuff including more provinces - that had a nice ring to it!)

Don't wait - just try Vanilla

To toss in my two cents as a newcomer to EU4 (I've logged about 11 hours since I first started playing last weekend), I already like EU4 gameplay wise more than many of the other strategy games I've played. I think the part where you pause/unpause the game is preferable to hitting Next Turn over and over, and the fact that you don't have to be doing something all of the time is refreshing in itself. (I spend a lot of time recovering from wars)

I would highly recommend watching some sort of tutorial series on how to play. I'm not generally one to watch others play, but watching Quill18 do a beginner tutorial on Castile (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...) helped me understand what you can do in the game, and how to go about doing it. I've been playing as the Ottomans on easy, and I feel like i have a decent grasp now on what I'm doing, even if I may not be doing it all that well. And if I want to know where a button is or how to do a thing, it's just an easy google search away.

And that's been enough for me to have fun.