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- +0.5 Yearly army tradition
- -10% Aggressive expansion impact
- +10% National tax modifier
- -10% Stability cost modifier
- +20% Morale of armies
- -1% Yearly army tradition decay
- +20% Infantry combat ability
- +25% National manpower modifier
- -10% Recruitment time
- −5% Development cost
- +1 Tolerance of heretics
- +7.5% Discipline
Brandenburg starts with six provinces, and they aren't especially awesome ones – landlocked, lots of borders to protect, many potential enemies. Eventually, Brandenburg can become Prussia – that mighty German state that dominated northern Europe for the last half of EU4's time frame. It will take some work to get there, but remember that most of Brandenburg's neighbors have all the same weaknesses and few of its strengths. Brandenburg starts with a casus belli on the Teutonic Order (over control of Neumark).
- Main article: Prussian missions
Brandenburg shares many of its missions with Prussia.
- Main article: Brandenburg-Prussian events
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Early game as Brandenburg
Brandenburg starts in an interesting yet challenging situation. It is a landlocked state, surrounded by many nations, including Bohemia, Saxony, Pomerania, Mecklenburg, Magdeburg, Poland, Silesia, Lunesburg, Anhalt, and the Teutonic Order. Though it is one of the larger Imperial states, Brandenburg begins with six provinces with a total of 55 development. It therefore lacks the wealthy, consolidated heartlands of states such as France and Austria who it may one day rival for mastery of Europe. These humble beginnings mean that Brandenburg will tend to lag behind competing nations in manpower and tax revenue as autonomy from newly added territory slowly falls.
Brandenburg's Prussian national ideas bolster its army and favor expansion by the sword over a diplomatic game. However, Brandenburg's initial weakness means that strong alliances are necessary to survive and expand. There are several attractive choices for initial allies:
- Austria: Austria starts as leader of the HRE, has a large army, and is thus very powerful. However, it often gets into wars with France and/or other major European nations, and refusing to join Austria's call to war will mean a loss of prestige. If Austria remains in control of the HRE, the player will often be forced to return conquered Imperial provinces to their owners or suffer an opinion and stability malus; this can be avoided, however, by allying Austria and keeping relations well over +100. If the player ultimately desires to unite Germany, war with Austria may be inevitable. It is a valuable early ally, but any sacrifices made to ensure a continued alliance should be weighed carefully.
- Bohemia: As an elector of the HRE, Bohemia can assist Brandenburg in claiming the throne of the HRE, though Bohemia often votes for itself, having a strategic interest in become Emperor themselves. Bohemia has a medium-sized army, and will generally join in wars against its neighbors and rivals. Bohemia is unlikely to expand or become a competitive European power, so conquering it may be better in the long run.
- Poland: Poland starts with one of the largest armies in Eastern Europe and will generally assist Brandenburg in seizing territory in East Prussia. If the player decides to wage war for Neumark, then Poland can conquer the Teutonic Order quickly and allow Brandenburg to recover its land. Allying with Poland also controls when Poland goes to war with the Teutonic Order - if Poland is not a Brandenburgian ally, it can quickly snap up Teutonic territory, which the player can prevent if they are always war leader for Poland's war with the Teutons. However, Poland will likely break its alliance if territory it desires is taken, and will almost certainly do so when Danzig is annexed. Poland is therefore unlikely to remain an ally for long. The player should also remember that one of Brandenburg's greatest strengths is its position on the eastern frontier of the HRE - despite the high cost of coring Polish territory, it is an attractive target when expansion into the HRE slows. Additionally, by bringing Poland into a war within the first few months of the game, it can be prevented from attaining the PU over Lithuania. Poland's decision to form the PU cannot be used while it is at war, and once its interregnum ends it loses the opportunity forever; just drag the war out until they get a king. While this weakens Poland as an ally in the short term, if you're planning on backstabbing them later on they will be in a much weaker position.
Generally, all three of these states will accept alliance with Brandenburg immediately. It is up to the player which, if any, they will retain as allies long-term.
A few of Brandenburg's neighbors are attractive options for the player's first war. The Teutonic Order to the east is unfriendly and holds a Brandenburgian core, as well as territories (Danzig and Konigsberg) which Brandenburg requires to form Prussia. It also lies outside of the HRE, allowing the player to avoid the opinion penalties of seizing Imperial territory. Pomerania, another initial rival, holds Stolp, an alternative to Danzig for forming Prussia. It tends to make weak alliances and stands between Brandenburg and the sea, and the player may choose to pursue an early mission which grants a claim on Pomeranian territory. Also, several small HRE states lie on Brandengburg's western border, though it may be wiser to become Emperor before aggressively striking into the German heartland.
Another alternative aggressive opening is to take advantage of Bohemia's initial lack of a monarch. Bohemia starts the game with the Landfriede as their ruler, and forming a royal marriage with it will usually lead to their first ruler being a member of the royal house of Brandenburg. This allowing the player to claim its throne and gain a CB to form a Personal Union with Bohemia. It is a good idea to hold off making royal marriages with your allies until after the throne is taken to avoid the opinion malus among other royal marriages for throne. Austria and Poland make willing allies, allowing a quick defeat of Bohemia. Make sure to raise Bohemian opinion of Brandenburg as soon as possible after the war to avoid the union dissolving on the death of the monarch.
Whichever route the player chooses, initial expansion will put Brandenburg in a more secure position and allow the player to pursue longer-term goals. The player will likely wish to secure a more advantageous alliance in the mid-game. France and Russia are strong options, helping to chip away at rivals on Brandenburg's western and eastern borders, respectively. If Prussia is formed, conversion to the Protestant or Reformed faiths is required, meaning that other Protestant nations (likely Great Britain or the Scandinavian states) will prove strong allies.
After establishing a strong foundation during early to mid game, the player should focus on one of the four things below to ensure success into the mid-late game: 1. Economy 2. Relations 3. Army 4. Navy
- Economy: If you focus on Economy, you can increase your nation's Wealth significantly, giving your nation more and better armies, navies, advisors & more options.
- Relations: If you look around you will probably see a nation you would have trouble with, such as Austria, try to find nations who could help you. (excellent idea group therefore would be the Diplomatic one)
- Armies: A Strong Army = Dominance over Europe. Always keep a stronger Army than your opponent.
- Navies: If you play strategically, you will have a chance to Colonize the Americas, If you seek Colonization, Go for Diplomacy Tech & Ideas, & Have a good Navy to get you across the Atlantic.
As you see the Brandenburgian lands in 1444, you will notice you have a 'Reconquest' Casus Belli upon the Teutonic Order. Quickly ally with Austria, Poland and Bohemia. Then declare a war on Teutonic Order. Take Neumark. After that, select the 'Pomeranian Succession' mission. Declare war against Pomerania and make sure that you call all of your allies to arms. Move your army to Stolp, and while your allies are crushing enemy forces, split army into half and move it to Stettin. (If you only take one out of three Pomeranian provinces, you may not be able to vassalize them.) In the peace deal, take Stolp and Kolberg, and vassalize them. Fabricate a claim on Danzig, but when you wage war, instead of taking Danzig, take Konisburg after sieging Konisburg. Take Konisburg in peace and now you have the required cores although its recommended that you connect provinces in case Poland becomes hostile. In the 1500s (or even 1490s), Protestant religion will spread through Europe. Change your religion into Protestant (or Reformed).