This article is considered accurate for the current version of the game.
- +15% Morale of armies
- +1 Missionaries
- +5% Discipline
- +2% Missionary strength
- Can fabricate claims on any overseas province
- +1 Colonists
- +2 Yearly Papal influence
- +10% Provincial trade power modifier
- +15% Global tariffs
- +10% Heavy ship combat ability
- +1 Yearly prestige
- +25 Global settler increase
Castile in 1444 is the largest country in the Iberian peninsula, bordering Portugal, Aragon, Navarra, Granada and (indirectly) Morocco, Tlemcen and France. It is an ideal country to start as a new player in EU4.
- 1 Missions
- 2 Events
- 3 Decisions
- 4 All belongs to Spain
- 5 Recreating the historical Spanish Empire
- Main article: Spanish missions
Castile's missions focus on completing the Reconquista and expanding into the New World.
- Main article: Spanish events
Between 1450 and 1530, if neither Castile nor Aragon are vassals and the leader of one of them is male and the leader of the other is female, then every month there is a one in twelve chance (8.33%) of this event happening. After it Aragon will enter in a personal union led by Castile.
Spanish Civil War
If Castile is in a regency before 1500, then there is a chance that a civil war will be generated. Castile will have to choose between supporting the adviser Álvaro de Luna, and thereby face a noble rebellion that might be backed by neighboring Aragon or Navarra, or accept the demands to end unwanted noble influences and face a loss of stability.
If both Castille and France own provinces in Italy between 1490 and 1590. they are able to claim each other's lands, reflecting the Italian Wars that consumed the attention of these two rivals in this period. This event type will lead to worsened relations between the nations and a greater likelihood of war.
Castille's only non-generic decisions involve forming Spain. Spain can be formed either militarily, by conquering and coring most of Aragon, or diplomatically, by integrating Aragon if it is a vassal or junior personal union partner.
Global expansion in newly discovered areas and the establishment of colonies is transforming Spain into one of the most powerful and wealthiest nations of our time. Spanish explorers are constantly moving into new territories and extending our borders. Immense amounts of gold and silver are being brought back to our motherland, filling the coffers of our state Treasury.
Global expansion in newly discovered areas and the establishment of colonies is transforming Spain into one of the most powerful and wealthiest nations of our time. Spanish explorers are constantly moving into new territories and extending our borders. Immense amounts of gold and silver are being brought back to our motherland, filling the coffers of our state treasury.
All belongs to Spain
A lesser known strategy for Castile is actually to try and rush down Portugal before they can colonize, this is not easy by any means, but the short and long term rewards for this are far greater than simply leaving Portugal alone.
Neighbors and countries of interest
- Castile's Sunni neighbor which stubbornly clings to Iberia. Castile starts with a truce with them, which lasts until the beginning of 1448, but usually starts with a mission to reconquer them. While it is tempting to attack as soon as the truce expires, it is important to note that because of its Sunni faith its territory cannot be converted to Catholicism until the player has a greater national strength than Castile starts with. If religious unity is prized, a decent strategy is to wait until after Castile has high stability, the inquisition, and an advisor or the +3 from Religious Ideas and then invade so that the territory may be immediately converted, thereby not impacting religious unity and maximizing financial value.
- Morocco rarely has the chance to transport troops across the Strait of Gibraltar if you are at war with them. Morocco is commonly allied with some of the other North African factions. As Castile, you can get the mission to conquer Tangiers, however, do not take any other provinces unless you want to deal with bothersome rebels, nigh-impossible religious conversion and the ridiculous coring cost from Berber traditions. As well, if you want to hinder Portugal from expanding rapidly into Morocco and taking away your juicy Sevilla trade power, do not help them as an ally in offensive wars against Morocco, which they usually declare soon after the Hundred Year's War is over.
- One strategy is to wait for Morocco to go to war against one of the North African nations and their war exhaustion to tick up, then support Fezian Nationalists. If Fez forms, you can easily vassalize them, feed them Morrocan cores, and integrate them once you have higher missionary strength.
- Small, weak, OPM bordering Castile. Can easily be diplomatically vassalized or conquered early on, but watch out for Aragon, as they have missions to vassalize and integrate them.
- Probably Castile's most bothersome neighbour at the beginning of the game. Usually, Aragon more or less immediately rivals Castile, making diplomacy impossible. To deal with this, the player can either give up on diplomacy and simply conquer Aragon, or wait for the Iberian Wedding event, which will make them a junior partner in a personal union with Castile
- Portugal is your principal rival in colonization, with national ideas, starting explorers, and bases in the Azores and Madeira that allow them to quickly expand to the New World. However, they also are a reliable ally, with a Historical Friend bonus making it easy to maintain good relations with them, so it may not necessarily be in Castile's best interests to outright conquer them.
- However, if conquest is desired, their alliance with England can be used to devastating effect against their land forces early in the game. If the Hundred Years War ends without France gaining control of all of England's French possessions, they will likely launch a second war a few years later, dragging Portugal along. Allowing military access from France will permit its armies to travel through and destroy Portugal's, permitting Castile to easily conquer the latter afterwards. It is good to have a claim on one of the Portuguese provinces by this point, so that Castile may go to war with Portugal and demand the Azores and Madeira in the treaty. Portugal tends not to be aggressive unless provoked or in a coalition against Castile. It even has a 'historical friend' bonus to relations, which makes them less likely to attack their Iberian neighbor than to attack other nations. Once you have their colonies, you can start improving relations and make Portugal an ally.
- In addition, if you focus also on reaching Exploration idea (colonist and explorer/conquistador ideas) and colonisation of Cape Verde and Arguin, the province in the southern to Morocco, you will set Portugal significantly back in colonisation of the New World. Soon you can have 4 colonists (2 from Exploration, 1 from Expansion and 1 from national idea) and a highly advantageous position to reach Brazil and from there the Caribbean and La Plata, long before Portugal, England, or France can follow.
- As an alternative to making Portugal an ally, you can use aggressive strategy and take also their home provinces in a set of wars. The culture is the same culture group, so these provinces would be definitely helpful. However, this will cost you administration power points for cores as most of the provinces are higher-value. Also be aware of Portugal's allies - England since the beginning and later probably Aragon as well (which may be still leading the personal union with Naples) - this coalition would be most probably able to destroy your navy if in war with you at once, however on land you should be superior to them. If you are able to crush Portugal, you will get rid of your biggest colonisation rival.
- Alternative approach to Portugal: Felipe II's way
- If you maintain good relations with them, however, you may be rewarded all the same. If, between 1550 and 1650 Portugal is suffering from a regency council and Castile has a royal marriage and 100 or better relations, there is a very small chance for an event "The Portugese Crown" to fire, allowing the player to inherit or vassalize Portugal.
- England is another colonization rival, and the main naval threat to Castile outside of the Mediterranean Sea. While early on the game they are weak due to their war with France and poor king, over time they become much stronger from the value of the British Isles and the beginning of colonization. A strong navy is needed to fight them, along with plenty of transports for expeditionary forces to seize any overseas territory they might hold or even land in the British Isles themselves.
- After Aragon is gone it is usually Castile's biggest military threat, as it is one of the most powerful countries in-game (nicknamed the "Big Blue Blob"). Unless they border Castile directly, they won't bother the Iberian country too much. Eventually, if Castile manages to grow, France will see them as a competing major power and probably rival them, making diplomacy more difficult. If the player wishes to avoid conflict with France entirely, it is best to stay out of Italy and the Low Countries. Eventually, though, France will become a major colonial rival to Castile, making at least a certain degree of conflict inevitable. An alliance with Austria can be a good counterweight to French manpower and military strength if war comes, forcing them to divide their forces between two strong fronts.
- Aztecs and Inca
- The two wealthiest native American states, Castile gets missions to conquer them for money. Be aware, however, that attempting to conquer an entire native state in one fell swoop will produce massive overextension penalties and severely endanger even a powerful Spanish state, while coring will be slow (though relatively cheap). A more gradual approach, first annexing enough provinces to create the relevant colonial nation, then expanding it bit by bit, is better to maintain stability and cash flow.
- Burgundian Succession
- Castile is one of the possible successors, if the King of Burgundy dies. See Events Burgundy. But the chance to be the hier of Burgundy is very small. Only France, the Emperor of HRE, countries in the HRE with a RM and Castile with a RM qualify.
- The succession Event:
- 1. All French-culture provinces in the "France" region that aren't part of the Holy Roman Empire are given to the King of France.
- 2. All other provinces are given to the Holy Roman Emperor, if he isn't currently at war with Burgundy, and if he has at least 8 provinces (6 for Austria). 'At war' means, the HRE Emperor must be the War leader. Allying Burgundy as Castile and begin a war with Austria doesn´t count.
- 3. If the Holy Roman Emperor doesn't inherit for some reason, then an imperial state with at least 3 provinces and that borders Burgundy and that has a royal marriage with Burgundy may inherit their remaining provinces.
- 4. If #2 and #3 don't happen, then any imperial state with at least 3 provinces and have a royal marriage with Burgundy may inherit their remaining provinces.
- 5. If #2, 3 and 4 don't happen, then Castile or Spain may inherit their remaining provinces, assuming they are independent and have a royal marriage with Burgundy.
- 6. If #2, 3, 4 and 5 don't happen, then the Holy Roman Emperor simply inherits the rest, regardless of status (e.g. can be at war with Burgundy at the time, can be a 1 province minor).
- In other words, for Spain to inherit ANYTHING from Burgundy, the Holy Roman Emperor needs to be very small or at war with Burgundy AND Burgundy can't have any royal marriages with medium-sized HRE states. As you might imagine, this is really unlikely - but it can happen, which is why Paradox threw it in.
- To manage your chances, you have to become Emperor of the HRE, or to dismantle the HRE, because #2,3,4 only fire, if the HRE exists.
- Become Emperor:
- RM and Ally with Burgundy.
- In 1444 Austria normally allies with 2-3 Electors. Begin a war with Austria (-2 Stab hit!).
- Call Burgundy. Win and vassalise the Electors. Get 100% warscore to release Styria.
- Voila, you have good chances to become the next Emperor.
- Dismantling the HRE:
- RM and Ally with Burgundy. Ally with all Electors in the HRE, which are not allied to Austria. This will bring you up to 7-8 Diplomatic relations.
- Begin the war with Austria. Don´t call the Electors to the war.
- To dismantle the HRE you need to control:
- The Capital of the Emperor, this is Wien.
- To control the capitals of all non allied Electors.
Dominating the Seville trade node is a great way to earn a lot of money. Since Seville is an end trade node no trade can be steered away from it once there. So if Castile can control all provinces in the trade node no ships or trade buildings are needed in order to receive more cash from it, since no one will compete in an end trade node unless they have provinces there. This frees up a lot of ships for the Western Europe trade node instead. The important provinces to grab are, Lisboa and Porto from Portugal, Oran from Algiers and Tangiers from Morocco. Lisboa will probably be the last province to fall in Castilian hands, but Porto could be the first, after Azores and Madeira that is. Oran and Tangiers could be grabbed early, before Portugal or any other power may get a chance to take them.
Generally speaking, a simple and solid strategy for Castile is to merely colonize. It is in a powerful position to also stymie the rest of Europe from attempting to do so themselves. If the player wishes to pursue this, there are a few good locations to go after.
- Cape Verde
- Cape Verde is off of the West African Coast, and is key to early exploration of South America. Note that if the first African colony after Morocco is taken, it will also slow down Portugal as the small country must wait to expand their colonial range.
- Africa and Asia
- Since Patch 1.5, fleet basing rights don't expand your colonial range anymore, so if the player would like to colonise around Africa, here is one possible strategy. After colonizing Cape Verde, use your explorer to find Fernando Po, a small island in the present-day Gulf of Guinea. The big advantage of this island is that it is neither tropical nor arid, allowing colonisation without any malus. Once Fernando Po is yours, aim for the Cape (of Good Hope). Not only does this province have a center of trade and a high base tax, it is also easy to colonise. A good (but slightly cheesy) strategy is to keep recalling your colonist until the Cape has gold as a trade good. At 10 BT, this is a LOT of gold, especially early on. The next island you may want to hop on is Mahe, just one or two sea provinces north-east of Madagascar. Again, no malus while colonising but it provides a great improvement of colonial range. From there on, you can easily access the spice islands (e.g. Banten), the Southern Coast of India (Ceylon is a great foothold) or the southern part of the Arabic peninsula. Especially with the mission to set a foothold in India - which gives you a CB on all coastal provinces - you can start expanding in India too. A great, but far choice is Taiwan. I would highly recommend colonising it so you can expand into Chinese or Korean territory as well. You might also want to cut off Russia's access to the Pacific ocean, since they then can't start building up a fleet.
- In Mali, there are some gold mines that can be lucrative for Castile. The player should avoid getting them until at least 3 missionary strength is acquired, but afterwards, it could be very beneficial to take the gold mines. Despite that, keep in mind that there is now a 'Financial Ruin' event caused by inflation from the gold. It fires when you have more than one gold province, and results in -1000 gold and -3 stability, so make sure that Castile will have enough loans to cover it. After recovery has occurred, the event will not happen again.
- The Caribbean
- The Caribbean Islands have many things to offer, including high base taxes and a remarkable trade income. To access them, I would recommend you to colonise the easternmost province of Brazil first and then aim for one of the islands. Taking the majority of it will not only grant you a powerful colonial nation, but also a stable income. You might even want to place a merchant there. The reason for this is simple. The Caribbean trade node feeds (not only) to the Western Europe trade node, where the competition is big. You are better off collecting in the Caribbean and sucking up the malus you get there.
Late game thoughts
If you have steadily expanded through the first 250-300 years, you will now be able to look upon a large (if not the largest) and stable yellow empire. On this point of history, most of the originally unsettled land will be colonised, and a few nations will dominate the world. Usual participants here are France, Russia, Austria (HRE), the Ottomans and Ming. I would highly recommend allying at least one of these superpowers, because sooner or later there will be war between one of them and you. Make sure to stay ahead of military tech to be prepared. As Castile - or hopefully Spain - I would advise you to focus on trade and production starting by latest around 1700. You are able to build impressive upgrades in your provinces, so be sure to do that. You should not have any monetary problems thanks to trade and production; I was able to keep an income well over 50 ducats quite easily. Again, combined with the correct buildings, 100 ducats per month are no problem, along with a few level 3 advisors if you're doing extremely well. If you feel strong enough, you can also try to encounter the Ottomans or France, but you should carefully plan such a costly and long-lasting world war. However, enjoy an easy last century of EU4 with no real difficulties.
Recreating the historical Spanish Empire
First of all you have to know that it's almost totally impossible. The mechanics of EU4 simply don't allow you to, for example, conquer the Aztec and Inca empires like the historical Spanish "conquistadors" did. But keeping that in mind, you can try it. If you explore the historical maps you will soon understand that to create such an impressive Empire, in a few decades, is quite difficult. That Empire was so powerful that Paradox hasn't even implemented the Charles I empire for game balancing.
The first 50 years, or what to do before the colonisation
Face it. Your king and your heir sucks, and you need that points. You can try to kill them, but it's risky. You have not to loose your Trastamara family in order to be able to claim later the Naples throne if Aragon loses it. And if you suffer a regency you will face a civil war. Proceed at your own peril. Also you will note that, being in a corner of Europe, you will have to face multiple scenarios, trying to concentrate your forces at one front at a time. Knowing how to Switch between them is crucial.
- In Spain
- Ignore Portugal, you'll need each diplo point.
- Marry, ally, vassalize and annex Navarre
- Attack and annex Granada
- Counter Aragonese peninsular ambitions. Defend yourself and Navarre from Aragonese aggression, but trying to not destroy Aragonese prestige (in order to let them maintain their dynastic union with Naples), to not conquer Aragonese provinces etc. Give them white peace when you can, or better, concede defeat to them.
- Accept the Iberian wedding of course and form Spain when you can (surely after you have begun to colonize). If the event doesn't trigger before 1500, you have lost, I'm sorry. You will eventually succeed to form Spain militarily, but not the Historical Spanish Empire, you wil lack of time and admin points.
- In Africa
- Obtain Tangiers and Melilla, and if Portugal loses it, Ceuta.
- Create and vassalize, or vassalize an existing, Berber nation. Feed it with Morocco and Tunis provinces. That vassal, being of course ahistorical, is very important on terms of gameplay in order to allow him to protect your African historical enclaves, avoiding petty management and of course, to divide your forces.
- Take important provinces if you have enough points, like important commercial enclaves or coastal bases, as you can. Remember that to core Berber provinces cost +100% admin points.
- In Europe
- Declare war on the Emperor when he's already in another war.
- Vassalize a sufficient number of Electors (Watch your diplo points, be moderate) - you may need to vassalize most of them, as once you have one or two, you'll get a large malus against you for vassalizing electors.
- Liberate Styria from Austria, to cripple them completely.
- Inherit Burgundy. This entails sitting on Burgundy until the Burgundian Inheritance event fires.
1500-1550, Beginning the colonization
So at this point you have to have annexed Navarre, have a personal union with Aragon and Naples (if Aragon lost his PU with Naples and you have a Trastamara king marriage Naples and claim his throne when possible). And be of course the Emperor, until you have inherited Burgundy.
- In Spain
- Form Spain at technology admin 10.
- Don't forget that you aren't France. Use the mountains to secure your mainland when fighting.
- In Africa
- You and Portugal have all of the Seville trade node's provinces, and your vassal is able to defend himself and your African provinces from hostile Berbers.
- Continue to feed your vassal and take coastal enclaves as you need and can. Think about that your vassal is the unique Berber that will not give military access to the Turks, and in case of war with that powerful empire, you want to keep your homeland east coast secure.
- In Europe
- Give up on vassalizing the electors and instead try a more diplomatic approach, to stop the painful loss of diplomatic points, if you can.
- Attack and vassalize Milan.
- In America
- You will surely start to colonize after 1492, but as you can see you have been really busy, and lacking monarch and diplomatic points.
- Create the pertinent colonial nations and feed them with Mesoamerican and South American provinces. (Don't annex the entire Aztec empire at once - New Spain won't be able to cope with 200% OE.)
- Continue to colonize the coasts and islands to prevent rivals, and the worrisome Portuguese enthusiasm.
- Enjoy the reformation and the Flemish rebels.
- Colonise the Philippines.
- Marry Portugal and maintain relations better than 100 to inherit it if it is ruled by a regency council between 1550 and 1650.
- Colonize, along with Portugal, all the coasts of South America.
- Progress to North America.