- −10% Advisor cost
- +25% Hostile core-creation cost on us
- −10% Build cost
- −10% Stability cost modifier
- +20% National manpower modifier
- −10% Idea cost
- +10% Morale of armies
- +10% Fort defense
- +1 Diplomat
- +10% Institution spread
The Cherokee are a Native American tribe that resides in Eastern North America, on a region historically known as the Thirteen Colonies. In 1444, it borders only the Creek to the south. Choctaw borders Creek to the west, and Chickasaw borders Choctaw to the north. One empty province away to the north is Shawnee, which borders Miami. Two empty provinces to the east on the coast is Powhatan. Its national ideas are geared towards turning the country into an efficient, innovative and militaristic power that can compete with western countries. Playing the Cherokee, the player can achieve the No Trail of Tears achievement.
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.17.
The starting situation of the Cherokee is relatively isolated. Its only direct neighbor, the Creek, will likely rival the player, and will also constitute the only viable rival to the player. The Creek start with the same force limit as the player, meaning they will likely need allies to expand. The Choctaw and the Chickasaw will likely rival each other as well, so the player can choose one of them as an ally (and federation member) - the other one will likely ally Creek. The player also starts with a below-average Chief (1/2/2), which is best employed leading their only army. It is advisable to immediately build up to force limit, in order to deter attacks.
Since North American natives cannot fabricate claims, initial expansion is difficult - the player can only do so either through a mission, or if their neighbor insults them or embargoes them. Thus, after rivaling Creek, the player can wait until a mission appears to conquer their rival's only neighboring province, Coosa. (This is likely, as there are not many possible missions available to the player initially.) If none appears, they can choose to wait until they are attacked, take the -2 stability and +2 war exhaustion hit from attacking without a casus belli, or restart the game in the hope of acquiring the mission this time.
There are also several migrating tribes that may settle next to the player, which can give the player conquest missions as well if they rival them. Alternatively, the player can ally them, invite them to their federation (which does not take up a diplomatic relations slot) or even vassalize them diplomatically once the player owns enough development and has a large enough army.
As the enemy alliance (or federation) will have a force limit equal to the player's, it may be necessary to build above force limit in order to win the first war. The player may do so without having negative income. For the first war, the player will likely also have to promise land to its ally for it to join - though the war can possibly also be won alone. It is noteworthy that terrain will play a big role during the first war - the Cherokee's terrain is very defensible with its capital in a mountain province and its other provinces hills, while the Creek own one hilly and two farmland provinces. If the player is successful, they may want to vassalize Creek on top of taking 1-2 provinces rather than outright annexing them, in order to save up admin monarch points for unlocking native ideas.
Between waiting for missions (or reasons) giving casus belli to attack neighboring tribal nations, and vassalizing migrating tribes diplomatically (if so desired), the player will need to make sure to fill out their native ideas first before raising their technology level enough to unlock their first idea group. Among the 15 ideas, 2 stand out as high priority for a rapid expansion: The military idea Tribal Adoptions, which gives +33% Land force limit modifier, and the diplomatic idea Clan Migrations, which gives the player their first colonist. The force limit modifier is recommended, as it gives a large boost to the player's military capabilities, and also since other nearby tribes are likely to take it as their first native idea as well. The colonist will help the player expand east towards the coast, and later north up the North American East Coast, both to meet the Europeans as early as possible, and to cordon off as much colonizable territory as possible from the Europeans for later expansion. In the admin group, the player should likely focus first on the two ideas that directly increase their income, as this will be needed to maintain their army and pay for their first colonies.
The ideas giving technology cost reduction should be taken last in each native idea group, as it is highly recommended to fill out the native idea groups prior to increasing one's technology level.
The first colonist will likely strain the player's budget significantly; they may want to adopt the native repression policy, and attack them in the province they are colonizing, to get the extra +20 settler growth without having to station troops there. The player may also need to set army maintenance to its minimum in the beginning, and can concentrate on colonization for the time being. Once the budget is stabilized, or in between colonizing provinces, the player may want to try and conquer further territory when opportunity arises (i.e. when missions appear that give casus belli).
The player will also, in the meantime, need to increase their income and force limit by building native building whenever possible, in order to stay competitive with their neighbors and stabilize their income. Before too long, the player will likely find themselves without rivals, and thus without casus belli. During that period of time, the player will need rely on colonization and missions to expand. In the meantime, they can attack migrating neighbors with the Force Migration casus belli (cf. Automatic casus belli; only with DLC), which only allows forced migration and monetary reparations. Building a larger income over will also allow the player to more easily accept the expand colonial borders events, which result in +200 settlers in a currently growing colony.
As a prerequisite for westernization for Native Americans is to reform their government, the player should also spend their monarch points on filling out the idea groups first. Once the idea groups are filled, there are two possible strategies: On the one hand, since the player may barely unlock their first idea group before meeting European colonizers and can reach 80% of their technology level upon reforming their government, they may use their monarch points in the meantime to improve the development (only with Common Sense DLC) of their provinces and culture converting them if they are in danger of reaching their monarch point cap, with the sole exception of military points, as it is best that the player remain competitive with their neighbors for the time being. This implies that the player can focus on military point generation for the time being. This strategy has the advantage of making the nation stronger overall. Eventually the player should be able to afford to run two colonies at the same time, despite the significant penalty.
On the other hand, the player can focus on admin points once the idea groups are filled, in order to unlock the first idea group as early as possible, and enable faster colonization. Diplomatic technology level 3 can also be useful to achieve, as it increases settler growth by +15, enabling the player to finish their colonies faster. This will enable the player to build a larger empire more quickly.
Meeting the Europeans and Westernization
Once European nations arrive in North America, the player should endeavor to settle next to one of their colonies or provinces as soon as possible, and then reform their government as soon as possible. This will not only increase the player's technology level drastically, but will also nullify all modifiers from native ideas, and render all native buildings obsolete. This will result in a largely reduced force limit and income. This increased technology level should, however, also allow the player to unlock 2-3 idea groups. It is advantageous to choose Exploration ideas for one of them. The other idea group should then be in the administrative idea group - most likely Innovative ideas, Expansion ideas or Religious ideas. The player should have enough points stockpiled to unlock several ideas, if not all of them.
The player should then start their westernization process as soon as possible, in order to become more competitive with Europeans quickly. If all went well, the technology boost afforded the player by reforming their government should have made them strong enough to dissuade European colonizers from attacking. In any case, the player should build a sizable navy as soon as possible, as defensive wars against the Europeans can be won at sea.
If the player has stockpiled a large amount of money, now is also the time to invest in buildings to replace the obsolete native ones and boot income and manpower. They should also keep the army and navy at force limit in order to deter a European invasion as much as possible. If war does break out, it is best to reach a peace as soon as possible if the player is outmatched militarily, and rather accept a few losses than add to the turmoils of westernization.
During westernization, the player may receive an event to convert to a Christian faith - most likely, this will be catholic, but it can also be protestant or reformed if the player is neighboring a neighbor of that religion. If the player converts, this will add a significant challenge to the turmoils of westernization, as the player's religious unity will drop to 0, and they will need to convert all their provinces as quickly as possible. In order to avoid the malus cause by a colonial region already granted to a European catholic nation by the Pope, the player can convert to protestant or reformed instantly, ideally before they convert their first province.
After completing their westernization, the player should first secure their power base in North America before expanding beyond. They should cordon off as much colonizable area as possible in order to reduce the amount of provinces that European nations can take. If the player changed to a Christian religion, they should also ally a large European power (ideally with a strong navy and no immediate interest in North America) in order to secure their position. They should also focus on catching up in military and diplomatic technology, for both a strong army and navy.
Once North America is secured, the player is free to expand. They can do so by fully conquering the remaining colonial nations in this region, and making a fully Cherokee North America. They may also conquer the Caribbean and move further to South America, and finally Africa. If they choose, they may take the war to the Europeans and conquer Europe, through war against a colonial nation initially, and later on through the Imperialism casus belli.