- −10% Stability cost modifier
- +50% Hostile core-creation cost on us
- −10% Cavalry cost
- +5% Cavalry combat ability
- +15% Provincial trade power modifier
- +10% Trade efficiency
- +1 Missionary
- −1% Prestige decay
- +1 Diplomat
- +1 Tolerance of heretics
- +1 Tolerance of heathens
- +10% Morale of armies
Circassia is a country located in the Caucasus region, and unlike most Orthodox countries it is a Tribal Federation instead of a regular monarchy. It starts out surrounded by the Golden Horde, Crimea and Georgia. It is the primary tag of the Circassian culture.
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game.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.
Circassia begins the game in a precarious position. It is bordered to the south and east by hostile Georgia and Caucasian kingdoms. To the north, opportunistic hordes wait to strike at any sign of weakness. To the west, Genoa has seized the Circassian core of Mantrega and eyes the possibility of more territory. With deft alliances and opportunistic conflicts, Circassia can maintain its independence and become a world power.
With a force limit of 9 and extremely low development, Circassia is one of the weakest nations in the Caucasus region. In light of this fact, Circassia should immediately begin improving relations with Muscovy. Muscovy will provide a welcome deterrent to opportunistic neighbours and supply much needed military power for future campaigns. Trebizond may offer an alliance, but it is weak and will only be a hindrance on Circassia's rise to power.
Other than Muscovy, Byzantium, Trebizond and Theodoro, Circassia's neighbours will be hostile. Georgia generally will rival the player immediately and it is best to reciprocate the favour as Georgia provides an early avenue for expansion. After rivalling Georgia, the rest of Circassia's slots should be filled based on individual circumstances. The Muslim Gazikumukh and Shirvan to the east should be targeted initially since they are Circassia's weakest neighbours and are the least risky way of expansion. Due to Genoa's membership in the Holy Roman Empire, it will also be a long-term rival until an adequate opportunity arises. Crimea is a dangerous pick until the player has cemented the relationship with Muscovy.
After the customary initial steps of setting rivals and embargoes, use Circassia's second diplomat to fabricate claims on Georgia. Circassia can attack Gazikumukh without CB first and vassalize them, since their army would be very useful in the attack against Georgia. The opportune moment to attack Georgia should arrive after Georgia's army is annihilated when it attempts to rescue Trebizond from annexation by Qara Qoyunlu. Siege Georgia and take Circassia's claims in the following peace deal. These provinces are expensive to core due to the increased core-creation cost most Caucasus countries have in their idea groups, so it might be better to create Imereti as a vassal out of the provinces Circassia conquered.
Following the first war with Georgia, Circassia's diplomat should have improved relations with Muscovy to max value. Send a gift of 50 ducats and Circassia should be able to ally Muscovy post haste. With Circassia's alliance with Muscovy secured, continue to fabricate claims on surrounding nations with the intention of attacking the Golden Horde soon. The Golden Horde will be weak and exhausted from frequent wars with surrounding hordes like Kazan and Crimea. It is best to attack with Muscovy on Circassia's side and in tandem with a second conflict. If Circassia has Gazikumukh as a vassal, Circassia can give Terek to them to prevent the relatively high core cost of the province.
By now, Circassia should hold most of the Caucasus provinces. Most smaller neighbours have been annexed and the Circassian player will have to be patient unless it wishes to be risky. During this stage there will be a lot of waiting for opportune moments to arrive. It would be best to improve Circassia's economic situation while waiting. The low development and Circassian ideas means that it would be best for Circassia to gain its money through trade. Fill Circassia's forcelimit with light ships to patrol the Crimea trade node and place merchants to collect in inland trade nodes. Because of the reliance of trade, the first idea group should be Trade ideas.
Expansion and the future
Genoa has likely managed to hold onto Mantrega. Circassia should attack them when they are at war with the Emperor and don't have that many allies with a large navy. When taking Mantrega, Circassia should also try to take Caffa and Azov since they have trade modifiers. It might be necessary to build a fleet to blockade the provinces and transport units.
After Genoa is banished from the Black Sea, Circassia's only viable avenue of expansion is through horde lands. They initially outnumber Circassia militarily, but their numbers will not matter when Circassia is at military technology level 12. At this point Circassia can likely attack the hordes north and south of Circassia whenever it suits. Be careful with Crimea though, since they are almost always allied to the Ottomans. Circassia should probably attack Crimea when the Ottomans are being defeated in a war.
Congratulations, by this point the player has brought Circassia from a pathetically weak country to a regional superpower. The Ottomans are a likely middle to late-game opponent, but by allying a power who hates them Circassia can beat them back.