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Duchy rankHolland
Primary culture
Dutch (Germanic)

Capital province
Holland (97)

Feudal MonarchyGovernment monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
WesternWestern technology group
Dutch ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+25% National sailors modifier
+50% Naval force limit modifier

Inflation reduction.png Found the Amsterdam Wisselbank

+0.10 Yearly inflation reduction

Merchants.png Dutch Trading Spirit

+1 Merchant
+10% Trade Range

Development cost.png Polders

−10% Development cost

Naval leader fire.png Instructie voor de Admiraliteiten

+2 Naval leader fire
−10% Sailor maintenance

Tolerance heretic.png Embrace Humanism

+3 Tolerance of heretics

Siege ability.png Army Sappers

+10% Siege ability

Land fire damage.png Platoon Fire

+10% Land fire damage

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+15% Trade efficiency

Holland starts in a personal union under Flag of Burgundy Burgundy; its cores are the provinces of Holland and Zeeland. They share their national ideas and some events with the Flag of Netherlands Netherlands. Getting independence from Burgundy is fairly easy as Holland's position makes it easy to get both Flag of Austria Austria and Flag of France France to support their independence.

If the King of Burgundy Dies! event fires, all provinces owned by Burgundy and its subjects are claimed by another country (typically by the Holy Roman Emperor, which is usually Austria). However, human-controlled countries can never get inherited (see Artificial intelligence), so for a Holland player this results in instant independence. Once independent, Holland is in a very good position to form the Netherlands as they are surrounded by easy targets for expansion and probably have one or more very strong allies to assist them.


Execute decision.pngLand Reclamation in Holland

Holland has through the years been plagued by intermittent floods and this limits the potential of what is otherwise very attractive region. While our ancestors have done their best to drain the Dutch swamps they did not posses the same means we do. Let us concentrate all our expertise in land reclamation to improve the region and the city of Amsterdam so that we may create a northern port city worthy to rival the old urban centres of the South.

Potential Requirements

The country:

Holland (97) does not have the province modifier “Development of Amsterdam”.


The country:


The country:

  • loses Administrative power.png50 administrative power.

Holland (97) gets the province modifier “Development of Amsterdam” for the rest of the campaign with the following effect:

  • Development cost.png-25% development cost.

Execute decision.pngForm Dutch Nation

The Dutch are emerging as one of Europe's most capable naval and colonial powers. Lucrative trade opportunities, locally and overseas, have resulted in a swift evolution for the country into one of the first capitalist countries in the world.

Potential Requirements Allow
  • Administrative tech.png Administrative technology is at least 10
  • Is not a subject nation
  • Is not a steppe horde
  • Is not at war
  • Flag of Netherlands Netherlands does not exist
  • Owns core provinces Breda, Zeeland, Holland, Utrecht, Gelre and Friesland

  • If not an Elector of the Holy Roman Empire and not the Holy Roman Emperor, remove all owned provinces from the Empire
  • If country is Flag of Burgundy Burgundy:
    • Change primary Culture icon.png culture to Dutch
    • Change Capital.png capital to Holland
  • If country is Flag of Burgundy Burgundy and Flag of France France exists:
    • All provinces in France region owned by this country and its subjects:
      • Flag of Burgundy Burgundy and (if they own it) the subject lose their cores
      • Flag of France France gains a core
      • Cede province to Flag of France France
  • If government is Government theocracy.png Theocracy and religion is Catholicism Catholic:
    • Change government to Government monarchy.png Administrative Monarchy
    • Flag of The Papal State The Papal State gains opinion modifier "Displeased" (-50, decaying by +2 per year for 5 years) towards our country
  • If government is Government theocracy.png Theocracy and religion is not Catholicism Catholic:
    • Change government to Government monarchy.png Administrative Monarchy
  • Country becomes Flag of Netherlands Netherlands
  • Flag of Netherlands Netherlands gains a permanent claim on all non-owned provinces in Low Countries region and Picardy area except Calais, Rethel, East Frisia and Picardie
  • If government rank is Duchy rank Duchy:
    • Set government rank to Kingdom rank Kingdom
  • Gain Prestige.png 25 prestige
  • Trigger country event "New Traditions & Ambitions" unless using custom ideas or already using Dutch ideas

AI Burgundy will not take this decision.


Main article: Dutch missions

Holland's missions are focused on colonization and conflict with Flag of Portugal Portugal and Flag of Spain Spain.


This strategy consists of starting with Holland and delaying the formation of the Netherlands in order to expand territorially in the HRE. As of the current patch, forming the Netherlands will result in all provinces being removed from the HRE, which restricts inland expansion post-formation.

Breaking free from Burgundy[edit]

Holland starts in a Personal Union under Burgundy, which means no allies and no declaring wars. Both France and Austria tend to rival Burgundy from the start so the player can ask for support independence before unpausing. Improving relations with Flag of England England and have them support independence also helps. As soon as possible declare the independence war against Burgundy and let the powerful allies do the job. If possible, fabricate a claim on Breda before the war and then take it in the peace deal. This is really helpful as Breda is one of the six provinces needed to form the Netherlands. However, Antwerp is a very rich province that will boost your income. Taking both will trigger a coalition war, but the coalition usually asks for ~40 warscore worth of ducats and war reparations.

When the war is over the player will be allied to the three countries that fought in the independence war. If Austria rivalled France, France is likely to break the alliance. If that happens the player should consider breaking the alliance with England as well, because they are going to call Holland to aid them in wars against France that they are bound to lose. If Austria doesn’t rival France, then the player should break the alliance with England right away and try to keep both Austria and France as allies.

Early expansion[edit]

The player may wish to get some allies inside the HRE to boost expansion. Flag of Cologne Cologne can be very useful because they are a local power who can help in wars. Flag of Utrecht Utrecht, Flag of Gelre Gelre and Flag of Cleves Cleves are good targets for early expansion. Then the player can go for Flag of Liege Liege and Flag of Münster Münster. Keep an eye open for the Burgundian inheritance to try to prevent Austria or France from inheriting Flag of Brabant Brabant and Flag of Flanders Flanders.

For this strategy to work well it is highly recommended that the player starts with administrative ideas, which both cover Holland’s low manpower and the expensive coring cost of provinces in the HRE.

When it's possible to beat Burgundy, declare war over province Breda from Brabant. Owning Breda is needed to form Netherlands. Take province and/or force Burgundy to break the other unions. Just beware of aggressive expansion and make sure not to trigger any coalitions. Keeping Austria (or whoever is the Emperor) as an ally can be very helpful to avoid unlawful territory.

If Castile inherits Burgundy[edit]

Note that if the Burgundian Inheritance fires, all provinces in the France region will be ceded to France immediately. If Flag of Castile Castile happens to get the rest, be wary of their expansion. They are often allied to Austria and can pose a real threat. Try allying other large powers to counter them, such as Flag of Denmark Denmark and the Flag of Commonwealth Commonwealth. Be opportunistic and try to isolate Castile by attacking their minor allies, or if they have warned you, attack any weak neighbor to drag them into war with your allies. Try to conquer provinces in the Flanders area. Due to their high development, usually only one province can be taken in each war. Antwerp is a good province to take since it has around 20 development and sits on a trade center, which will help if the Player competes against the British for the lucrative Channel trade.


The second idea group the player may consider is exploration ideas. It is not necessary, however, to take the ideas quickly. The player won’t be able to colonize until some two technologies later. So it’s more important to stay ahead in diplomatic technology than to take the ideas, as being ahead of time gives the player great +20% trade efficiency. When close to having the colonial range necessary to get to the Americas, take the ideas. The best area to colonize is the Caribbean, as its provinces have good development and are likely to produce important and profitable goods as tobacco, sugar, dyes and maybe coffee. Also, the Caribbean trade node is the most powerful one in the Americas, where Holland can both collect trade or transfer trade power to Chesapeake Bay and then directly to the English Channel. Then the player can go for Colonial Mexico or Colonial Eastern-America. In Mexico the player will get more dyes and the very valuable cocoa. In North America the player will get mostly furs, cotton and tobacco.

Later in the game the player can try establishing colonies in Asia. The spice islands in Indonesia are the best choice as they have good development and produce valuable goods, especially in contrast to New Zealand and Australia.

In terms of using colonization to maximize control of world trade (in your favor), a good strategy is to firstly establish control in the key trade nodes of the Caribbean and the Ivory Coast. Following this you should immediately develop Eastern-America. Leave Spain and Portugal to develop South America for you and then you can take all of their hard work when the money arrives in either the Caribbean or the Ivory Coast. Next (or simultaneously) you may wish to develop colonies and/or conquer provinces in South Africa (for the extra manpower), then Zanzibar and Flag of Malacca Malacca, and establish trade all the way to China. Once you have a solid trade route connected to China where you hold significant power in each and every trade node along the way, your income will sky-rocket. Establishing trade routes to India can also be quite lucrative if you don't mind having to conquer the entire East-African seaboard all the way up to the Arab nations in the Gulf of Aden.

Forming the Netherlands[edit]

A lot of players are eager to form the Netherlands as soon as they have the right provinces and Administrative Tech 10. As stated before, this is not a good path because it imposes several restrictions on the player. It is only advisable to form the Netherlands when the player already owns several cores from the HRE. In order to keep expanding after leaving the HRE the player has to be strong enough to fight against the Emperor and win, alternatively if you are lucky enough to have been picked as an elector, you can form the Netherlands without leaving the HRE. A good sign of having expanded well is to have Westphalian as an accepted culture, as most of the land easy to get is of this culture group. At this point the player should be a major power, more powerful than England/Flag of Great Britain Great Britain and the Emperor. The player should be forming the Netherlands at this point. But if the player wasn’t able to conquer that much territory, it is advisable to form the Netherlands around 1580 anyway.


Chances are that a lot of your neighbours, usually starting with England and Denmark, will switch over to the Protestant faith. With this, it'll become relatively easy for you to follow suit. There are many aspects/bonuses of the Protestant faith that can be very beneficial - such as the extra morale, discipline, settlers, 5% discount on ideas and more. It's highly recommended that you do, and switch before you form the Netherlands, as when you switch your religion you lose a lot of prestige, whilst converting to the Netherlands will boost it back up.

Trade hegemony[edit]

The Netherlands are in a favourable position to dominate trade. A good route for the Player to take is to build as many light ships as possible to protect trade in the English Channel and in Lübeck or even in the Caribbean. Just don’t forget to build some heavy ships to compete against England, as their +10% heavy ship combat ability will result in the loss of many light ships in case of a war. Try conquering coastal centres of trade both in Europe and in America. The player can consider attacking the Hansa and conquering their provinces to become the prominent power in Lübeck as well. Trade ideas can be really helpful in boosting the player’s overall trade power. Expansion Ideas also give global trade power and extra merchants. Just keep in mind that every colonial nation with 10 or more provinces will provide an extra merchant.

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer[edit]

France makes an excellent ally early game, but it's important to watch as the game progresses and as the great powers struggle for supremacy. If France finds itself overwhelmed with enemies it may be best to find an alternate power as an ally at this point. Then the next time France is in a losing war(s), The player can take advantage of the situation to take a piece of France for - the extra provinces in the English Channel trade node will boost Holland's trade power while the rest of the country will be highly developed, boosting manpower and the economy immensely.

A strong England/Great Britain that's able to colonize, means more money coming into your home trade node, the English Channel - use this to your advantage or be forced to race and/or fight Spain and Portugal for control of the Caribbean and the Ivory Coast without much (if any) help. Spain and Portugal are your real enemies if you want to rule.


Je maintiendrai icon
Je maintiendrai
Form the Netherlands as a minor nation starting with Dutch culture.

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