This article is considered accurate for the current version of the game.
- -25% Mercenary maintenance
- +20% Infantry combat ability
- +1 Yearly legitimacy
- +5% Discipline
- -10% Cavalry cost
- +20% Manpower recovery speed
- -10% Stability cost modifier
- +10% Goods produced nationally
- +10% National manpower modifier
- +1 Land leader shock
Sweden starts in a Personal Union with Denmark. Denmark is the one leading the Union, but Sweden can break free relatively easy, as Sweden has superior land forces to her overlord.
- Main article: Swedish missions
Sweden's missions are oriented around dominating her neighbors and forging a Dominium Maris Baltici.
- Main article: Swedish events
Sweden has many dynamic historical events, with two major series for the player to experience.
Swedish War of Liberation
The first major obstacle a player will encounter playing as Sweden is breaking the personal union with Denmark. There are many different ways to go about this; generally, they either fall into the category of a delayed and carefully prepared for war (20-30 years), or an almost immediate war (2-3 years).
An immediate war has the advantages of being much more deterministic; the relative power balances between the forces in the Baltic region aren't likely to change, meaning that a player can experiment with tactics much more freely. The downside is that at the start, Denmark is in a fairly strong (but manageable) position.
The delayed war has the advantages of being much easier if the right opportunity comes up. If the player is extremely lucky, it might not be necessary if the Danish king dies without an heir. The downside is that the right opportunity might not come up, and the player might be left with a much more difficult fight if Norway is annexed. Especially since the game has improved the support independence mechanics an early Liberation war is easily won; it is not difficult, however, to win the war on your own if Denmark remains without allies as you prepare for war. It will most likely be necessary, however, if the Danish manage to make strong alliances before you declare war. Therefore all further hints evolve around the early war approach.
First and foremost, Sweden will need a powerful military. For her navy, remember, the Baltic is an inland sea, and so galleys are nearly as effective as heavy ships. More importantly, they are very inexpensive to maintain, so that even if the player chooses to go 3-4x the naval limits, they'll still be paying less maintenance than if they went up to the limits on heavy ships. Use the ledger to determine how many you need to build: Denmark and Norway's fleet must be matched. As the Baltic is also a very confined sea, don't forget to factor fleets of your allies in. If a sea battle starts, they are must likely able to support you fast! As for land forces, similarly, maximize Sweden's meager forcelimit.
While building up fleet & army, there is no need for full army funding. Take it down to save money during the first months/years. Sweden is not in any immediate danger. While later on it is a wise choice to develop your lands, the first few years you should entitle your whole funds to war efforts.
Just because Sweden is under Denmark's heel doesn't mean that she can't make friends on the sly. Your primary goal is finding allies for your independence war. While the big European nations are either fighting their own wars (like the 100 year war between France and England) or just to far away to actually be willing to help you (Austria or Spain) or even worse are most likely to ally with Denmark (Poland and/or Lithuania), Denmark has many enemies in the local area: the Hansa and Pomerania are good choices to help you out. Don't bother with Eastern Factions like Novgorod - they will be in fights themselves sooner than later. The Teutonic Order are a possibility too, but are most likely in a fight against Poland or Brandenburg by the time you start your fight of independence.
Conducting the War
Sweden is capable of destroying Denmark and Norway without allies - but chances are high that Denmark will be allied to at least one other great power (Poland or Lithuania). So before actually declaring your independence look up some diplomatic facts: Are your supporters going to join your war? Who will join Denmark? - If you are lucky Novgorod and The Teutonic Order will be rivals of Poland/Lithuania. If so, they won't be granting them access to their lands and they won't be able to help Denmark at all.
The most important thing to gain is naval superiority. Just move the Swedish fleet into Öresund area and block the Danish forces from entering Swedish territory. Start dealing with the inferior Norwegian forces and utterly destroy them. Your allies may take care of or at least occupy the Danish army. After the initial army of Norway is destroyed, start sieging the three Danish provinces (Halland, Skåne and Blekinge) on Swedish soil. With the sieges done, Denmark should already be willing to give you your independence. It is not advised to try to get your core provinces back within this first war: The aggressive expansion penalties are way to high and may even lead to a big coalition (and even worse a subsequent coalition war) forming against Sweden. If you can get more warscore easily: Force Denmark to release Gotland, which can be easily vassalized afterwards.
The only danger to Swedish independence is a friendly relationship between a possible Danish ally in the east and Novgorod. Because this is opening the "long route" by going around the Baltic Sea to your homeland through military access agreements. Fighting the Lithuanian and to smaller degree Polish army with its far superior numbers is no easy feat at all. In this unlucky situation fights must be carefully picked. Use parts of the navy to block the strait of Åland and force any approaching army to take the longer and during winter attritious northern route. If sieges are started in the Finnish provinces, good for Sweden: The provinces in eastern Finland aren't worth much score, whereas the provinces in Denmark are. Still it is a race against the clock to get enough warscore to get independence, if the enemy forces are too strong to overcome.
Regardless, the most important outcome has been accomplished; the Kalmar Union is broken, and Sweden is free to do what she will.
Ruling the Baltic Sea
If independence was achieved before Novgorod was completely absorbed, then the player can and should take the opportunity to attack the weaker Novgorod for key provinces before they have to contend with the much stronger Muscovy for the same provinces. Neva and Ingermanland are the top priority, since possessing them will deny Russia access to the Baltic. This is important because of a quirk in the rules: Russia is in the eastern tech group, and if they are denied their 'Window to the West', the only western group nation they border is Sweden. Even better you may be able to vassalize the remains of Novgorod and therefore blocking them entirely out of any western European neighbour for the moment. If they get access to the Baltic, Russia can send out navies to take single territories on the southern Baltic coast and start expanding round Poland and Lithuania - this must be avoided at all costs.
Next are other valuable provinces like Pskov and Novgorod. Karelia, Kola and Kexholm are a much lower priority, since their strategic and economic value is limited. The Livonian Order is also a promising target. Don't get any of the Teutonic Order provinces (especially Danzig!) if you are not able to stand against Poland. They desire them badly and will even break an alliance for them without hesitation.
After that, Russia will still become a challenge because of the massive force limits they get by expanding east, but they will not have the tech to be an insurmountable problem.
Take territory from Norway and Denmark too, but at a slow pace - always be aware of aggressive expansion. Norway is mostly a mirror of Russia: you want Jämtland because it's a core and not having it hurts your prestige, but other than that, the only territories worth having are Akershus and Bergenshus (because of the trade power bonus). The rest you can pick up to shorten your border. DO NOT take the islands: Orkney, Faroe Island, Shetlands early! Doing that only puts you in conflict with Great Britain, and they have the only navy strong enough to threaten you from the east. Britain makes a very good ally, because you complement each other so well (your army and their navy) and have no points of conflict.
Do not ever attack someone who is part of the HRE early on. It simply is not worth the effort, as long as you do not feel up to defeating Austria. Even holding territory that is part of the HRE is troublesome eventually as Austria starts to consolidate its power. With any luck though a smaller power - like Bohemia gets elected. Use those moments and get more coastal provinces in the Baltic area and if possible the high value provinces of The Hansa (Hamburg, Lübeck, Bremen...).
Russia is a beast. She has hordes of soldiers. She will come back for quite some time. Therefore, you should use every trick in the book to keep her down. Force her to give up control of nations (Novgorod, Pskov). Also make sure to keep your allies happy - mainly Poland and Lithuania. If you can, try to grab Estonia/Latvia area (Livonian Order usually). Land wars in Asia are never a good idea.
Idea wise you are free to take up whatever fits your playstyle. Religious or diplomatic ideas though are not recommended to start with, because you need neither the additional diplomats nor missionaries early on. Innovative Idea group is a solid start, followed by militaristic ideas to your preference.
Another important thing is to keep rebels down. Especially the Finnish Nationalists. If you let them break free, it might be hard to later on reconquer them as they will most likely make an alliance with Commonwealth. As Commonwealth is a fairly powerful nation, you need to have an extremely big army, making your economy go down quite fast.