This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. It was last updated for 1.2.
- -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.
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. As for land forces, similarly, maximize Sweden's meager forcelimit.
If going for an immediate war, the player is advised to postpone hiring advisors, since they won't have the time to build up their economy before going to war.
If going for a delayed war, save up money. Economic buildings such as markets or temples should take high priority to ensure a strong income. This will also come in handy should mercenaries become necessary.
Just because Sweden is under Denmark's heel doesn't mean that she can't make friends on the sly. Unless future positive relations with Denmark are desired, ignore it completely. Focus on soon-to-be-powerful mainland nations; Poland and Lithuania for example, The Hansa for its proximity behind Denmark, or Austria. Avoid eastern nations if possible, since the nature of the game dictates that there will be nothing but friction. It is also a good idea to keep on good terms with Norway, as chances are Sweden will look to annex or integrate it in the future. The Teutonic Order and occasionally Scotland are typically willing to support independence. The Teutonic Order can help delay Lithuania if Denmark has an alliance with her.
Where Norway can ally Sweden and take on Denmark right away (see Norway#Strategy), Sweden doesn't seem able to ally Norway from the start of the game. Apparently Norway behaves like a vassal to Denmark with a -1000 modifier to a Swedish-Norwegian alliance. If this -1000 modifier is avoided, Sweden can use the Norwegian Navy to crush Denmark and get a little bit of help from the Norwegian land forces - allowing a much easier fight. This will also liberate Norway from Denmark, prevent a short-term Norwegian-Danish alliance and as a result weakening them both. [Tested with 1.6]
Denmark will typically ally with Lithuania early on. This can be troublesome for the player. With a bit of luck, Novgorod will declare Lithuania as her rival, which means that Lithuania won't get the Military Access to get to get into Finland.
Conducting the War
Early on, it's likely that Denmark will have declared war either on the Livonian Order or the Teutonic Order - if so, the player shouldn't concern themselves; Swedish lives should not be spent for an overlord who shall soon be toppled, after all. On the contrary, this might make a good time to declare war, since the Danish army will be preoccupied elsewhere. Some Livonian forces may make their way up into Sweden's territory via the east, but they shouldn't pose any major threat.
When the time has come, move the combined Swedish fleet into Öresund, the straits between Denmark's islands and Skåne. The fleet should match or outnumber the Danish fleet. Make sure the Danish fleet is harbored in Sjælland, and declare war for independence. If the player wishes, they can wait until one of the light ship fleets belonging to Norway, Holstein, or Denmark are there, giving the player an easy naval victory.
Now, with the Swedish fleet blocking any Danish reinforcements from arriving from home, the only obstacle to independence will be the Norwegian army. It should be ignored initially - the important thing is to occupy Denmark's provinces on Swedish soil. Norway may enter Swedish territory to the north, but they tend to stick together, whereas Sweden's forces should be split up to siege multiple provinces at once.
Once Halland, Skåne and Blekinge have been taken, the direction the war takes is largely up to the player; if their only goal is Swedish independence, chances are Denmark will accept a peace treaty at this point. The player should be careful with taking back any cores in this war; the Aggressive Expansion penalty is much less if the player uses a reconquest casus belli. If the player wishes, however, they can force Denmark to release Gotland which can be taken quickly, either diplomatically or militarily.
Keep an eye on Denmark. The AI will occasionally decide to go the long way around the Baltic after the Öresund is closed. If this happens, move the fleet into Skagerrak once the Danish army is on Fyn, trapping it there. This will allow the player to occupy Sjælland and Jutland while the Danish army watches.
If Denmark secured a powerful continental ally like Lithuania, their involvement will complicate the strategy. The Teutonic Order, if previously allied, will delay them by a bit, but will eventually sign a separate peace. Luckily, Novgorod will often times not give military access. If that's not the case, then the player will be in a race against the clock to get enough warscore to get independence. Fortunately, the provinces in eastern Finland aren't worth much score, whereas the provinces in Denmark are. Remember that once the Teutonic Order signs the separate peace, the Danish alliance will no longer get any warscore for any provinces that were occupied, giving a boost to Sweden's warscore.
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. They will get a small discount on all techs, but not nearly enough to keep up with the rest of the western nations. 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.
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. 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 etc. 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.
If you get the "Protect Norway" mission, be aware that changes to how Aggressive Expansion works in 1.6 means that completing that mission will give the player up to 100 AE; this will almost certainly result in a coalition forming. To mitigate this, the player can spend some time improving relations with major powers like France, Austria, Poland, and Lithuania so that they stay out of the coalition.
For Denmark, concentrate on the parts on your side of Öresund. Once you have them, an army in Skåne can be used to plug the bottle in the same way that one in the east can contain Russia. At some point you want to take the rest of Denmark as well to form Scandinavia, but it is not really that urgent. It is important to make a defensive stand either in Skåne, one of the islands, or Slesvig/Holstein - if you go further south, this becomes much harder.
Do not ever attack someone who is part of the HRE. 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.
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.
Concentrate on Ideas that improve your army and/or navy. I start with "Defensive Ideas", as it gives you a boost to morale. "Offensive Ideas" and "Quality Ideas" are also nice. "Innovative Ideas" is an interesting choice if taken early, because of the Tech cost bonus and because it has so many good events associated with it.
Disregarding the Baltic
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If you do not care about the Baltic, you can leave Russia more or less alone. She will come after you to get some parts of Finland at most. You may or may not oppose this. Finland is not that important.
The advantage to this approach is, that you will be more or less free to do what you want. You may want to colonize. Or you may want to form a Personal Union with England.
The combination of Sweden and England, if possible, should make you very powerful. Even if you cannot get a Personal Union with England, you will at least be able to get on good terms with them. Do not try to colonize Canada, unless you want to risk a war with England. Killing off Portugal is easier by far.
Take the African colonies, especially at the Cape, from Portugal for example. Keep away from the Caribbean, as everybody is there already and will attack you.
Allies and Enemies
Initially in 1444 Sweden is in a bit of an isolated position, if the player is attempting release from Denmark they will find most of the allies who would help are unable to do so. Poland, though opposed to Denmark has huge starting negative relations with Sweden and is on the other side of the Baltic, with the multitude of nations in the way and their weak navy (especially compared to Denmark) they would be unable to help. The same is true for Lithuania. Most of the other European powers are in similar positions, too far away or in the case of France and England,too wrapped up in internal struggles to help. For Liberation from Denmark and Annexation of Norway you are mostly on your own.
Once this is done however you will find the continent in a different situation. By this time (around 1460 - 1480 depending) France and England will likely have finished the Hundred Years' War, or at least France will have kicked England off the continent. At this point its time to find friends, which you will need if you wish to finish Denmark if you haven't yet as well as if you wish to pursue activities on the Continent. England can be a good choice but lacks a solid land force (and since Sweden lacks the population to field one and you will need a large military ally to contest Muscovy/Russia). A better choice is Austria/(Large states in the HRE) as they will have little difficulty obtaining military access to come help but Austria is frequently at war and will try to drag you into them. If you can Poland/Lithuania make excellent allies but only if you want to abandon some of your Baltic ambitions but the Three nations of Poland Lithuania and Sweden will wreck a Growing Muscovy and they can easily help Sweden expand East (though this lacks a lot of really good territory once you leave the Baltic). Now on to France, France brings a huge army and solid navy and even better, their ambitions are unlikely to conflict with yours and if you choose to pursue colonization they will help you out on the continent in case of conflict with Spain Portugal and UK who they are unlikely to ally with. France makes an absolutely fantastic ally, the only real drawback being they force you into opposition with England/UK which can be unpleasant as the UK grows more powerful.
In the Enemies section there is Denmark initially but they should be relatively simple to deal with. Sweden's main enemy and threat will likely be Muscovy/Russia, always on Sweden's border and likely always a rival they want Swedish territory and aren't afraid to come after Sweden often and viciously.