- −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 modifier
- +10% National manpower modifier
- +1 Land leader shock
Sweden starts in as a junior partner in the Kalmar Union. It's a Personal Union with Denmark as the major partner ruling over Sweden and Norway. Sweden can however break free using its better land forces and strategic blocking using its navy.
Sweden's achievements are about control of the Baltic Sea and its time as a major player in the Thirty Years' War.
- 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
In previous patches, winning the Swedish liberation war was fairly easy. Obtaining a large number of allies via the "Ask to Support Independence" option was straightforward. When the war started, it was a viable strategy to block the Danish troops from crossing Öresund with a strong navy and occupy Skåne. This would prevent Denmark's army from joining the war at all, essentially giving Sweden and her allies free reign to conquer Skåne, Halland, Blekinge, and any desired Norwegian territory. This no longer works, for a number of reasons. First, the "Ask to Support Independence" option is almost never accepted due to a -100 "Neutral attitude toward Denmark" modifier, except for countries who have Denmark as a rival. Second, both sides of a strait must be controlled in order to prevent a crossing. Finally, Denmark now starts with a slightly higher income and stronger military than in previous patches.
Most don't wait for the Danish king, who has low prestige, to die and end the Kalmar Union bringing Swedish freedom. Indeed, there is no guarantee that the king will die without an heir. Instead they go to war when Denmark is weak. Luckily Denmark starts with a revolt in Gotland. The revolt typically spreads to Blekinge, and Denmark engages the rebels there. Once the rebels are wiped out and Blekinge is reclaimed, Denmark sends its army to Gotland to siege it back from the rebels. This is a good opportunity for Sweden to break free if Sweden's fleet can keep Denmark's forces stuck on Gotland so they can't participate in the war. Sweden must do this herself, as allies in the war generally will not enter the Baltic at all. If this strategy is desired, it is advised to immediately scuttle Sweden's transports and build over the force limit with galleys, taking a loan or two. Hire an admiral and move Sweden's fleet into the Western Baltic Sea, between Gotland and the mainland. Wait for Denmark to finish sieging Gotland. When their navy arrives to remove their troops, immediately declare war. Sweden's navy should crush Denmark's, so their troops will likely remain stuck in Gotland for most, if not all, of the war.
Another option is to rely on strong allies to deal with Denmark's military mostly by themselves. A third possibility is to wait for the event to fire that grants Sweden extra liberty desire and 10,000 manpower. If Sweden is willing to build over her force limit, this can provide enough of an army to seriously challenge Denmark and her allies head on, especially with Sweden's impressive infantry combat bonus. The player can of course postpone the independence war for a much later time, but this will leave Sweden with precious little to do for several decades.
Upon starting the game, it is a good idea to immediately check Denmark's rivals and enemies. Common enemies include England, Scotland, Poland, Lithuania, Novgorod, and Muscovy. Any two of these would in principle be enough to defeat Norway, Holstein, and whichever countries Denmark manages to ally. However, most will not be of any use as allies in the war. Poland and Muscovy will not support independence, with a -1000 "cannot reach Denmark" modifier. Lithuania almost always ends up in a PU under Poland shortly after the game starts, removing them from the war.
This leaves Novgorod, England, and Scotland as possibilities. The player may wish to restart the game until two of these three rival Denmark. Novgorod may not be the ideal choice for an ally, as the player will almost certainly want to move against them shortly after the independence war: indeed they may come under attack from Muscovy during the war, which will limit their participation. England will generally accept the independence request immediately, but relations with Scotland will likely have to be improved for a few months. Note that Scotland will begin by occupying the Orkneys and will expect them to be granted them if you take any provinces in the war. If not, Sweden will suffer a "dishonored a promise to grant territory" modifier for thirty years after the war, and Scotland will not keep the alliance.
Denmark herself will likely ally Mecklenburg, East Frisia, Pomerania, or another small HRE state. Don't underestimate them: they can each add 7k to 10k troops to Denmark's side.
Denmark often ally one of the minor HRE nations and can thus field about 25k troops, and that's not counting Norway's starting stack. Sweden has a force limit of 12. Without strong allies, it will be necessary to build over the force limit. This will increase from 12 to 15 immediately upon declaring independence.
The Baltic is an inland sea, 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 needed to be built: Denmark and Norway's fleet must be matched. As the Baltic is also a very confined sea, don't forget to factor fleets of allies. If a sea battle starts, they are most likely able to support fast.
In the beginning, Sweden's economy is not able to maintain a big army, and Sweden is a vassal of Denmark, so having a large army may not be necessary. Using the money to instead develop the provinces of Sweden could be a good strategy for the player. If you decide to press the independence war immediately, don't be afraid to take out some loans. They can be repaid later. Deleting the fort in Viborg can be a good idea, as it is not likely to do any good. Even the fort in Stockholm can probably be safely deleted.
Conducting the War
It is advised to remove Norway's ability to contribute as quickly as possible. Move your troops near Akersus, where Norway typically keeps her army. Move your army to Akershus when you declare. Norway will typically follow up by attempting to carpet-siege random provinces with small armies. These can be taken back later, though. Your next step after crushing Norway's army should be to move to Skåne. Break off attachments to siege Halland and Blekinge. It is unlikely that Denmark and her allies will have an army knocking at the gates at this point, especially if you have managed to trap Denmark's army in Gotland. It can be worthwhile to keep another small attachment to combat Norway's nuisance forces in the north or occupy as many Norwegian provinces as possible.
If you have England or Scotland as allies, they may take a little while to get into the war. England will likely siege down Nordjylland and Midtjylland, and Scotland will likely attack Norway, especially the forts in Akershus and Trøndelag. Note that England's "War of the Roses" disaster can figure, which will likely cause England to retreat and deal with rebels.
A combined army of Denmark, Holstein, and Denmark's allies can cross Öresund and deal major damage to your army in Skåne. Be prepared for this possibility. Going well over the force limit with mercenaries can be advisable. The main 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 Sweden 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. If you've played your cards right, you might even have grabbed a substantial amount of Danish and Norwegian territory. Lay low for a few years and let the separatist revolts fire, then crush them with your army: this is a safer bet than increasing autonomy (which will make these provinces unproductive for some time) or wasting military power to suppress the revolts.
Ruling the Baltic Sea
If dominance over the Baltic Sea is desired, then one of the biggest obstacles that Sweden will have to overcome is Muscovy / Russia, the other being Poland / Commonwealth. It is possible to play one against the other. Allying Poland can provide a way for you to seize Muscovite territory, especially if Poland successfully PUs Lithuania.
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. It might be possible 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.
Vassalizing Novgorod has the additional advantage that formerly Novgorodian land can be retaken from Muscovy for low warscore cost and less aggressive expansion. However, the first war with Muscovy may not cut Novgorod down enough to where Sweden can vassalize them in one war. A second war, possibly with Muscovy or Livonian Order, will, and if all else fails Sweden can always release Novgorod as a vassal after taking her land, then begin the reconquest.
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 not willing to go to war with Poland. Poland desire them badly and will even break an alliance for them without hesitation.
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.
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: take Jämtland to even out the borders, but other than that, the only territories worth having are Akershus and Bergenshus (because of the trade power bonus). Taking the islands in the Atlantic might drag you into war with England/Scotland/Great Britain so might not be the best option. So wait to take them until Sweden wants to conquer British islands.
Keep out 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. 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 like Hamburg, Lübeck and Bremen.
Idea wise the player is free to take up whatever fits their playstyle. Good early choices include Influence (for reduced AE), Administrative (for reduced coring cost and Administrative tech cost), or perhaps Innovative ideas (for the reduced tech cost). An argument can be made that military ideas are not the best choice early on, as military power should be spent on keeping tech up to date. However, if you are swimming in monarch points, Quantity, Quality or Offensive ideas can be a solid choice.
Sweden's ideas are strongly militaristic. The +20% infantry combat bonus means that Sweden is an excellent candidate for producing "space marines", quality troops that can crush the opposition: they almost rival Prussian ideas in this area. If this is desired, you will need to pick up Offensive (for the extra discipline, land leader shock, and land leader fire), Quality (for the bonus army tradition and +10% infantry combat), and Innovative ideas (the "Modern Firearm Techniques" policy adds another 20% infantry combat ability), in some order. Defensive (for the bonus army tradition) and Quantity are good choices, too. Humanist or Religious ideas can be a smart if Sweden decides to go Protestant (in this case, Religious will provide an excellent CB against non-Protestant neighbors).
Alternately, Sweden can play the colonial game. Taking Iceland early and choosing Exploration or Expansion will allow you to be one of the first to reach the New World, which can help with Sweden's lackluster income potential due to low-development provinces. Keeping Norway as a vassal is another way to gain a foothold in the New World: Norway may colonize, and then the player can annex them, gaining their colonies.
Sweden historically went Protestant, so there is an achievement for Sweden to lead the Protestant League to victory. Other options is to go colonizing in North America or conquer the British island as the Viking did once. The opportunities are endless, set your own goal or maybe take over the world. With Swedens good militaristic ideas and secure homeland with the control of the Baltic sea anything is possible.
October 24th, 1648 start
The devastating Thirty Years' War (1618-48) is finally over. Sweden has emerged as the dominant power in northern Europe with tremendous potential for expansion. Historically, Sweden never realized it's full potential, having turned in a mediocre performance by EU standards until it's demise as a major power following the Great Northern War (1700-21). In this "scenario" the player's objective is to reverse the course of history by staving off disaster, and instead expanding Sweden's power and influence for posterity. However, despite Sweden's strong starting position and excellent military ideas and bonuses, success in this scenario CAN be difficult even for the experienced player.
In 1648 Sweden has two underdeveloped colonies in North America in present-day New Jersey and Delaware (New Sweden). Unless the player wants to pursue a North American colonial empire, which is not recommended, it is strongly suggested that you sell them immediately. Due to your political position in Europe that demands your full attention and resources, you will be unable to adequately defend them against the English and or Dutch who each possess larger and stronger navies. The Netherlands will usually offer you the best deal as opposed to also adjacent England or France. If you choose to keep and develop them, then prepare for wars with England, the Netherlands and the many Native American powers in the area. In the end, it simply is not worth your time, resources and effort unless you have colonial imperial aspirations.
Sweden is not overpowered!