This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. It was last updated for 1.3.
- Possible advisors
- Religious unity
- Global trade power
- Cavalry combat ability
- Stability cost modifier
- Tolerance of heretics & heathens
- Yearly prestige
- Available mercenaries
In 1444, Vijyanagar is a Hindu feudal monarchy in Southern India. It's in prime position to eventually unite the Indian subcontinent.
- Main article: Vijayanagara events
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You start in an enviable position. Water on two sides, 3 OPMs on the west with the only real threats being from the North. In addition, your capital city is in one of the richest trade nodes on the planet (Ceylon) with the Bengal node just upstream- you will easily dominate world trade.
The first order of business is to take care of your northern rival - Bahamis. Build your army up to your forcelimit (14), then attack them and get as much as you can (conquer provinces, then release vassal from them to feed with cores on your Muslim enemies). If you wait, it will ally with Gujarat and build a bigger army, slowing down your expansion. In the meanwhile, vassalize one of the three OPMs on your west, conquer the other two and sell provinces to your vassal. Celyon rarely builds an army bigger than 5k and almost never has allies, so you can conquer them later. Orissa often ends at war against Bengal and its Muslim allies, so if you time your war against it wisely it will be easy to get your cores and the provinces needed to increase your trade power and, eventually, form Hindustan.
Now, after having integrated your western vassal, you have water on three sides and Orissa (if you haven't already conquered/vassalized it) and Gujarat to the North. Your NIs and starting position mean that you are destined to be a trade leader with tons of gold and large mercenary armies, at least initially. You will need to hire mercs if you attack those two since frequent wars will be a major drain on your MP pool. It's advisable to return cores to your vassals or other countries rather than directly conquer provinces. This will avoid you to spend ADM points to core provinces, will riduce your OE and Aggressive Expansion, avoiding coalitions against you.
By now, you would be leading the world in Trade and probably be in the top bracket income wise. Have your trade ships move power down from Bengal while keeping enough ships to keep 80-90% power in Ceylon. The remaining nations of India hate you, but you should be able to fight them off without much difficulty. Use your navy to speed up sieges in coastal provinces and "rival" and slowly destroy big blobs forming on the subcontinent. It might be good idea to rival and embargo Oman if they are taking a piece of your trade action in Ceylon.
In my playthroughs as Vijayanagar, I was never far behind in tech, thanks to hiring level 3 advisers. But if you crave the Western units, just plop a colony in Africa next to Spain or Portugal once they get there. This would require you to take the Exploration idea group which would also allow you to colonize Indonesia and Philippines.
You should be able to form Hindustan fairly early after you take the few required provinces, but it might not be useful. The main reason is that it gives you Hindustani as the unification culture group which is weird since you are in the Dravidian culture group. Secondly, Vijayanagar gets custom sprites and they are one of the best looking in the game! Who doesn't like smart uniforms?! However, the decision gives you claims on all the Indian provinces, thus allowing for easier expansion. It's all up to you. By now, you should be able to beat back any foe if you play your cards right. Remember you've got loads of money, so try to support rebels if you're sure they're going to enforce their demands. Both Ming and the Timurids are unstable, but beware from the mighty Ottoman Empire allying with any Muslim power bordering you.