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Welcome to the most important development diary on Europa Universalis IV as we go into detail about the most popular country to play – Sweden!
In 1397 Queen Margaret I of Denmark created the personal union of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark through the Kalmar Union. However, Margaret's successors, who continued to rule from Denmark, were unable to control the Swedish nobility. So, to get the proper historical feeling when starting as Sweden, bring pressure on the Danes to prove that Swedes cannot be controlled.
Once you’ve broken free from the union, it’s time to plot your next move. Will you break the monopoly trading position of the Hansa, to reclaim the income you feel your country rightfully deserves? And then what?
The Hanseatic League was a trading bloc of merchants and states that sought civil and commercial privileges from the countries and cities along the coasts of the Baltic Sea. Because it had its own navy, the League was able to sweep the Baltic Sea free of pirates, so membership in the League brought a certain amount of protection and security. However, a Hansa port was only open to citizens of Hansa member cities and the agreements meant that these ports were free of all customs and taxes. The Hanseatic League turned Stockholm into the leading commercial and industrial city of Sweden, but it also ensured Hansa dominance over trade and economic life in the city. If you break this relationship, you will pay a price, but in return your king will most likely be considered a hero by the Swedish people. The peasantry, traditionally free, would see more of the economic benefits of trade flowing back to them rather than going to a feudal landowning class. If you manage to develop the country and free yourself from the Hanseatic League without provoking an economic crisis, you will experience the glory of Sweden’s golden era.
The 17th century should see Sweden emerge as a European great power – if you keep a few things in mind. You are heavily dependent on trade, so you need either a navy strong enough to guard the ports or richer German Baltic provinces to exploit. You will have some good military opportunities and, as we’ll see, the ideas to make a strong military stand. Just remember to not push the constant warfare too long or the sometimes brittle Swedish economy might deteriorate. Manpower is a greater issue for Sweden than for her Russian neighbor, so a single defeat and a costly peace treaty can mean the beginning of the end for the glorious Swedish Empire. But you can do this! Now you can look back at the very poor and scarcely populated country on the fringe of European civilization, with no significant power or reputation, you started with.
Swedish Dynamic Historical Events
Sweden has many Dynamic Historical Events, with two major series for the player to experience.
The first is the Dacke Feud. In the mid 16th century, the Swedish crown sought to centralize its power and raise additional revenue by first, making tax collection more efficient thereby adding new burdens to peasants, and second, seizing Catholic properties to both further promote Lutheranism and pay for army upkeep…
The Dacke Feud has a chance of happening to the player at any point between 1500 and 1700 if Sweden is Protestant. Dacke can revolt in any core province, but prefers the historical origin of Smεland.
There are a fair number of ways possible to handle it the Dacke Feud, But you are in for a nice mess of rebellions, rest assured. If you manage to defeat the rebellion, your monarch might be able to consolidate his power and concentrate even more control in the person of the king. So let’s hope you get a good one..
The other large event series is the Age of Liberty, which may appear during the 18th century if your country is in a regency..
A war-weary Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament) can assert new powers and reduce the crown to a constitutional monarch, with power held by a civilian government controlled by the Riksdag.
Will you stand for that? Or will you try to assert your royal privilege?
Swedish Missions and Decisions
Some of the Swedish decisions from EU3 have been transformed into National Ideas, so enacting the Hakkapeliitta as soon as you grab Finland, is, sadly, no longer an option.
Swedish missions are very much geared towards taking the historical territories around the Baltic that comprised the Swedish Empire at its height.
Swedish National Ideas
As we mentioned in the first development diary on National Ideas, Sweden starts with two traditions that feel appropriate for the militaristic Swedish history that occupies much of the game’s era. Lack of manpower in Sweden meant that the royal army had a very large mercenary componet, so Sweden gets cheaper mercenaries than other countries. This manpower shortage also meant that Swedish infantry had to be well trained if the country was to survive its many wars, so Sweden also has slightly better infantry than average.
The 7 Swedish National Ideas are:
- Kung och Riksdag : +1 legitimacy yearly.
- Swedish Steel : +10% Discipline
- Hakkapelitta: 10% cheaper cavalry.
- Indelningsverket : 33% quicker manpower recovery.
- Swedish Absolutism : 10% cheaper stability.
- Produktplakatet : 10% Production Efficiency
- Union and Security Act: 10% more manpower.
Once Sweden has acquired all of its national ideas, its leaders get a +1 bonus to their Shock rating for battle.
These National Ideas are geared towards making a Sweden that has a high quality army that can recover from manpower drains relatively quickly, though this will always be an issue in a prolonged war. With cheaper cavalry, Swedish troops should be able to dominate mid-game battlefields. Sweden is also stable and better able to survive any dynastic changes; the bonus to legitimacy and lower cost of stability in the late game will help Sweden stay vigorous.
Bonus details: Stability Changes
As we have mentioned before, stability is no longer increased by spending money from your budget every month. Like other game mechanics we have gone though, you spend Monarch Points to increase your stability, in this case you spend Administrative points. Since these are also the points that go towards increasing your number of Ideas and revenue buildings, it is more likely that you will not always be at peak stability since you plan on investing Monarch Points in other things.
In earlier Europa Universalis games, the cost for increasing stability depended a lot on the size and diversity of your country. Now the price is no longer depending on what type of provinces you have, but we have still kept the concept of not every country being the same, and some being more fragile to stability changes.
The base price for increasing your stability is 100 administrative power, but overextension and lack of religious unity can increase this cost significantly. Some ideas and advisors decrease this. And, this being Europa Universalis, you can count on events and other random factors also modifying the price temporarily.
Here's a screenshot of some interesting things, and stay tuned, as we are back next week with more on rebels and governments.
Hope you enjoyed this, more information next week!