Europa Universalis IV: Developer diary 36 - Hot States in the Holy Roman Empire

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Welcome to the 36th Development Diary for Europa Universalis IV. This time we look at three powers smack in the middle of Europe, each of which has the potential for great power in the hands of a skilled player.


Brandenburg starts with only three provinces, and they aren’t especially awesome ones – landlocked, lots of borders to protect, many potential enemies. Eventually, Brandenburg can become Prussia – that mighty German state that dominated northern Europe for the last half of EU4’s time frame. It will take some work to get there, but remember that most of Brandenburg’s neighbors have all the same weaknesses and few of its strengths.

Brandenburg starts with both a casus belli on the Teutonic Order (over control of Neumark) and an available mission to form an alliance with them. The choice of which opening to take can lead to varied playthroughs; the land grab will make you immediately stronger, but the Teutonic Order can be a powerful ally against Poland or Pommerania.

*National Ideas
Brandenburg has Prussian Ideas, starting with Prussian Tradition, which gives it +1 Yearly Army Tradition and a 25% reduction to the effects of Covert Diplomatic Actions.
  • Found the Kammergericht: National Tax Modifier +10%: The ducal court of the Margrave of Brandenburg became the fixed location for adjudicating disputes between officials, making the administration of justice more efficient.
  • Divide the Estates: Stability Cost Modifier -10%: By preventing the nobles, clergy and middle classes from co-ordinating their efforts, the monarch can maintain control over the realm.
  • Army Professionalism: Morale of Armies +1: Prussian arms were renowned for their professionalism and dedication to the art of warfare. Your soldiers are less likely to break under pressure.
  • Noble Cadets: Yearly Army Tradition Decay -2%: The army became a place of honor and privilege for Prussian noble youth, perpetuating the prestige of Prussian military prowess.
  • The Goose Step: Infantry Combat Ability +25%: Introduced in the 18th century, this march step allowed Prussian troops to advance in lines without breaking formation. Variations were soon adopted throughout Europe.
  • Regimental Cantons: National manpower Modifier +33% and Regiment Recruitment Time -25%: Each German canton was responsible for the creation of its own regiment, eligible for draft in time of war.
  • Religious Toleration: Production Efficiency +5% and Tolerance of Heretics +1: Prussia’s greatest king, Frederick the Great, was famously unconcerned with religion or creed, even promoting the expansion of Jewish trade communities in the national interest.
When Brandenburg has all of its national ideas, they will also gain a 25% bonus to army Discipline. Brandenburg/Prussia is clearly a powerful military state with strong morale and discipline and tradition enough to ensure strong generals commanding large armies.


Bavaria is a major minor power in Central Europe. It starts small and surrounded by a bunch of even smaller neighbours (hi Ulm!). It has the advantage of Munich – one of the richest cities in central Europe, but it is smack in the middle of the HRE, so Bavaria needs to tread carefully if it wants to expand. Austria is right next door; Bavaria will need friends.

*National Ideas
Bavaria starts with Bavarian Traditions, giving it National Tax Modifier of +5% and a 10% bonus to Cavalry Combat Ability.
  • Institute the Everlasting Succession: Yearly Legitimacy +1: Constantly riven by sibling infighting and weakened by division, Bavaria introduced sole inheritance by the firstborn son in 1506.
  • Bring in the Bavarian Purity Law: Production Efficiency +10%: Bavarian beer is the best in the world, and it can only remain so if we can guarantee its purity. Let’s set some standards!
  • Found the Bavarian State Orchestra: Yearly Prestige +1: With origins reaching back to the 1520s, the Bavarian State Orchestra brought great esteem to the court of Munich.
  • Establish the Geistlicher Rat: Missionary Strength +2% and Yearly Papal Influence +0.5: The spiritual council of Bavaria that oversees ecclesiastical matters and advises the sovereign on issues that touch the church.
  • Become Brewmaster General: National Tax Modifier +10%: Again with the beer. A government monopoly on the production of strong beer will fill our coffers with hoppy riches.
  • Found a Professional Army: Discipline +5%: Bavaria moved away from mercenaries and towards a standing army in the 1680s. Never able to match the larger German armies in size, it was still able to achieve some success.
  • Found the Royal Order of Saint George for the Defence of the Immaculate Conception: Stability Cost Modifier -10%: The longest idea name in the game, and the highest chivalric honor in Bavaria, reserved for those who perform great service to the country.
After completing all the Bavarian ideas, Bavaria will also get a +5% bonus to Imperial Authority when its ruler is Holy Roman Emperor.

While not a great military power, the economic bonuses and early bumps to legitimacy and prestige mean that Bavaria is in a good position to keep its head above water financially and diplomatically if it can stay out of trouble. By mid game, if it has all the National Ideas and the Imperial Authority bonus is activated, then it can move to become the ultimate underdog story.


Bohemia is biggest of the three major minor central European powers and possibly the biggest rival for the Imperial Crown that the Austrian Habsburgs seem to claim by right. Divided between German and Czech lands, Bohemia is large and rich but has larger and richer neighbors in Poland, Hungary and Austria.

*National Ideas
Bohemia starts with Bohemian Tradition giving it a 10% discount to Advisor Costs and a 5% bonus to Imperial Authority while it holds the crown.
  • Compacta of Prague: Tolerance of Heretics: +3: The Hussite Wars were a religious conflict that tore Bohemia apart, as proto-Protestant heretics gained influence in the region. The Compact of Prague signaled an end to these wars through a compromise on many interpretations of Catholic doctrine.
  • Elective Monarchy: Yearly Legitimacy +1: After the end of the Luxembourg dynasty in Bohemia, the nobles elected to submit to the neighboring Habsburg realm. They jealously guarded this right to choose their own king.
  • Wagenburg: Infantry Combat Ability: +5%: The Hussite armies made great use of wagon forts that supported their armies in battle. A square of armed wagons would defend the main troops while artillery pounded enemy positions, and then open for a counter-attack.
  • Letter of Majesty: National Revolt Risk -1: Issued by Emperor Rudolf in 1609, the Letter of Majesty guaranteed Protestants in Bohemia the right to practice their own religion without interference.
  • Hussite Legacy: Technology Cost -10%: The free thinking John Hus challenged the Catholic Church and Bohemian resistance started the 30 Years’ War. This is the sort of energy we can use to advance in other ways.
  • The Kutnohorian Deal: Stability Cost Modifier: -10%: The weakening of the monarchy in the 1480s served the nation well, and Bohemia’s nobles rarely resorted to the infighting that characterized other monarchies.
  • Czech Nationalism: Hostile Core-Creation Cost on us +200%: Surrounded by much more numerous Germans, Poles and Hungarians, the Czech people have maintained their language and culture for centuries. We’ll never die.
After fulfilling all of the Bohemian Ambitions, Bohemia also gets a +1 bonus to Leader Fire. A fairly balanced mix of ideas makes for a well-rounded nation that should hold its own against larger powers.

Happy midsummer from all of us at Paradox Development Studio! :)

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Here I was, hoping one of Bohemia's National Ideas would be "Bohemian Rhapsody". But I guess that would go against copyright laws?

Nevertheless, thanks for the diary. I enjoy playing a lot with German OPM's.
[*]Bring in the Bavarian Purity Law: Production Efficiency +10%: Bavarian beer is the best in the world, and it can only remain so if we can guarantee its purity. Let’s set some standards!

Words fail to express the awesomeness of this, you actually got the Reinheitsgebot in EU4, if I hadn't already preordered, I definitely would now :D
[*]Bring in the Bavarian Purity Law: Production Efficiency +10%: Bavarian beer is the best in the world, and it can only remain so if we can guarantee its purity. Let’s set some standards!

As an Austrian I am deeply offended. The last beer-council of Central Europe resulted in a truce giving every major beer power the right to call their beer equal to others.
A beer flame-war between Austria, Bavaria, Czech Republic and even Belgium is not in the interest of any participant. We shall share and drink instead!
Prost! :D
T.O. have the same idea of Brandeburg or have is own?

I have also a question about generic idea group: They are divided for zones? (for example italian minors out of the three tiers share certain generic idea for italian states, and so for german minors, middle east etc..)

EDIT: In the post is updated also the flag of Brabant, there is a reason?