Europa Universalis IV: Development Diary 22: A.E.I.O.U

Europa Universalis IV: Development Diary 22: A.E.I.O.U

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Johan

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Welcome to the 22nd development diary for Europa Universalis IV. The focus of this development diary is about the most glorious of nations, the Archduchy of Austria. This is the nation I've played the most in competetive multiplayer in EU2, EU3 and EU4, and they have a special place in my heart.

Austrian Possibilities
At the start of the Grand Campaign in 1444, we find the Habsburgs have added other provinces in the vicinity of the Duchy of Austria and accumulated lands far from their hereditary base. Austria’s biggest strategic problem is that it is surrounded. Many of its great power rivals only have one major border to secure, or one local problem at a time. Austria has a strong Venice to its south, a potential rival in Hungary to its east and both Bohemia and Bavaria to the north can be trouble if they co-operate.
On the plus side, this very multiplicity of potential enemies means that Austria also has a multiplicity of potential allies. At the beginning of the game, Austria will have a chance to set its course diplomatically in a wide field of play. It has a strong enough army to hold off a bunch of buzzing gnat-like minor German states and with one strong ally in, for example, Burgundy or Poland, can stop things from getting out of hand.
Once Austria is secure in its borders and has acquired nearby lands, it will find itself in possession of a territory rich in manpower and resources. Vienna is the crucial trade node through central Europe, and Austria’s single coastal province is in the Venetian node, so two easy merchant destinations are there to be dominated.

But Austria’s greatest early strength is the Imperial Throne. As Holy Roman Emperor, Austria gets a lot of diplomatic assets that give it great flexibility. It starts with two extra free diplomatic agreements (anything over this number is deducted from the monthly Diplomatic Power point total). It has the power to declare war on any country at war with a member of the empire and can liberate conquered Imperial states. It can even go to war to revoke the electorate status of those states that don’t recognize its Imperial majesty.

In short, this early power gives Austria tremendous freedom of action in the early going, since there will be a lots of early opportunities to take action on behalf of the Imperial throne, thereby increasing Imperial prestige. Keeping the HRE throne is another matter altogether, but this is where diplomacy comes in.
Austria will find it in its interest to use those extra diplomatic actions for royal marriages throughout the Empire. You never know when a useful relative will ascend to power.

"Leave the waging of wars to others! But you, happy Austria, marry; for the realms which Mars awards to others, Venus transfers to you."

Austrian Dynamic Historical Events
As a major player throughout this era, Austria has plenty of historical events, as well as a major event series. You might want to prepare for The Italian Wars that can rapidly become a general struggle for power and territory among the various participants followed by alliances, counter-alliances, and betrayals.

The Italian Wars may trigger anytime between 1490 and 1590 if Austria is Emperor and France has managed to get a foothold in Italy; since France has a mission pointing it in this direction, there is a strong chance of this happening. Should Austria decide to intervene in this conflict, it may challenge France by claiming all their lands in Italy. France, however, gets the same opportunity to claim Austrian lands in the peninsula.

Amongst their interesting historical events, Austria has one called 'Privilegium Maius'. Historically, this was 14th century forgery that claimed ancient rights for the Habsburg Dukes over all of Austria. Though widely recognized as a forgery, enough gold can bring some fantasies to life. By the late 1400s, the unique connection between the Habsburgs and the Austria nation were widely legitimized. In Europa Universalis IV, the Privilegium Maius can give Austria a unique government form after 1500 if the Habsburgs dynasty still rules and they are the Emperor. This government is a form of Feudal Monarchy that allows one extra diplomatic relation for Austria as well as the usual Feudal Monarchy bonuses - +10% incomes from Vassals, and +10% manpower.

Austrian Missions and Decisions
As with most of the great powers, the Austrian decisions from Europa Universalis III have largely migrated to the National Idea menu, but they still have their historical missions, most of which focus on directing you to expand Austria to its historical borders, and opposing the Ottoman advances in the Balkans and Hungary.

Austrian National Ideas
Austria starts with a 2% reduction to the normal prestige decay, so they’re able to keep up their prestige level much easier. They also have 30% faster decay to bad relations, so neighbors are more likely to forgive and forget your crimes against peace.
  1. Imperial Ambitions: +10% Imperial Authority
    As the clear choice to rule the Empire, the Habsburgs don’t have to work quite as hard as other Emperors will to get the authority high enough to pass laws through the Imperial Diet.
  2. Military Border: +25% fort defenses
    A defensive bonus for Austrian troops reflects its tradition of protecting the empire and the ancestral homelands with strong points throughout the realm.
  3. Fugger Banks: -1 Interest
    The Fuggers were one of the great European banking families. With great wealth based in textiles and mining, the Fuggers loaned great sums of money to the major houses of Europe until the mid-1600s.
  4. Habsburg Dominance: +5 Diplomatic Reputation
    The Habsburg family became so prestigious and its marriages so strategic that it ruled, at its height under Emperor Charles V, Spain, the HRE, much of Italy, the Netherlands and a vast colonial empire.
  5. Edict of Restitution; +2 Missionary Strength & +1 Tolerance of Own Faith
    The Edict of Restitution was proclaimed in 1629 at the height of Catholic success in the Thirty Years’ War. It tried to enforce a mostly ignored clause from the treaty that ended the last great religious wars, and threatened to force thousands of Germans to convert to Catholicism. Very unpopular with Protestants, it enhanced the religious stature of the Emperor.
  6. Austrian Court: +2 Diplomatic Upkeep
    Vienna’s court might not have the romance of Versailles, but the agility of the Austrian diplomatic corps kept the central European state vital to continental stability for centuries.
  7. Hofkriegsrat: +30% Reinforce Speed
    The centralized war office of Austria, this council directed all military affairs, including the maintenance of the Imperial Army.
When Austria has all of its national ideas, it gets +50% chance to get an Heir, further enhancing its legitimacy and prestige.

These National Ideas reinforce Austria as a country that is heavily reliant on diplomacy. Yes, it is also a very decent defensive country with stronger forts and a greater ability to recover it’s on the field strength, but the HRE diplomatic agreement bonus plus the chance for more diplomatic relations with the Prestigium Maius event PLUS the Austrian Court bonus and a better reputation means that Austria has the potential to keep its enemies surrounded and its allies close for a very long time.

Bonus Detail: Holy Roman Empire Improvements.
Since we’re talking about Austria and the centrality of the Holy Roman Empire to its power base, this is as good a time as any to reveal some more detail about how the HRE will work in Europa Universalis IV.

Diplomacy
There are now two completely new diplomatic actions that you can do as the emperor. First of all, if there are fewer than seven electors, you can then grant the electorate to another independent nation inside the Empire. Of course, they have to accept the offer as well, but this helps you stack the deck with friendly rulers in case something unfortunate happens to a less agreeable elector.

Reforms
Imperial Reforms are no longer handled through events, where you had no view over how the diet would vote. Now it is a clear mechanic where you take the action and call for the vote, and you can see how every single member will vote and why. Therefore, you can play the diplomatic game to sway the voters for you to introduce more reforms. Having higher authority may sway the fence sitters, but every time you enact a reform, all your authority is removed even though you only need 50 for a vote. (This is where Austria’s 10% Imperial Authority bonus comes it quite handy.)

Elections
The formula for election has been changed rather dramatically. If you vassalize an elector, every other elector will dislike you enormously, and you will not be able to gain their votes unless you are the best of friends. This is to represent how jealously the Electors protected their right to vote, and, from a game perspective, to keep you from gaming the system. There are also several other factors that have been added and/or tweaked, making the Imperial throne something you have to focus on if you want to keep it.

War in the Empire
If you are fighting against the Emperor and manage to win, you can now force the repeal of more than just one reform, even though you need a successful 100% warscore war for each reform in the empire.

The Emperor can always start a war against an elector with the goal of revoking the electorate – this will probably make other electors a little nervous, but can be useful if Cologne just refuses to play ball, or is getting too cozy to France.

Imperial Authority now slowly increases every year by +1 if there are no internal wars in the empire, but it decreases by 1 each year there are fewer than seven electors.

 

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apg

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what does the hammer in the top left do?
 

RedRalphWiggum

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I like it. Always felt Austria found it a bit too hard (read: impossible) to follow their historical course in EU3.

What decides how the electors will vote?
 

Grubnessul

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Good stuff :)

Since it was probably snowed under by all the complaints of the military system last week, could you tell us if discipline/tactics are still in and what power represents for units and ships?
 

Andy 1984

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Many thanks for this brilliant update. I've always loved Austria and the HRE-mechanics. It looks like Austria will still be the diplomatic powerhouse it should be, and more than a worthy opponent of the French military beast. Very interesting read.

It also looks like the Fugger's financial control no longer grants inflation reduction on top of decreased interests. That's certainly a pity, for I loved that decision in EU3. Minor question: did the effects of the HRE-reforms remain the same as they were in EU3, allowing for significant boosts to tax income, prestige gain and magistrates?


kind regards,

Andy
 

1alexey

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So, can you grand electoral status to your vassal?

And, will the vassalised elector vote for you? If yes, revoke a stack of lectors, than vassalise some, and grant the rest to your vassals, and you`re set. Although, maybe that is how centralisation more or less happened in other states, so may be fine stratgy.

Also, what happens if there are no electors? You`r autority keeps falling to zero, or there is something more drastic to it?
 

Johan

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It also looks like the Fugger's financial control no longer grants inflation reduction on top of decreased interests. That's certainly a pity, for I loved that decision in EU3.
It currently does, but its on the "lets review" list at the moment.

Minor question: did the effects of the HRE-reforms remain the same as they were in EU3, allowing for significant boosts to tax income, prestige gain and magistrates?
No, there have been quite some changes...
 

Johan

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Johan

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Good stuff :)

Since it was probably snowed under by all the complaints of the military system last week, could you tell us if discipline/tactics are still in and what power represents for units and ships?
Yeah, it was weird with lots of people saying "no new stuff", and there were quite a few new things in it. Discipline and tactics are still in, and can be seen in that interface.

Power modifies the damage dealing ability of a unit in combat. So if you have ideas that give you +10% on infantry, then your infantry does 10% more damage.
 

Jia Xu

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Very interesting DD. Some quick questions:

1) What happens if a player as Emperor just refuses to appoint new electors until only his/her country remains?
2) What happens to electors who are in a personal union with the emperor? Does that still carry the same relations malice?
3) If an elector is a vassal of someone outside of the empire, can the lord-state control their vote, or will the vassalized AI always simply vote for its master state?
 

Graspiloot

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Can we get that countries in the HRE get their real titles instead of "king of bohemia"?
 

Andy 1984

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Many thanks for the reply Johan. I'm looking forward to seeing Austria in EU4. :)
 

Johan

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Very interesting DD. Some quick questions:

1) What happens if a player as Emperor just refuses to appoint new electors until only his/her country remains?
2) What happens to electors who are in a personal union with the emperor? Does that still carry the same relations malice?
3) If an elector is a vassal of someone outside of the empire, can the lord-state control their vote, or will the vassalized AI always simply vote for its master state?
1) you have an empire with permanent 0 authority.
2) yep.
3) nah, the vassal decide, and the bonus for overlord is rather small.
 

Wallienator

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What happens if you vassal 2 electors, do they then both get a minus relationship because there is a vassalled elector or no minus relationship at all?