This guide aims to give you the basics of Europa Universalis playing as Castile. I'll show you some of the basics as we go through a quick play-through. So please check it out, and learn from my mistakes, in part two of How to Fail in Europa Universalis 4.
At the end of part one, things where going pretty smoothly for us. We made an alliance with Portugal, our economy was running along nicely, we had a sizable army, things where looking good. Our ally Portugal was feeling bored and decided to start a war and pull us into it. After accepting their request for assistance, you will notice that there is a shield at the bottom of the screen with a percentage below it. The percentage represents your war score, which is a calculation of how well the war is going for you and your allies. The higher the war score the better, when it comes to make peace, you can demand compensation from your opponent, this is when you will use your war score to demand payment, territory, or other demands. If you click on the shield you can see the countries involved in the war and additional information.
The first thing I like to check when I start a war is the military technology level of my opponents. You can view a country's military level from the diplomacy window, it is represented by the number beside the sword and gear. You can see your own military level from either the diplomacy or technology window. If your opponent has a higher military level if will give them a considerable advantage over you and to compensate, you will need a lot of additional troops to defeat them. Thankful this is not the case here, we are at an equal military technology level with the countries we are at war with.
Unfortunately, the provinces I want to attack for our war are located across the sea. I need to load up my troops into transports and send them over. To do this, park your fleet of ships in a province your troops are located in. Once the ships have docked in the province, select your army, on the army window hit the ship icon button located in the top right corner. When you move your ships out, your troops will be located on-board and ready to attack across the sea.
I've ran into a small enemy fleet on the way across the sea, shouldn't be a problem but this is why it is important to protect your transports.
To move your troops off the ships, park your fleet in an ocean next to the province you want to invade, then select your fleet and bring up the army window, then you will be able to move your troops into the province just like you would move them around on land. Be aware, if the province has troops guarding it, you will take a combat penalty for attacking from the sea.
Great I've moved my army off of the ship and they are now attacking the province, all there is to do now is wait for them to starve out the defenders. You will notice a percentage beside the province, this is your chance to capture it during the next combat roll, over time this percentage will grow until you win the combat roll and capture the province.
France has just requested military access from us, I usually accept these unless it is a rival or a country that is at war with one of my friends or allies. These requests, if granted, are quick positive relation points that may come in handy down the line.
I've just dropped off another shipload of troops, just in time as you can see there are about 20 units of enemy troops about to counter my attack on their province.
Oh nice, the culture change I ordered back in part one finished, I get 10 free diplomacy points for completing the task.
I've captured an enemy province, this is good news! It will boost our warscore and now I can move my army to another province and start to capture it.
Before I get a chance to move my army, I am being counter attacked by an enemy army, all I can do now is hope for the best.
Disaster... we had an even battle with our opponents, but the combined armies of all 3 of the counties was too much for our troops. A small number of them have survived the battle, but they have no way to retreat to regroup and will be destroyed by the enemy armies.
And it gets better, our other ally has just gotten into trouble and wants our help, the prestige hit to say no is just too much, we will need to assist.
Our country is at risk now. Aragon, our eastern neighbours are marching to invade with assistance from their allies, we have a small army available to try and hold them off but it is going to be tough.
Aragon is now blockading my port. When a country blockades your port, it costs you negative war score. I am going to buy some additional warships to try and push them out.
So far I've been able to hold off Aragon's armies, after eliminating their forces to the south I am going to move north and try and push them out.
My army got attacked on their march north by another Aragon army. Unfortunately they did not win and my country is now basically defenceless.
To make the situation worse, all of our previous defeats have depleted our manpower reserves. We need manpower to recruit and re-enforce our armies. You can see your current manpower as the number beside your current gold reserves. Each new unit costs 1000 manpower and your reserves will slowly gain each month.
With the war with Aragon, I almost forgot about our earlier one across the sea. Well its official now, we have lost and Portugal has to cede one of its provinces to Morocco.
Well we have gained enough military power to buy a new level of military technology. Too bad we have no troops left. This technology advantage would of helped greatly with the battles we lost.
Without an army to save our provinces under siege, they are slowly starting to fall to Aragon, there is nothing we can do as we have no army to fight back.
We have gained enough administration points to buy a new level of administration technology. This will allow us to pick an idea for our nation.
Ideas are very important, they allow you to shape your nation towards your goals for the future. For example, if you plan to conquer the world, you will want to invest into military ideas that will strengthen your armies. If you want to colonize the new world, you will want to invest into expansionist ideas that will grant your nation explores and conquistadors. Or if you plan to become a trading powerhouse, invest into trading ideas that will grant bonuses to your trading power and gain you merchants. It is all up to you and your play-style.
Oh man...another request to enter a war from an ally, we can't afford to enter the war as we have no troops, but the prestige hit is going to hurt us big time... son of a bitch!
As you can see Aragon has conquered most of our country, defeat comes soon.
Aragon offers us peace in exchange for our province of Murcia. We have no choice but to accept.
At this point I decided to end my game as everything that could go wrong pretty much did for me. If I decided to continue, I'm actually not in a bad spot considering what happened. Sure, I lost a province, and all my manpower, but my manpower will recover, and with smart planning, I can get my province back by regrouping and building new armies.
This play-through demonstrated the potential dangers of allies. Unfortuataly, by assisting them in their wars, I got over my head, and damaged my own country. But having allies is important, without them, you can be an easy target for a larger country to invade.
I hope this guide helps you with some of the basics, I hope your first or next game will go smoother then mine!
For additional help, please check out the Europa Universalis 4 Wiki located here: http://www.eu4wiki.com/. It is a great resource for the concepts of the game, and if you are struggling to understand a specific concept, the wiki should be able to explain it to you.