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Thread: - [TW Guide] ETW: A Guide to Prussia

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    Default - [TW Guide] ETW: A Guide to Prussia



    Author: Astaroth
    Original Thread: A Guide to Prussia

    A Guide to Prussia - Part 1




    Table of Contents


    1. Introduction
    2. Prussia - An Overview
    3. Prussia's Neighbors
    4. The Strategy
    5. Summary



    I. Introduction

    Who hasn't heard of Prussia, the proud German kingdom? The country which has always been famous for its military drill and strength? In Empire: Total War it's finally possible to follow Prussia on its path to glory and to recreate its rise to power. Who would possibly want to miss out on that?
    The 18th century which is featured in ETW was also Prussia's century, the time when the kingdom established itself amongst the other European nations. Therefore, when playing as Prussia you can actually start from the very beginning and build an empire from scratch. While this is of course a considerable challange - it is no coincidence that many consider Prussia to be the hardest faction to play -, succeeding and triumping over your enemies will also be sweeter than ever.

    Before you start a campaign, you should have a look at the victory conditions and Prussia's position on the campaign map:



    As you can see, the kingdom starts with two regions. Unfortunately, they are not connected to each other. On top of that, Prussia is surrounded by Poland and its allies/protectorates and doesn't have much space to breathe. Even being close to the Baltic Sea doesn't help much since Prussia's starting navy is rather poor. However, it's not like you need any warships at the start, considering that the kingdom doesn't have any colonies whatsoever.

    After these first few thoughts about Prussia, we shall have a look at the campaign's victory conditions. You can either play a short campaign (conquer and hold 15 provinces by 1750) or. a long campaign (conquer and hold 25 provinces by 1799). Alternatively, you may choose to struggle for world domination (conquer and hold 50 provinces by 1799). This choice is really up to you and doesn't make much of a difference. I personally prefer the two longer campaign types and I wrote this guide mainly for them but you might as well play the short campaign if you wish. But let's move on.

    Now, there is one last thing you have to do before starting the actual campaign: choosing the difficulty level. Generally, "easy" isn't challenging and thus not very exciting for anyone with some strategy game experience. It might be a good setting to test out things or to get used to the new game but that's about it. The next setting is "medium" which is obviously a bit harder than easy. The campaign AI will be smarter and the battle AI will utilize more advanced tactics. I consider this difficulty the best for anyone who wants to have a fun and exciting yet not too hard game. People who haven't played Empire: Total War before might want to choose this setting for their first campaign. But as you can see on the screenshot, there are two further difficulty options: "hard" and "very hard". Both of them are only meant for rather experienced Total War players. While you will obviously face a bigger challange with a harder difficulty level, you have to remember that the battle AI isn't actually better on the hardest difficulty. Instead, it receives ridiculous attack, defense and morale boosts to make up for its disadvantages. Some might enjoy fighting such an uphill battle but I personally prefer to play on "hard" instead of "very hard" because of it. Losing with upgrades line infantry against militia isn't very fun. On the campaign map, you can use whichever setting you prefer. I for my part don't find the campaign AI particularly hard to beat and had no trouble with very hard. The enemy might spawn more stacks but the AI's lack of aggressiveness and general stupidity makes up for that. Therefore, I will be going for the "hard" (H) battle difficulty and for the "very hard" (VH) campaign map one. Feel free to choose whichever you prefer though, this guide should work on most difficulty settings. On easier ones you will simply have a much easier time winning battles and you'll probably expand much more quickly. If you choose to play on the VH battle difficulty level, prepare to face nigh un-routable units of line infantry! But as Prussia's King Frederick the Great once said: Suum cuique, to each his own.

    Now let's jump to the next chapter and get started with the actual campaign!

    II. Prussia - An Overview



    The Prussian kingdom at the beginning of the game.

    In 1700, Prussia is not quite a major power. The small country has just become a kingdom and struggles to survive. No Prussian would dare to think of expanding just yet. Therefore, we should have a look at Prussia's military, economy, government and religion at the beginning of the game. That way, we will get a better idea of the kingdom is capable of. After all, knowing one's own strenghts and weaknesses is the first step towards victory!


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    The Economy

    Due to the country's small size, Prussia's economy isn't very strong. Furthermore, the country owns zero colonies and can't access any trade theaters early on, either. Its lack of a fleet makes acquiring colonies hard so Prussia misses out on America's and India's riches - at least for the time being. However, it is possible to build trade harbors and expand them in order to establish trade routes with other countries. That can be quite profitable and trade ports are definitely a good boost to your economy. In the long run, you will benefit from them more than from fishing docks. Not to mention that trade relations with another nation may well be the first step towards an alliance. Having many friends can never hurt.
    Over the course of the game, new towns will appear all across your empire. You'll be able to construct economic buildings there, such as mines or farms. Along with taxes, trade and roads they may contribute to your wealth considerably. On top of that it's also possible to expand them which will result in even more income. However, in order to advance your economic buildings, research is necessary. You can only build new and improved ones if you have already researched the corresponding technologies. But more of that later on.


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    Starting Military




    Your capital Berlin, garrisoned by a medium sized army. It is led by a seven star general.

    At the beginning, your army is divided into three parts: a small garrison in Königsberg (consisting of 1 unit of line infantry, fixed cannons and militia), an average one in your capital Berlin (consiting of 3 units of line infantry, 1 unit of each pikemen, fixed cannons and militia cavalry and least but not least a 7-star general) and a decent field army in East Prussia (consisting of 2 units of line infantry, 1 unit of each militia and pikemen, 1 unit of fixed cannons, 1 unit of militia cavalry and yet another 7-star general with a horribly long German name). While East Prussia is protected be the aforementioned field army, Berlin has a considerably stronger garrison so both of your provinces are about equally well protected. However, needless to say, your starting army is rather weak and by no means big or strong enough to fight the wars which lie in front of you. Therefore, it is clearly a priority to expand your military by training units in both of your cities. But more of that later on.

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    The Government



    Left: Prussia's king and ministers at the beginning of the game. Right: The national summary which includes Prussia's population, religion and wealth.

    Prussia is an absolute monarchy. That means that the king can remove his minsters from office whenever he wants to by replacing them with another hopefully more capable man. This is obviously a big advantage as incompetent people will not be able to damage your finances, prestige or military strength. On top of that, Prussia's nobles fully support their king and are very happy with this type of government. As a result, you will be able to set their taxes up to a very high level without them complaining. That will definitely be a boost to your treasury. However, an absolute monarchy is based on the opression of the lower classes so they will try to improve their situation, even if that will result in rioting and revolting. If a lower class revolution manages to succeed, Prussia will turn into a republic and its flag will become the modern German one. Being a republic offers many advantages without a doubt. To begin with, the lower class is obviously much happier and much more willing to pay higher taxes and to obey. Furthermore, you'll be able to advance and develop without problems as the people will not be opposed to it anymore. As a result, stronger troops, better formations and more profitable buildings become available. Another plus is a good standing with all other republics in the game. However, that leads us to the downsides of being a republic. Most major nations are still absolute monarchies and won't be all that friendly towards republics. Therefore, being a republic may well worsen your standing with some important countries. Another disadvantage are the unhappy nobles who'll refuse to pay higher taxes. On top of that, you will no longer be able to dismiss and appoint ministers all the time. Only one minuster can be removed each turn and new elections might well bring uncapable people to power. Negative consequences are not unlikely.
    However, there is yet another possible type of government: a constitutional monarchy. If the nobility in a republic manages to revolt and to overthrow the existing government, a constitutional monarchy will be founded. As the name suggests, it is a mixture of a republic and an absolute monarchy. As such, the king will have quite some power but it is somewhat limited. The lower class people will support him but not to the extent of which they'd support a republic.
    In conclusion, each of the three different types of government has its advantages and disadvantages. In the end the choice who your country should be lead by comes down to personal preference. Some might want to have total control about everything while others prefer to further democracy.
    I for my part tend to stay with an absolute monarchy at the start of the game as it grants me military advantages, improved diplomatic standings at the beginning and full control. Once I have established my Prussian Empire in Europe, I like switching to a republic in order to avoid constant riots by the lower class, to boost my technological advance and to improve my economy. But more of that later on.


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    Religion

    In Empire: Total War religion isn't such a big issue. There is no pope who would give you missions and there are neither crusades nor jihads. Therefore, one might not pay much attention to religion. That would however be a mistake. Religion is still a factor, albeit a small one. Both provinces and nations can still be Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Muslim or Hindu. If you play as a Catholic nation, regions that are mainly populated by people of others religions will be more likely to riot. Same goes for any other religion. However, it is possible to convert a region's inhabitants. In order to achieve this you must build churches in the respective region which will then automatically spawn priests or imams. These so-called 'religious agents' will then slowly convert the local population. That way you can avoid constant religious strife. It must be noted that this process can take quite some time, though. Therefore, one should have a look at a province's religion before invading it. Sometimes it might be smart not to take the risk.
    Prussia is a Protestant nation and has thus rather good relations with other nations of the same religion. Therefore, e.g. Britain is naturally friendly towards the Prussian kingdom. However, many major European countries are Catholic, including the powerful France and Austria. As a result, poor diplomatic relations with them are likely. Religion should not be overestimated, though. Even if another nation has a different one, it's still easily possible to gain its benevolence and support via good diplomacy, gifts and trade.


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    Technology



    Prussia's technology tree at the college of Magdeburg.


    In Empire: Total War nations can develop by researching new technologies. These technologies can improve your economy, may open up new formations, tactics or weapons and also give you access to new units and buildings. Therefore, they are extremely important without a doubt and you should never neglect this aspect of the game. Technologies can be researched in schools or their respective upgraded versions, namely colleges and univerisities. However, each school can only research one technology at a time so the more you have, the better. If your school is upgraded, research will be faster as well. Another way to improve your research rate is to send your gentlemen there. Once you have several of them in a single school or college, technologies will be researched much faster. While you won't be able to afford many schools early on, they can become quite important later in the game.
    However, while researching technologies is inevitable if you want to compete with Europe's major powers, it has its downsides as well. Schools hurt your public order and the more you invest into research, the angier your lower class will become. It's only logical - once the people are educated, they will no longer tolerate being opressed and taxed heavily. But as explained above, becoming a republic is a good solution to this problem. In the end everyone has to decide for himself how much importance he wants to give to researching technologies.
    Personally, I like spending lots of money on schools and colleges, in order to gain a technological advantage. This works well with Prussia, since your military is powerful anyway and the technologies will widen the gap between your army and that of other nations. Therefore, I tend to research military technologies first of all, combined with some economic ones in order to fuel my economy. I'd highly advise you to avoid the ones related to naval combat for now, though as building a fleet is pretty much unnecessary at the start.
    On top of researching technologies, schools also spawn gentlemen. They can be used to steal technology from other nations, to fight duels against foreign gentlemen or to boost your own research rate. I personally tend to use them mainly for my own colleges as stealing technologies on a bigger scale takes a lot of micromanagement. At the beginning of the game, Prussia has a single gentleman. He is rather capable and can be used for a multitude of tasks such as the aforementioned ones. Prussia also starts with a college in the town of Magdeburg which should definitely be utilized.

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    Diplomacy


    At the beginning of the game, Prussia doesn't have all that many enemies. Poland is pretty much neutral, Denmark and Britain are more or less friendly and only Austria is rather hostile. However, they shouldn't be a big problem as the Austro-Prussian border is extremely short and lies far away from Austria's main cities and armies. Still, despite Prussia's rather good diplomatic standing at the beginning of the game, you shouldn't be too careless. Prussia is rather small and weak so it would be wise to maintain good relations with most surrounding nations. Furthermore, as expansion is essential for you, other countries will naturally be suspicious and might well turn against you. In order to avoid this, you must make sure to focus on one enemy at a time while maintaining a good standing with your other neighbors. Otherwise, you might end up in a painful multi-front war. In order to gain a deeper understanding of Prussia's situation, we shall have a look at the kingdom's neighbors. This leads us to the next chapter.


    Prussia's Frederick II the Great.


    III. Prussia's Neighbors
    Since the Prussian kingdom is divided into two parts it borders many other nations. In the west and southwest, it shares borders with Hanover Saxony. Whilst, it borders Poland in the south and east. Lastly, the Polish protectorate Courland in the north lies next to Prussia. In conclusion, it's obvious that Prussia is in a rather dangerous situation in the beginning. The kingdom is surrounded by a multitude of factions which may all declare war on it sooner or later. The fact that many of them are allied with each other makes it even worse. In order to understand how Prussia's neighbors should be dealt with, we should have a look at each of them individually. That way, discovering their strenghts and weaknesses will be easy and beating them will no longer seem like an impossible task. These are the nations which are bordered by Prussia, listed from the west to the east, counter-clockwise:


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    The German states in Prussia's south and soutwest.


    Hanover


    Hanover
    is a small kingdom to the west of Prussia. Its capital is naturally Hanover, the biggest city in the region. The faction is generally rather passive early on and will not be a big threat. However, over time its aggressiveness will grow proportionally to its strength. Sooner or later, the city Hanover itself will be guarded by a full stack and the faction will become increasingly adventurous. If your relations with the Hanoverians worsen over the course of the game, raids on your towns in Brandenburg will become common. Therefore, taking Hanover out early on, when they are still weak, might seem to be the best option. However, there is one problem with that: Hanover is allied to England, a faction which you should not anger too early. Prussia doesn't have many allies and ruining your good relations with England is a bad idea. You have enough major opponents to face anyway. Therefore, it'd be best to ignore Hanover early on if possible. You can't hinder their arms build-up without putting at stake too much so you should simply focus on other regions for the time being. Hanover will attack you anyway sooner or later and it shouldn't be too hard to take them out then. However, you have to make sure that Berlin is never left unguarded, otherwise they might fall into your flank, resulting in the loss of your capital. If the Hanoverians decide to stay at peace with you for some reason, you can simply wait until you are strong enough to afford a war on multiple fronts. Once the time has come, Hanover should fall quickly.
    The biggest problem is really the fact that they are more or less untouchable for you early on due to their diplomatic relationship with England. Aside from that, Hanover is simply a small annoyance and will merely damage a few towns at the most.


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    Saxony


    Saxony
    is yet another rather small kingdom with a single province. Its capital is Dresden and it lies south of Prussia's main province Brandenburg. Saxony is nothing special and similar to the other little German factions, such as Bavaria, Wurttemberg, Westphalia and Hanover. At the beginning its army is small and the region isn't particularly rich, either. Saxony's military isn't different from that of the surrounding states and isn't very unique. The faction will most likely not become a problem, unless you let it grow and prosper for too long. But even then their army won't exactly become huge and it should be possible to deal with them. However, just like most others of the smaller German states, Saxony has a protector - Poland. This makes the situation more complicated as declaring war on Saxony will result in war with its Polish overlords as well. Since Prussia isn't at war with Poland at the beginning of the game, war with Saxony will inevitably make Poland your enemy. Therefore, you should think twice before declaring war on the Saxons. While the small kingdom itself might be rather weak, Poland is in a stronger position than you early on.


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    Austria

    Austria is a major empire consisting of 6 regions. Its province Silesia shares a small border with Prussia's Brandenburg. The absolute monarchy Austria is an important power in Europe. Its capital Vienna is a major European city, which isn't only extremely populous but also very advanced and developed. Furthermore, Austria controls the regions of Bohemia&Moravia (capital: Prague) and Hungary (capital: Preßburg) which both have huge populations. Therefore, the empire has a strong power base and a solid tax income. Generally, Austria has a decent or even good economy which offers many possibilities. However, the empire does have its disadvantages and problems. For one, it lies in the middle of (Eastern) Europe. As a result, it is surrounded by possible adversaries and will have a hard time defending its borders. Furthermore, the country's line infantry is rather weak which is only compensated by its sheer numbers. An Austrian general will have to overcome these disadvantages in battle.
    Austria borders Poland, the Ottoman Empire, Venice, Bavaria, Saxony and Prussia. Therefore a war on multiple fronts is very well possible and the empire will try to avoid that at any cost.
    At the beginning of the game, Austria isn't very friendly towards Prussia. The two have become rivals over the past few years and Austria's hostility increases with Prussia's rising power. Therefore, a war between the two nations is likely to occur sooner or later. On top of that, Austria offers the young Prussian kingdom populous and wealthy lands. Bohemia, Austria itself and Hungary are very important provinces which most nations would love to conquer. But even if Prussia wasn't eager to take Austria's lands it wouldn't have much of a choice, since the empire's vast lands limit and hinder Prussia's expansion. As a result, a war is pretty much inevitable anyway.
    As explained above, other nations will most likely weaken Austria, so defeating them isn't as hard as it might seem to be. Prussia's superior military can give them a clear edge in battles and a competent general should be able to come out on top. Prussia shouldn't challenge Austria too early, though as the monarchy on the danube has a considerable advantage at the start. A smart Prussian king would prepare, expand his empire and build up his army before striking at the Austrian giant. But sooner or later, Prussia shall show those Austrians who the true masters of Germany are!


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    Poland, Courland and the other nations in Prussia's south and southeast.


    Poland-Lithuania


    Poland is a rather big country and a major nation in Europe. As opposed to most other European nations, it isn't an absolute monarchy but a constitutional one. Therefore, the Polish public has a bigger say in the country's politics and is also more enthusiastic about supporting it. Poland owns five regions at the start of the game, ranging from Gdansk, West Prussia in the west to Minsk, Belarus&Volhynia in the east. In the west and southwest it borders its protectorate Saxony and the vast Austrian Empire and in the north it stretches up to Prussia and Courland. In the east, Poland shares its longest border with Russia and a short one with Ottoman Empire and the latter's Crimean protectorate. Poland is moderately rich and its capital is rather developed. However, its vast regions are only thinly populated and especially the eastern towns are not very advanced. Therefore, Poland and its economy have definitely lots of room for improvement. Since the country is so huge, it has a hard time defending its borders as well. Its location in the middle of several other states makes it even harder. However, since Russia is a Polish ally and as both Courland and Saxony are Polish protectorates, the kingdom doesn't have all that many potential adversaries. Not yet, at least.
    While the Polish military isn't spectacular it is decent and relieable. The country isn't known for its soldiers' discipline but they can hold their own in battle. Furthermore, Poland has yet another ace in the hole: the famous Winged Hussars. The heavy cavalrymen are still a powerful force on any battlefield and can crush most infantry formations. While plug bayonets weaken them somewhat, they still have their uses and are rightfully feared by Europe's infantry. However, while Poland's army might not be weak, it is lacking in numbers early on. Therefore, the country will try to avoid war on multiple fronts which can be quite beneficial for Prussia. But more about that later on.
    Poland is a Catholic kingdom and as such naturally not very friendly towards the Protestant Prussia. However, over the last few years there haven't been any wars between the two countries so their relationship has improved - it is still far from perfect, though. Although Poland isn't hostile towards Prussia right now, it does pose a problem for the young German kingdom as it limits its expansion considerably. Two out of Prussia's five neighbors Polish protectorates - namely Courland and Saxony - and Poland itself has a rather long border with Prussia as well. Therefore, the kingdom has a very hard time expanding without angering Poland or even starting a war with it. Sooner or later, the Prussians will have to face their southern neighbors. However, the Polish AI seems to love peace a lot so you can use this to your advantage. Unlike most other factions, Poland will accept a ceasefire almost always, even if your relations with it are abysmal. That way you can even declare war, take one of Poland's regions or even conquer their protectorates and then make peace with them again. Sounds ridiculous? It is. That doesn't mean that you cannot use this to your advantage, though. But more of this later on.


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    Courland

    Courland is the last Prussian neighbor and lies north of it on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Everyone who has ever played a Prussian campaign knows what this small faction is like. "Courland is way too aggressive, Courland always attacks me!" - who hasn't heard the Prussian players complain about their northern neighbor? Unfortunately, the rumours are true. Courland is indeed way too aggressive, does not respect treaties, does not want peace at any time and will not hesitate to invade you, even if you are much more powerful. I don't know why the Courlanders are like this but the game would definitely be more challenging if all factions were like that! Either way, Courland is an extremely annoying enemy who will always attack you when you expect it least. Actually, they will almost always attack you, but let's ignore that for the moment.
    Although the Courlanders seem to be very sure of themselves, this can't be based on their wealth or military strenght. The small country's capital Jelgava is not exactly a metropolis and Courland's soldiers are nothing special, either. Furthermore, since it is a Polish protectorate, a big share of its income goes directly to Poland. However, for some reason Courland still manages to produce a vast amount of troops very quickly and will constantly attack you throughout the game. Their armies will raid your towns and damage them or might even attempt to take Königsberg, East Prussia if it is only lightly defended. Strangely enough, it doesn't even really matter what your standing with Courland's protector Poland is. No matter whether you are at peace or war with it, Courland will attack you nontheless. The problem is that Courland's capital is relatively far away from your closest starting territory, East Prussia. Therefore, it will be hard to strike them with a decisive blow. Firstly, their capital lies close to the Russian and Swedish empires. Therefore, you might anger them by taking Jelgava and a war with either or even both of them is a possibility. On top of that, taking the city will stretch your lines even more. It will be hard to defend both Königsberg and Jelgava if Poland decides to attack you since the two towns are so far apart from each other.
    But what other options do we have? Should we let Courland harass our towns? Obviously not. Therefore, the best plan seems to be to defend East Prussia against their raids until an expansion to their capital becomes feasible. Or in other words: expand elsewhere and strengthen your position until holding both Königsberg and Jelgava at once becomes feasible.

    In conclusion, it is obvious that Prussia has many neighbors which will all have to be dealt with sooner or later. Some of them are stronger, others are weaker. However, they have one thing in common: none of them wants to give up any territory to the ambitious Prussians. Therefore, the kingdom will only be able to survive and expand if it shows strenght, courage and willpower. However, Prussia's direct neighbors aren't the only ones who might pose a danger to it. Behind the Baltic Sea, the powerful kingdom of Sweden is on the qui vive and watches Prussia constantly. Only a few hundred miles to the northwest, the Russians are eager to expand and to become the dominant power of Eastern Europe. While these countries might not be a threat to Prussia at the moment, a war with them is not off the stove. Therefore, you have to plan and expand carefully and must always think ahead. If you ever want to follow in Frederick the Great's footsteps, you cannot afford to make a mistake, to tremble or to hesitate!

    But now let's move to the next chapter in order to decide on the actual strategy. Stay tuned!

    Ex-Curator
    Under the Patronage of Perikles
    Patron of Desperado † and Astaroth


    R.I.P Calvin

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    Default Re: [TW Guide] A Guide to Prussia



    Author: Astaroth
    Original Thread: A Guide to Prussia

    A Guide to Prussia - Part 2

    IV. The Strategy
    Since Prussia is a rather small kingdom to begin with, expansion is a must. Two regions aren't enough if you ever want to establish a power base in Europe. The real question isn't what to do but rather how to do it. After all, Prussia is surrounded by many countries which could all be targetted. And while it is obvious that expansion is necessary, we still haven't established when to expand or whether anything else should be done beforehand. There are basically two paths which one can go, both of them having their pros and cons. Option 1 would be to play more defensively early on while building up your economy, sending sloops to the different trade theaters and slowly preparing for war. The other possibility would be to focus on building up a military while striking at your neighbors and expanding quickly. Both ways are viable and it mainly comes down to your personal preference. In the end, you're the one who has to make the choice. However, in this guide I will focus on option 2 as I'm generally more of an aggressive player who loves to fight and conquer!

    Since the main direction of our strategy is now clear we should have a look at the details. What are our short-term goals? What do we want to achieve in the long run? What are the campaign's victory conditions? Colonies or not? If yes, when should we go for them? Who do we want to fight, which nations should be our targets?

    Before we move on to the actual short-term planning, deciding on our main objectives is a necessity. No good general goes around conquering before he has made a plan! Anyway, Prussia has so many different options and it would be impossible to list all of them here. Therefore, I'll simply focus on one of them in this guide. I'll try to conquer most of central Europe down to the Alps, in order to recreate the Holy Roman Empire. This will of course sooner or later result in massive wars with Poland, Austria and all of the small German states. Later on, you are free to expand wherever you want to. Once you've succeeded in building a huge German Empire, you might well attempt to recreate Napoleon's campaign into Russia, to punish France for... well, for being France or to grab some colonies in India or the Americas. But now let's finally move on to the actual campaign.


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    Possible Targets


    As Prussia, you are surrounded by many different nations so there are naturally lots of different directions into which you could expand. Let's examine them in order to decide on the easiest target.


    • Denmark: While you could invade Denmark it is probably not a wise thing to do. You do not share a border with them, you have great relations with them and their capital isn't easy to reach. Furthermore, Sweden lies close to them and will annex them sooner or later. As a result, capturing Copenhagen will most likely result in a war with the Swedish kingdom. Prussia has enough enemies so it would be a good idea to avoid this war. Thus, you should stay out of Denmark for the time being. The effort simply isn't worth it.


    • Hanover: You could declare war on Hanover and would probably be able to beat the small country quickly but it's not really a good idea anyhow. Just like Denmark, Hanover is very friendly towards you so by attacking them you'd take on a possible friend while ignoring other, much more hostile neighbors. Furthermore, taking Hanover would expand your empire a good deal to the west which would increase the lenght of its southern border even more. As a result, your army would likely be overstretched. Last but not least, the small nation is a close ally of England, a country which has good relations with you as well. Conquering Hanover would upset the English and would thus result in the loss of a possible good trade partner and ally. Therefore, it's obviously not a great idea to go down this road.


    • Courland: Courland lies too far up north and isn't worth taking on at the beginning. It's too strong to take out quickly and the town would be too hard to hold against possible invasions from Sweden, Poland and possibly Russia. Courland will have to be faced sooner or later anyway but the time for that hasn't come yet.


    • Saxony: Now here we have a good victim finally! Saxony is small, rather weak and very close to your moderately strong starting army and your troop production center in Berlin. The ideal target! The only problem is Saxony's protector, Poland. Declaring war on the Saxons will inevitably result in war with the Polish. But is that really a bad thing? Poland surrounds Prussia and you'll have to face them sooner or later anyway. If you ever want to connect your two starting regions, East Prussia and Brandenburg, you have to conquer Polish land. Therefore, taking on Saxony is the perfect opportunity to force a war against Poland without actually declaring war on them. The best thing is that this way neither Poland's protectorate Courland nor the Polish ally Russia will get involved - at least for now. While you will have to face both Saxony and Poland, this should be doable as the former is rather weak and the latter has an overstretched army and won't be able to counter a strong assault.


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    Part 1: Facing Poland and Saxony


    Since Saxony is a rather small fiefdom, you should be able to take it out pretty quickly. Your starting army in Berlin is strong enough to take Dresden, Saxony by itself so you can simply use it to seize the city straight away. However, you can of course also wait one or two turns and train a few more troops if that makes you more comfortable. Leave maybe one or two units of infantry (you may also let the city be defended by citizen militia only if you want to take the risk, though) in Berlin and use the rest to conquer Dresden. Use your remaining money to repair the buildings in the captured town and to train a few more troops in Berlin and possibly East Prussia if you can afford it.


    1) Conquer Dresden, Saxony with Berlin's starting garrison. 2) Take Gdansk, West Prussia with your starting field army in East Prussia.

    After the city has fallen, Poland will be at war with you as well. However, luckily you start the game with a sizeable field army in East Prussia already. Simply use it to conquer Poland's Gdanks, West Prussia right after taking Dresden. Gdansk is poorly defended and it should fall easily. Now, your first goal has been accomplished! Brandenburg and East Prussia are finally linked to each other and will now be much easier to defend. However, Poland is still at war with you. Now there are two things which you can do:

    • Attack Poland's capital Warsaw and conquer it or
    • Make peace with Poland and be happy about capturing Gdansk and Saxony

    In the end, it's really up to you. If you decide to go for Warsaw, you'll inevitably have to fight many battles and it will make the campaign more challenging. Therefore, if you're an experienced Total War veteran and if you aren't afraid of taking risks, go for it! But be prepared to fight on many fronts at once. Option 2 is much easier. Poland will be glad that you don't want to continue the war and will accept the loss of its protectorate and Gdansk. Actually, it's quite surprising how easily Poland gives up its territory and how quickly they are willing to sign a peace treaty.

    Anyway, no matter what you do, it's likely that Courland will stab you in the back soon, even if you're at peace with its protector Poland. Therefore, you should definitely prepare for that. If you leave Königsberg almost unprotected, the Courlanders will happily take it. If you decided to go for Warsaw, this will be quite a problem for you. Warsaw will be rebellious, Poland will keep trying to get it back and Courland will possibly conquer Königsberg as you do not have the troops to defend it. In that case, all you can do is constantly move around your armies in order to counter the many threats. Also move your army from Dresden to the eastern parts of your empire to help out. That way, it might be possible to appease the rebellious citizens of Warsaw, while holding off both Courland and Poland. However, often Austria will now declare war on you as well, seeing how quickly you are expanding and how overstretched your troops are. Austrian raids are quite likely and they might even attempt to conquer Gdansk or Dresden. I have to admit that in my last VH/VH campaign as Prussia, I had to pull out of Warsaw eventually, as I couldn't defend against Courland, the Polish rebels, Poland and Austria at once anymore. Therefore, in the end it might be safer to avoid taking on Poland so early. You'll have plenty of opportunities to conquer it later on anyway! But it's up to you, if you are ready for the challange, go for it.

    In these early stages of the campaign, you should definitely focus on training as many military units as possible. I personally try to avoid building cannons at that stage as they are rather ineffective and train mainly line infantry instead. Your starting cannons should be fully sufficient for sieging artillery forts. A few units of militia from the towns which cannot build line infantry yet and some units of cavalry for flanking will supplement your army well.
    However, try to have save some money which you can spend on repairing towns and cities. Otherwise, your income will drop drastically and will in turn weaken your military capabilities. Expanding your economy isn't a priority but you should still invest some money into improved farms and the likes every turn. Generally, at least 50% of your income should be spent on building troops, though. That way, your army will be large enough to deal with the many different wars going on.
    It isn't enough to simply garrison your cities, though. Your enemies will raid your schools, farms, docks and churches so you have to keep moving constantly. Furthermore, you do not have the funds to afford massive stacks on every single of your many fronts. As a result, a few armies will have to handle the fighting on all fronts. The only way to do this is to keep marching from corner to corner of your empire. Move to the west to counter an Austrian invasion, then hurry to the northeast to deal with a raid by Courland. Oh, and Warsaw will probably be revolting again, unless you have made the (wise?) decision either not to conquer it at all or to give it back to Poland.

    Another thing to keep in mind when conquering is to avoid riots and rebellions. Whenever you take a new city, disable taxes for it in order to improve the public order. Also repair all buildings, especially the ones that make the people happy. If necessary, keep your whole army in the city for a few turns so new riots don't break out. After a while, the public order should improve again so use this opportunity to slowly move your army out of the town. Eventually, only a few units of militia should stay there as a cheap garrison. After waiting yet another few turns, enable taxes for the region again. The people will now pay taxes without rioting.
    While this way you obviously lose some money in form of taxes, you actually win money in the greater picture as you don't have to spend as much money on repairing buildings multiple times and on troops to deal with rebels. One last thing to keep in mind is that you should always try to destroy rebels immediately. Not only will you hinder the destruction of your nearby towns but I believe destroying rebels also improves the public order in your province.

    Either way, as mentioned above, in your campaign Courland will become pretty annoying soon. Austria isn't really much of a problem but Courland will refuse to make peace while constantly raiding your towns in East Prussia. That leads us to the second part of our strategy.


    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Part 2: Appeasing the eastern front and focussing on Germany


    Courland is becoming more annoying than ever and simply destroying their armies one by one is no solution. The only way to deal with the problem permanently is to remove them from the game as they'll literally never accept peace. But how can we afford such a war while fighting on so many fronts at once? There is only one way: peace treaties have to be signed. To begin with, you must make peace with Poland. At pretty much any cost. If you didn't take Warsaw, you should already have signed a ceasefire with them anyway. If you did conquer Warsaw, don't hesitate to give it back if there is no other way to achieve peace. Either way, one of your many enemies should now no longer annoy you.

    But that leaves at least two others, namely Courland and Austria. If you are especially unlucky, Hanover might take the opportunity to declare war on you. Since you are quite busy fighting against Courland's troops and Austrian armies, it is possible that Hanover will join the mess to gain an advantage for itself. Constant raids on your towns in Brandenburg and possibly even an assault on Berlin itself would be the result. On top of that, Bavaria will probably declare war on you sooner or later as well. With so many enemies in Germany, you have to focus on your western and southwestern borders, otherwise they'll be overrun. That means that the war in the east has to be ended immediately. Making peace with Poland is possible, but the Courlanders will refuse to sign any treaties. As long as the small country poses a threat to you in the east, a considerable part of your army will be bound there. Therefore, you have to crush them as quickly as possible. Focus your attention on the west and concentrate on defending your towns and borders against Austria and Hanover. Whilst, build up an army in Königsberg to deal with Courland. Eventually, move north with it and push the invaders back. Do not hesitate to raid their towns but don't take on Courland's capital yet as it is usually guarded by a large army. Instead, use your army to block the way to East Prussia, while reinforcing it with new men every turn. Eventually, it will be strong enough to take on Courland's capital so go ahead and finally put an end to this extremely annoying faction's existence.


    Move towards Courland's capital and destroy the towns on the way. Wait until you have a sufficiently strong army before assaulting the capital itself, though.

    All the while, you'll have hopefully managed to defend your lands against Hanover, Austria, Bavaria and whoever else decided to make the mistake to attack you. Now the time has come to strike back. The eastern front is finally peaceful, Courland is gone once and for all and Poland has enough problems of its own and won't annoy you anymore. After rebuilding Courland's capital and once the public order there has improved again, move your northern army to help out in the western parts of your empire. Keep upgrading your economic buildings now while also building as many troops as possible. Now you have to decide where to strike next. The best target is probably Silesia (unless Poland has taken it in the meantime). It lies close to your troop production centers and shouldn't be too hard to conquer. Not to mention that Austria has to be punished for its dastardly attack on our towns and cities!

    Simply amass an army in Berlin, Königsberg and Gdansk, combine it with your troops from Courland and march southwards. After taking Silesia, there are again two main possible targets: Hanover and Prague. Hanover is clearly a thorn in your side and its constant raids on Brandenburg are very annoying. Furthermore, by conquering Hanover, you'd secure your western flank once and for all. However, Prague is a much more important city than Hanover and is Austria's main power base aside from Vienna. On the other hand you will not be able to defend the towns in the east of the region from Austrian raids. Also, Bavaria will most likely take the opportunity to raid you as well.

    However, I personally think that Prague is too important to ignore. It's also a great troop production center so taking it is a priority. Therefore, I'd amass an army in Berlin and your other regions, combine it with your troops from the invasion of Silesia and send the majority of this army to take Prague. Whilst, take the remaining part of the army and move it to Berlin. From there it will counter Hanover's raids (and possibly Bavaria's as well) and protect your capital. Simply keep training a few units in Berlin every turn to slowly build up a army there. Dresden, Saxony and Silesia should be used to produce troops for your war against Austria in the meantime. Prague shouldn't be impossible to take but you won't be able to claim the whole region. That isn't a big problem, though as you'll use the region mainly to train many units for now. Upgrade your barracks in Prague and mainly protect the city itself against Bavarian and Austrian attacks.


    You won't be able to defend Bohemia & Moravia's eastern towns against Austria's raids so you should simply focus on holding Prague itself.

    But what to do next? You seem to be caught up in a war on multiple fronts and you cannot protect your borders against enemy raids. Should we try to take out Austria completely? Or rather focus on Bavaria? What about Hanover? That leads us to the next part of the strategy.


    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Part 3: Taking out Hanover and Bavaria, conquering Germany


    Your wars with your neighbors are seemingly nothing more than a Sisyphean task. You can defend Prague itself but the region isn't really under your control. Same goes for Brandenburg. However, appearances are deceiving. During your constant wars, you have built up a strong economy everywhere. Furthermore, your army is ever growing. While your enemies keep wasting their armies to hurt you, your strength increases almost exponentially. Eventually, the time will come to repay everything to your hostile neighbors - with interest. Your army in Berlin will hopefully have grown enough by now. Simply move across the border and begin raiding Hanover's villages. Hopefully, they will send a part of their army to deal with you. That way, you avoid sieging and don't have to face artillery forts and citizen militia units. If you're extremely lucky, they won't send their whole army which makes dealing with them even easier. After beating the army, taking Hanover itself will be a cakewalk. And we did it! Yet another enemy is down.


    Train an army at Berlin and move towards Hanover. Raid the nearby town and wait for Hanover to send an army to deal with your invasion.

    As soon as Hanover is yours, the remainders of your army should march to Bohemia & Moravia quickly to reinforce your southern troops. Whilst, keep improving your economy everywhere, while researching many military and a few economic technologies. Also expand the barracks in Berlin and Prague in order to get access to even stronger troops. All the while, keep spamming line infantry and some cavalry in your troop production center. The big war for supremacy in Germany will take place soon!

    After repelling a few Austrian armies that dared to come close to Prague, prepare for the invasion of Bavaria. I believe you need around 2 1/2 to 3 stacks in total. A half to one stack to guard Prague and the two others to take out Bavaria. The German kingdom has probably amassed a quite huge army in its capital so invading with 2 stacks is preferable. With Dresden, Berlin, Prague and Silesia building troops constantly it shouldn't be too hard to assemble such a force. Eventually, take your two stacks and move into Bavaria proper. Raid their towns and always keep your armies close to each other so they can help each other. Austria should be weakened by the constant destruction of its raiding forces so your stack in Prague should keep them at bay without problems. Simply move towards Munich, Bavaria now and take it quickly. And yet another enemy is gone! Rejoice!


    Amass an army in Prague, conquer Bavaria, then move on to Wurttemberg and Westphalia.

    Where do we go from here? Should we take out Austria once and for all? I for my part don't think so. The other small German states - Westphalia and Wurttemberg - will probably declare war on you and raid your towns soon. Austria doesn't pose a threat currently so they can be dealt with later on. This is a good opportunity to unite Germany and to remove any possible trouble-makers. Before we face Wurttemberg and Westphalia, we should do something about Austria's raids into Bohemia, though. Simply take your army from Prague and move it towards the Austrian border (it helps a lot if you kept increasing its size while dealing with Bavaria). Crush the raiding parties, repair your towns and simply camp on the border to Austria, close to Vienna. This should prevent them from doing anything silly and it will allow your economy to grow. Whilst, don't hesitate to train new troops in Munich and Prague for your invasion of the rest of Germany.

    Eventually, merge the newly trained troops with the army which you used to conquer Bavaria and march towards Wurttemberg's border. If they already declared war (that's what happened in my campaign), all the better. Otherwise, simply attack them anyway. Their capital Stuttgart should fall within one turn. Be prepared to face around one to one and a half stacks but their troops are generally nothing special. It should be a cakewalk, especially if you already have access to some of your stronger troops. Repair Stuttgart's buildings, keep the local population happy and train a few more units, then march north towards Westphalia. Now the time has come to train a few troops in Hanover which can then be used to reinforce your army from the north.

    Westphalia tends to have a sizeable part of its army stationed in one of its towns so simply crush it beforehand. Often, Westphalia will then send the majority of its army from its capital to face you as well. That makes taking them out even easier as you'll never have to face their whole army at once. As long as you trained a sufficient amount of soldiers and didn't just keep attacking with your exhausted troops, conquering the region shouldn't be hard. And now you finally did it: All of Germany is under Prussia's iron grip! But as you know, there is one last major enemy left. An old Prussian opponent and rival. You guessed right: Austria.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Part 4: Conquering Austria and consolidating your empire


    Austria is a mere shadow of its former self. Its armies have been beaten by yours repeatedly and the empire has lost Silesia and Prague. However, despite that it is still a force to be reckoned with. Vienna is heavily fortified and usually defended by a whole stack of troops. So what should we do? Exactly, we'll need lots of soldiers. Simply train units everywhere - Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich etc - and also bring the remainders of the army which you used to conquer Germany along. Eventually, the old army from Prague (stationed at Austria's border) should be reinformed by at least another one to two stacks. Use these forces to take on Vienna. As it is generally rather fortified, bringing along a few cannons can help.

    But the big problem isn't conquering Austria but holding it. Even when garrisoned by a full stack, the people will be extremely unhappy for the first few turns after the conquest. Riots will take place and a rebellion is almost inevitable. Therefore, you'll most likely have to deal with a few Austrian rebels. That shouldn't be such an issue though, considering the strenght of your army. As Vienna was the Austrian Empire's heart, the rest is basically up for grabs. Preßburg, Hungary lies next to Vienna, right across the river Danube. Zagreb, Croatia isn't far away, either. Simply stay in Vienna with your army for a few turns until the people have calmed down, then go and conquer the remaining Austrian regions. The main problem won't be Austria's pathetic remaining troops but rather avoiding riots in the newly conquered cities. Repairing buildings, exempting the cities from taxes for a few turns and keeping large garrisons there should solve the problem easily, though.

    Now what's left? To fulfill the victory conditions, we need Warsaw in any case. Also, Poland has (at least in my campaign) been expanding into Russia so weakening them might be a good idea. Therefore, simply amass an army (that really shouldn't be a problem at this stage of the game), march to Warsaw and take it. Afterwards, simply make peace with Poland. Their other regions serve as a good buffer against Russia and aren't profitable anyway. As the Netherlands are poorly defended, you might conquer that region as well if you wish. Either way, your empire has become extremely large now. Large, wealthy and powerful! Prussia is now undoubtedly the dominant power in Europe and nobody can rival its power. However, there are many possible ways to make the once small kingdom even more powerful and dominating!


    • Fortify your empire. You won't be expanding into southern or eastern Europe probably so building several star forts near river crossings and around your border cities would certainly strengthen your empire. You might also fortify the paths to Italy, France and Denmark, unless you want to expand into those directions.


    • Improve your economy. Your empire has become extremely large so there will most likely be dozens of farms and mines that need upgrading. Expanding a few of your ports cannot hurt, either.


    • Research more technologies. Now that you have probably researched most military technologies, you might want to focus on naval or economic ones.


    • Expand even more. You still haven't reached the victory conditions so you might well expand beyond your borders. The Ottoman Empire is very weak and would be an easy target. Alternatively, you could recreate Napoleon's invasion of Russia or take out Germany's old rival France.


    • Found colonies. Prussia doesn't have any colonies yet but now that its position in Europe has been established, the time might be ripe for conquering lands in India or America. If you take out the United Provinces, their colonies will be an easy target. Same goes for France. Alternatively, you could of course try to take on the Native Americans or Indians.


    • Spread your faith. Prussia is Protestant but most of the conquered Germany and Austria isn't. This would be the perfect opportunity to spread Protestantism in your lands. Build churches and send your priests everywhere!


    • Last but not least, you could also change your type of government. Being a republic can be really helpful at this stage of the game as the people will be much less likely to riot and cause trouble. Especially if you want to invest into new technologies being a republic helps a lot. Alternatively, you could also become a republic first, then turn into a constitutional monarchy later on. The people will still be happy and you can avoid having crappy ministers.


    As you can see, there are still endless possibilities. Expand militarily, improve your economy, conquer colonies, defend and fortify your homeland or simply try to get the most advanced armies in the world - nothing is impossible. You now have a great power base and nobody will be able to stop you anymore, no matter what you are going for!


    The Prussian republic owns most of central and Eastern Europe.


    V. Summary
    In conclusion, Prussia is certainly one of the most exciting and enjoyable factions in the game. It has lots of potential, many enemies and offers a great gameplay experience. Recreate the kingdom's rise to power and fight your way up from a small country to a dominant empire. Achieve dominance over Germany and become the predominant nation in Europe.
    Prussia has lots of possibilities so playing with this faction never gets boring. You might conquer Sweden, march to Moscow, colonize India, grab lands in the Americas or simply take on the French. Nothing is impossible and your imagination is the only limit!
    As long as you utilize the country's strenghts and combine the power of your army, economy and strategic genius you will be successful. Follow in King Frederick's footsteps, lead Prussia's proud armies to victory and finally establish its dominance over the whole known world. At a time when the name Rome has long been forgotten, Prussia shall still be omnipresent!




    Prussia at the height of its power.

    Ex-Curator
    Under the Patronage of Perikles
    Patron of Desperado † and Astaroth


    R.I.P Calvin

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