|At the start of the Grand Campaign – 14 October 1399|
|Government type||Feudal Monarchy|
|Number of provinces||7|
|Center of Trade||None|
|Other accepted cultures||Saxon|
- Your leader in 1399 is Václav "the Lazy". On the bright side he is the emperor of the HRE. Whats even better is that his historical impeachment by the HRE electors (1400) is impossible in Europa Universalis so you can enjoy the stability bonus from the HRE for 15–20 years in most games.
- You are among the strongest Latin tech country in the area and to your east is a vast area of inferior Eastern tech countries.
- Your manpower is quite impressive as long as you are the emperor of the HRE.
- You have a university in your capital.
- A huge load of weak one-province minors are just across your borders.
- Your income is low.
- Your leader is a complete moron with all skills at most 5.
- Austria, Hungary and Poland are larger neighbours who can get nasty.
The threats in your region are Poland/Lithuania, Austria and Hungary. Be wary of alliances or guarantees between these powers. You might consider allying with one of them, particularly Austria. Your starting monarch is quite weak as a general, old and not a great ruler. But he IS the Emperor. Wearing the HRE crown gives you several huge advantages: (1) you obtain a large prestige bonus which helps diplomatically, especially forming personal unions, (2) large force limits for your nation, and (3) you can automatically get cores in the HRE when you inherit a throne within the HRE, and (4) the stability bonus is excellent for a nation with poor provinces like Bohemia. A very good short term goal is to secure the election as Emperor. To be re-elected as emperor you have roughly two possibilities. The first is to keep good relations with the electors and enter (and win) all the wars in defence of the HRE. The other, possibly more secure, way is to vassalize 2-3 electors.
Longer term threats to the Empire include France and the Ottoman Empire. Hopefully, France will be busy with England but soon enough France and Burgundy will come to blows and France will probably defeat Burgundy without Imperial assistance. With France, it is best to force them to release nations next to the HRE (such as Champagne and Dauphine) which might join the HRE, thereby bolstering your Imperial Authority.
Bohemia is in the same culture group as Hungary and Poland. With the more difficult conquest within the HRE, and the ongoing infamy penalty on holding noncore HRE provinces, it is easiest to use Personal Unions to expand, both within the HRE and outside of it. Bohemia starts with a large army and high prestige, sufficient to obtain a PU with a large power. Poland is good for this. Its provinces are richer than those of Hungary, and taking Hungary first merely places you on the doorstep of the Ottoman Empire. A PU with Poland can be quite powerful, and can be obtained with your starting forces. Your first successful PU raises prestige by 80. This can be used to catapult your diplomatic rating quite high by using the Expand Sphere of Influence function.
A good first idea is Church Attendance Duty. This will permit you to get theg Gilded Iconography decision and begin accumulating high cultural tradition and thus high skill advisers. Quickly switching to a second NI involves a -3 stability hit, but this is quickly fixed as the HRE member states contribute to your stability. There are several good candidates for your switched NI: Military Drill, National Bank or Patron of the Arts. Patron of the Arts is sort of overkill given that you probably will not have the cash early on to build a lot of buildings as Bohemia (and thus your magistrates will strengthen your cultural tradition with paintings promoting culture), but it does ensure a steady flow of 5 star advisers, and the Architectural Development event enabled by Patron of the Arts is helpful in moving to Innovative. Bohemia does tend to mint more, so its research will be a bit behind other nations (since fewer resources are going to research. So National Bank is nice choice also.
Forming Germany: An unusual Scenario
Wait, what? Here's the plan in short: grab some provinces with Saxon culture, move your capital to one of them, make a cultural shift, get the necessary cores and form Germany. The reward is probably not worth the cost but it is a most interesting challenge with a huge "alternative history" component.
Step 1: PU with Heir-less Monarchies
Mecklenburg, Luneburg and Brunswick are small states required to form Germany and which are lacking heirs in 1399. A quick PU on each in turn can be easily accomplished. Anhalt, Saxony, Thuringia and The Palatinate have heirs but you need their components to form Germany. So look out for PUS with them should their heirs expire. Annexing them outright will cost you 8 infamy for each of Anhalt, Saxony, Thuringia, and 4 for the Palatinate. You will have to Annex and suffer the 8 infamy hit for Altmark, an Archbishopric, unless someone else conquers them. You also need Brandenburg, which is in a PU with Luxembourg. When Brandenburg is free from the union, quickly get a RM with them, followed by a PU.
Using so many RMs and PUs will lower relations with every nation with whom you have a RM, so be prepared to increase relations quickly, to avoid the end of the PU upon your monarch's death. Since Bohemia is relatively poor, this is most easily accomplished using the Bestow Imperial Grace function. It lowers Imperial Authority, but can rapidly and cheaply increase relations.
Step 2: Secure your re-election
On the next possible occasion you should pick a war with at least one of the HRE electors who do not have a province you need to form Germany (see step 3). If you can find two who are allied but don't bring a strong ally (like France, Poland or Austria) into the war, that is perfect. Vassalize and take as much money as possible but don't take provinces you do not need to form Germany. You want a clear saxonian majority to perform the cultural shift and also you don't want extra badboy. Keep an eye on the HRE electors and be sure that at least your vassals always vote for you. In the worst case you would have to bribe them once in a while.
Step 3: Cultural shift and forming Germany
Moving your capital costs you 1000 ducats. Choose one of your provinces with Saxon culture (preferably one with large population) and click on the crown in the upper left of the province window, this moves your capital there. You suffer a stability hit of -4, ouch! So be sure to do this as soon as possible, so you can profit from your HRE bonus.
Why to perform this stunt? Look at your government decisions: A new decision to shift your culture to Saxon should have popped up. Unfortunately this decision requires a leader with administrative skill of 6 at least, so you will have to wait for Václav the moron to die. Most probably you won't be re-elected, so the -5 stability hit for the cultural shift will have to be recovered "by hand".
As soon as you have a decent ruler you should do the cultural shift. All the provinces you need except Mecklenburg and Franken are of Saxon culture so it should easily be your dominant culture quite soon. The stability blow of -5 is harsh, so be sure you are in the position of beating down the revolts. As soon as you have the cores you need, just form Germany by clicking the corresponding decision.
When you are Germany, take your time swallowing your huge amount of fresh cores. This may well take you until 1600 due to badboy issues. After you are done you are a continental superpower that can challenge France, grab Italy or simply punish the eastern countries with lower tech. You could even go and steal a colonial empire. Just do what you are in the mood for.