|At the start of the Grand Campaign – 14 October 1399|
|Government type||Despotic Monarchy|
|Number of provinces||5|
|Other accepted cultures||None|
Brunei is a nation located in Present-day Malaysia.
If you start in The Grand Campaign in 1399 there are 3 CoT in the region that you can see and there is only 1 nation with higher Trade Efficiency then you in this region, Malacca. They have 1 more slider move towards free trade then you do, they also have a CoT in their capital. So why Brunei then? To put it simply, starting conditions and military.
- Religion: Brunei is a Sunni nation, and all of Brunei's provinces are of the Sunni faith; which is a powerful faith in EU3. Most of your rivals are Buddhist, Hindu, Shinto or Confucian heathens, This can make the Holy War CB very useful. If you border one of these heathens(which Brunei doesn't at the start) you get the holy war CB for free on them. Or if you grab the National Idea Unam Sanctum.
- Culture: All of Brunei's provinces are Malayan, as are all the provinces of rivals Aceh and Brunei This makes conquest of these rivals hassle-free.
- Trade: There are 3 CoT's in the region:
- Ming's Capital of Nanjing ~ 800
- Nearby Malacca's Capital of Malacca ~ 280
- Japan's Capital of Kyoto ~ 230 (Starts out of range)
- Trade Goods: Three of Brunei's provinces include the rare trade goods spices
- Colonization: Brunei has plenty of opportunity to colonize the East Indies.
- Naval Power: Being an Island Country Brunei has a high naval forcelimit that will only go up once you conquer your fellow island neighbours, and as an island nation nobody can touch you unless they beat your navy.
- Technology: Brunei starts in the Chinese techgroup, which slows down their research to 40% speed vs 75% Muslim, 85% Eastern, and 100% Western.
- Westernizing: Brunei starts in the Chinese Techgroup and must westernize 3 times and then modernize the military for a total of 21 Stability hits.
- Isolation: It may take Brunei a while to Westernize due to its distance from Latin nations.
- Most of the provinces in this region have no fort, meaning if you go to war one soldier can quickly conquer most of your territory, but more importantly territory you gain that has a high revolt risk and will be very problematic early on.
You start off largely unfortified and surrounded by inconvenient terra incognita, fortunately the latter will quickly be replaced with map spread. Fro a very gamey start you can go straight into Aceh who lack an Heir. Your navy is bigger than his if you act fast and Royal Marriage, Claim Throne - Throne War -Personal Union, you could make a big gain very early on. If you follow this route you will then need to spend money on gifts ensuring positive relations and the get an alliance. If you want to take the slower route then build forts in your home provinces before expanding towards Aceh. Once Aceh is conquered the only co-religion nation near you is Makassar, they should be allied or at least guaranteed to prevent Matarami expansion.
You should aim to conquer Malacca early on, either take the stab hit or find an opportunistic cb and annex them. This allows the slow accretion of Colonists from the CoT. This is easiest if you have already inherited Aceh and have the border based Holy War CB. You should maintain close to force limits levels of both Army and Navy as your island based Empire is exposed to drop off attacks by your opponents. Taking Bali and Makassar by force or diplomacy allows you to gain a foothold on other islands. If you conquer Mataram you can then start expanding into the uncolonised regions in the West of the island. Make sure to eliminate the natives first, you cannot afford to waste colonists. From here you can Form Malaya for a nice colour change and 1 free move to Centralization.
This is arguably the trickiest part for a Brunei player until the Europeans show up. Get Military Access from someone in India, probably Vijayanagar and Oman/Yemen before befriending the Mamluks looking into Africa to watch where the Europeans have expanded to. In all probability you will have to battle through West Africa to find some suitable Pagan minor to annex. Look for someone bordering a European or annex a coastal nation and sell to a free trading minor, this has two advantages, they are less likely to attack you and also tend to be higher tech than the bigger nations. Now to Westernise you need to have got your sliders in place some time ago, aim for Centralisation and hope for Architectural Development from Patron of the Arts to get you Innovative enough. In preparation you may want to get a good Artist advisor and then switch to Church Attendance Duty to make regaining stability easier. Move all the way to Western tech and then Modernise Military, this should take 10–20 years depending on events and monarchs.
This section of the game is essentially null, you are going to be able to massacre any local opponents due to higher tech and better troops, your only weakness is your islands, however this is not going away. Expand into as many islands as you can you will need the force limit and large number of decoys when the Europeans arrive. You may want to keep old ships for Pirate blocking duty and spread them around. Retain one strike navy and some transport fleets to shift your armies to deal with rebels. You can in this time expand North however you don't want to anger Ming until you're certain you can take them.
These guys will show up soon enough, generally in the form of Bohemia (after rampant horde murdering), Great Britain/England and France along with associated minors and possible HRE Austria/Burgundy. It is wise to keep your African holdings until now but be ready to sell them off if you're losing ground at home. You can get out of at least 2 wars this way. One for provinces, one for any cores you've gained. If the Europeans send small transport fleets then watch for the blockaded popup and be ready to kill them with your strike navy. If they land troops then you're going to have to counter with your own forces. Eventually you can get them to accept a white peace as distance keeps them from sending constant streams of troops.
Once you can deal with Europeans then any locals are easy prey. Expand where and when you want. If you become peaceful then judicious trading can land you thousands of ducats and it is easy to become tech leader in everything.