|Government type||Feudal Monarchy|
|Number of provinces||1|
|Center of Trade||None|
Croatia has to be freed from Hungary in order to play Croatia. There are two ways for Croatia to form. One is for Hungary to release Croatia in peace or play the Ottomans to forced Hungary to released Croatia. For a new player I suggest freeing Croatia by a peace treaty with Hungary as Croatia will have the Ottomans as allies.
You start with a pretty bad economy. After winning some provinces, and after your stability rises, start sending your merchants to Thrace, if Thrace is not a Centre of Trade then use Liguria as you will be at war with Venice. Thrace is the best choice, since you really don't want to go to war with the Ottomans early on. If you do, it doesn't matter if they embargo you, since you will probably be conquered pretty quickly. Invest in workshops as soon as you can. Other than that, save money for the manufactories later on. Don't waste it needlessly. Only exception to this rule is if you see an easy province in the western Balkans (Dalmatia, Serbia, Bosnia...) and you want to raise an army.
Your main field of interest should be Land, Government, Production, and Trade, in that order. So invest in your research and build your manufactories accordingly.
Go toward Quality, Free Subjects and Innovative (if you don't want to be a colonial power). Since you can not hope to defeat more prominent players like Hungary, Ottomans or Austria by numbers, you need quality army. Innovative will also help you to westernise later on in the game.
While you have to break the personal union to play as Croatia its a good idea to maintain good relations with Hungary, try and keep it as an ally until you are well established. Then at that point you may wish to take your core province of Slavonia back off them once they are busy with a war elsewhere. Though if you are loath to risk taking on one of your large neighbours you can play as Hungary long enough to offer to sell the province to Croatia.
Albania is weak, poor, and worthless. Barely making 2 ducats a year and annexing will net Croatia nearly no money in anything. Might be just worth it if the opportunity arises to deny it from the Ottomans without much hassle.
Again weak and poor, but at the very least starts out Catholic like you. Worth annexing to deny it from the Ottomans, which would also make it harder for them to take Ragusa.
A well off province that has the same religion and culture as you, so its going to be high on your list of priorities to control. If your going to go for the conquest option keep in mind it has a tendency to ally with powerful Italian republics so only attack it once its allies are busy with one of the many wars they tend to have, they will tend to leave Ragusa to its fate in that situation. In that instance its army will be no match for yours.
One of your more problematic neighbours in some respects because its weak enough for many of your rivals (Ottomans, Hungary, Austria) to take over and partition but since its got two provinces (poor and more or less worthless) it means you can't simply take it over before they get the chance. The Ottomans are who you should really stop taking Bosnia since this will open up Croatia to direct attack from them. This means you will probably have to conquer Bosnia. You can go about dealing with Bosnia in 2 ways: 1. wait until one of your rivals attacks Bosnia and forces it to cede Hum then take Bosnia at least which will protect your capital from direct attack or 2. attack Bosnia before the Ottomans do and capture both provinces, this should make them invade to and then once both provinces are under your control don't make peace until the Ottomans have, that way they can't take a province at that point, then take Hum and as soon as the truce ends you can take Bosnia fast.
Well put simply: it has one of your core provinces (Dalmatia) plus Istria is well off and culturally Croatian which means you will be looking to fight with Venice once the time is right. Attack when Austria or some powerful Italian states go to war with Venice, the isolated Balkan provinces shouldn't have much of a defense.
A large powerful state to the north that you should avoid annoying at all costs, it makes a good ally against the Ottomans. They have rich provinces but if you want to take some rich German provinces there are much easier options for this further north.
Your biggest problem as Croatia, try to keep relations cordial. Also they should be less likely to attack you if you have powerful allies like Austria or Hungary. Play off your 3 biggest neighbours against each other to secure your own future.
Italy has many rich but small nations that once you have secured your state from immediate invasion can make good targets for conquest. Issue warnings against all the Italian states to get casus bellis against any that go to war, giving you the opportunity to sweep in and seize some prize territory.
Probably destroyed if you played from the beginning but if its still around its worth taking to stop the Ottomans doing so.
Rich like the Italian minors but attacking them may annoy Austria and the Holy Roman Emperor so it may not be worth it until later in the game.
Vassilised to Hungary so only really need to deal with if your planning on fighting Hungary. May be worth forcing Hungary to give it up as a vassal if you win a big enough victory over them and take them as your own vassal.
Usually allied to Montenegro so if you invade them you will need to deal with Wallachia. As long as you have a big enough army you should be able to defeat them completely and force vassalisation and a lot of money off them.