|At the start of the Grand Campaign – 14 October 1399|
|Government type||Feudal Monarchy|
|Number of provinces||1|
|Center of Trade||None|
|Other accepted cultures||Greek|
Cyprus is an eastern Mediterranean island ruled by an old French Crusader dynasty. Historically, it was transferred to Venetian control in the 15th century and then invaded by the Ottomans. It is catholic with an Orthodox populace.
You do not have a very good starting position, even by Mediterranean OPM standards. Your culture is wrong (you have a French culture with a Greek population), your religion is wrong (Catholic with an Orthodox population), and on top of that your technology group is oriental! Truly a sad state of affairs. However, if you play patiently and with foresight you'll never have to conquer any land in the Mediterranean (unless you want to, of course!)
First ~60 Years
First thing you should do is accept a cultural shift to Greek. Let's face it, you're not going to be invading France anytime soon and your stability costs are nil.
This will be the most boring part of your game. In order to succeed as a country like Cyprus, other than dancing around alliances for a few poor Greek islands, it is wise to become a trading partner. Your sliders are not well suited for this, but if you use every slider move towards free trade, as well as using your first national idea for shrewd commerce practice you will be in a position to dominate every CoT with ease before the century is out. In preparation for this trading blitz, save up your money for the first few decades. Try to get keep a decent master of mint in this time period. It's probably wise to refrain from sending a missionary to convert your capital for now, as that'll be a drain on your income before the trading income begins.
During this time, become friendly with three chief powers: Castille, the Byzantine Empire, and the Ottoman empire. The latter two because they quite often have designs on you. A friendly relationship with the Byzantines is imperative, as they will be eager to conquer you unless you have a royal marriage and military access, as well as decent relations. The Ottomans too may have designs on you, but they are less likely to invade and a lower priority. Being friendly with Castille is simply important for a continuation strategy you could take.
A trading giant
While completing your max-out of free trade, you should be seeing a healthy profit from your ventures. Make sure to have that master of mint so you can see some profits for yourself. At this point you can convert Cyprus to Catholicism and build some more troops and ships. From this point on your monthly income is likely to be so large that you will keep up with or even exceed the technology of your Latin counterparts, although an attempt at westernization late in the game may be wise. By now it's early in the 1500s, and you have extensive possibilities, but keep in mind that you are militarily feeble, therefore I suggest a colonization strategy after this point.
Cyprus as a colonizer
As soon as you feel financially capable of this strategy (try to make it early, as Portugal and Castille are quick in their conquest of the New World), use your second national idea for Quest for the New World. At this point you should be able to field somewhere around 4 or 5 ships and 3 or 4 divisions, although going over your command limit by 1 or 2 is acceptable with your trade income. You should be good friends with Castille and Portugal, so ask them for military access. Use the islands and colonies of these two nations to explore the Americas and possibly the coast of Africa. Depending on your luck you can pursue one, the other, or both.
This strategy basically requires for there to be a free native country for you to invade, as you cannot reach any American provinces with your colonial range. Good targets are the Aztecs, the Creek Indians, or any tribe which has conquered them. With your armies and superior technology you should be able to wrestle a province away from these tribes, although it may be more difficult than you'd think as their armies will be massive. You'll probably need to buy 3 or 4 mercenary divisions back home to ensure your conquests.
If the natives have already been subjugated, you should turn to Northern Africa. The colonizable provinces there should be close to your reach, and if not there are numerous small natives which you can attack and conquer, which are often somewhat ignored by Europeans until later. From these North African colonies you can eventually reach the New World as well, provided there's any room left by the time you get a core there.
Wherever you've gained a foothold, after 50 years you'll be able to expand around that location in the form of colonies. I recommend you get colonial ventures at some point for a NI (although other trade NIs are a higher priority). All the while this is happening try to maintain your extensive trade network. It'll become harder as mercantilism begins to dominate and monopolies pop up, but keep at it. When new CoTs become visible (such as China) rush into them and dominate them, your superior technology will help you stay on top. At this point you can make attempts to Westernize. Your large monthly income will be able to support numerous colonies and it won't be long before your colonial empire is very large. At this point, it'll be wise for you to move your capital to wherever your colonial empire is, to eliminate the tax and production penalties. Be wary though, this will probably give you the overextension modifier.
By the mid-1600s, you'll be a power to be reckoned with. With your trade network earning you a large monthly surplus and your colonial empire earning you a large tax and production income, NI's to increase your naval and army command limit would be wise. From your new Cypriot empire in the new world, you can take any number of paths. Conquer Spanish, Portuguese, or British lands to dominate all of North America, or look back home to Greece, where you could antagonize the Ottoman Empire and reunite your Greek brethren. The choice is yours. Not bad for Cyprus huh?