|At the start of the Grand Campaign – 14 October 1399|
|Government type||Feudal Monarchy|
|Number of provinces||5|
|Center of Trade||None|
|Other accepted cultures||None|
The strategy for Denmark hasn't changed since In Nomine, where the aims are to maintain an army size greater than Sweden until they are inherited. From here on enact the Form Scandinavian Nation decision and use the cores in Greenland to kick start colonising North America. It is likely the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire will be powerful so cautious advances in Germany are advised.
In In Nomine, Denmark's advantages and disadvantages are much in contrast to earlier versions. Instead of starting at war with Sweden, you're in personal union with it, and you're also still in personal union with Norway - of course, leader of both. However, Sweden will be very eager to get out of this as soon as possible, so the key for the player is to maintain a standing army larger than Sweden's. This will be a strain on the economy, but it's the only way to force Sweden not to spam insults until they break free.
Money will be tight until you inherit both nations, and likely past that, as the economy of Scandinavia is not too good. Joining the Hanseatic League and using the Sound Toll will both assist your economy - take advantage of trade as much as you can, especially in rich Lubeck and Novgorod. The early game will be characterized by trying to make an economy that runs a profit, and maintaining good diplomatic relations with your Scandinavian underlings. Conquest of neighbouring German states is at your discretion - if you see the Holy Roman Emperor being very weak, you could swoop in and take the cities, all of which are very rich and will pay off, but if you do so too much, you'll hurt relations with Norway and Sweden, thus it's best to take it slow.
Investment should go in Government Technology at first, naturally, for your first National Idea. What this is based on whether you're trading or just holding tight until you inherit - you should almost definitely take National Trade Policy, but if you're going to white knuckle the early game, Military Drill will help with conquering the German cities.
Around the 1450s you should be working on conquering the Baltic as well as maintaining Scandinavia. While you don't necessarily need to, it's a sphere of influence that would otherwise go to Russia or Poland, both of whom will be giving you a headache regardless as you go on, so it's best to secure these areas for yourself. The Teutonic Knights will be difficult, so it's best to wait for unifying Scandinavia. NOTE: Actually, the Swedish army is quite a help, if you haven't still formed Scandinavia. Sweden has the ability to create an sizable army fast, and they seem intent on dismissing it again to a size of 10 totally. The Teutonic Knights will likely be fighting off Poland, Lituania, and one or more of the Russian states. The northern German States have few alliances than among themselves, so if you dare live with a high badboy effect and has the resources to strike down the uprisings, then by all means, go for Lauenburg, Mecklenburg, Pommerania, and the Hansa states. The emperor will want them back. Dont give in. Keep them to maintain your army and keep the army tradition high.
You'll be approaching your second National Idea around this time, and if you've not unified Scandinavia yet, you should consider National Bank to secure any inflation which occurs due to trade. Again, this is at your discretion - many players don't feel the need to ever take National Bank, and you could also choose Quest for the New World and use trade to establish a foothold in America. If you do have Scandinavia under your thumb around this time, military drill is a good idea as well, to help conquer the Baltic Coast, or if you've not expanded into Germany yet, and are wanting to fight the HRE. Quest for the New World is still an option here, as, with a more powerful Scandinavian economy, there's good room for expansion in America.
By 1500, you should have expanded into northern Germany - though not more than your resources can handle - and either conquered the Baltic Coast, or begun colonization of the New World. You'll be taking your third NI around now, and depending on your situation, you should take an NI assisting you militarily or colonially. If you haven't inherited Scandinavia yet, then you should probably consider colonial expansion, since militarily you're still weak. As a unified Scandinavia, you stand fairly strong, but still have Russia to consider, and you can never be too cautious around Russia.
Consider building a strong navy, backed by military NI's, to help defeat Russia should it have the hubris to declare war. But with Scandinavia at your side, you should have little difficulty picking at Germany or the New World, and eventually gain the strength to take on Russia. Balancing diplomacy and expansion as Denmark is difficult, but rewarding, and when you've unified Scandinavia, you'll decidedly feel the marked difference.
Napoleon's Ambition or EU3
Denmark starts the game with a small army and a slightly bigger navy, but nothing useful in either area. Denmark also starts in a personal union with Norway and at war with Sweden.
Initially you should build a few soldier units for sieges and as much cavalry as you can with your limited amount of money and try to take a few of the southern provinces in Sweden. Sweden has a general that is much better than any of the Danish but he will normally focus on Norway. So take a few provinces and depending on your luck and how lucky Sweden is either get a white peace or being really lucky, some money or a province or two. After the peace is made, stop thinking about Sweden for a time, warring Sweden isn't the smart thing to do. There are too many provinces to take; the time to get to Finland combined with the cold weather will take a huge toll on your army due to attrition.
Instead you want to get a better economy so you can get the research going. Northern Germany has a ton of minor states that can all be taken with a rebuild army from the Swedish war. But you need to be careful who you attack because many of them have allies and you will want to pick them off one by one. A really good thing is if you can take Mecklenburg, if you occupy both provinces you should be able to take one for yourself and still vassal them to you giving you a good income since Lübeck is a CoT and is now your vassal. There are other states that can be taken in the same way, divide and conquer. Remember to keep good relations with the bigger states in Germany like Brandenburg.
Once your economy starts working get Government Technology level one so you can have a national idea (Quest for New World) and start to explore. You should be able to do this rather fast and be one of the first to explore the new world. Once you have discovered 3-4 provinces in the West Indies you need to get advisors that will increase your number of colonists and start to colonize the islands. I know it’s a hard, long and expensive process but it is one that pays off in the long run. To make colonizing easier you should send 3-4 army units over there to kill off those pesky natives, at least in the provinces where there is a high chance of native risings.
With the West Indies and a few vassals in northern Germany you should be ready to expand in Europe. First of all, you might want to diplo-annex the vassals in Germany and try to get a few more so you can get a larger manpower reserve, then build up a good army and some ships and go after Sweden. Once you start to war Sweden you should not stop until they are your vassal and only have provinces in Finland.
After that the world is wide open to your different exploits, personally I started a slow extermination followed by colonization of the Gold and Ivory Coast, and then moved on to the Cape and into the Far East. But there are an almost limitless number of options open for you at this point in the game. It is also important that you do not switch from Monarchy with Denmark until after you have inherited Norway, if you go Republic you lose the personal union and resign from the provinces in Norway which are really important for shipbuilding later in the game.
When I start to colonize I usually pick provinces with a very low violence rating and low pop to lessen the chance of a native uprising and to reduce the damage if one happens. When I have carved out a reasonable territory in mainland Europe I will normally save up some gold from wars or by a little extra tax and get 3 colonizing advisors and save up 5 colonists before I begin. I prefer to use the Barque since I have had the most success with a fast vessel compared to a big vessel. So get a small fleet of those ships and go explore. It is a good idea to keep a close track of the ships progress and their condition, since we don’t want to lose them. Go there find a territory and hurry back, get the ships repaired and go back and explore some more, with a known route to the new territories the ships take less damage on the second trip. It might take a little longer but you don’t lose your ships on suicide missions.
In the West Indies I prefer to go for the three provinces in Cuba, since they all have a relatively low population and aggressiveness, plus the added bonus that you get Sugar, Coffee and Tobacco, three very valuable resources. I also like to take the three provinces on Haiti as well as the Turk islands. Sometimes Bahamas can be a very good colony as well since it is very possible to colonize it without a native rising and that gives you a very good population bonus with the natives there. I usually try to get one successful colonist to all of the above provinces in my initial colonizing wave.
Once you have laid claim to the colonies you want I usually focus on one colony that I want to get up to province status so I can build stuff there. And in the West Indies that is usually Bahamas. Once I get one working provinces I will slowly get the others up to around 300-400 colonists and then let them grow from there. In the West Indies this is rather easy since most of the territories have 8-10% population growth.
Once I have settled the West Indies I will usually build a small navy of transport ships to send down to Sierra Leone, The Ivory Coast and the Gold Coast to exterminate the natives so I can colonize the five useful provinces there. One of the territories has Spices and the remaining four have Ivory, all good income resources that will help your economy. Once they are on their way I will take the Cape and Little Karoo so I have a naval station on my way to the Far East where my ships can repair. In the Far East I usually don’t want to get involved in the local struggles so I tend to focus on the islands, there are some in the Indian Ocean and some in Indonesia. The first have Sugar and Spice and the latter have Coffee and Spice. Just look at the different islands until you find those that are suitable for easy colonizing.
Once I get a few bases established on the way to the Far East I sometimes conquer Ceylon and I usually take soldiers along to kill off the natives on Taiwan because I want a colony with Chinaware as well. By the time you get the Far East colonies established the West Indies should all be full fledged provinces and you only have to focus on getting the Far East up to speed.
I never really get involved in the race for South America since I have enough problems with inflation without getting 10 gold producing colonies and I also tend to stay out of North America since the territories there only have low profit resources. But then again I have never played the game further than 1650 so I can not say if they won't be usable later in the game.