Holy Roman Empire

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This article is accurate for the latest versions of EU3, Napoleon’s Ambition, In Nomine, Heir to the Throne and Divine Wind.

The Holy Roman Empire has been considerably expanded in its scope and intrigue as compared to EU2. Countries who are part of the HRE may attempt to influence the seven primary electors in the hopes of being elected as the new emperor when the current one dies. The emperor gains significant advantages for the duration of the ruler's reign, so this is something you should consider if playing a country in that region. The HRE is somewhat fluid, so new members may be added or old ones could be banished, depending on what happens in the game.

Imperial provinces

On the 'Imperial Mapmode' member provinces of the HRE are coloured in dark green, and the electors and emperor in lighter shades of green. The Emperor is able to take Imperial provinces held by a non-member through the Imperial Ban Casus Belli at a 10% Infamy cost once the first Imperial reform, Reichsreform, is taken. Any member of the Empire will be granted cores on Imperial provinces taken from non-members after the peace treaty. In Heir to the Throne they can gain only one such core per war; in Divine Wind this limit is removed. These cores are not dependent on the Casus Belli used.

As of In Nomine, Provinces are no longer invited into the Empire through event and are instead added and removed through a provincial decision. As of Divine Wind only non-members can remove provinces from the Empire through provincial decision and members must leave the Empire to remove provinces from it. When anyone but the Emperor attempts to add a province to the Empire it triggers an event for the Emperor, who can either accept the province into the Empire or deny it entry.

Action Cost Requirements Effects Effects on failure
Non-Emperor Adding a Province to the Empire 1 Magistrate Province must border the Empire

Province must be Christian

Province must be a core

Owner must be Christian

Owner must have 100+ Relations with the Emperor

Owner gains 3 prestige

Emperor gains 1 Imperial Authority

Owner gains 1 prestige
Emperor Adding a Province to the Empire 1 Magistrate Province must border the Empire

Province must be Christian

Province must be a core

Emperor gains 2 prestige

Emperor gains 1 Imperial Authority

Cannot Fail
Non-Member Removing a Province from the Empire 1 Magistrate Owner must not be at war, excluding horde conflict

Owner's relation with Emperor must be below 0

Owner loses 5 prestige

Emperor loses 1 Imperial Authority

Cannot Fail
Prince Leaving the Empire No Cost No Requirements except membership All cores will be retained by the owner

All non-core Imperial territory will be ceded to the Emperor

Cannot fail

AI-controlled nations and an AI-controlled Emperor follow specific rules as to when they will perform these actions.

Action When will AI Perform Action? When will AI Emperor Perform Action?
Adding a Province to the Empire Emperor is AI-controlled

150+ Relations with Emperor

Nation is 4 or less provinces in size

10+ years since last province was last denied entry into the Empire

Emperor is under 8 times the infamy cap

Voting Privileges have not been revoked

Nation is not the Papal States

Emperor will always add his cores to the Empire when possible
Removing a Province from the Empire Non-members will always remove non-core provinces from the Empire when possible The Emperor is unable to remove provinces from the Empire
Prince leaving the Empire Once the Emperor attempts to Revoke the Privilegia any non-compliant members will leave the Empire and declare war on the Emperor The Emperor will never leave the Empire

As stated above AI-controlled nations will never attempt to add provinces into the Empire with a player-controlled Emperor and player-controlled Emperors will only be able to decide whether to accept or deny entry into the Empire in multiplayer games. AI-Controlled Emperors will accept provinces into the Empire as follows.

  • Base chance of 10%
  • 20% chance if the province owner's relation with Emperor is at least 150
  • AI Emperor will never accept if the province owner is over 30% of its infamy cap
  • AI Emperor will never accept if the province owner is larger than the emperor

As of Divine Wind there is a random province event with a MTTH of 48 months for non-core Imperial territory where the Emperor 'requests' the province. Either the owner cedes the province and is awarded 5 prestige for complying or turns down the request for a -1 stability hit and the emperor gaining a Liberation CB against the owner.

There are a few modifiers to this MTTH

  • Halved MTTH for being at at least 15% of the infamy cap
  • Halved MTTH for being balanced or Decentralised
  • Doubled MTTH for being lucky (AI only)
  • 1.5x MTTH for being at least -2 Centralised

While the event can only fire once per province and only during peace, being decentralised and having poor reputation can lead to the event firing very quickly once peace is signed. It is recommendable to save up a number of magistrates before the end of a war against Imperial nations in order to quickly remove the ceded provinces from the Empire before you lose them or suffer stability hits.

Imperial provinces have a number of attributes associated with them.

Holding non-core imperial territory confers a +0.25 yearly infamy penalty per province (only member states get this penalty; a non-member state, even if were to be elected emperor, will not be penalised, for example Castille). Over the 50 years it takes to acquire a core on a province the total additional infamy totals 12.5, a relatively large amount. This along with the event that either cedes non-core provinces to the emperor or results in a stability hit along with the emperor gaining a free Imperial Liberation CB means that expanding within the Empire is extremely difficult.

Border disputes and Conquest missions can be used to grant cores on neighboring nations (border friction will grant a valid CB but not cores) should be used to expand within the Empire and non-members should aim to remove Imperial territory from the Empire as soon as possible after it is acquired.

Member states

Nations are considered to be members of the Holy Roman Empire when their capital province is also an Imperial province. The number of member states is an important factor in a number of bonuses the emperor receives.

A state becoming Emperor is not necessarily incorporated into the Empire and are unable to become an elector until their capital province is also an Imperial province. Though it is possible for a non-member state to be elected, members have significant relations bonuses that increase their chances of election. Being a relatively large nation in the Empire confers election bonuses in jumps of 50 up to a maximum of 150. Very large nations such as Bohemia, Austria and Burgundy tend to gain the full 150 bonus, Medium size nations such as Bavaria tend to gain a 100 bonus and smaller but still significant nations like Brandenburg tend to gain a 50 bonus. Small nations also receive a 100 penalty to election, making it near-impossible for them to gain the support of a single elector, never mind a majority. As of DW having a large sphere of influence greatly increases you chance of election as it raises your diplomatic skill with each point granting a 3 election point bonus.


The Electorate

The electors determine who will become the next Emperor, with reputation being the primary determining factor, with ties being broken by other considerations such as prestige, size and strength. The candidate country must be Christian, but need not be a member of the Empire. On the imperial map mode electors are shown in a medium darkness colour of green. If you influence enough electors that the majority support you, you will become the next Emperor when the current one dies.

Before In Nomine, a human-controlled country would automatically vote for the country that it would vote for if it were controlled by the AI, and was unable to vote for itself from patch 1.1 onwards.[1] This is no longer true for In Nomine and Heir to the Throne, where it is quite possible for human players to vote for themselves.

When there are fewer than eight electors, there is the possibility of an event occurring which will add a new elector. To become an elector the capital province of a nation must be part of the Holy Roman Empire. The following criteria decrease the MTTH for the event:

  • Low number of electors
  • Having good relations with, and bordering the emperor.
  • Being Catholic
  • Having a low badboy and a high stability.

Refusing the event causes a serious loss of relations (-100) between emperor and candidate country.

When there are seven or more electors two events that may fire causing an elector to lose this status. These are triggered by

  • (1) having poor relations (less than 0) with the emperor and poor relations with a neighbouring country which is an elector
  • (2) having poor relations (less than 0) with the emperor and a high badboy (greater than 10)

The following criteria decrease the MTTH for these events:

  • Bad relations with the emperor
  • having a different religion than the emperor (first event only)
  • high badboy
  • low stability

The Emperor

Only male Christian independent (i.e., not a vassal or junior in a PU) monarchs (i.e. not Theocracies and Republics, this also counts for the Noble Republic) can be elected emperor. Also, if your country is the current "revolutionary target", it cannot become emperor. To secure the position you need to receive the most votes of any candidate. Ties in the election of an Emperor are broken in favor of the Ruler whose country last held the Emperor's throne (e.g., if Brandenburg was Emperor, its ruler died and was succeeded by a new king, and it was tied with Austria for the next Emperor, Brandenburg would get the throne back, even if Austria's reputation was better), or if neither of the countries was previously the Emperor, it is decided in favor of the nation with the best Reputation, followed by a comparison of relative size and strength if their reputations are about equal.

AI electors assign a rating to every potential emperor and vote for the country with the highest rating. The rating is based on the relations between the two countries plus all of the following modifiers:

  • -1000 for different religion. Ignored if the elector is a vassal or junior partner in a Person Union under the candidate.
  • -1000 if at war with candidate.
  • -10 per point of Infamy.
  • +5 for same cultural group.
  • +1 per point of Authority for the current emperor.
  • +8 per point of diplomatic skill.
  • + 0.2 x Prestige.
  • + (Legitimacy - 50)
  • +25 for a Royal Marriage.
  • +250 for a vassal or junior PU partner under the candidate.
  • -50 if not in the Empire.
  • -200 if a one-province minor.
  • -100 if a two-province minor.
  • -50 if a 3-4 province minor.
  • +50 if 6-8 provinces and in the Empire.
  • +100 if 9+ provinces and in the Empire.

The Emperor receives several bonuses:

Constant bonuses
  • One extra diplomat per year
  • Spy efficiency is increased by 5%
  • Yearly prestige is increased by 1%
Bonuses based on the number of states in the HRE:
  • Land force limit is increased by 2 for each member
  • +2 Regiments supportable by the Emperor per member state
  • 1 ducat invested in stability per month for each member
  • 0.5% manpower for each member

The Emperor is responsible for protecting the states of the Empire. If any member of the Empire is attacked the Emperor must declare war on the attacker or suffer a severe penalty in relations with the members of the empire. This increases the difficulty of reelection to the imperial throne. Note that in In Nomine, the Emperor is automatically called to defend the Empire as if they were allied to the member state under attack.

End of the Empire

The empire will cease to function if all member states are eliminated. However, if Christian nations are released or revolt in HRE provinces, the empire will be re-declared.

In Napoleon's Ambition, if you are occupy or vassalize the Emperor and all the electors, the button on the Holy Roman Empire panel that reads "Dismantle the HRE" can be used. This will destroy the HRE forever.

See also