|At the start of the Grand Campaign – 14 October 1399|
|Number of provinces||47 (If fully unified, including Austria)|
|Center of Trade||Lubeck|
|State religion||Christian (Catholic, Protestant or Reformed)|
|Primary culture||Hannoverian, Pommeranian, Hessian, Saxon, Bavarian, Prussian or Rheinlaender|
|Other accepted cultures||Any in the Germanic culture group|
Germany is the most powerful nation formed by a unification decision. It is an economic and military powerhouse unlike any other nation in the game (except the Holy Roman Empire), but it is also the hardest and most time consuming to form. A skilled player can easily lead Deutschland to become a preeminent global superpower.
Well done! Against all odds, you have united the German nation from an unorganised scramble of imperial fiefdoms and free cities to the strongest nation in Europe. Germany is an amazingly fun country to play as. There is no need for economic micromanagement (or dare I say cheats!) as Germany runs itself. Think about it. Nearly every territory was an independent country until you came knocking at their doors. Every province can sustain a small nation. When you have 30+ of those, your production values go through the roof. The German economy can easily support massive armies, which will be on the cutting edge of military technology. It is not uncommon to have a far larger and more advanced unit type army than France. With these limitless resources, it's barely necessary to have a strategy page for it. But here are some suggestions:
Despite all being German, the peoples of Germany have different regional cultures. Germany is a union of these cultures, which means that Germanic provinces don't get extra revolt risk or lower tax income because they're a non-accepted culture. the cultures encompassed in the "Germanic" group are as follows:
Historically, the German lands of the Holy Roman Empire were torn apart by the Thirty Years' War, a religious war between various Christian denominations in Germany, primarily Catholics and Protestants. Germany can be either, but it should be stressed that, unless you have the Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité National Idea, religious uniformity should be imposed, to help with stability costs. Stability takes longer to replenish when you have provinces that are not following the "true faith", whatever that may be. The Deus Vult national idea can be useful when fighting against other nations, especially if you are Protestant or Reformed, as the majority of countries in Europe stay Catholic. Deus Vult gives you a free Casus Belli on "Heretic" nations (i.e. countries that follow a different form of Christianity. For a Protestant Germany, this would be Catholics and Reformed nations).
In In Nomine, there is no point dismantling the HRE as Germany. The HRE can be a useful tool for expanding your influence in Northern Italy. However, in Heir to the Throne, another, perhaps preferable option is to unite the HRE instead of forming Germany as it is much larger and instantly grants you cores on all provinces. The only downside to this option is the lack of base tax increases from the German Unification.
Trade is not usually a major priority for a united Germany. It's production and tax incomes are so high that bothering with trade is redundant and time-consuming. It is also likely that during your unification of Germany, you're incurred large reputation hits that cripple your ability to trade. But if, despite all this, you want to trade, it is recommended to move your sliders towards plutocracy and mercantilism (if you're going to follow this strategy, you're going to need lots of merchants, and late game there is not much use for cavalry anyway). Mercantilism gives you a boost in domestic trade (in CoTs you own), which will allow you to dominate Lubeck. Any other CoTs can easily be conquered and flooded with your traders. This goes for European, colonial and Asian markets. There are especially lucrative CoTs in China and India which it would be a crime not to take advantage of. It is also useful to take the provinces of Skane, Sjaelland and Fyn in Denmark to get the Sound Toll modifier that gives a useful 20% bonus in trade income.
Germany is not the best nation for colonialism technically, but there is no handicap it cannot overcome. It has the capability to take other nations' colonies, or to create some of their own. By late game, your best bet for good colonies would be in Asia. As with all nations, it is recommended you avoid Africa (except the South, which is probably already taken), as the attrition and natives are belligerent, and the land is poor. There are some exceptions. Slaves are a valuable trade good, and West Africa is full of them.
The German people have long looked East. Before Slavs migrated into Europe, the lands of Poland and Bohemia were Germanic. The Teutonic Order conquered the lands of the Pagan Balts. With a united Germany, Eastern Europe is easy pickings. If Poland-Lithuania still exists, it is an easy target for Germany's huge, advanced armies. By the time Germany is united, Poland is no longer the behemoth it was, but is just another target for German expansion. As with all wars for Germany, I recommend hitting the enemy with overwhelming force. 20K infantry stacks can easily be fielded by Germany and should be used for quick and easy assaults on the Polish castles. Remember that late in the game, cavalry is no longer the king of the battlefield. Poland's hussars will be mowed down by Napoleonic Squares (which you'll probably have in the 1760s, told you Germany is advanced).
Once Poland has been annihilated, you may be looking for a bigger fish to land. So there's Russia. Ok, whales technically aren't fish, but Russia is still beatable. As we all know, Russia can field very large armies, but these armies are mostly obsolete. Defeating Russia isn't too hard as Germany, but take note: Russia will take MANY wars to completely destroy, especially if they've been colonising Siberia. It's easier just to take their European lands, but even this will take a few wars. Use sturmtruppen (stormtrooper) tactics on the Russians, take some provinces in a peace treaty, rinse and repeat. Remember to convert unless you have the Liberte, Equalite, Fraternite National Idea.
The French people themselves are a Germanic tribe, but who forsaked their ancestry for the trappings of Roman civilisation. Their language is derived from Latin. If you intend to bring them back into the fold, you'll be pleasantly surprised. France is easy to beat with Germany, especially if you use the Schlieffen plan. Hit them hard from the North-East, while simultaneously striking into their heartland from the Rhineland. From there you can absorb large areas of French territory, fragment Gaul into a bunch of smaller duchies, or just extort money. Perhaps all three. Punish them in advance for Versailles.
Extremely rich, the peninsula's famous universities allow a Germanic master to stay GENERATIONS ahead in terms of Government technology, allowing more National Ideas to further widen the gap between Germany and the rest of the world. Italy NEVER unifies itself in EU3, remaining a mess that requires several wars to completely conquer. With some skill, however, it isn't difficult to pick off Italian minors in pairs or trios. For a faster victory, it is recommended that you blockade the countries with a coastline (pretty much everyone but Mantua and Tuscany, or an unlucky Milan), but the Italian states have relatively large galley fleets. Build a large fleet of Big Ships (Galleons etc.) to destroy the Italians' naval nuisances. Once blockaded, their WE will explode, resulting in their complete collapse and your dictation of the Apennine peninsula. But, there is ONE thorn in you're side that can make your game less fun. If you're a Catholic Germany and conquer Roma, the Pope will be constantly asking you to give the Eternal City back. So, if you don't want this event firing (or at least as much) either avoid Rome or turn Protestant/Reformed.
Great Britain is always a tough nut to crack. Their dominance of the seas keeps other powers at bay. But with a massive Kriegsmarine, Germany can take them down a notch. God Save the Queen once the Prussian Eagle lands! Don't bother building Galleys, as they'll just get destroyed by the Big Ship-orientated Royal Navy. the most efficient way to invade England is to construction a super-sea-stack (50 Big Ships will work, unless GB doesn't believe in global warming), to keep the Royal Navy at bay while transporting 40K of infantry and 10K of artillery onto the Dover cliffs. Assault Merry Old England's forts and destroy her armies until they are willing to concede to your demands.
To be honest, Scandinavia isn't worth the potential costs of taking it, but if you want a World Conquest or don't like Swedish meatballs, there's nothing to stop you taking Scandinavia. Scandinavian attrition is quite high, and to effectively defeat the Northmen, take full advantage of amphibious invasions. Fighting Denmark-Norway, taking the Danish mainland is a cakewalk since it borders your lands, Taking Skane, Fyn and Sjaelland also gives a nice bonus, the Sound Toll, which increases trade income by 20%. If the Danes still control territory in what is now the Swedish region of Scania, this can serve as a launching pad for an invasion of Southern Sweden. Norway can also be easily defeated by amphibious invasions. Remember that invading, assaulting, getting back on the boats and sailing to the next province costs less men than walking through the snow, not that manpower is a problem for Germany, though. Sweden can be conquered by ground campaigns originating from amphibious assaults in Finland and Stockholm, as well as an advance from Skane. If you want to be a colonial power, you might want to take Iceland if it's still in Norwegian hands.
Österreich: the Eternal Rival
If you already acquired or played Austria in the process of creating Germany, the following does not apply. Historically, Austria was a point of controversy when German nationalists were discussing the concept of a federative Germany. there were two main schools of thought:
- The Großdeutschland (Greater Germany) idea, which proposed a unified state including Austria (but not the Hapsburgs' Hungarian and Slavic lands)
- The Kleindeutschland (Lesser Germany theory, which, in contrast with the Großdeutschland concept, excluded Austria from a united Germany, which was to be dominated by Prussia.
In the end, the Kleindeutschland theory was to become reality in Europe. This was because Austria wanted to keep its non-German lands and didn't want to take orders from the Prussians. But you don't have to give them a choice. Austria is a deceptively strong military power. Even early in the game, whilst appearing to be a medium sized power, can sustain (and often does) a 20000-man army in the year 1400. Austria, especially if it expanded semi-historically into the Balkans, is a surprisingly dangerous opponent. But they are still no match for the German war machine. Focus on the Austrian heartland first, as those are the areas that give Austria a high force limit. It will take successive wars to annex Austria, but once you do, you'll be, undisputed, the only great Germanic nation.