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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.

At the start of the Grand Campaign – 14 October 1399
Basic Stats
Government type Merchant Republic
Technology group Latin
Number of provinces 1
Capital province Hamburg
Center of Trade none
State religion Catholic
Primary culture Hannoverian


Centralization <▪▪▪▪▪♦▪▪▪▪▪>

Aristocracy <▪▪♦▪▪▫▪▪▪▪▪>
quite aristocratic

Serfdom <▪▪▪▪♦▫▪▪▪▪▪>
slight serfdom
Free Subject

Innovative <▪▪▪▪▪♦▪▪▪▪▪>

Mercantilism <▪♦▪▪▪▫▪▪▪▪▪>
very mercantilistic
Free Trade

Offensive <▪▪▪♦▪▫▪▪▪▪▪>
somewhat offensive

Land <▪▪▪▪♦▫▪▪▪▪▪>
slightly land oriented

Quality <▪▪▪▪♦▫▪▪▪▪▪>
slightly quality oriented

Hamburg is an interesting German minor as you start close to Denmark and other powers can possibly move into your neighborhood awfully soon. Be aware that Hamburg can not form Royal marriages due to the government type, Merchant Republic. Nor can your ruler become Holy Roman Emperor, for the same reason.

Heir to the Throne and Divine Wind

By default, Hamburg is not extant in HTTT's or DW's 1399 scenario. It is however possible to play Hamburg if you make the Hansa release them, or if you pick a later starting date. Also, Hamburg is no longer a Merchant Republic by default, but a Noble Republic.

In Nomine

Compared with 3.1, playing Hamburg has become much easier in In Nomine 3.2 because of the addition of the state of Holstein between Hamburg and Denmark. Otherwise, most advise in this guide still applies.



  • Port (can ship to Italy or Mediterranean to annex minors)
  • Merchant Republic (cheap merchants)
  • 25% reduction for sending merchants
  • High base tax


  • No royal marriages (thus no inheriting)
  • Early target of Denmark
  • One Province Minor (aka low survival rate)

Early Play

Pick up advisors that help with trade and land tech. The key to Hamburg is to build a mighty trade empire to gain money to finance possibly colonization when spread of discoveries happen. Pick Merchant Adventures or National Trade Policy. Build your modest 90% Latin Knights. Novgorod is perhaps the easily richest COT to put your merchants in. Sending gifts, trade agreements, and military access to keep Denmark from attacking

Early Goals

  • Become friends with Mecklenburg
  • Send merchants to the richest Centers of Trade in Europe (Lubeck, Vlaanderen, and Novgorod)
  • Choosing a good National Idea. A trade-related idea is well-suited for Hamburg.

Next Goals

Here a word of advice never never join in a war with Mecklenburg or anyone with a Center or Trade because the AI loves to Trade Embargo to death to countries. One strategy I tried and found working is to backstab Denmark if Denmark's war with Sweden is going poorly for the Danes. A skilled player can easily take Denmark's mainland provinces next to Hamburg.

Warning and Guaranteeing Germany

Warn and guarantee every country around Hamburg so you if need to take down a promising German empire that threatens Hamburg (for example Munster, Bremen, Hesse, Cologne) but remember only to vassalize and take money so your trading empire does not crash because of infamy. You want a balance of power around Hamburg and this upstart empire would prefer to attack small countries instead of France or Austria or more. Watch Burgundy as sometimes Burgundy likes to conquer the Netherlands and northern Germany.

Now you may be wondering whether conquering provinces hurts trade. It does, but Hamburg needs to be big enough to fend off any local powers such as Burgundy, Bohemia, and Denmark. It is OK to have a little BB, just to protect yourself.


After Spread of Discoveries occurs you should go for wealthy, sugar-growing islands, bringing cavalry to kill off dangerous natives (note that once a colony hits 1000 all natives in the province become citizens in the town; peaceful natives are usually worth keeping).

Good spots to colonize in the 1500s

  • Caribbean
  • Southern USA
  • Southern South America (High Tax Bases)
  • Cuba
  • South Africa

Spots to Avoid

  • Canada
  • Grain, Fish, Naval Supplies provices
  • Northern USA
  • The Rest of Africa

Be selective as Hamburg is not a colonial nation like England, Spain, or Portugal. You simply can not afford to have 10 colonies at a time. Do not be afraid to attack the American Indians for quick land or thousands of ducats. Make sure to have plenty of ships and troops in your colonies.


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