|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||None|
- 1 Divine Wind
- 2 Heir to the Throne
- 3 In Nomine
- 4 EU3 & NA
- 5 Alternative NA Strategy
Alternative Indian strategy
Bored of playing as Mecklenburg in the European theatre? Conquering overwhelming African states no longer appeals you? Well, Mecklenburg as an OPM can aspire and conquer a whole continent by its own right. All that matters is micromanagement and a good sense of opportunism.
The aim here is the complete conquest of India, and for such a thing you must start in between the years 1528-1600 so you can have an opportunity in conquering India (as a minor power, you cannot afford wasting your men either pick any battle thinking your technological superiority will win the day). Too early and you can´t even get a foothold in the continent and too late other European powers will start growing interest in that area(i.e. Portugal and England).
The National Ideas are important, you should stick with the ones concerning trading (as an OPM trading is your only real source of income) and change the ones related with the navy for Divine Supremacy. This is the most important idea you will employ until 1650 (the year when the casus belli for attacking heathens will end) for your expansionist ambitions.
Try to get at least 3 transport ships and get your small army inside. Don´t try to colonize your way to India, it is a waste of time and precious resources you cannot afford on "luxuries". As you may already saw, Portugal has some dominions in the Arabian peninsula or in India proper (depending on the year you start) simply ask them permission to transit through their kingdom and you will easily have a forward base for your first conquest.
Many people suggest conquering Maldives or Ceylon, because they are the weakest of all Indian states and normally aren´t in an intrincate wave of alliances. Go for whichever island you prefer, it should be an easy fight.
Do not mind not converting your newly conquered province, since its a mere pebble for the real prize and anyway it probably won´t pay off your investment. By now, you should be transporting recruited troops from Mecklenburg to your forward base in the Indic Ocean (never, unless in an emergency, hire mercenaries in India until you get cores or European rival´s ones). One of the strong Indian states you should beware before invading the Indian subcontinent is Vijayanagar, usually the strongest of the Hinduist states. Nevertheless, this "gigant" lies in clay, and usually implodes either by revolts or by a combination of factores (long wars, WE, foreign power declaring war, etc.) and it should be your primary objective for expansion once it starts to crumble.
Always have in mind that the Hinduist states are in this first phase of expansions, because the northern Muslim states may trigger the intervention of a major Muslim power (such as Persia or the Ottoman Empire) which is something you will never want to happen.
While Vijayanagar implodes (or you desestabilize it) you can slowly gooble up some Indian minors (particularly in the southwestern tip) to solidify your hold and some manpower. Always remember you most act wisely and opportunisticly since your resources are quite limited (specially referring to manpower).
While trading, you should aim for the CoT with the highest % for you and the one that has most value. If you manage well yourself, you can have a monopoly on at least 2-3 CoT easily. Also, avoid having alliances that can draw you down into wars that in the best outcome are fruitless without any gain whatsoever. And by avoiding alliances, try to have as many royal marriages as possible, the more you have the more unlikely someone will declare war on Mecklenburg (the stab hit is not the only a disuassive element, by being a member of the Holy Roman Empire, the Emperor may aid you in a defensive war).
When you gained a strong foothold in the Indian subcontinent, swallow up all the minors in fast wars. It is not recommendable to start the invasion in the northwestern part of India, because you end dangerously near to strong warlike powers as the Safavids. After the conquest of Vijayanagar you should probably encounter stiffer resistance in the north from Delhi or any other Muslim power that settled in the North. The BB (badboy) you should have won by conquering the south of India may be a good time to start colonizing some parts of the Caribbean (including the historical Dutch Guyana and Venezuela) since they produce highly profitable products and if you are lucky enough, by the time you get a core on any island or continental province, you can build a CoT which can absorb most of the value of trade of many Caribbean islands (the value of the CoT usually ranges, if it is the first one in the Caribbean region, from 1800 to 2300). This is a mid term optional goal to strengthen your economy. But if you prefer, you may try expanding to Oceania (conquering Macasar, Borneo, Aceh and other island countries with valuable goods) which doesn´t require nothing more than your small fleet and some troops.
Since you are a country with no continental provinces (not including proper Mecklenburg) your tax and production income is pitiful, and thus you most always balance yourself between conquest and trade (bb and % of competence). Mecklenburg will rely entirely in trade until you can move your capital to India. This will enable you to gain tax and production income from India (since your outremer provinces will overpass your ship force limits hugely, the tariff income will always be pathetic to take into account) and make Mecklenburg less dependant on foreigners and their CoT.
When the conquest is developing, the maxim to follow is "divide and conquer". You do not need to completely conquer a country, only to weaken it fairly enough it cannot pose an immediate threat. The navy should not be used to fight other Indian or Muslim navies, because they actually can defeat you in that battlefield. The role of Mecklenburg´s navy is to basically ferry troops from Germany to India, and the cost of rebuilding a lost navy is avoidable.
After breaking Vijayanagar and weakened any other power in India you may start to send missionaries (if your economy allows) to settle down the things a bit. Enacting some religious decisions may helping in converting the masses, but it will be much much cheaper when you finally move your capital to India (the price goes down almost 50%).
To move your capital, you should by now be the hegemonic power in India, and by such some European power can (or already did) declare war on you. At all costs you should enforce a peace, even if you have to purchase it. Mecklenburg cannot afford a war with any European power (your navy cannot compete in ideal conditions and your manforce´s base is still one mere province in Germany). By the time you earn the first core in an Indian province (usually 50 years for a conquered province) change the capital in good timing. The capital traslation from Germany to India will necessarily implicate Mecklenburg abandoning the Holy Roman Empire, its benefits and "protections" of the Emperor. And also 1 thousand ducats and a minimum of 2 + stability. It may not sound an intelligent move, but when done, your income will rise sharply allowing increases in the armed forces size.
India is rich, and so are the islands of Oceania and the Caribbean with proper management of your trading empire,which isn´t very difficult with the Shrewd Commerce Practice and Merchant Adventures National Ideas, the flow of merchants will enable control of many CoT. When you move the capital to India, you can even surpass the yearly income of the world´s strongest power by then, which is Spain. - The_Caliph
Heir to the Throne
In Heir to the Throne Mecklenburg only has one province and does not control Lübeck or any Centre of Trade (CoT). Its starting position is precarious, surrounded by 3 stronger nations (Pommerania, the Hansa and Brandenburg). As Mecklenburg only holds a single province, the player risks being annexed as soon as one of the above have an excuse to invade.
The Emperor will protect your sovereignty in the early game. Later on he will become more of a hindrance, slowing your expansion across northern Europe.
This strategy simply details a way to transition from a single province to a number which provides a decent level of manpower and stature in Northern Europe.
The main thing that Mecklenburg are blessed with is great trading potential. Immediately the player should move the investment slider almost completely into Government investment to acquire the first national idea.
Over the course of the early game player should also be working towards moving the sliders towards Free Trade and Free Subjects. The former will aid trade, the later will lower technology costs and every once in a while knock 2% off inflation.
For the first few years the player should be looking to penetrate all centers of trade starting with the most valuable and working backwards.
Your game will really start when Gotland becomes independent.
First Idea and get Gotland!
For your first idea you should pick up Espionage to gain +1 yearly spies. Your traders can hold their own without the National Trade Policy or Shrewd Commerce Practice. Once you have 5 spies switch your first idea to National Trade Policy. You can now change your investment to trade and either government to work towards second idea or land tech for war.
Mecklenburg do not get many Casus Belli in the early game. Attacking with one is difficult enough with local alliance's and guarantees. Attacking without one is impossible with the emperor bearing down on you. Picking up the spies early will not affect your ability to trade. It will also allow you to fabricate a Casus Belli later on.
Gotland usually becomes an independent nation a few years into the game as part of a peace deal. Your goal should be to get it. Gotland is an ideal choice for a second province. It is an island which makes it very easy to defend. It also won't be a part of the HRE meaning the Emperor will not get involved. If Gotland is allied or guaranteed then try to wage war when the Teutonic Order wage war. Just remember to get there first!
Second Idea, Denmark, The World
By now you should have National Trade Policy. Your second national idea should be Shrewd Commerce Practice to ensure your traders stay competitive. Your next target should be a single-province nation bordering Denmark. Send in your spies to gain a Casus Belli and prepare yourself to attack.
This opening war is fairly impossible to win due to a large number of guarantees floating around. The idea is to have 6,000 troops on Gotland. Maybe 11,000 if the Teutonic Order are guaranteeing the nation you are attacking. (Teutonic Order has a large fleet.) The idea is simple. Send a large force to annex your target nation, then camp Gotland and wait. You can even release Gotland to get peace if required. It is messy but it works and leaves you with 2 northern European provinces and possibly Gotland.
Denmark should be your next target. Keep a boat in the water and monitor their troop numbers. Denmark is very powerful with its personal unions with Sweden and Finland. However, once these unions pass, it is fairly weak. If it attacks your bordering province, you will be protected by the emperor. Simply go in with the emperor. If Denmark does not attack, make sure you have a stronger fleet so your men can traverse the entire Danish nation then wage war yourself. At this point take what you want.
Once you own a significant portion of Danish territory you can choose your own objectives. You will be large enough to diplo-annex single nation provinces. Furthermore you will have one of the largest incomes in the known world with your trade.
One might set out to dismantle the HRE. Other strategies include colonizing abroad, ruling the HRE, and forming Germany. The future of Mecklenburg is up to you.
Mecklenburg is one of the key countries in the Holy Roman Empire (HRE). It has many viable options for trade and conquest. All of its provinces are coastal on the Baltic Sea. It controls a Center of Trade (COT) in its capital, Lübeck and is in a good position to send merchants to the COT in Vlandereen, and pretty much all other the European COTs.
Militarily it has great advantages. To the north is Denmark, a good target once Mecklenburg has expanded enough. This early growth can be attained through the conquest of the smaller HRE states to its south and west, or by defeating Pommerania and Brandenburg in the East.
The early game
The first thing you will want to do is join the Hanseatic League. Secondly you'll want to adjust your sliders, moving either towards Centralization or Free Subjects; both are good. What ever you do, do not move towards Free Trade, this will hinder you later (I'll explain). Try to hire a Trader, Treasurer, a Collector or maybe even a Master Of Mint. Perhaps get alliances with other local Monarchies such as Lüneburg, Brunswick, or Anhalt. Also, adjust your budget so that you have nearly full funding for Government Tech, perhaps still minting enough to keep Merchants flowing. Also go for the cheapest (merchant cost), most profitable COT's first, and build up. If you can't get good advisors in the beginning, pause exactly 1 year after your start date, (usually Oct. 14th 1400) and you should be able to find some.
Also make sure to build up an Army and Navy. It is vital that you not look weak or your main opponent Denmark will usually declare war A good way to defeat Denmark, if they start insulting and guaranteeing you is to build up a very large fleet, as big as you can afford it needs to be able to at least beat Denmark's. If you trap them in Fyn, and beat them on the seas, you will be able to turn the tables vastly, without wrecking your economy. Be prepared to declare war. When war comes, check where Denmark's army is and try to trap them in Fyn, though anywhere away from the mainland is OK. Find a nation with weak or no alliances that Denmark is guaranteeing and declare war on them. That way you don't have to deal with Norway and Sweden (Denmark will almost always guarantee Hamburg, Bremen, Oldenburg, etc.). Or alternatively, guarantee Hamburg and Bremen yourself and have a little more patience.
You'll probably have missions such as "Build a Proper Fleet" or "Build a Proper Army" anyway, and it's a solid move, even if you don't get into war with Denmark, as you need to defend your own borders and stay open to expansion. Try to stay near or at the Force limit for both Army and Navy early in the game; it's not very high in the first place. But keep trading a priority, as it is your most important source of income.
Another strategy that saves some money is to disband your starting navy. It doesn't harm you as it's too weak to fight anyone.
When you finally reach your first National Idea, adjust slider investments to nearly full for Trade Tech. Select National Trade Policy for your first idea. In a few years you should have 5 merchants in every viewable COT, and be researching quite quickly. When your Trade efficiency (TE) is over 50%, enact the national decision, Declare Statute of Monopolies. As long as you can hold your alliances and deter an attack, you'll be well on your way to being one of the richest and most advanced nations.
Early Game Overview
- Join the Hanseatic League
- Hire trade promoting advisors
- Keep Army and Navy at or near the maximum support limit
- Select National Trade Policy for your first idea
- Declare Statute of Monopolies once your TE is above 50%
EU3 & NA
Mecklenburg begins the game as a wealthy, two-province country, in possession of the biggest CoT in Europe, through which trades the entire Holy Roman Empire. Its starting policies are among the best on the continent, Free Trade Narrowmindedness putting it in a perfect position for trade and colonisation. Trade is further bolstered by Mecklenburg's starting dominance, with merchants in Lubeck. The player's priority should be in ensuring that this is maintained throughout the game.
Research and National Ideas
Mecklenburg's route in National Ideas and researching should be quite obvious. First fully invest to get level one in Government Tech and take one of the Trading NIs, either Shrewd Commerce Practice or National Trade Policy. Then Production, for Workshops, and then Land tech 3 should be researched. Now the player's priority should be Trade research, until Mecklenburg outpaces everybody else. Once this has been accomplished auto-sending merchants should get a position of dominance in all of Europe's major Trading Centres.
As for advisors, stability advisors are pretty much redundant in so small a country. Research is once again the priority, as the early years are for building up national wealth rather than expanding in this country.
Diplomacy and Military
As a German minor, Mecklenburg's biggest problem is its low manpower. Inflation will grip hard if any large armies are attempted, so its first diplomatic priority should be to get an alliance with a reliable local power.
About your neighbours, to the north there's Denmark busy fighting with Sweden. Later France is very probable to join the action as their alliance with Norway is quite stable and withstands many years. You shouldn't look to north at all in your expansion plans. The land there is poor, manpower is low, attrition is deadly, nothing good to take. Try to stay friendly with Denmark, they shouldn't attack you unless you have no army. They want Sweden more. Fools.
You have to expand at cost of other HRE countries. Hamburg and Bremen both are very wealthy and tempting to take. Before you do that though, make sure you have allies to aid you in case something goes wrong.
In this part of HRE there's always something like a strong regional union of Anhalt, Saxony and Brandenburg. Those three ally with each other early on and stay together for most of the game. Your first move in your game should be to offer Royal Marriage to both Brandenburg and Saxony. It will raise your relations with them and instead of proposing their alliance to Anhalt, those two strong and quite big countries, will propose it to you. Thanks to that move you will take place of Anhalt in their alliance, and will have two good and reliable allies behind your back. If that fails, Denmark and Pommerania will have to suffice. But Saxony and Brandenburg are your best choice, really.
After that you may proceed on uniting minors around you. Luneburg, Bremen and Hamburg are very good targets to attack, vassalize and diplo-annex later on. After that proceed to Pommerania (the same culture as yours) and any other state that looks weak and doesn't have powerful allies (powerful = Austria, Burgundy, Lithuania, Poland, France, so on).
The trick is not to annex them. This would hurt your trade too much. Instead, offer them vassalization and demand all the cash they can pay. This way quickly you will have a few hundreds in your purse and this will allow you to build a bit bigger army to take on some of stronger minors like Hesse or Bavaria. Also, if they have two or three provinces (like Bavaria, Munster, Palatinate, Cologne) be sure to rob them of their additional provinces. They cost 2 BB each, might seem a lot, but you're in a badly need of additional manpower. So make sure your vassals stay with only one province. They are easier to control and less likely to break away this way.
The most important thing is diplomacy. If you have a monarch who is a talented diplomat, use him to the utmost extent. Get Royal Marriage, military access and other free deals with every HRE elector you can reach. Bribe Saxony and Brandenburg to tie them closer and closer to your country. They should accept vassalization offers later in the game, after you have absorbed a bunch of smaller countries.
Your aim is to become the Emperor. It gives you an ability to field huge armies for the country of your size. This way you can swallow little ones easier, one by one, and also defend yourself effectively against all the enemy incursions.
After 50 or so years you should have at least the north of Germany united under your rule. It depends on the skills of your monarchs and also is randomized by the way minors ally with each other. But the final result will be usually like that, you have everything between Bayern and the Baltic and from Pommerania to the Netherlands.
After that it's time to proceed on a bigger prey. You have two ways. You can go on Burgundy to take Dutch provinces from them or take on Austria to unite Germany. It is very random which of those two will be weaker and smaller. The idea is to jump on the weaker one and rob him of all his power, cash, manpower and land. If you jump on Austria, take their gold provinces. If you attack Burgundy, take the wealthiest Dutch lands.
When you fight a war, play it smart. Check first who is the leader of an alliance against you. And ignore him. Move your armies on smaller countries of the alliance, assault and take their homeland quickly. Take any provinces you can, vassalize them and demand cash. After you have killed all the minors involved, move on the biggest country. It is sometimes even worth having whole your homeland besieged. As a reward you will be uniting German states much quicker than if you killed the big country first and accepted white peace with its minor allies.
Also, do not ally with your vassals when they have only one province. They are of no value in your wars and you risk them being annexed when you are attacked. Also every war you drag them into will damage your relations and will cost diplomats and cash to improve. So ally only if they have two or more provinces. When your vassal who you're not allied with is attacked, they will ask you for help anyway. So they are under your protection even without the alliance.
Alternative NA Strategy
- Hire advisors that increase trading in any way.
- Move slider towards free trade.
- Lower maintenance on both navy and army.
- Send out royal marriages to all your neighbours.
- Send your starting merchants to one CoT that is "not" Lubeck.
- Adjust your minting slider so you aren't creating any inflation.
Securing Safety And Your First National Idea
- Hopefully some nations accepted your marriage proposals and will now offer you an alliance.
- Wait until the first alliance starts to fade and then accept all of them that appear (unless there is a good reason not to accept).
- With all your powerful neighbors that have secured your future, now you can start trading and expanding.
- When you get your first National Idea, choose Shrewd Commerce Practice or National Bank.
- Try to vassalise any neighbors and then diplo-annex them, remember we want to peacefully expand at the beginning.
- Trade in all the CoTs but make sure you keep a steady 5 merchants in each.
- With all the income from trade, feel free to massively expand your army and navy.
- 10 years later, annex your vassals (if you can, if you can't, just wait and try again later).
- With your new territory you might be tempted to wage war, DON'T, we're not there yet.
- Choose National Ideas that support trading.
- Colonize at your own risk.
- Move sliders towards free trade and innovation (note that this defeats the purpose of colonizing).
- Keep up trading, don't let any CoT drop below 5 merchants.
- When you get a chance to monopolise a CoT, DON'T, monopolies are hard to keep and you will end up wasting merchants.
- You should be the leader in tech by some margin, if not, re-read this section.
- Once you decide that you can start warmongering, do it!
- Do not worry if you are outmanned, here are some reasons why......
- You have a massive income with which you can hire mercenaries.
- You are way ahead of tech, so it is cavemen versus guns.
- So you are losing the war, just cede some of your ducats, you have enough to spare.
- Do not worry if you are outmanned, here are some reasons why......