Not to be confused with Münster, a nation in western Germany
Munster is a province of, and kingdom in, Ireland, located in the south-west of the island. Its capital city is Cork.
|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|
Heir to the Throne
Munster has one great advantage in comparison to the other Irish minors: They have no land border to the English province Meath in the beginning. Furthermore, it starts with one Infantry unit and a Cog, which can be used in a rush for the new world. The starting income is 4.5 ducats, and can rise to 6 in a reasonable amount of time (not including workshops, etc.). As Munster is a one province minor, the research multiplier is very low, so tech will not be a major problem. This paves the way for a variety of play styles, usually relying on trade as the primary source of early funding.
Your plan is to colonize in North America before anyone else, move your capital there and become a super power.
Act 1: Preparation
The first thing you aim at is colonizing the Azores. However the Portuguese can get a mission to discover the Azores, allowing them to discover them without a conquistador, so they may take them long before you can. You can check their missions during the first years. If you are lucky, their first mission will be the conquest of Tangiers, so they will basically be stuck and you can easily take the Azores.
- To fetch you a monthly income autosend merchants to the three most valuable centers of trade in Europe, usually Lübeck, Venice and Antwerpen. Research only trade (even if you are ahead of time). All other techs will be researched by your leader and neighbor bonuses. When you have government 4, you might pick National Bank and then mint as much as possible without getting inflation to better cover your initial investment. Changing your national idea to Quest for the New World when you have trade 7 will only give you -3 stability, which you recover in 3 months.
- Use slider movements to maximize free trade. The trade efficiency is very welcome.
- Set your army maintenance to minimum to get as much money as possible. Only raise the upkeep if the English assemble troops at you border to encourage them to kill someone else.
- Do what you can to keep the English from attacking you: Grant them military passage, make royal marriages, try to ally with other strong Europeans like Sweden (not France, England hates them anyway so they are of no use). You must keep the English from bashing you until 1480.
As soon as you have trade 7 (it should be possible around 1428), pick quest for the new world and buy one conquistador (~7 ducats). Ship him to the Azores, west of Portugal, (the sea there is cleared from the start) and explore the island. Now send colonists there until the colony is full grown. Altogether this will cost you over 200 ducats. So you basically eat up all money you gathered before.
In case Portugal already owns the Azores you should try to seize Muskogee from the Creek in a short war of aggression. This will mean that you need an explorer in addition to your conquistador. Also, at least 4 regiments are probably needed to win against the (usually) 7- regiment-strong Creek military. You will, of course, get cores on this province at around the same time as you would for the Azores strategy.
A third strategy, which removes the need for your military to be used while allows you to range across most of the Atlantic coast when the right time comes is to colonize southern Greenland. You may take northern Greenland also, to preempt the AI however this is not recommended as taking northern Greenland saps much needed resources- resources which you either don't have or cannot replace with ease. The flaw in the Greenland strategy is that you will need to hire colonial range increasing advisors to be able to reach the southern most colonies on the Atlantic seaboard, advisors which are not always available to your country when you need them and which sap your cash.
Also on the issue of allying with other Europeans and diplomacy, you should issue warnings to the other Irish states. This is because while England is the major threat to your existence, England tends to move slowly and really seems to be a game of chance on whether he will decide to declare war on you first. The other Irish states on the other hand seem to be preprogrammed (especially leinster) to conquer and unite ireland. Make sure you always play the spoiler in any inter-Irish war- if any of the kingdoms is able to become stronger than you (at least in size) they will put you next on your hitlist, even going to war if you were already allied.
Act 2: Brave New World
Set your research to fleet and government. You want to increase colonization range a little and you want the second national idea, national bank. When you have the national bank, convert as much monthly income to money as is possible without building up inflation. Around 1480 you get the core on the Azores, that allows for a colonization of the "united states". Don't go for the worthless Canadian land, you have no money to waste.
Around 1470-1475 hire an explorer (for the fleet) and move your cogs strictly to the west. As soon as you find the coast of North America sail it up and down to discover the creek Indians and the province of Manhattan. Then retreat your fleet to repair them. You will probably have to retreat them once or twice in the course of exploration as this procedure is extremely damaging to your ships.
2–3 years before you get the core in the Azores, build a third cog and two further units of infantry. Send your three copgs with the three units of infantry to the creek, declare war on them and invade them (don't forget to raise troop upkeep to 100% before). They have no forts and very week troops but lots of gold. You can seize all their provinces (the button is in the army window), occupy their capital and take all their gold for peace. Afterwards sell them back their provinces one by one, as you can't beat down the revolts anyway. You should get roughly 1500 ducats that way. However you may want to move against the Aztecs or maya instead. Often enough it tends to be a game of chance which of the northern tribes has the gold you need, since in the Huron-Iroquois and Creek-Cherokee-Shawnee intertribal warfare cycles, one tribe tends to dominate the others. More often than not also it seems that Huron will conquer Iroquois and Shawnee will be successful against the other two. Small western African pagan nations become useful for gold in these situations, since you can take Benin with only 3k soldiers. Note that you may want to seize one of their territories to house your ships as they will be badly damaged after a straight bolt from Munster all the way to west Africa.
When you get the core on the Azores, colonize Manhattan and all provinces which have a base tax of at least 5. If your money decreases to below 500, pick another native nation and make them pay (literally). There should be 4 native people (Creek, Cherokee, Shawnee and Iroquois) still around which each have around 1500 gold. So you can easily cover your expenses by the sword. You might want to increase your army size to 5 to make the conquests easier. You might need a conquistador (~10 ducats) to reach your targets. Build forts in full grown colonies as (little surprisingly) the natives will hate you. I made the puzzling experience that once you start colonizing America, England will start to like you and even propose treaties by themselves. That's probably because they can't reach your army or your colonies, so you could always white peace out of any war by waiting long enough.
Act 3: Your Power Unfolds
As your third national idea you should pick Colonial Ventures to speed up colonization. Around 1530 you get your core in Manhattan or Massachusetts and you should have full grown colonies in most of the provinces with base tax 5 or higher on the US coast. Prepare to have at least 1000 ducats at that time. If the money from natives does not work any more, mint and move sliders towards free subject. Each step gives you a 33% chance to get -2 inflation. Move your capital to Manhattan or Massachusetts. After this you are safe. Your monthly income will ironically be much higher than your yearly income, as non-cores only contribute 10% to the latter. This means that it may take until after 1560 to become independent of native gold to pay an army of 10 infantry and 5 cavalry and cover your colonization efforts.
Anyway, when you feel you don't need their money anymore, annex the natives one by one (leave some time to build forts, otherwise the land will be undefendable). This will give you one or two centers of trade which will fetch you quite a decent income. Note that religious conversions of shamanists or animists will also change the culture of the provinces to yours, so America will be remarkably uniform. Just colonize everything you can in North America, and by this time you will become the Russia of Celtic peoples. The other Europeans will love you and ask you for alliances all the time as you grow powerful, pitiful roaches they are. Needless to say, you don't want allies now, for your time has come.
Try to contain colonies of other Europeans in North America by colonizing the provinces adjacent to theirs and what is left of the atlantic coast, quickly expanding to the pacific and taking the whole pacific coast. You can draw some gold from Aztecs, Zapotecs and Mayas (that is those of them who survived that far). Also you might want to seize Mexico and Huastec, the gold provinces.
As a humorous side note you will also become papal controller quite often as you will have many catholic provinces. This allows you to excommunicate countries which you want to declare war on you. However it takes very long to colonize North America and the economic reward takes even longer, so your financial and thus military situation will be poor for quite some time. Around 1600 your economy should however easily challenge the other European super powers. At that point you might unite Ireland (however do not move your capital to Europe) or you might take the giant leap over the pacific and take what you want from china and India.
Don't move your capital to Massachusetts; move it to Manhattan and make sure your COT is built there. This will give the maximum tax income because of the higher base tax in Manhattan and effect of multipliers. Make your National Focus Mahican so it covers as much provinces as possible including Manhattan.