Navarra is a poor little nation, trapped between the behemoths of Castille, Aragon and France. In short you will find this nation incredibly hard.
|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|
The EUII tactic of entering into an instant alliance with England and attempting to take lands from France in the Hundred Years' War is likely to be unsuccessful given that England starts in a much weaker position, and that they are at war with France and there is no way to enter an ongoing conflict. The best tactic is probably to attempt to enter into alliance with one of the Spanish nations, and pray that they can intercede into any conflict before the other is able to steamroller over you. As a one province nation, you are entirely at the mercy of your larger neighbors. Unfortunately, it seems that Aragon is hellbent on vassalizing you and your other neighbors are content to abandon you to your fate. In the event that you somehow manage to establish an Alliance with another nation, it is not uncommon for them to not honor it when push comes to shove. It appears that the only reliable way to establish an alliance is to become vassalized, and while this is obviously less than optimal, it is a better alternative than being annexed.
However, as a small nation you have advantages - your initial low technology and stability costs mean that you can change government and raise tech levels quickly. With its high starting Free Trade slider setting, Navarra can easily dominate the trading markets, especially if one joins a trading league. You can also quickly regain lost stability from switching National Ideas.
Medium term plans
As a rich nation, it may be possible to temporarily support a large army over your land limits, but doing will stagnate your growth. Your primary bottleneck to greatness is the lack of land, but your small army prevents you from directly challenging any of the larger nations, and there are no small neighboring countries suitable for conquest. Your only options are to piggyback on wars between other nations, or colonization. Thanks to your small size, it is possible to select an economy based National Idea first, then later convert to Quest for the New World when it becomes available. By hiring the right advisors, it is possible to reach the Azores islands (west of Portugal) and colonize them before others. It may be possible to reach as far west as Bermuda with Navigator advisors, but further expansion will be difficult until you can gain a core on the islands. It may be possible to hire many mercenaries for an opportunistic war, but this is obviously not desirable in the long term.
Long term plans
If for any reason you are forced into conflict with France, or the opportunity otherwise presents itself, then taking the minors of Béarn and Armagnac may be a good move. However, the only way Navarra is going to prosper requires either an inheritance of a major player, or a slow attrition of your neighbours, nibbling away, taking a province or two until you have the power to colonise or conquer as you wish.
You are in the position to become either France or Spain if the mood takes you. However it will be a long hard slog to gain the provinces needed, and then again, why would you? You gain no cores, cultures or benefits beyond a -2 to centralisation.