|At the start of the Grand Campaign – 14 October 1399|
|Government type||Despotic Monarchy|
|Center of Trade||None|
|Other accepted cultures||None|
Orissa is one of the smaller Hindu states in eastern India. It can be thought of as a smaller, poorer Vijayanagar. Once expansion within India is complete it is then following the latter stages of the Vijayanagar guide is recommended.
Build cavalry as soon as the game starts, and build at least a regiment a year up to your support limit (a whole four regiments). Without troops, you won't be able to exploit opportunities and you will get targeted by aggressive nations. Your best prospective ally is Gondwana. Allying with Bihar or Vijayanagar may give security, but they will be the leaders in any wars, and they have a bad habit of making peace on you as soon as you look like conquering something.
Deccan is usually attacked early by Vijayanagar and others. When this happens, declare war yourself and use your cavalry to grab as many of Deccan's unfortified provinces as you can. If Bihar loses to Delhi, it may be possible to grab a province or two, or even the Bihar CoT.
Despite your starting location, you are actually in the Eastern Aryan culture group, not South Indian. This means that your culture-group provinces are north and east of you, rather than west or south.
Bengal is a good target, a smallish Muslim state in Hindu territory and it rarely has powerful friends. Assam can be a good ally against Bengal. Once you've expanded a bit, you can try to ally with Bihar. If they've expanded too you will eventually have to fight them. Try and wait until they're busy with someone else on the other side.
Vijayanagar is the local heavyweight. Try and stay on their good side (military access/royal marriage), and don't get between them and the rest of the map.
Use careful management of resources to expand West while making sure not to invoke the wrath of any large nations. If the Timurids fail to fall apart then keep some distance from North West India until the rest of the subcontinent is under your yoke.
The South East Asian nations are of a different religion so used of Holy War can expand in that direction but beware of the sleeping giant that is Ming they are unlikely to be able to declare war due to their Government type but may be guaranteeing other nations.
If possible it is worth finding a method to Westernise before becoming too large. Either meet Europeans in Africa or risk selling one of your provinces to them.
Once you can take Vijayanagar, do so and fracture them as much as possible, use rebels to complete the disassembly and proceed to mop up the mess for yourself. The player may also look to Form Hindustan in mid to late game and use reconquest to increase territory quickly.
For late game advice see the Vijayanagar guide.