|At the start of the Grand Campaign – 14 October 1399|
|Number of provinces||Varies|
|Center of Trade||Varies|
|State religion||Muslim (Shiite)|
|Other accepted cultures||Persian|
Persia is a nation in the Middle East and is often beset by the Hordes.
Persia is not available at the start of the Grand Campaign and can be played from several starts. Either by completing the Form Persian Nation decision, or revolting from one of the hordes or by selecting the formed nation later in the timeline. Each start has the same basic requirements, the player needs to deal with the hordes, reclaim their cores and Westernise.
Persia will face constant trouble from the minor hordes such as Qara Koyunlu, Ak Koyunlu and Nogai, however the major threat is the Timurids. The best solution is to pay of the Timurids early while the player's economy is small and the tribute is tiny, as the economy grows the proportion the tribute costs is reduced. Once the minor hordes are dealt with, either absorbed by the player or by another local nation such as the Ottomans the task is to deal with the Timurids. Try to attack during a Tribal Succession Crisis and take provinces that cut Persian culture off from the Timurids main body, sponsor rebels in the cut off provinces and wait for defection.
The Middle East
Persia is a different culture from the Middle East so there are no instant cores to inherited provinces from a Personal Union, even if the player can get out of the Theocracy this is not a suitable expansion strategy. Instead break into smaller nations and force vassals, they can then be annexed later as part of missions.
To be able to deal with the Europeans it is necessary to Westernise, see the How to Westernise guide for a more detailed walkthrough. The main requirements are Centralisation and Innovative sliders with a Ruler with high Administrative skill. As a theocracy the ruler can be used as a General without worrying about the succession, so use them until a suitable monarch arrives. After Westernisation the expansion areas are in any direction.
The player can then decide to go into Asia, into the remaining Middle East, India, China or even colonise the Americas. The lands to the North are generally poor and hard to navigate, they are best left to a Russian nation and the player should only step in if one of the European majors is snaking across the continent. India is rich and worth exploiting, the use of Divine Supremacy and Unam Sanctam should give a Casus Belli against anyone in India. If not unified then India is an even sweeter target as it will provide less of a challenge. To the South is Africa, perhaps best used as a bank and later on a Vassal but not worth a huge investment. China has much the same status as India however it is more likely to be unified and thus is harder to break into, the necessity of a naval presence is also an issue if your nation is highly Land focused. Depending on the speed of the Europeans, colonising may be a fight over scraps, try to get a good foothold in the East Indies which provide valuable trade goods.