|At the start of the Grand Campaign – 14 October 1399|
|Government type||Administrative Republic|
|Number of provinces||2 (: 6)|
|Center of Trade||None|
|Other accepted cultures||None|
Switzerland is the most democratic nation on Earth in 1399. This provides great opportunities to become the most powerful trading nation in Europe but decentralized democratic politics reduces opportunities for taxation and playing imperial politics in the HRE.
Switzerland is one of the most difficult nations to expand with in EU3. It's stuck right between Burgundy, France, and Austria, any of which can stomp you at will in the early game and your manpower is terrible. Since you start with a Republic there are no royal marriages, and therefore no diplo-vassals, Personal Unions or inheritances. The only way to expand is militarily, and it's advised to start by going north or south. Don't forget to send merchants to Genoa and Venice, your sliders are very favorable for trade early.
One strategy involves guaranteeing HRE nations that do not border Switzerland, in an attempt to get a chance to intervene on their behalf if bordering countries did attack. Once you get a causus belli, you can declare war and vassalise. In the rare chance you get an opportunity for a coastal province, you can annex it to attempt to get a core early for colonization. Once you get to Government Tech 10, you will have the ability to switch to a Noble Republic and get royal marriages, I strongly suggest switching. Noble Republic also allows switching to a Despotic Monarchy, feel free to go this route if you want to get some Personal Unions going and do some inheriting. If your plans involve inheriting or annexing vassals, you'll want to expand your sphere for the bonus to diplomacy(+1 per spheree) when you have enough prestige to do so.
Once you've gotten your forcelimit up to ~35 you can probably take on a non-HRE Burgundy and Austria, and by now you've probably had a few events pop giving you cores on their provinces. As soon as you can select a military leader, and declare a war of reconquest and scorch the land in the bordering provinces. Once their stacks are weakened enough, roll in there with your military leader as a general. Hopefully he'll have a minimum of +3 bonus to shock. Wipe out the 2-3 major stacks they'll have and immediately place one unit on every province. Force release and annex what you want.
You should probably start moving your sliders to centralization as soon as possible as you are at full decentralization and there are some HUGE penalties for that. Good National Ideas really depend on your strategy. Grand Army isn't particularly useful unless you've already increased your forcelimits. A 33% increase to 12 units isn't very helpful. Shrewd Commerce Practice will make sure your slots in every reasonably close COT stay packed, and may eventually make you enough ducats to go over forcelimits if one of the giants comes after you. If you have a cored coastal province, absolutely take Quest for the New World. Colonizing can be worth a ton of ducats and really increase your forcelimit later.
After you've passed the other local nations and have secured yourself versus France, the world is your oyster. Perhaps you should try and establish North African colonies, or take the middle east and convert the heathens. To really go ahistorical perhaps you could conquer Ming China. Swiss Ming would certainly be something to see.
The Early Years
Before the first election in the first four years of the game, you are ruled by a council and cannot declare war. Use this time to become a trading powerhouse. Hire advisors who increase merchant effectiveness and trade research. As you near your first election, start minting and building up your army. Or, if you want, you can wait a little longer. But at some point Switzerland must expand if it is to become truly great.
- Some versions of the game (HTTT, Japanese version 4.0 confirmed) may be bugged and have you starting the game at war with Austria. It's not supposed to be this way. To fix this bug, advance the clock timer at the start screen by 100 years, then reverse it back to 1399. This clears the war.
You can expand primarily by mission. To do this, you must leave the HRE. Then you may get missions to capture the German culture provinces to the north*. You can also expand via boundary disputes. But beware the Emperor. He will not take kindly to your conquering of HRE members. Remember to find allies or to attack when the Emperor is otherwise engaged (attack when he's at war with France or Burgundy or Poland, etc.). Slowly push north. Eventually, you can take control of the provinces in north-east Germany. Those are the ones needed to achieve the German nation event. Meanwhile, gradually increase your centralization in order to fix your nation's inefficient taxation system. Mint trade income to the treasury to pay for troops, but pick up the Master of Mint advisor or create one from culture to ameliorate inflation.
- Do remember that this mission requires bad relations to fire. Send a few insults to your neighbors. You also need more infantry units than them, too. Don't forget.
As the German Republic
Congratulations. You are now well on your way to being a superpower. Mop up the remaining independent nations in the German region. But it might get messy as all German culture nations have guaranteed each other's independence by this point. Once finished, do what you want. Colonize the New World. Conquer Europe. Go on crusade and take Jerusalem and Mecca. Fortunately, besides centralization, your sliders are in good positions. But you can push for free trade if you want. Keep being an administrative republic until changing to Constitutional Republic. It's a very strong form of government for your United German Republic.
And disband the Holy Roman Empire for the relic that it is. It has no place in your democratic Germany (besides, you're never going to be emperor as a republican consul).
- Democratic slider settings means your army has high morale and that your traders are very effective.
- Lots of manpower for a two province minor
- Your government is an Administrative Republic, the most advanced in Europe. Combined with max plutocracy, this means you are a trading juggernaut.
- Surrounding OPMs are same-culture, giving easy conquest missions.
- Can form a powerful German Republic.
- Surrounding nations are in the Holy Roman Empire. The Emperor will contest you if you expand. You need to make sure he's distracted.
- Full decentralization at the beginning limits production and taxation. Centralization slider moves are dangerous.
- Converting trade income directly into the treasury (a must since your other income sources are pretty small) causes inflation.