|At the start of the Grand Campaign – 14 October 1399|
|Government type||Despotic Monarchy|
|Center of Trade||None|
|Primary culture||Bedoin Arabic|
A country based on the Southern tip of the Arabian peninsula, from here it is possible to become a power in Europe, Asia or both.
- Muslim tech group, it is necessary to Westernise
- Poor sliders for a trading nation
- Mamluks very close
You start with a 4-5-4 Sultan and an heir whos 3-5-3 so don't expect to be Westernising very soon, however with the sliders you need to move 5 steps towards Centralised and 5 towards Innovative. Military Modernisation requires 7 steps towards centralised and with your currnet Government type, that means revolt risk. Improve stability and then swap National Conscripts for Patron of the Arts you need to move to innovative using the Architectural Development event when you have a decent ruler. Before unpausing try to get alliances with anyone in the local area, Oman is traditionally a Shiite enemy but may consider your proposal early on. Do not look to the Ottomans for help, you do not want European eyes in Arabia until you are ready.
Securing Arabia and keeping both the Timurids and Mamluks at bay will be the hardest steps, with the new mechanics in 5.2 surrounding yourself with Vassals will not stop the hordes so it is best to try to do damage. With no colonists the best plan would be to use the spies you get from being Mercantilistic to start revolts in Persian lands. If Persia appears you may well be able to ignore the Timurids while worrying about a new foe, however without cores on your lands they will probably ignore you. The Mamluks will eventually Declare War on you, avoid their doomstacks while seeding revolts in their Empire and try to drive up their War Exhaustion. Keep an eye out for good missions to Vassalise neighbours and watch Legitimacy to force Personal Unions with regional powers.
There are two locations to go looking for Westernisation. For the brave it may be possible to take out a Balkan minor to border Venice or an expansive Austria. The less dangerous option is to try to meet Castille/Spain/Portugal in Sub Saharan Africa. If your country remains small you won't have huge stability costs. Send gifts to the Western power until you complete Westernisation and tech up to comparable levels, hopefully you won't have core on this remote province and can sell it on. Remember you do not need a Western border to Modernise Military so if your neighbour boni are below 5 ducats its probably not worth risking the War. It is a good idea to become a Noble Republic, this will preserve any remaining Personal Unions while allowing election of good ADM candidates to enhance Westernisation speed.
Once Westernised and controlling Arabia you will be a regional power able to go toe-to-toe with Persia/Ottomans/Mamluks without breaking a sweat. If you're lucky you can beat the Europeans to India and the East Indies.
With Westernisation complete it is time to move towards becoming the greatest trading nation the world has ever seen. Bringing money from the undiscovered East to the rich West all across your well guarded and fortified boreders. You sit at the cross-roads of the Mediterranean sea and Indian oceans and know of India long before the Crusaders. It is worth taking Judea to gain the Christian or Muslim control of Jerusalem modifier, not to mention Mecca to ensure Islam's future. If possible take Alexandria early to allow the pentally for non-core Centre of Trade to wear off before you set about trading. Another juicy CoT within reasonable range is Fars.
South into Africa
Adal and Ethiopia sit to the South and can be plundered early on for both cash and manpower however any expansion will slow Westernisation both in terms of stability and slider changes. Further South lies the primitives or Swahili and Mutapa, both of which should be eliminated post Westernisation to gain control of the lucrative Slave and Ivory trades. Both Ethiopia and Mutapa have gold producing provinces which will means they will be rich when you attack and allow you to demand large sums of money as opposed to provinces. It is recommended that the Mamluks be suitably weakened before moving too far South as the AI will cross empty provinces to siege you from the North, however opening a second front while they retreat may be a viable option.
East to India
Once Westernised you will be significantly ahead of the Indian nations. Find a suitable Casus belli and declare war. Your aims are the coastal provinces first to prevent European expansion. Consolidation of India will open up the Spice trade and end any manpower worries for the rest of the game. Moving away from fully Innovative here is not a bad idea as you will need Missionaries.
Taking Quest for the New World while the Europeans are busy in America will allow you to send Colonists (from either Colonial Ventures or CoTs) to the uncolonised provinces. Some natives may need to be subdued but with populations under 1000 it is probably worth keeping them alive to boost the completed city. From the East Indies and India it may be possible to break into South East Asia however this will hurt the now significant trade income.
As a major Asian power you now control the bulk of several colonial good and trade heavily across the world in others. By now all Personal Unions should have been inherited and therefore it should be possible to switch to an Administrative Republic for the 10% boost in Trade Efficiency. For every placed merchant you have you get a 2.5% reduction in merchant placement chance. To maximise your trade you need to counter this by building the trade buildings to level 5/6. In 5.2 your efficiency is limited to 200% however if you get there first then you will be able to take advantage long before anyone else. You will own between 3-4 CoTs, maybe more depending on if you want to break them down or not upon conquest but this is recommended, every non-core CoT costs you 15% Trade Efficiency, money you don't want to waste. To further increase income build production buildings as this will translate into money in your pocket twice, once for production and once for trading.
War with the Europeans
Even after Westernising, some countries may have a lead on you in military terms, therefore as long as they are not the Holy Roman Emperor it is best to fight them in your lands. Make them land armies, and then destroy their navy after dropping off the units, this prevents a retreat and slows reinforcements. Once the army is trapped dispose of it at your discretion either with direct attacks or after sufficient attritonal damage. They may try to take your islands in which case have transport fleets and mobile armies ready. They will not be happy at being kept out of Asia however as their WE climbs you can use spies from Plutocracy (more merchants) to distract them at home and possibly land a counterattack.
Winning the game
Winning is a hard term to define, set yourself goals in terms of income or army size or use the in game default, Prestige. To gain 100% Prestige is relatively easy, you need good Cultural Tradition for the Philosopher advisor (6* is +3%/year), trading in Fur (+1%/year), Conquest of Jerusalem (+1%/year) and Defender of the Faith (+1%/year) totals to a +6%/year Prestige gain, larger in magnitude than the 5%/year decline everyone suffers from.