Paradox Grand Strategy |OT| Conquering the World one DLC at a time

Oct 25, 2017
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Greetings fellow conquerors, and welcome to the Paradox Grand Strategy Official Thread.

Paradox Grand Strategy Games are sandbox, alternative history, strategy games, where you find yourself in complete control of a dynasty/nation/empire, combining diplomatic, economic, technological, informational and military means, over many years, to succeed in your chosen goals, which can be whatever you desire. You can control anyone, from the mighty France and conquer the world, or survive WW2 as Luxembourg.

Also, there's DLC. Lots and lots of DLC. Paradox are very good at supporting their games long after release.

Current Games


Ever wanted to create a dynasty that surpasses all the world has ever seen? Control your family through the middle ages, building power and creating the biggest empire the world has ever seen. Or have fun and just try to punish everyone else, like for example try to make disappear that empire that abandoned you during the start of the game, or kill some crazy powerful Aztecs who are invading Europe.

Latest DLC: Holy Fury
Next DLC: Not Currently Announced
Essential DLC: Conclave, Legacy of Rome, The Old Gods, The Reaper's Due, Way of Life
Noteworthy Mods: A Game of Thrones - Crusader Kings II gameplay in George R R Martin's Fantasy Novel Series.


As the nobles start losing power and more power is given to the king we start with the birth of states (more or less). EU4 deals with history from the end of the middle ages to the industrial revolution, with the colonization of America, the reform and counter reform taking place. In this game you will handle a nation and you decide which will be its future. Will you rise and become the new Roman Empire? Become the Emperor of China as Mongolia? Lead Ulm to be the Holy Roman Emperor and own all of Europe? You decide.

Latest DLC: Dharma
Next DLC: Golden Century
Essential DLC: Art of War, Common Sense, Rights of Man, Sabaton Soundtrack
Noteworthy Mods: MEIOU and Taxes - EU4 but with even more complexity. For The Glory of Your Waifu- Why fight for your flag when you can fight for something far more important? Prussia best girl.



The simplest of all the grand strategy games here, follow the ramp up for WW2 and experience the creation of the war machine, in a full on war game. Try to create Hitler’s dream of a great Germany and destroy the rest of the Allies, save the world of fascism as the USSR and win WW3 against the Allies, or just liberate Australia from the English control and create your own Pacific Empire.

Latest DLC: Waking the Tiger
Next DLC: Man the Guns
Essential DLC: Sabaton Soundtrack 1 + 2
Noteworthy Mods: Kaiserreich - Legacy of the Weltkrieg - What if Germany had won WW1? Turns out that'd make for one of the finest alternative history scenarios out there, with reworked nations and politics and endless possibilities. If you ever wanted Eric Blair to save Britain from Oswald Mosley and the horrors of Totalism, then this is the mod for you.


Explore a vast galaxy full of wonders and build your empire amongst the stars.

Latest DLC: Distant Stars
Next DLC: MegaCorp
Noteworthy Mods: ST: New Horizons - A total conversion that brings Stellaris' gameplay into the Star Trek Universe, letting you live out your favourite episodes and series.


As the industrial revolution happens, war has changed, it is not about subjecting new people but rather making more money and getting the resources needed to power up your local infrastructure. Live the tumultuous times until the end of the first world war, suffering the different crisis that signaled the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the scramble for Africa and the creation of Germany. Or try to industrialize China and destroy the world. Less war intensive but more economical power and dependent on your citizens.

'Latest' DLC: Heart of Darkness
Next DLC: Never :(



From the fall of Alexander's Empire to the rise of Rome, rule any nation on the most detailed Paradox map ever stretching from the Pillars of Hercules to the far reaches of of India, allowing you to build an empire to dwarf that of Alexander. Govern republics or monarchies, balancing the factions, and keeping the loyalty of your most capable generals. See your deeds written in marble for all eternity to witness.

Latest DLC: Rome (HBO Series)
Next DLC: Not Currently Announced

Resources

Paradox Official Forums: The best place to keep up to date with new patches and new DLC announcements.
Crusader Kings 2 Wiki
Europa Universalis 4 Wiki
Hearts of Iron 4 Wiki
Stellaris Wiki
Victoria 2 Wiki
 
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Uzzy
Oct 25, 2017
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#2
If you've any suggestions for other things to go in the OP, feel free to suggest them either in this thread or via PM.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
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Paradox Games is studio that I had ignored for the past 10 years. Despite that, EU IV, CK II and HoI IV have consumed like 85-90% of my gaming time this year. Thankfully the community provides great, great mods that enhance the experience both gameplay wise and visually, as well as great DLC buying guides. Their latest project is some China related CK II DLC if I recall correctly;
 

ara

Member
Oct 26, 2017
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#4
Like I posted in the Steam thread, finally bought CK2 and a couple of pieces of DLC for it. Not sure if I'll have the time to check it out today yet, but pretty excited to try it soon anyway.
 
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Oct 26, 2017
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Thanks Uzzy! While I still feel like a newbie to the games, it's great to feel the learning curve coming out of the steep initial difficulty. I only really delved deep into EU4 (and 3), while shallowly trying out CK2 (which I still find hard to understand, but I also only played about 30 hours). The quality and depth is easily the best part of these games.

The hard part for me is jumping in a new one, knowing how time consuming it is to get a basic grasp of the systems. Due to that, I never really tried HoI, only played about 5 hours of V2 and veer far away from Stellaris.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#6
The first image in your OP is broken because of Imgur.
You'll have to change the 'https' to 'http' or change host.


I think that it is also worth mentioning that Paradox has created a "starter pack" for EU4, that contains the base game, Rights of Man, Art of War, and Common Sense, currently for €34:
http://store.steampowered.com/bundle/5173/Europa_Universalis_IV_Empire_Founder_Pack/

However, it is not clear what the price will be post sale, since the base game is still €40. At some point they should probably just fold older DLC into the base game.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#7
On a long sabbatical from Paradox games for the moment. It doesn't help that every time I think about loading up EU4 there's a new DLC available. :P

Still waiting on a major overhaul to the warfare before going back to Stellaris. Was good to play a Paradox game that felt fresh, but doomstack vs doomstack wasn't appealing at the time.
 
Oct 28, 2017
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#8
I love CKII, my current goal: trying to conquer Charlemagne's France as Umayyad Span to push through to Rome and spread Islam through the west, destabilizing the Catholic church's hold on Europe.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Tel Aviv
#9
I still don't feel like Stellaris has enough to keep me interested. But that's OK, I'm playing HOI4 and EU4 too much to care right now.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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#10
I've been eying these up for a while now; which is the easiest for a newbie to get into? (and which is the most polished?). They seem like they're perfect for a Sunday so I'll hopefully pick one up today.
 
Oct 28, 2017
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tooot.im
#14
Ta; will pick that up, wanting a more historical one too, which of those is best (And hiya; was my first post too)
I'd say Europa Universalis IV, it has the best balance between not being too dated and being fully fleshed out.
I also love Hearts of Iron IV and Stellaris, they're super polished and very promising, but they'll still need a year or two of DLCs to begin to rival EU4 in terms of the amount of content and how well different parts of the world are covered. (Crusader Kings II is also at a good age, but it's less of a typical grand strategy game, it focuses on individual people in a way the other games never do.)
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#15
Yeah I'd say start with EU4, good broad range of gameplay. Also more of the gameplay is transferable to other Paradox games, less so with Stellaris which is kind of its own thing. CK2 is great but could be harder to get to grips with, with things like levies, playing as a character not a state, succession etc.
 
Oct 28, 2017
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tooot.im
#18
Thanks all; downloading EU4 now. Will watch some Youtube tutorials/beginners whilst it downloads.
Good luck! Be prepared for a steep learning curve. It took me 10 hours to get a basic grip on it, 100 hours to learn how to play well, and I'm over 500 hours in and still find myself totally miffed at some things there sometimes.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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#20
Good luck! Be prepared for a steep learning curve. It took me 10 hours to get a basic grip on it, 100 hours to learn how to play well, and I'm over 500 hours in and still find myself totally miffed at some things there sometimes.
Ha; cheers. I've a feeling I'm going to need it. Did the beginner tutorial and thought I was ready; hemorrhaging gold within minutes and no clear direction on what I'm doing (I like it though; will stick with it).

Will the rest of the tutorials help, should I watch some YouTube guides or is it a case of finding my feet?
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#21
Hi, will pm you some additions today afternoon as i was plannign to write it up. My idea was: adding a list of recommended dlcs, and some tutorial info (mainly arumba's youtube) and somehow some recommended mods (ui and overhauls).
 

ara

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,451
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#22
Played a couple of hours of CK2. No idea what I'm doing, lost a war (though managed to spark a civil war within the country or w/e that I lost to) and got a child with a random low-born girl. Pretty fun, though I'll definitely check out some youtube videos tomorrow.
 
Oct 28, 2017
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tooot.im
#25
Ha; cheers. I've a feeling I'm going to need it. Did the beginner tutorial and thought I was ready; hemorrhaging gold within minutes and no clear direction on what I'm doing (I like it though; will stick with it).

Will the rest of the tutorials help, should I watch some YouTube guides or is it a case of finding my feet?
Played a couple of hours of CK2. No idea what I'm doing, lost a war (though managed to spark a civil war within the country or w/e that I lost to) and got a child with a random low-born girl. Pretty fun, though I'll definitely check out some youtube videos tomorrow.
I'd watch at least some let's play type stuff on YouTube, or some tutorials. You can also just learn by trying and failing but that can take dozens of hours.
Also, good rule of thumb: first time trying a nation (in a given version of the game) is just to figure out what your main challenges are. It's fine to restart a few times, even after hours spent on failed attempts.
 
Oct 29, 2017
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#27
Bizarrely enough, I actually found that the easiest way to start EU4 is as a daimyo:

1. You're on an island
2. You can fight all your neighbours
3. You don't have to worry about huge forces and massive coalitions

Once I'd got to grips with the mechanics a bit, I started as Ashikaga. It took me about 3 tries to unify Japan, and my current run ended when I fell behind in tech and got abused by the Ottoman colonial empire.

It was easier before Mandate of Heaven because Ming was more likely to implode.

Then tried England and got ganked by France. Tried again and luckily my roll at the beginning meant France was not a rival. I sold them a few provinces including Maine which stopped the event pinging. I was also lucky as Burgundy and a few other states dog piled them and reduced their manpower.

Hunkered down, conquered Ireland, picked off Scotland when France wouldn't come to their aid, then just started the colonial expansion.

I found the key for colonies is getting as many 5 province colonies as you can, because then they split off into colonial nations which begin colonising themselves.

All of North America is British red, and about half of South America. Australia and NZ are also red, and I set up a trading company in the Moluccas.

Currently global number 1 with about 100 years left of game time.

It can seem a tough game to crack, and the early game can involve a lot of luck, but you'll get there in the end.
 
Oct 28, 2017
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tooot.im
#28
The 5 province thing only applies to defined "colonial regions". If you colonize the Philippines you can make a trade company (nice economics bonuses) but never spawn a colonial nation.
And this is a good thing, as those colonial nations are gonna start trying to break free soon enough.
 

708

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,148
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#29
Asked the same on the SteamERA Discord and was told to check this out: http://www.strategygamer.com/articles/crusader-kings-2-dlc-buying-guide/

Personally I got Charlemagne, Legacy of Rome, Sword of Islam, The Old Gods and Way of Life.
Thanks.
Which ones are you missing? I'd buy the DLC pack I think it's 70% off? If you are missing most of the DLC
I only own the base game.
I'm thinking about getting Dynasty Starter Pack, Conclave and maybe The Reaper's Due.
 
Oct 29, 2017
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#30
The 5 province thing only applies to defined "colonial regions". If you colonize the Philippines you can make a trade company (nice economics bonuses) but never spawn a colonial nation.
And this is a good thing, as those colonial nations are gonna start trying to break free soon enough.
Good point, I should have defined that.

I'm doing my best to keep the colonies British. The strongest (basically where the 17 colonies were historically) has quite a high liberty desire but I need them to fight the Spanish for me so I have their tariffs at almost zero!
 
Oct 28, 2017
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tooot.im
#31
In my experience playing colonial empires (it's been a few patches, mind you) playing with tariffs can hasten or delay their rebellion, but you never reach 1821 with many colonial subjects, if any at all. Good luck!
 
Oct 29, 2017
794
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#32
In my experience playing colonial empires (it's been a few patches, mind you) playing with tariffs can hasten or delay their rebellion, but you never reach 1821 with many colonial subjects, if any at all. Good luck!
I'll let you know!
17 colonies is the only one which looks like it will try to break free so far.
 
#36
I used to be a huge fan of Paradox, and in some ways I still am, but their DLC practice is starting to get to me. The prices have went up, and the quality of content has sadly declined. However, even with that said, I'll still our hundreds of hours into their games. I really want to learn how to play EU IV 'correctly'.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#37
Love this thread, and this genre. Haven't played a game in over a month, though. Been way too busy with work to get into a true campaign so I kind of stopped. What I'd give to get Victoria 3...

Anyone else love to watch Grand Campaign time-lapses? Really interesting to see how different the world can end up lol
 

Lyng

Writer at Joypad.dk
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
961
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#39
I am thinking about getting Hearts of Iron IV in the sale. Mostly because I have heard it removes alot of the micromanagement of armies, that I find rather tedious in EUIV. Is any of the DLC considered necessary?
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#41
The first image in your OP is broken because of Imgur.
You'll have to change the 'https' to 'http' or change host.


I think that it is also worth mentioning that Paradox has created a "starter pack" for EU4, that contains the base game, Rights of Man, Art of War, and Common Sense, currently for €34:
http://store.steampowered.com/bundle/5173/Europa_Universalis_IV_Empire_Founder_Pack/

However, it is not clear what the price will be post sale, since the base game is still €40. At some point they should probably just fold older DLC into the base game.
They definitely should consider folding a few of the dlcs into the main game. Personally, the tons of dlcs i miss, really turns me off playing their games at all nowadays. Which sucks, considering I got the original Europa Universalis at launch here in Norway back in 2000, and have loved their games ever since.

Anyways, nice to see this thread make the transition!
 
Oct 28, 2017
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Middle East
tooot.im
#42
I am thinking about getting Hearts of Iron IV in the sale. Mostly because I have heard it removes alot of the micromanagement of armies, that I find rather tedious in EUIV. Is any of the DLC considered necessary?
I'm not sure I'd say they're necessary, but it really depends who you want to play. If it's the Nazis, Britain, or any of the British subjects, you'll probably want Together for Victory, and if you want to play Austria or any of the Balkan states covered by Death or Dishonor, you'll want that. Playing a faction without a custom focus tree is way less interesting, and in the case of Britain and the Nazis you'll probably want TFV's more intricate subject mechanics. (Come to think of it there's a chance the Nazis' special subject type is actually in DoD, not sure because I never play them.)
 

Lyng

Writer at Joypad.dk
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
961
0
#43
I'm not sure I'd say they're necessary, but it really depends who you want to play. If it's the Nazis, Britain, or any of the British subjects, you'll probably want Together for Victory, and if you want to play Austria or any of the Balkan states covered by Death or Dishonor, you'll want that. Playing a faction without a custom focus tree is way less interesting, and in the case of Britain and the Nazis you'll probably want TFV's more intricate subject mechanics. (Come to think of it there's a chance the Nazis' special subject type is actually in DoD, not sure because I never play them.)
Thanks for the answer. I ended up opting for basegame + TfV. Now just need to find the time to dig in hehe
 
Oct 27, 2017
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#44
So I’ve had CKII for some time now and am pretty familiar with the mechanics and overall game. I bought EUIV in the current Steam sale cause I was looking for a bit more of a world takeover type game. What mechanics, etc are different that I should be aware of.

I figure I can start and mess around and pick it up through trial and error, but I guess there’s always guides online of need be.
 
Oct 28, 2017
24
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Middle East
tooot.im
#45
Thanks for the answer. I ended up opting for basegame + TfV. Now just need to find the time to dig in hehe
Have fun!

So I’ve had CKII for some time now and am pretty familiar with the mechanics and overall game. I bought EUIV in the current Steam sale cause I was looking for a bit more of a world takeover type game. What mechanics, etc are different that I should be aware of.
Most of the central mechanics are completely different. They're hardly even comparable. The one thing that comes to mind is that most casus belli don't restrict your potential gains, only affect their cost (in terms of war score.) So you don't forge a claim and declare war over a province because that's the province you want to take, you just declare war for whatever reason is closest to your goals and hope to get far more than just a province.

But yeah, most of the mechanics are so different I wouldn't know where to start. Watching/reading some intro type thing might be helpful.

Edit: Oh I guess another comparable difference is that you can get a military alliance without royal marriage, and royal marriages don't create military alliances.
 
Oct 25, 2017
109
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Toronto!
#46
So I’ve had CKII for some time now and am pretty familiar with the mechanics and overall game. I bought EUIV in the current Steam sale cause I was looking for a bit more of a world takeover type game. What mechanics, etc are different that I should be aware of.

I figure I can start and mess around and pick it up through trial and error, but I guess there’s always guides online of need be.
One thing I'd recommend is to bone up on how aggressive expansion works. Nothing sucks more than having the entire continent suddenly put aside their petty differences to join together in annihilating you. Figuring out the trade system is also key (it only flows one way, can be diverted or collected, etc).
 
Oct 27, 2017
681
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#47
Have fun!


Most of the central mechanics are completely different. They're hardly even comparable. The one thing that comes to mind is that most casus belli don't restrict your potential gains, only affect their cost (in terms of war score.) So you don't forge a claim and declare war over a province because that's the province you want to take, you just declare war for whatever reason is closest to your goals and hope to get far more than just a province.

But yeah, most of the mechanics are so different I wouldn't know where to start. Watching/reading some intro type thing might be helpful.

Edit: Oh I guess another comparable difference is that you can get a military alliance without royal marriage, and royal marriages don't create military alliances.
One thing I'd recommend is to bone up on how aggressive expansion works. Nothing sucks more than having the entire continent suddenly put aside their petty differences to join together in annihilating you. Figuring out the trade system is also key (it only flows one way, can be diverted or collected, etc).
Thanks for the tips. Guess they’re not pretty similar. I started a game of EUIV and played for about 15 minutes. Was kind of lost. Though that’s half the fun of the paradox games. Internet guide it is!!!
 
Oct 25, 2017
109
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Toronto!
#48
Thanks for the tips. Guess they’re not pretty similar. I started a game of EUIV and played for about 15 minutes. Was kind of lost. Though that’s half the fun of the paradox games. Internet guide it is!!!
You can also pick an easier country for your first few playthroughs. I always liked picking Portugal and allying with Castille; usually it makes for a pretty relaxing run. It's also a good way to get a handle on the exploration/colonization/trade systems.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,016
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#49
So I’ve had CKII for some time now and am pretty familiar with the mechanics and overall game. I bought EUIV in the current Steam sale cause I was looking for a bit more of a world takeover type game. What mechanics, etc are different that I should be aware of.

I figure I can start and mess around and pick it up through trial and error, but I guess there’s always guides online of need be.
Totally different mechanics. But I would say for starters EU4 is less complex than ck2, although it could get more complex if you really want to become a real powerhouse.
 
Oct 26, 2017
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#50
Thanks for the tips. Guess they’re not pretty similar. I started a game of EUIV and played for about 15 minutes. Was kind of lost. Though that’s half the fun of the paradox games. Internet guide it is!!!
To add, going from CK2 to EU4 myself as well, keep an eye on your manpower and your tech level for military. Those 2 things killed me because I was approaching war with the CK2 mindset. If you throw everything you have for a war off some border dispute, that manpower is going to take a long time to replenish. Not like CK2 levies at all. Next war comes around, you'll have 400 soldiers ready for battle and get crushed. Peace out early if needed. Quit wars while you're ahead, too, if you need to. Save your manpower for the bigger conquests ahead.

Same with military tech. Not just yours but your opponents. I also would approach this with a CK2 mentality. I sent my doomstack up against a lesser force only to realize they were levels ahead of me in tech and wiped the floor with me.

I spend a decent amount of time going through the ledgers, tech, and navigating my target's web of alliances before DoW'ing. Always be prepared.