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waybryson
03-24-2011, 07:51 PM
I have looked around on the Paradox forums and had some trouble finding the strategy guides. Could someone who knows their download locations reply to this thread with the links? My game is updated to Divine Wind, but some of the older guides would probably be useful to players who running older versions of the game.

Assuming we get the links, it would make for a pretty good sticky. Perhaps posting the wikis as well? Thanks in advance.

Twelvefield
03-24-2011, 10:51 PM
A couple of my friends and I bought the EU III pack on the Christmas sale, but I was the only one of us to get started into it. I wrote a long e-mail that should answer your questions. Although I call it "my" guide, really all the good writing is done by other people, whom I credit for helping me get started.

--- INSTALL AND GET STARTED

I bought the Europa Univeralis III (EU3) pack (with all of the add-ons up to Heir To The Throne, but not Divine Wind) on the STEAM Christmas sale. Five bucks for all of this gaming goodness? What an incredible bargain.

What rankles, though, is that it's a bit of a bear to install and maintain, although it's not all that bad compared to, say, Microsoft Flight Simulator.

After STEAM installs the game, you are going to need to verify the file cache. Right click on the game icon in your Library. Select Properties, then Local Files, then Verify Files. STEAM will automatically fix any missing files. You may have to do this five, ten, fifteen times or more to get all the files correct. Like I say, it's a bit of a bear. If you don't get the correct checksum, you might experience crashes at the worst, and at the best, you won't be able to play multiplayer.

Then read and follow along with the excellent tutorial you will find here:

http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?485232-An-Empire-Under-the-Sun-An-England-Gameplay-Tutorial-AAR

It's written by a fellow with the handle of Rhadok, and added to by another called naggy. From what I have seen, tutorials written by either of these authors are absolute gold.

--- BUG HUNT

Another thing about the checksum. Sometimes, when you verify the STEAM cache, your game options might get reset. Rhadok's tutorial shows you what I think is the best way to set up the game (apart from messages, more on that in a bit), so the verifcation process may un-set your choices. Be sure to check your options before you load a saved game, just to make sure. I forgot once and got thrashed by a truly fearsome Spanish Armada. It turns out that the file verification set the AI aggression level to Very High. Now we know how it works out if the Spanish Armada survives the trip to England. Its huevos rancheros for everybody.

One more thing that can happen is that STEAM sometimes wrecks the transit times for ships. You will see this if when you mouse over a sea province, the flag of every nation on the map shows up. Also, colonists take one day to get to their destination. This is easy to fix. Find the STEAM folder on your computer's hard drive, and then go into the folders like this (assuming Win7):

STEAM/steamapps/common/europa universalis iii complete/map/cache

Select all of the files in the /cache folder and delete them.
When you boot the EU3 game, your system will rebuild all of the missing map cache files automatically, although it might take a few moments to do so.

And another thing: don't try to look at Page 16 of the Ledger. Doing so crashes the game. Buying Divine Wind will fix this, and there's also another fix that's very technical that I have not tried yet that should work.

A final note on bugs and crashes: EU3 likes to crash on exit when you quit the game to go back to the desktop. This does not seem to affect saved games, though.

--- ENGLISH HOSPITALITY

The Rhadok tutorial is written with a view to playing as England. This is a great place to start, as England provides many of the "better" choices for government in the opening years of the game. By that, I mean you can have robust naval and land operations, you are positioned well for trade, and you can maintain Western technologies. EU3 is very much a game about Western Europe; by choosing to play anywhere outside of Europe, you're going to handicap your game for the worse.

Follow Rhadok's tutorial closely. However, ignore the section about how to set up messages. It takes forever to set up custom messages (unless you download his custom file). You can right click on any message pop-ups to customize them later.

Pay the closest attention to how to operate the "coat of arms" menu. Absolutely pay attention to the instructions regarding the Treasury slider. In the early game, a beginning player should want to do everything he or she can to avoid inflation.
Although Rhadok's advice regarding advisers is good, I'd like to hire a Master Of The Mint as soon as possible. A Statesman is also great, because he will help you achieve your first National Idea faster. If you need money, National Bank is a good first National Idea. Otherwise, pick something that helps military or trade in the early game. Whatever happens, hire the best possible advisers you can: the six and seven star guys may spin off random bonuses that can really boost your realm.

--- WAR AND MORE WAR

Don't go nuts with war if you can at all help it, at least in your first try at the game. England's Missions tend to be very hawkish. You can ignore the Missions if you like. The Heir To The Throne add-on refines the concept of Causus Belli (CB). Going to war without a CB will wreck your nation.

You sometimes have choices of CB's. A really good CB may maximize the money you can squeeze out of the enemy, or it can give you prestige, or try to mimize your infamy. Rhadok explains exactly how to enact a CB, but he doesn't go into detail as to which CB is the best for which situation, at least not in this tutorial.

Once you have a decent economy going, you can afford to keep ships and troops on the map. Ships come in four flavours: big, small, galley, and troop carriers. The big ships carry the most firepower, but they are slow sailers. Small ships are cheaper and faster, but carry fewer cannons. You can build approximately two small ships for the cost of a big one. Galleys are ships with sails and oarmen who can row upwind. As a result, they get a bonus in movement as well as a bonus for operating in the Mediterranean. Troop ships don't have a lot going for them other than being able to ferry your troops across the water.

Your troops with either be infantry, mounted cavalry, or artillery. Infantry is the cheapest and most adaptable unit, as it is capable with attack, defense, and also firepower if you research guns. Infantry can also seige forts, given enough time. Cavalry is normally better on attack then defense, and is of little use in a seige. On the other hand, cavalry moves much more quickly across land than infantry. Artillery is the most expensive unit. Artillery excels in seige warfare. It can also be used in normal attack and defense, but it is slow to move across land. Usually, keeping an army of mixed forces yeilds the best results in most situations.

You can hire specialists like generals, explorers, admirals and conquistadors to lead your forces. Explorers and conquistadors will help you discover hidden lands, while generals and admirals will improve your army or navy. You won't get high quality leaders unless your military or naval rating is above 50%.

Warfare, when successful, can be profitable. While you may want to cover the planet with the flags of your nation, you will then have to deal with crippling issues with the stability of an empire that has grown too large too fast. You may want to create vassals instead, or just go to war to extort money out of nations that are rich in resources but have weak military forces. Fun!

A good war can easily fill the national coffers with plundered wealth. Let the stinking enemy keep their scurrilous people and their pestilent lands, but be sure to remove all the gold and coin you can from their banks!

EU3 is all about guns-and-butter decisions. Maintaining a large armed force will drain your treasury, and so will war weariness. Spend too much money, and you will incur inflation, which makes everything more expensive down the road (and it's a very, very long road). Expand too aggressively, and you will lose national stability. But being too peaceful will lose you prestige, making your country look weak, decadent, and dull. Appearances are important! More aggressive nations will easily clobber weaklings. If you fall too far out of favour, you may risk excommunication, which can be an open invitation for others to attack you. Or they might attack just because you've become too heinous (maybe you exterminated one too many native nations in the New World?).

--- RESOURCES, ONLINE AND OTHERWISE

Rhadok's tutorial might take you a couple of hours to digest. After that, there's also the comprehensive EU3 Wiki:

http://www.paradoxian.org/eu3wiki/Main_Page

You can also seek out the manual on STEAM, although it's very wordy. Of course, the Paradox forums can be helpful as well, although many of the posts get very technical. The forums are where you will find more tutorials written by Rhadok and naggy.
All of the above should be anough to get you started. I used this information to create the United Kingdom, and then a true British Empire, complete with overseas colonies. Colonization is fun!

Colonies can be expensive, try not to keep more than three at a time in development, but when they mature, they can really flourish. Unfortunately... the rest of the world seemed to take the view that my achievements were much too aggressive... maybe annexing Norway was a little aggressive... maybe I ticked off the Danish Pope into excommunicating me... but the Reformation was the cue for France, Castille, and a cast of thousands to invade my lovely islands and wipe them off the map forever. Bah! While England gets a strong start in the game, religion and international relations make it a difficult empire to maintain for a rookie king.

Maybe I will try Portugal next...

jdelible
03-25-2011, 11:05 PM
If you don't register the game on Paradox's site then the guides and FAQs won't show up for you. Once you do they are in their own mini-forum that's hard to miss.

PandaTickler
03-26-2011, 04:16 PM
Good advice.

Best organised repository is the Wiki IMHO. You can find the strategy guides here (http://www.paradoxian.org/eu3wiki/Strategy_Guides).