This guide discusses the steps you must follow to become a leading world power as France in Europa Universalis 4.
France starts Europa Universalis 4 as a semi-powerful nation. It is the overlord of many vassals. Has a great economy. Furthermore, a great military.
But… Unfortunately for France, 1444 — the starting date— was the year that it had a major war between itself, and England.
Within this war, it had lost much of its land. Specifically, Normandy (Northern France) and a large portion of the west coast (Bordeaux).
For this reason, France begins the game with a reconquest war goal against England, which given the opportunity, should be used.
The central theme when regarding France is its overwhelmingly good army. The nation features various militaristic buffs.
In which, its manpower is increased, its army discipline is boosted, and infantry is overall increased.
Seldom few nations compare to that of France’s Military.
However, this is disregarding the amazing — some may argue overpowered— economy of France.
Yes. France starts with a somewhat average monthly income. But as the game progresses, be assured that you will have so much money, you will not even know what to do with it.
The key aspect that will be focused on in this Eu4 France Guide, will be the creation of an overpowered nation.
Expect to be one of the most influential, and powerful nations upon reaching the conclusion of this article.
France Opening Moves – 1444
- Firstly, you will want to organize France’s diplomatic situation. They begin the game with a somewhat 1-sided relationship with Scotland. You will want to remove you guarantee upon Scottland, as it will not really help you out long term —let alone the short term—.
Next, you will also want to cut diplomatic ties with Provence, as they are apart of your mission tree. Thus they must be conquered, and the sooner you break your alliance with them, the sooner your truce timer finishes.
TIP: Wait until you recieve a free war goal against Provence before you invade them . This usually will happen within the first few decades of the game, and will come as a result of the pope — the paper states — excommunicating them. This will lead to 50% less agressive expansion when you take their provinces.
- Continue by forming an Allience with your Castillian Neighbors —Castille— and agree to a royal marriage. This is due to them being a valuable militaristic ally. They will typically — unless they are fighting another war, against Granada, for example — accept you call to arms against the English. Furthermore, the Iberian Penisinsula — The one Portugal, Granada, Castille, Navarra and Aragon resides within — is typically not your exapnsion path… Well, atleast not early game.
- Next, you will want to recruit a few more infantry regiments. This is in preperation against the English War you will be fighting within the following few years. Do this until you have hit your force limit. This is in order to complete one of your missions, in which you need to have your army be 100% of your force limit.
- Continue to allocate your Army Generals to your 2 Armys. Which general is attached to which army is not that important.
- On December 11th, 1444 Declare War against the England —or later if need be—. This will be with your preciouslly mentioned “Reconquest Casus Belli”, in which you only recieve 25% aggressive expansion for land that you take. Dont forget to call in Castille into the war.
- Most likely, Portugal will join the war on the side of the British. But luckily for us, we have Castille on our side. And the Castillians are more that enough to crush the Portugese. But ocassionally, you may need to send one of you 2 armies in to help the Castillians out against the Portugese. Start the war by seiging Normandy down with the army located in your northern provinces. Prioritize taking the 2 northern fort provinces. And with the army located in the south, seige down the fort adjacent to Navarra.
- Firstly, you will want to sign a peace treaty with the Portugese. We suggest you take the province in northern Africa, or southern Portugal. But if you want, feel free to just peace out for Ducats — Money—. Or even, you choose to not peace Portugal out.
- Then, once you have besieged all of the English provinces on mainland Europe, now you will have to play the waiting game. Wait for the war score to tick up, and upon having enough, take back as many French cores back. I usually take the 2 southern provinces, along with most of the northern ones.
Afer the English War
- After the war, you will want to turn your attention on some of you neighbors. If you can, you will want to form an alliance with the Burgundians —Burgundy—, or at a minimum form a royal marriage with them. Trust me, forming a royal marriage with them is crucial down the track. You may need to improve relations with them before they accept.
- Furthermore, within the following years, your peace treaty timer with Provence should finish. Like I have previously mentioned, Provence typically gets excommunicated —providing you with a Casus Belli—. But if not, you may need to build a spy network, and fabricate a claim. Once you have a claim, declare war against them.
- The Provence war should be pretty straight foward. Within the peace deal, take Anjou. Along with 2 of the southern provinces.
- Once that war is over and done with, justify a war goal against Brittany —Or, you should have an exisiting war goal against them. If you have been following the French mission tree —. Continue by declaring war against Britanny.
- The war should be pretty easy. Though they might ally a strong nation, by now you should be able to deal with it. Whether you annex or vassalize them is your choice.
The ensuing years should be a cake walk. By now, you should be the most powerful nation in Europe.
Keep in mind, that if you got a royal marriage with Burgundy — like I advocated for in the previous steps —, there is a very likely chance that the Burgundian Inheratance Event occurs. During which, Burgundy will be inherited by either you, or Austria.
To increase the chance of Burgundy being inherited by France, we reccomend you forge an alliance with Burgundy.
After you have taken care of many of your smaller neighbors —Provence, Brittany, etc— and taken back your core lands, there is multiple paths you may take.
For instance, you can choose to colonize. In which, you have the ability to be one of the first nations to reach the New World.
Or, you can continue to invade central Europe. Pushing into the Holy Roman Emprire.
Alternatively, you may want to invade Ireland, the Iberian Peninsula, or Italy.
Wherever you go is your choice!
Thank you for reading our EU4 France Guide