Europa Universalis – How to Dismantle the HRE in 5 Years

In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity

Sun Tzu

What do you think of when the word “Holy Roman Empire” comes up in the context of Europa Universalis 4? Is it 150% Aggressive Expansion? Is it having to go to war with the emperor every time you desire to expand within its confounds? I’m sure that if you have played Europa Universalis 4 before, the “Holy Roman Empire” has gotten in your way… Probably more than once. Because of this, I believe it is vital to dismantle the HRE before it becomes out of hand, in fact, it is possible is dismantle it within the first 5 years.

Sun Tzu portrait with quote for dismantling the Holy Roman Empire (HRE)

To achieve this momentous feat, you first must pick a starting great power, think:

  • Poland (Easiest)
  • France
  • England (Harder)
  • Castille (Harder)

Once you selected your nation, (We recommend Poland) you must ally as many electors as possible. If you are new to understanding the Holy Roman Empire, you can identify the electors via the Holy Roman Empire tab, located in the bottom right. There you can find that the following nations are Electors:

  • Bohemia
  • Brandenburg
  • Cologne
  • Mainz
  • The Palatinate
  • Saxony
  • Trier

To dismantle the Holy Roman Empire, we must occupy the emperor’s capital (Wien) and make all electors “not independent”. Here are the conditions that classify if an elector is “independent” or “not independent”.

  1. If the Elector is independent and does not join the war, it is “independent.”
  2. If the Elector is allied to the war leader against the Emperor, it is “not independent.”
  3. If the Elector is a vassal of the war leader against the Emperor, it is “not independent.”
  4. If the Elector is a vassal of someone other than the war leader, and does not participate in the war fighting against the war leader, it is “independent.”
  5. If the Elector is a vassal of the Emperor, the Elector is “not independent” if their capital is captured.
  6. If the Elector is independent, and at war with the war leader (can be a separate war), the Elector is “not independent” if their capital is captured.
  7. If the Elector is a vassal of any country other than the Emperor or the war leader, it is “independent.”

These are just the game mechanics, it’s okay if you do not understand, we will be covering this later.

Step 1: Ally as Many Electors and Possible

  • Ally as many electors as possible, the more you occupy, the easier this process will be. If you are playing as Poland, it is possible to ally almost all electors (except bohemia or Brandenburg)

Step 2: Declare War on the Emporer Without Casus Belli

  • Declare War on the emperor, with no casus belli. From this, you will suffer some Aggressive Expansion, War Exhaustion, and -2 Stability. But this is something you should be able to handle as a great power. If you are playing as Poland, you should be okay, this is because you should have Lithuania, Mazovia, and potentially Moldavia as vassals/PUs. If you are playing as a country with subjects, I recommend setting them to focus on being defensive.

Step 3: Besiege Austria’s Capital, this will give the option to Dismantle the HRE

  • Focus on besieging Austria’s capital (Wien), and any other electors capital that joined the war against you During this period, Austria and its allies may start besieging your provinces, this is okay because our focus here is to dismantle Holy Roman Empire, not win the war.
Austria Capital Emporer capital in the europa univeralis 4

Step 4: Dismantle the HRE

  • Once all electors capitals have been besieged, click on the Holy Roman Empire button, located in the bottom right, and click “Dismantle Holy Roman Empire”. If this option is unavailable to you, it means one of the electors are still classified as “independent”. This means their capital has not been besieged, or they are not your ally (classifications for “not independent” and “independent” are located above).
Holy Roman Empire (HRE) tab in europa universalis 4

Step 5

  • Now the Holy Roman Empire is dismantled, it is your choice if you white peace, or demand something from Austria

After the War

Once you have Dismantled the HRE, and created a peace treaty with Austria, you may experience some minor setbacks for the following years, such as:

  • Rebels
  • Fall behind in Technology
  • High War Exhaustion
  • May have loans

If you have any further questions, feel free to comment below.

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