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A Walk-through for this game is very difficult for a multitude of reasons. This game can have a very wide variety of game altering events. For example, you can be France in 1399, and Burgundy may go to war with you and you fight just them, or England might join so you have a war two fronts, or Aragon might also join with you, or against you.
You can pick any country in the world for every year from 1399 to 1821. That means there are potentially thousands of different ways this game could really go. To compound that, at any time you can save your game, exit, reload the save and choose a different country. Like starting the game as France and then exiting the game, loading the file and choosing England instead. The best way to do this walk-through is address certain issues individually, such as a basic country guide, as well as a guide to the world at different years in the game.
First part of the walk-through will examine the world at different points in the game. The game itself suggests several start dates, 1399, 1453, 1492, 1508, 1579, 1618, 1701, 1718, 1756, 1776, and 1789.
1399 The Grand Campaign
The world here is truly an open battlefield. Powerful empires could emerge in many sectors of the world, and the game could change very fast as a result. France is nearing the end of the Hundred Years War and is about to make a drive to unify their country. Even though they are in a winning position here, France is actually at a very weak point in the game, and for anyone wanting to knock out the game's strongest country, this is a good time to try it. However for any nation in the historical french region is likely to become a target of French Expansion. Larger countries like Burgundy will probably hold out of awhile, but smaller nations like Provence and Orleans are very likely to become annexed in the next few years.
At this time in the game England also has provinces inside historical France, but the ability to defend them may be lacking and indeed, the AI won't defend it, but the game's warscore method will at the same time make it hard for France to get the provinces for themselves even if they take them all and wipe out any units defending them. Overtime however, France normally does recapture them. The sooner France unifies, the more danger the entire world is in from France's military strength, and a unified France is almost always the single most powerful force in the whole game. However, though I haven't seen it personally, people in some forums of this game have indicated that a unified Germany is actually more powerful if it should appear.
England is also at this time seeking unification into Great Britain. The opposing AI in the British Isle's rarely last very long. England tends to subdue Scotland first and then goes after Ireland. In Ireland, if a particular nation is not the first to go, it will have some time to try to mount a defense against England, but the AI doesn't seem to have the ability to do so and eventually falls. However, some offsite walkthroughs suggests that you can in fact unite Ireland and get England off the Island, and at that point defense is easier because it tends to be easier to defend an Island anyway.
England/Great Britain from here will usually go one of two routes. It either goes into Europe from which it don't really go all that well for them because of France or Spain, or it goes to the Americas. The AI when dealing the Americas is kind of Ahistorical because Portugal and/or Spain tend to beat England in taking much of North America even taking the 13 colonies before England even arrives, however the AI for England does seem to eventually grab Nova Scotia so a player with territory in NA should be wary, and for some reason, France rarely shows up at all, despite what would have occurred if the game was following history.
Castile (later called Spain) is also moving to unify it's country, as is it's rival nation Aragon. Normally Castile quickly eliminates the small nations of Granda to it's south, and Navarre to it's north, and then turns it's armies on Aragon in the east. Occasionally they'll also take out Portugal but this is far less likely, however, Portugal users need to be wary of this. Sometimes Spain fails to take a province or two on the eastern side of the country and that prevents unification under the name of Spain, usually when this occurs, it's because of an alliance that forms with Aragon after a war, Portugal claiming a province, or France beating Castile to conquering Aragon.
From here, AI Spain takes one of three paths, the least likely, Spain wars with France, which can be problematic because France tends to win. Second option, usually encouraged by the mission (continue Reconquista) Spain invades north Africa, this is an event that anyone playing any Muslim nation should be wary of, because due to the make up of the game, it's easier for any nation to go to war with an opposing religion (Islam VS Christianity, Islam verses Eastern Religions, ETC).
Morocco, Algiers, Tunisia, and Tripoli are normally weak and Morocco or Algiers tends to take the first hits usually losing much of their territory in the first few wars. What happens from here is that Spain along with any allies that might have also landed start claiming North African Territory and continue marching either east, or south in Africa.
The third path Spain might take is going west to the new world, and for any nation in North America (who have low Tech Groups), Spain Arriving means normally you are doomed...
Italy usually gets divided into two camps, Naples and the minor nations that side with them who want to march north and take over Italy, and the Papal State/Milan group that want to march south and take out Naples. Progress is slow and to a much greater power, (France, Spain, Ottomans, Austria, Poland) by the time they are unified you are already so much stronger than them that you'd be able to crush them easily. One Minor note, Sicily though a weak country to start with, as an AI tends to be the wild card, they may just conquer Naples from the south as part of a greater alliance, or by itself as a third side, or Naples may conquer them, or perhaps a stalemate emerges with Sicily staying on it's island.
In the Anatolia/Greece region the Ottoman Empire is rising and any nation in that region, especially a christian nation is facing very high likelihood of defeat in the coming years. Only Transylvania and Hungary seem to have the real shot of holding out. A couple side notes, Venice and Genoa a both Italian nations with territory in this proximity. Their navy is powerful enough at the opening point to deal with the Ottomans, but at least with the AI, they both eventually tend to lose their respective territories.
Though this is a dangerous time for Christian Nations in this region (Byzantine Empire, Achae, The Knights, Serbia, Wallachia, Ragusa, ETC) there are also some factors on the Christian State's side. The Ottoman Empire is being attacked by the Timurid Empire, which is the most powerful military at the opening point of the game, and the Greek portion of the Ottoman Empire is ripe for revolution. Albania for instance likes to declare it's independence. However, if left alone (or left to the AI) the Ottoman eventually stabilizes and the smaller nations are inevitably doomed.
There is an additional threat to the region. In the north, Hungary is also expansive minded and are just as likely to try to annex the smaller states as the Ottoman Empire is. Only two things hold them back, Poland, Bohemia, or Austria may make a move on Hungary, and declaring war on a state with the same religion is costly. From here, after the minors are all gone, it usually comes down to the Ottomans and Hungary (or a Hungary/Transylvania alliance) and more often than not, between AI's, the Ottomans win.
If the Ottomans when, then any nation in Europe especially eastern Europe/Russia should be wary of what the Ottomans might due from here. The Middle Eastern nations should always be wary, but especially the Mamluks as the Ottomans almost always get the mission "take down the Mamluks"
For the Holy Roman Empire, this is an odd place to be, you could start out as a one province and then become a very dominant power (unless you border France, Bohemia, Austria, Poland) or you could be taken out within the first year, or something in between. This is a popular challenge to both survive and dominant in this part of the world, and while skill is important, there is a lot of luck involved to.
Generally France eventually starts getting it's hand on Territory in the HRE, often through Personal Unions and Vassals in the west. In North, Denmark and/or Sweden tends to want to come down and start taking territory. Within the HRE itself, Brandenburg, Austria and Bohemia are usually the break out successes of the grouping of states of states. Bohemia does well, but seems to eventually fall apart when pitted against the Ottomans or Poland, Austria will sometimes inherit a couple of the Northern States like Pomerania. Brandenburg to be honest, just seems really lucky within the region. (there is a luck factor programmed into the game and Brandenburg may be one of the defined lucky states)
Though Poland is weaker and declining at later starting dates, in 1399, they have a lot of tremendous potential. First, it's in a personal union with Lithunia, a nation that is also very powerful at this point in the game, and Poland tends to inherit the realms of Lithunia more often than not, which in turn makes it if not the most powerful, one of the most powerful eastern European nations.
Within Eastern Europe, as in East of HRE, you've got several powers up for contention of being the regional power. The most powerful being Poland, as I mentioned. The AI of Poland is likely to take most of eastern Europe, but occasionally it don't work that way. After that, Lithuania has a chance if it inherits Poland, instead of being Inherited. To the north is the Teutonic Order, they are Holy Roman Empire, but they are free from the quagmire of the Holy Roman Empire... they have great potential, but every playthrough of mine has shown they tend to get eaten up by Poland or another rising state, but they always have a chance during the opening, if your actions were to somehow affect Poland's rise as a negative for them, they could become very dangerous very fast.
North northeast of Poland/Lithuania is Muscovy, this is the kingdom that would eventually create Russia in history. Right now it's in a very tough time and the AI tends to slowly weaken them. However, they do serve as a great ally. They are still a major contender and a great threat to nations that border them but not Poland/Lithuania.
For this region, they almost always face Two or Three external threats. A strong Sweden will sometimes move in from the north through Novgorod, or from the west by taking out Denmark. To the South, if the Ottoman's win, they're coming to Eastern Europe in a hurry. To the east as a constant menace, the Golden Horde a Muslim nation, is constantly going to war with it's Christian and even Muslim Neighbors of the Russian section of Eastern Europe.
The Middle East will become a war-zone. (for the sake of simplicity, I refer to the middle east as Egypt, the actual Middle east, and east of the Middle east in the lands that would become Persia and Afghanistan, but not the Indian Muslim nations) At the time the game begins, it's generally pretty peaceful but events occur to both the Mamluks and the Timorids that change this. Both nations are programmed to have multiple succession and weak ruler crisis, which result in Timurid fracturing in the many different states, and the Mamluks usually see a part of their nation become Syria.
The Timurids themselves are in a great position to do a lot damage throughout the middle east, they start at war with the Ottomans and Georgia. Usually Georgia gets crushed and crushed badly and they make a peace with the Ottomans. Then the great Timur dies, who is within the game, one of the best leaders you can have, and after all that the Timurid starts to fall apart. Sometimes it takes more time, sometimes less for them to fall apart, but usually by 1500, their lands are fractured into many states.
The most powerful of these is almost always Persia, and Persia usually claims most of the Timurid lands within a short amount of time, and yet for some odd reason, they like to have smaller armies than many nations that have controlled lands of that size. Either way, they're more stable than the Timurids and become a potential threat in the Middle East.
The other nations that commonly form are, Baluchistan, Khiva, Iraq, Khorasan, and Armenia. There are others yet, but they are seen much less often and don't last long.
Armenia gets eaten up by the nearest strong Muslim nation, sometimes the Timurids themselves, this is in part because they are a christian nation surrounded by Muslim states, and it don't hurt your stability to go to war with a Christian nation because of it's separate religious group.
Baluchistan, Khiva, and Khorasan are all small fries in the world, but from where they are, they're important because no great power is close. If Khorasan emerges as a Hindu state, they'll be hit hard by the Muslim nations, but if they are Muslim themselves, this fight will be long and drawn out. The Timurids themselves will hold out in Central Asia for awhile, but their power is very limited and it's very unlikely they'll be a great power again.
Baluchistan suffers from the same problem the Timurids do, constant rebellion forming new states, they are better able to keep it together, but it limits them greatly. Iraq is a pretty peaceful state, and generally somewhat wealthy in the middle eastern world, but they are still endangered from the Ottomans, Persia, Timurids, Mamluks, and the Qara Koyunlu.
The Qara Koyunlu are a weaker power in 1399, but however if you start in 1453 for example, they are a great middle eastern power, so even in 1399 they should be treated as a threat by any nation in the middle east. Their army proves difficult to beat, and they as a result have a lot of staying power within the middle east, they tend to gravitate towards Timurid influence.
The Mamluks control Egypt, and the "holy land" and they are a great power in the middle east, but like the Timurids they too have revolts that tear their nation apart, though the only major state that likes to form from them is Syria. A battle between the Mamluks and the Ottoman seems inevitable, Syria forming between them is about the only thing that can delay that. Syria itself is somewhat minor as an AI, I've seen them do very little in the way of expansion, but still depending on how many provinces they get, they can be quite strong.
Back to the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman empire will sometimes hit a wall in European expansion, (that wall is probably Poland) and so they'll turn their armies towards the middle east instead, they'll be taking advantage of Timurid collapse wherever possible and eventually going to war with the Mamluk. They also show interest in Mecca and Medina which belongs to the Hedjaz. They also have a different Tech Group than the other middle eastern powers, they use the Eastern Tech group which has a better growth rate in the Tech files, so overtime... they'll out tech middle eastern nations.
These leaves Arabia itself, the Najd which control parts of Central Arabia and territory north of Oman, like to throw themselves into the wars in other regions of the middle east but their own borders are relatively peaceful. The other nations are generally minor with one exception. Yemen, I note Yemen because the AI sends Yemen after Ethiopia and the horn of Africa which allows them the potential to have some strength.
North Africa is made up of several weak nations, I've never seen them unify and they sometimes get conquered by invading Europeans, the Mamluks, or if the Mamluks fall, the Ottomans who likely conquered them. As I said before, Spain may go this way. If any of them did ever have a chance at creating a stronger nation, it would probably be Morocco by virtue of having the most territory.
The rest Africa itself is minor in this game, Adal and Swahili like to go to war, and Yemen also sometimes invades, as does the Mamluk. Spain and other European powers often come here to take territory. The Sokoto, a nation in central Africa tends to wipe out some of the other Central and Western African nations, but once they meet Europe, they won't be able to do much more.
East of Europe, but west of China, a very hard place to describe, but here is one of the most dangerous powers in the game. The Golden Horde, the remnant of Genghis' army. These guys like war, they do it all the time, Muslim, Christian, whoever, they'll go to war like crazy, they often Ally with the Ottomans, and sometimes the Mamluks and the Timurids. The other Muslim nations can't do much because of the Golden Horde and some like Sibar may face conquest by them.
India is a battle ground, in the beginning, the Hindu nations team up and crush the Muslim nations. It takes many wars for the Muslims to lose, and they do eventually. However, the Timurid Empire likes to try to move in, what usually stops them is their tracks is the Timurid internal warfare, thus saving the Hindu states, because every time I see the two groups go to war, the Timurid tend to win.
Several nations have the potential to dominate but the one who tends to do it best is Vijayanagar, as they usually take much of Southern India and then move into Northern India, the other countries however, for the most part is just luck as to who wins and who don't. Punjab in the north fairs better than most, and Orissa also does well, sometimes challenging Vijayanagar. If they are left alone, normally Vijanagar will unify India, or at least come close. They are a weaker tech group than the Muslims, so a unified Muslim state on their border becomes their greatest danger. Combine that with the Ming in the east with their incredible man power.
Indochina... you're a bunch of small nations fighting it out in the shadow of a giant. Dia Vet and Lan Xiang both tend to get hit by the Ming, but overall what happens is a one of these small nations winds up destroying the others, sometimes Kymer, sometimes Champa, sometimes even Orissa from India since they've got a patch of land in the area, but as soon as that nation can feel big and bad, the giant wakes up and starts taking Indochina.
Brunei and Aceh are both dangerous powers because of having islands and the tend to be a constant threat to Indochina. Since these two and the much weaker Malacca are Muslim nations this allows war between the Indochina peoples and them without the price in Stability. However, what's bad for Malacca is good for Aceh and Brunei again because of their island nature.
Ming itself has a few other nations it borders. The orient Horde, Tibet, Chang Tai all of these nations are usually victims of the Ming. The ming are Confucian, and the Orient Horde and Chang Tai are Muslim, bad news for them. Orient Horde as no real chance at all, nor does Tibet, and Chang Tai has to expand west if it's able to last. Further East is Manchu, Korea, and Japan.
Historically Manchu take over China a couple hundred years later (something you can see if you start late enough) but in 1399 the only question is who's going to destroy them? Japan or Ming. Most of the time, Korea is also split between Ming and Japan. Japan itself is the only real threat to the Ming, especially if they claim Manchuria for themselves. They serve to hold the Ming back. This is a weak tech group, time goes on, they'll becoming increasingly vulnerable to the west where the better Techs are.
North America, a whole lot of waiting. In the north, you are Huron, or Iroquois and you either Ally, or fight. Battle is prolonged and neither is a clear winner. In the southern states Area, there is Shawnee, Creek, and Cherokee, they either all three ally, or two of them ally against one. If Cherokee is the odd man out, they may face conquest since they are between Creek and Shawnee. They all just wait there, sometimes fighting, sometimes not until the west comes, be it Portugal, Spain, or England, or the rare inclusion of someone else, like France or Sweden, then they are living on borrowed time.
Aztec design is faulty to say the least. Historically they should conquer the northern half of Mexico, but the colony system makes it impossible for them to do so as an AI, or really even as a player at this point in time, however, they aren't to be ruled out. Their unique program requires them to go to war or their country will tear itself apart. Sometimes they do well, sometimes not so much.
Zapotec is something of a light powerhouse, but it's AI isn't all that aggressive, still, they'll conquer the Mayans sometimes. Maya shouldn't even be here since they existed and then died prior to the game, but the creators put them in anyway. I've examined several save games and from what I can determine, they don't really ever come out on top. Bottom line... Europe especially Spain arrives, they are pretty much doomed. As a player their might be a chance... maybe... but for the AI, it's just a matter of time.
In South America you have the Inca, they don't go anywhere, other than taking the one province nation state of Chimu. They're further from the Atlantic than the others, so it takes longer for the Europeans to reach them... which they will and they're still doomed. That's pretty much it for 1399.
Remember, this game can be full of surprises, I've told you what the AI tends to do, but things happens that can change the whole game. Changes that occur by chance, and changes you cause. For example, if you as Britain conquer all of France, this would very likely drastically change the AI strategy for almost every European Power, so be ready for anything.
1399 in the Heir to the Throne and Divine Wind Expansion packs
IT is important to note, that the above data is based upon In Nomine. Heir to the Throne and especially Divine Wind changes a lot of things that will affect this breakdown of 1399. I don't own Divine Wind, so I'll be depending on someone else to continue the section, which I've started for you.