- +10% Morale of armies
- −10% Shock damage received
- +10% Infantry combat ability
- +2 Tolerance of the true faith
- +1 Merchant
- +20% Privateer efficiency
- +10% Chance to capture enemy ships
- −10% Development cost
- −0.05 Monthly autonomy change
- +10% Goods produced modifier
- +0.3 Yearly republican tradition
Dithmarschen is a member state of the Holy Roman Empire situated in the far north of the Empire. It starts as an independent one province nation bordering Holstein to the north and east, and Hamburg to the south. Dithmarschen has the unique republican government type of "Peasant Republic" and exists from the game start at 1444 to 1559, after which it becomes a part of Denmark. Dithmarschen is capable of forming Hanover and if it can conquer enough territory, it can potentially even form Germany or a united Holy Roman Empire.
- Main article: Dithmarscher missions
Dithmarschen starts in a difficult position with few expansion opportunities. Its neighbor to the north, Denmark, is far too strong to expand into early on. Other attractive expansion targets such as Hamburg or Lübeck can quickly become free cities (and thus protected by the emperor) or part of a trade league. Expansion is further hampered by increased aggressive expansion within the HRE, and as such will have to be slow and deliberate. Additionally, unless an alliance with the emperor is secured, demands for unlawful territory are likely and if denied they may lead to an attack by the emperor.
An ideal first target is East Frisia, which is the only small country nearby that can be attacked and that is not in the empire (thus no unlawful territory). Taking it will allow fabricating on more countries in the area as well. Saxe-Lauenburg may also be feasible, depending on alliance situations. It is important to note that speed of attack and military access play very important roles in the early game - the player may easily defeat two countries on their own, if they can overpower the first target without the second target being able to intervene in time.
From here it is recommended to follow Dithmarschen's mission tree if the player has Emperor. The tree emphasizes gaining a theocratic ally and taking land in the Lower Saxony and Weser states and eventually in the Friesland state.
Developing provinces may be beneficial to both strengthen the economy and trade power, and to spawn institutions if needed.
Initial alliances should be based on the player's rivals, and an alliance and high relations with the emperor (likely Austria) should be sought as soon as possible to avoid demands for unlawful territory and/or being declared war upon with the Imperial Liberation casus belli. As a republic, Dithmarschen is unable to form royal marriages, which makes it a little more difficult to build and keep alliances with bigger nations. It may also be beneficial to join a trade league in the beginning for defensive purposes.
Once Dithmarschen has grown into a regional power, it should be time to take on Denmark, ideally with the help of their rivals (likely to include England, Poland or Muscovy). It may also be beneficial to support the independence of Sweden and/or Norway in order to both weaken Denmark significantly and to allow controlling Sweden's/Norway's growth (in case the player is going for the "Lessons of Hemmingstedt" achievement).
Dithmarschen has a unique opportunity in the form of the Imperial Incident for the Great Peasants' War, which typically fires in the early 1500s and must fire before the League War. This makes peasant revolts in Germany much more potent and, if the peasants break the tag, it will gain the "Peasant Republic" just like Dithmarschen. Dithmarschen, alongside all of the newly minted "Peasant Republic"s gains a casus belli on all monarchies to get them to change their government with the first event heralding the Incident. Their support of peasant revolts could tip the imperial incident, which provides modifier to the nobility estate dependent on whether the peasants successfully rise up or are quashed, which impacts every HRE prince, even other players in multiplayer.
Further expansion should be in northern Germany and further to the south, west and east if feasible, and one could even launch a campaign to conquer the Dutch territories - however, the player needs to be aware of the Dutch revolts that happen between 1550 and 1650 with large and recurring rebel armies. This can be avoided by either changing the culture of conquered Dutch provinces before 1550 or waiting with conquering the territories until after 1650. Alternatively, if one wishes to do so, it is also possible to culture-shift to Dutch culture and form Netherlands, thus preventing the Dutch revolts from firing. A third option is simply to move one's capital to the Low Countries region, but that only works as long as the Netherlands don't form by revolting from another country.
The player may form Westphalia and Hanover, although this requires becoming an elector or leaving the HRE altogether. Being an elector requires the country to be a monarchy, so one may have to abandon the unique Peasant's Republic government unless they decide to leave the Holy Roman Empire altogether.
- Due to its position in one of the richest trade nodes in the world, taking Trade ideas can be very beneficial.
- Diplomatic ideas or Espionage ideas can help manage aggressive expansion in the HRE
- Military ideas such as Defensive ideas or Quality ideas stack well with Dithmarschen's national ideas
- Quantity ideas can be helpful with bolstering Dithmarschen's manpower for protracted wars.
- Humanist ideas can help with religious intolerance once the reformation hits as well as for handling unrest.
- Economic ideas can help to further boost national income and the -20% discount to stacks with the -10% discount from Dithmarschen's national ideas.
- Plutocratic ideas are a good all-round useful idea set for a republic, granting reductions to unrest, increased army morale, and faster manpower recovery speed.
- Administrative ideas can be somewhat useful in that one of the ideas grants a -25%core creation cost reduction, which can be helpful with coring the high-development provinces in western and central Europe. The additional from the finisher is also useful.