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Primary culture
Rhenish (Germanic)

Capital province
Hessen (81)

Feudal MonarchyGovernment monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
WesternWestern technology group
Hessian ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+10% National tax modifier
+1 Diplomatic reputation

Stability cost modifier.png Break the Power of the Estates

−10% Stability cost modifier

Idea cost.png Marburg University

−10% Idea cost

Religious unity.png Welcome the Reformers

+25% Religious unity
+5% Church power

Development cost.png Receive Religious Immigrants

−10% Development cost

Discipline.png Modernization of the Hessian Army

+5% Discipline

Land force limit modifier.png Hessian Mercenaries

+25% Land force limit modifier

Production efficiency.png Economic Reforms

+10% Production efficiency

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

−15% Mercenary maintenance
For the area, see Hesse (area).

Hesse starts the game as a Monarchy situated in the Westphalian Region, inside the Holy Roman Empire. It is bordered by Flag of Saxony Saxony, Flag of Brunswick Brunswick, Flag of Cologne Cologne, Flag of Nassau Nassau, Flag of Frankfurt Frankfurt, Flag of Mainz Mainz and Flag of Wurzburg Wurzburg. Hesse has the potential to form Flag of Westphalia Westphalia, getting an early Constitutional Monarchy with a Parliament.


Execute decision.pngForm Westphalia

As the ideas of the Enlightenment are sweeping through Europe, we may choose to embrace them ourselves in Westphalia. Our future model state will feature ideas as revolutionary as equal rights for all male population, freedom for serfs and emancipation for the Jews, as well as enabling of free enterprise through abolition of socage and the guilds.

Potential requirements Allow

  • If Kassel (1762):
  • then
    • Kassel (1762) is removed from the HRE.
    • the emperor of the HRE:
      • loses Imperial authority.png1 imperial authority.
      • gets the modifier “Removed provinces from the Empire” towards the country, worth Opinion.png−50 opinion with a yearly decay of 1.
  • The country:
    • changes to Flag of Westphalia Westphalia.
    • changes government to a administrative monarchy.
    • sets capital to Kassel (1762).
    • gets the modifier “Increased Decentralization” for 20 years with the following effects:
      • Autonomy.png +0.05 monthly autonomy change,
      • National unrest.png −1 national unrest.
    • gets permanent claims on all provinces of Westphalia (area) and Lower Saxony that it does not own.
    • gets permanent claims on the provinces Magdeburg (52), Hessen (81), Kassel (1762) and Altmark (2964) that are not owned by Westphalia.
    • gains Prestige.png25 prestige.
  • If Flag of Westphalia Westphalia is a duchy
    • then it becomes a Kingdom rank kingdom.
  • A random owned province:
    • gains Tax Base Icon.png1 base tax.

Execute decision.pngForm German Nation

Regardless of the absence of a strong, central authority, our nation is prospering. The Hanseatic League, formed by hundreds of towns in northern Germany, has contributed to the prosperity of our nation. Intellectual growth, combined with sea and overland trading, has also helped spur the development and transform our country into a wealthy manufacturing center.
Potential requirements

Flag of Germany Germany does not exist.
The country:

If the country is AI-controlled then it:


The country:

  • has an administrative technology of at least 20.
  • is not a subject nation other than a tributary state.
  • is not a nomad nation.
  • is not at war.
  • is not the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
  • owns its core provinces:
    • Hamburg (44), Rostock (46), Berlin (50), Brunswick (57), Dresden (61), Thüringen (63), München (65), Nürnberg (67), Hessen (81), Köln (85), Pfalz (1761), Augsburg (1868) and Frankfurt (1876).
    • Königsberg (41) or Elsass (75).


The country:

  • changes to Flag of Germany Germany.
  • gets Empire rank empire government rank.
  • leaves the HRE.
  • gets permanent claims on all provinces of North Germany and South Germany that are not owned by Germany.
  • gains Prestige.png25 prestige.
  • gets the modifier “Increased Centralization” for 20 years with the following effects:
    • Autonomy.png −0.05 Monthly autonomy change
    • National unrest.png +1 National unrest

The emperor of the HRE:

  • gets the opinion modifier “Left the Holy Roman Empire” towards Germany worth Opinion.png−150 opinion with a yearly decay of 1.
  • gets the Msg event.png event ‘Germany breaks out of the Empire’.


Hesse starts in a relatively weak position in its section of the HRE, however, the player has many options to correct this through conquest.

Early Strategy[edit]

First and foremost as like many other nations in the HRE, currying favors with electors and the emperor is useful for the potential election to emperor, Saxony is a good choice as is Trier. Munster is a useful ally for opening moves and should be an easy ally as they almost always start friendly to Hesse, Austria is, of course, an excellent choice as well. For rivals, the player should select Cologne, and whatever two nations have rivaled Hesse.

One thing the player should consider is developing Cassel not just for the Renaissance boost but also because once the glass producing Cassel reaches 20 development it is eligible for the Diamond District event which can boost Hesse’s economy.

First War[edit]

After securing a royal marriage and an alliance with another nation or two set aside a diplomat to fabricate a claim on either Paderborn or Westfalen. In this time build to force limit. Cologne tends to have no allies or very weak ones such as Aachen. However, if Munster does not rival Cologne or worse allies them and the player has no stronger allies they should restart. When the claim is finished DOW Cologne calling in Munster with the promise of land. As soon as the war starts immediately send two stacks to Paderborn and Westfalen before Munster can take it. Colognes army starts in Köln and thus will be delayed before reaching the war goal. Once Paderborn and Westfalen are secured stack wipe any armies and siege down Köln and any allied nations. Once you have full sieged Cologne take Westfalen and Paderborn for yourself and vassalize Cologne. Vassalizing Cologne is useful as once the liberty desire goes down you have a pocket elector and sometimes nations like Gelre will declare on Cologne and after vassalizing you can use the defensive war to call your allies and take richer provinces like Upper Guelders for reduced AE (Note that if this happens it is important Hesse themselves takes any provinces and not Cologne as this will greatly increase their liberty desire.) Munster will now most likely break the alliance, this is okay as once truce runs out you can potentially invade them for their land. Improve relations with Cologne to bring their liberty desire down.

Post First War[edit]

With this completed Hesse now has a power base they can expand in a multitude of directions with. Recommended targets for expansion include Brunswick to get closer to forming Westphalia should they ever become elector or emperor (same is true with Magdeburg should the player reach it), Munster, Cleves to connect Köln to Hesse, and Frankfurt if it loses its free city status for its higher dev and center of trade. Should the player own Guelders or a Cleven province Dutch minors like Gelre or Utrecht are also prime targets for access to a coastline and these provinces higher base tax/manpower. Hesse should also capitalize on any breakaway Dutch minors like Brabant or Holland as these rich provinces can very much boost Hesse’s development should they ever become free or Burgundy becomes weak. The player can choose to make Cologne a march for reduced Liberty Desire and so that Cologne packs more of a punch but annexing is also a suitable option should the player wish it.


The player is up to their own personal choice as to whether to stay Catholic or to convert to Protestant/Reformed but converting may be the better choice as its central location within the HRE a Center of Reformation can easily spread throughout and compliments Hesse’s historical status as a member of the Protestant League.


For first idea group the player should either go with a military idea such as Quality or Quantity for stronger troops, Diplomatic to boost diplo rep and gain more diplomats, or Administrative/Economic to establish a strong economy (Administrative will help with Mercs and is a must if going for the unique Hesse achievement). While all of these are good choices, it is acceptable to choose any preferred idea for the remaining slots.


Hessian Mercenaries icon
As Hesse, have at least 50 regiments of mercenaries and no loans.
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