- +20% Land force limit modifier
- −10% Idea cost
- +1 Yearly prestige
- −10% Development cost
- +10% National tax modifier
- +10% National manpower modifier
- +2.5% Discipline
- −10% Construction cost
- +10% Production efficiency
- −10% Land attrition
- +1 Leader without upkeep
Inca is a formable nation in South America. It can be formed by non colonial nations that are either within the Andean culture group, or have Caran or Chachapoyan as their primary culture. Once formed, it will be the dominant power in the Andes, with no other notable neighbours until the Europeans arrive.
Historically, the Inca Empire (known contemporarily as Tawantinsuyu, "The Four Regions") was formed by the Kingdom of Cusco, which united a large portion of western South America under a centralised federation with their continuous conquests, ranging from 1438 into the mid-1500s, and became the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. However, they were eventually destroyed after a civil war and an ensuing Spanish invasion. The last Incan stronghold was conquered in 1572.
- 1 Formation
- 2 Events
- 3 Strategy
- 4 Imported CKII saves
- 5 Achievements
Tawantinsuyu, the Empire of the Incas
If the country is AI-controlled then it:
Inca does not exist.
- Main article: Incan events
The strategy for the Incan states is mostly the same, though they certainly do not start out as equals. Since Cusco was historically the kingdom that formed the Incan Empire, it is designed to be the easiest country in the region, beginning with (relatively) high development and a godlike ruler and heir. Smaller, weaker states will need to rely on defensive tactics to gain an edge over their neighbors, but once the player's kingdom has surpassed its rivals in development and army size, the way forward for any Inti kingdom is largely the same.
This guide presents general strategies for the Andean states and advice on Incan reformation and later expansion after the Europeans arrive. Players seeking guides for individual Andean countries can find them on other pages of this wiki. As noted above, however, the strategies for each country quickly converge after eclipsing one's neighbors.
Unlike the Maya and Aztecs, the general progression for the Incans does not differ as drastically depending on whether the player has the El Dorado DLC. This is because the Inti reforms do not require the cycles of expansion and contraction that those nations must endure in order to reform. This guide is written assuming the player has El Dorado, but the differences in strategy will be described below.
Disadvantages: The Inti states begin as primitives that lack Feudalism, which saddles them with a +50% increase to research costs. This cost will only worsen as time goes on and new institutions appear, starting with the Renaissance. They cannot adopt any institutions without passing five reforms and securing a border with a nation that has some institutions. The harsh terrain of the Andes will raise development costs further, and though it has many gold-producing provinces, primitives suffer from significantly reduced gold income. Lastly, the Incan trade nodes start off very poor and will take some time to develop as more provinces are colonized and exploited.
As with all countries in the Americas, the player is engaged in a race against time to pass reforms and expand as quickly as possible before the Europeans show up. If the player expands too slowly, the Incans may find themselves facing brutal invasions from massive, allied European empires. Losing too much territory too early may spell doom for Incan dreams of domination.
Advantages: The Incans have a number of advantages, some of which will shine later on in the game. The first of these is their reforms, which will provide very useful bonuses throughout the centuries. Although they are weaker than the Mesoamerican reforms, they are much easier to pass. Consequently, it should not be too difficult to have all five passed before the Europeans show up, though this should not be taken as an excuse to move slowly. The Inti religion also has a large number of useful events that often increase the base tax of various provinces. Their second advantage is the difficult terrain of the Andes. This will complicate early conquests of other Andean states, but will prove invaluable should the Europeans decide to invade. Lastly, the Andes are host to many gold mines that will provide more than enough ducats to be worth the resulting inflation. This income will be very useful before the reformation, but afterwards, it will make the Incans one of the richest countries in the game.
An often overlooked advantage of being a New World country is the silver lining of their primitive status and reforming process. Reforming their religion will jump them forward to 75% of their modern neighbor's technology levels and also instantly grant the Incan Empire every institution that said neighbor has embraced - for free. Consequently, there is no need to stay ahead in tech and the Incans can stop research entirely once they are secure. This frees up a lot of monarch points for raising stability, diplo-annexing vassals, filling out idea groups, and developing provinces.
The penalty to technology costs will remain a severe disadvantage until the religious reformation. However, once the Incans have reformed their religion and caught up in technology, they will have a large, fabulously wealthy empire and can easily become a great power almost instantaneously.
Initial moves and uniting the Andes
Immediately after the game starts, all AI nations will pick rivals from among their neighbors. It is wise to simply look at who has rivaled the player's country and reciprocate in kind. The best alliances are with the rivals of nearby enemies, who will often join offensive wars if promised some land. Carefully consider the necessity of their intervention, as it is best to simply vassalize or annex enemy countries to expand the empire as quickly as possible. Any alliance with another Inti state is temporary; in the end, they will all need to be destroyed.
About a month must pass before any country can declare war. It should be easy to reach the country's force limit by this time. As soon as possible, the player should attack and annex a nearby neighbor. It is likely that the target will have several allies. This may not be as large a problem as it initially seems if one carefully reviews the strategic situation. These allies are often locked behind their own rivals who will certainly not permit them military access, forcing them to reroute their armies through the uncolonized Andean provinces. The local natives will delay their entry into the war, allowing the player plenty of time to annihilate or drive away their primary target's armies beforehand. Curiously, stackwipes seem to be far easier to achieve here than in other regions of the world. As long as the player moves quickly enough to neutralize the armies of individual enemy states, it is actually possible to defeat two or three allied countries alone, especially if playing Cusco.
It is highly advisable to always take as much money as possible when signing peace. If the situation allows for it, one can try to sign separate peaces to earn even more gold, but it is best not drag a war out too long for this.
Annexing or vassalizing even a single neighbor will probably result in the kingdom outclassing all its neighbors in development and army size. The player should take care, however, not to fall behind in military technology compared to neighboring states, as even one technology can enable an army to crush numerically superior foes. As long as the player's budding empire keeps pace or stays one tech ahead in military, defeating the other Andean states should be fairly easy unless a massive alliance hinders expansion. Having one's own allies and vassals can help this, though bear in mind that all Inti states will need to be annexed eventually.
If the player chose a state near the northern or southern edges of the Andes, then the path of conquest is linear: take all surrounding territories and then work one's way up or down. If the player chose a central state like Cusco, a wise move would be to ally with a country to the north or south and then push in the opposite direction until that area has no independent Inti states to conquer. Even if the ally does not join wars, it can help shield the kingdom from aggressive expansionists in the area. After eliminating all threats in one direction, the empire can then switch gears and overrun the countries in the opposite direction, including the temporary ally.
As mentioned above, uniting the Andes is not in itself a difficult task once the player has gained momentum. However, losing said momentum can quickly turn into a disaster, so it is important to exercise caution. Expanding quickly does not mean expanding recklessly. The best way to avoid a serious defeat it to carefully watch the diplomatic relations of neighboring countries, stay one military tech level ahead of the rest of the Inti nations, and avoid charging into unfavorable terrain without significant numerical superiority. Although this is true of essentially every country in EU IV, it is even more important for the Andeans, who initially only have access to infantry units, thus preventing the player (at first) from using optimal army compositions to gain an edge over rivals.
The player will likely be able to take the decision to form the Incan Empire well before eliminating all other Andean states. The Incan Empire will become a cultural union, so if the country's primary culture is in the Andean group, almost all provinces will be free of any cultural penalties to manpower and income. The Incan Empire will gain claims on a large amount of provinces, removing the need to fabricate claims before conquest.
- Main article: Pagan denominations#Inti
To maximise their strength and ultimately catch up in technology with the European countries, it is important for Inca to pass all Inti reforms as soon as possible.
Some random events may affect authority. In general, unless it would trigger a revolt that the player would struggle to put down, it is best to choose options that raise authority or lower local autonomy.
Each time a reform is passed, a civil war begins. If rebels from these civil wars break the empire, they will force the government to revoke two reforms, which could set the Incans back by decades. To prevent this, it is important to prepare before passing a reform. Such preparations may include raising garrisons for all forts, increasing army maintenance to bring morale of all armies to 100%, and assigning generals. Divide the armies and station them in different sections of the empire to quickly react to revolts. If funds are high but manpower is low, mercenaries can help put down the rebellions without depleting manpower.
It is quite possible that the first reform will be available before the Incans have eliminated all other Andean states. The optimal choice for the first reform thus depends on the strategic situation. The reforms are:
- Organized Recruitment: +10% Manpower recovery speed
- Yana Lords: +10% Morale of armies
- Reform the Cult of Inti: +0.5 Yearly legitimacy, +0.5 Yearly devotion
- Expanded Mitma Policy: +1 Colonists (provinces adjacent to colonies are auto explored)
- Reform the Bureaucracy: −10% Core creation cost
If any serious Andean rivals remain, then Organized Recruitment, Yana Lords, and Reform the Bureaucracy provide useful bonuses to speed the empire's expansion. However, unless the empire is crippled and losing battles to more advanced neighbors, the −10% core-creation cost is best because it conserves valuable administrative monarch points that can be used to research technology to unlock new idea groups.
For the most part, especially if there are no real threats remaining, the best first reform is Expanded Mitma Policy for the +1 colonist. Unlike the Mayans and Aztecs, the much larger and richer Incan Empire can afford to maintain a colony early on. Colonization will be slow until reaching level 3 of diplomatic technology and getting Exploration ideas, but an early start is invaluable. Reform the Bureaucracy would then be the optimal second choice in order to reduce the coring costs for new colonies. The colonist reform can be left until later if the empire seriously needs a military edge over its rivals.
Reform the Cult of Inti is a nice reform, but should almost always be the last one taken unless the player is having constant problems with legitimacy. A player who has Rights of Man will have even less need to take this reform until all others have been passed.
Preparations for the European arrival
With no remaining rivals, the empire can focus on colonial expansion and development. Like in history, the Europeans will usually reach the Andes after they reach Mexico, so the Incans will have plenty of time to expand and grow. The only other countries near the empire post-unification will be Muisca to the north and the migratory South American tribes that will often congregate around the empire's southern borders. It will take little effort to destroy these tribes and take their sole province. Be careful about leaving Muisca to its own devices for too long. Its AI ruler will continue to research military technology that will give its small forces a huge edge over the Incans. Eliminating them quickly will neutralize this threat and open up new territories to colonize. After this, all that remains is to colonize, develop, and fill out idea groups.
Early idea groups
Expansion Ideas is a strong candidate for consideration, as it would greatly accelerate the rate of Incan colonisation. As Incan borders expand through newly-colonised provinces, they are more likely to come in contact with the borders of a European colony or colonial nation, allowing the final Inti reform to be undertaken.
Exploration Ideas could also be considered, in order to unlock conquistadors for mapping the South American continent, while also accelerating colonisation.
A military idea group could also be considered early, to better prepare the Incan military to face the Europeans. Note that it will be imperative to catch up in military technology as soon as possible after reforming, so the empire can only afford to fill out a military idea group if it has enough time to rebuild its stockpile of military points before reforming.
Economic Ideas may be useful for further income generation and a reduction of inflation (which may be an issue due to the abundance of Incan gold), but due to primitive penalties to income generation, this idea group will be at its most effective after reforming the religion.
If the Europeans are taking a long time, it may be feasible to get to level 10 administrative technology to unlock and fill out another idea group. Bear in mind that the empire will receive a number of technologies for free upon reforming the Inti religion, so if the Europeans are approaching, those points can be spent on development or saved to be used after reforming.
Colonists should be deployed to expand the empire's borders in all directions. Excepting the colonist needed to get a border with Muisca, the first priority should be the coastal Aimara provinces the south of Cusco. Leaving these open will risk the Portuguese or Spanish colonizing those provinces, which will in turn leave the heart of the empire vulnerable and could force the Incans to later fight on two or three fronts. Although it is necessary to secure a border with the western powers in order to reform, it is quicker and safer to try and meet the Europeans as far east as possible. The more territory the colonizers take before the Incan reformation, the harder future wars against them will be. Colonizing the western coasts of South America will funnel the Europeans into La Plata and Brazil.
It may be a wise not to build up to the force limit until unlocking cavalry and artillery. An army composed exclusively of infantry will quickly meet doom at the hands of the European invaders regardless of technology levels.
The trouble with Europe
Eventually the Europeans shall show up in South America. The most likely early arrivals are Portugal and Spain/ Castile, with France and Great Britain/ England not far behind. If England and Castile have failed to form Great Britain and Spain respectively, the Incans will have a much easier time in the future, but the player should not count on this. The worst-case scenario is Spain getting a personal union over Portugal, which will effectively hand the Spanish Empire control over the majority of the Americas. In such a case, the Incans should prioritize defense and blocking European colonial expansion into the interior of South America.
Hopefully by this point, the Incans have managed to colonize extensive territories to speed up the reformation. When the empire has a core province bordering a core province of a nation that has adopted at least one institution, the option to reform the religion activates. This will immediately give the Incans all institutions adopted by their neighbor and jump them ahead to 2-3 technologies behind their more advanced neighbor, saving thousands of monarch points. If the player has built a stockpile of monarch points, it is possible to research one or two technologies instantly. It is, however, entirely possible that the modern neighbor may not have adopted all currently available institutions. It is best to reform off a neighbor that has done so, but the Europeans may not leave enough time.
Reforming their religion gives the Incans the ability to build boats and colonize coastal provinces in range. It also removes the penalties to gold production and will - at minimum - quadruple the empire's monthly income, though it will also drastically increase inflation. Many new buildings will be unlocked and the empire can begin investing in more advanced infrastructure to increase manpower, force limits, and income.
If the Europeans have not colonized Rapanui or the Galapagos Islands, the Incans should make a priority of settling these islands. They have small native populations and are useful staging points for western expansion. The large fleets that Spain and Portugal build will make conquest of the islands a very difficult endeavor, but the Europeans are unlikely to take interest in the islands if the Incans settle them first. Even should they invade, they will not gain a significant amount of warscore for occupying them anyways. Settling these the Galapagos is especially important for a player going after the Sun God achievement, as they are considered a part of South America.
Note that upon coming into contact with the Europeans, smallpox will rapidly spread throughout the empire, severely crippling provincial income and manpower, though it will also decrease unrest. This will trigger a modifier called Rapid Collapse of Society that will effectively end any further efforts at advancement, but this modifier will disappear immediately after reforming the Inti religion. It is possible for smallpox events to trigger even after reforming, but this is very rare.
Be warned: Spain/Castille and Portugal have national ideas that help their colonization efforts and are scripted to take Exploration and Expansion ideas. It is a very real possibility that they will set up their first colonial nations within a decade of landing and the larger these colonies become, the more manpower and income they will give to their masters. Though the Incans initially are at a disadvantage, they can catch up by researching diplomacy technology and using the Native Repression policy (if Conquest of Paradise is owned). The AI will always choose co-existence, which negates native uprisings but does not speed up settler growth, giving the player a small advantage. Focusing colonial efforts on cutting the European colonial nations from expanding into the interior can bring European settlement of the continent to a halt, but truly stopping them will require multiple brutal wars.
It is imperative to catch up in military tech. If the player has been investing in any military ideas (such as Quantity), this should immediately cease until the Incans have achieved parity with the rest of the world. The bonuses gained from technological advancement far outstrip the bonuses military ideas grant and the Incans will have to deal with a morale disadvantage for a while. Once the player has caught up on military tech, the Andes are great defensive terrain and enemy armies will face high attrition. Relieving besieged forts in the mountains can prove to be enough to stop invading European nations.
Improving relations with the closest colonizers can buy more time before they attack - and they will almost always attack. Another diplomat should be used to boost relations with said colonizers' rivals, though it is unlikely that the Incans will be able to secure a useful alliance for some time. Colonizing the Colombia region to the north can cut distance to Europe in the short term, while in the long term securing a province on the edge of Europe will allow full-scale European diplomacy. An ideal case would be an Irish or Dutch minor colonizer without colonial allies. Colonizing to the western Pacific via Hawaii can allow the player to secure an Asian ally, which can discourage any European invasion. However, until South America is completely settled, by both the Incans and Europeans, it is wise for the empire to direct most of its colonial efforts on the continent after colonizing Rapanui, the Galapagos, and Hawaii. Letting colonial nations grow too large will curtail Incan expansion and give the Europeans an even bigger advantage during the eventual wars for South America. If there is no remaining territory in South America, or if the Europeans have been properly boxed in and cut off from further expansion into the interior, rapid colonization of the Pacific will open East Asia up for trade, diplomacy, and conquest.
If Mexico has been explored, the Incans should take note of the situation in Mesoamerica. The Mayan and Nahuatl countries are very unlikely to complete their reforms and are even less likely the unite the whole region under one banner. Colonizing and coring a nearby province in Central America will allow the Incans to fabricate claims. By this point, the reformed Incan Empire will be able to annihilate primitive Mesoamerican armies with little effort. Conquering Mexico will stop the Europeans from carving Mesoamerica up between their colonial states and will slow their access to the Pacific as long as the coasts of South America have been secured as well.
The war for South America
Unfortunately, even an Incan player not going for the A Sun God achievement is likely to be drawn into one or more massive wars with a European colonizer and its allies. This is a defining moment for the empire, especially for players seeking the achievement.
France and Spain in particular gain huge bonuses to morale that will give them a significant advantage, especially if they choose Defensive ideas and hire the relevant military adviser. The larger their colonial nations become, the more troops they can field in South America. Worse, the European great powers usually ally at least one or two other great powers, which means that the Incans may find themselves outnumbered 3 to 1 at first. If the Incans have secured a European ally, this ally is often reluctant to join offensive wars. Although the ally is more likely to join defensive wars, waiting for the colonizers to attack may give them too much time to expand their territory in South America. Lastly, it will be some time before the Incans can build navies large enough to challenge their European enemies.
Thankfully, the Incans have a few serious advantages. They are fabulously wealthy and can easily afford to maintain forts and reach their force limit, especially if they have Economic and Quantity ideas to reduce maintenance costs. The imperial heartlands in the Andes are mountainous, easily defended and, when combined with strategically placed and up-to-date forts, will help even the scales by saddling European armies with hefty penalties in battle. Although the Europeans will likely outnumber the Incans and their allies, they must manually ship their troops across the Atlantic to engage in battle. They will build many transports to carry large armies, often exceeding 20,000 soldiers, to South America, but in the time that it takes the Europeans to transport their next army, a larger Incan force can pounce on and annihilate the invaders. Destroying as many of these transports as possible can slow or almost halt the transportation of enemy armies to South America. Lastly, the low warscore costs for European colonies in South America means that the Incans do not need to score a decisive victory to get their demands. A war to take a few provinces from a colonial nation may realistically be won with ~20% warscore if the war has dragged on long enough.
Any war should wait until the Incans have caught up in military technology and preferably, if possible, until after they have filled out the Quantity tree and reached their heightened force limit. The great powers of Europe will frequently fight each other, and striking during one of these large wars will keep the enemy distracted and their armies divided. It is important to raise army maintenance to 100% and wait for morale to recover before declaring war and to position armies around target colonial nations and colonies beforehand as well. Immediately after the war begins, the Incans should attack and completely wipe out the defensive armies of nearby colonial nations, followed by complete occupation. This will effectively remove those nations from the war and stop them from reinforcing their motherland's forces when they arrive. If the enemy is currently engaged in another major war in Europe, their European rivals may graciously sink transports or decimate armies fighting on the continent, slowing the arrival of reinforcements.
Surviving the coming onslaught will rely on smart tactics and perhaps a bit of luck. The Incans should concentrate their armies on whatever chunk of colonial territory the player has chosen as the wargoal, as holding this will gradually increase warscore. Once the defending colonial nation has been fully occupied, a waiting game will begin while the European empires ship their troops to South America. The initial wave of foes will likely be outnumbered by the player's occupying forces, which should immediately pounce and try to destroy the new arrivals with overwhelming numerical superiority. In the early game, when the Europeans are still building up their colonial empires, the defeated enemy army may have nowhere to retreat to and can be stackwiped before reinforcements land. If this process can be repeated several times without succumbing to a massive European counterattack, war exhaustion, ticking warscore from occupying the war goal, and the increasing drain on money and manpower will eventually make the Europeans amenable to peace. If the enemy lands with overwhelming force, retreating to the imperial heartlands in the Andes and waiting to attack the enemy while its armies are besieging a mountain fort can raise Incan chances of victory.
Overall, though any war against a combined European alliance will always be difficult and drawn-out, the logistical hell of fighting a trans-Atlantic war for South America gives the Incans enough of an advantage that it is very possible to win even if outnumbered severely. As time goes on, however, this advantage will close as colonial nations raise ever larger armies and expanding global empires build larger fleets that can transport huge armies more rapidly. Still, if the Incans succeed in their first war or two, they can gain enough momentum to prevent European colonial nations from ever becoming a serious threat in the first place.
Since it is impossible to vassalize colonial nations, the Incans will be forced to directly core conquered provinces and deal with any separatist revolts. The low development of these provinces will result in fairly low coring costs and will ease the process of converting the subjugated colonies to the Inti faith. Thankfully, none of these provinces will cause overextension because colonial provinces never do.
Conquering the Christian provinces will also enable a decision to convert to Christianity, though doing so will remove the benefits of the reforms, reduce religious unity to almost nothing since the empire's core Andean provinces are all Inti, and stop the many beneficial events the Incans get. The main benefits are access to Christian religious mechanics and better relations with European countries that follow the same form of Christianity.
In general, the bonus to relations and immunity to holy wars is not really worth sacrificing what amounts to five free national ideas (the reforms) and events that regularly raise development, not to mention the unrest and corruption that plunging religious unity will cost. If the El Dorado DLC is not enabled, conversion is a more viable option but should only be done if the empire is fully prepared, perhaps after getting Religious ideas.
Imported CKII saves
Available only in saves imported with Sunset Invasion active.
- −5% Advisor cost
- +20% Fort defense
- +25% National manpower modifier
- −10% Stability cost modifier
- −10% Technology cost
- +10% Trade efficiency
- +1 Merchant
- +15% National tax modifier
- +10% Global tariffs
- +10% Land force limit modifier
Inca may also exist in games imported from Crusader Kings II, provided that Sunset Invasion was active. If so, Inca starts already unified, and possesses different national ideas, as well the High American technology group.