- +10% Trade efficiency
- −20% Land attrition
- +10% National tax modifier
- +50% Chance of new heir
- −10% Military technology cost
- +1 Diplomatic reputation
- −25% Envoy travel time
- +10% Provincial trade power modifier
- +5% Infantry combat ability
- +10% Production efficiency
- +5% Discipline
- +30% Improve relations
Kongo is a small country on the western coast of southern Africa. In 1444 they border their vassals Loango and Ndongo to their north and south respectively, Tyo to the north and Yaka and Kuba to the east, and they are vulnerable to European colonization.
- Main article: Kongo events
The Kongolese events simulate the extreme change of Kongo turning into a Christian monarchy if Portugal discovers the Congo (region). Should they decide to allow Portuguese missionaries to bring western influences into Kongo, the very foundation of the small African nation will be shaken and the now-King will suffer a temporary, if harsh, drop in prestige and legitimacy. However, over a period of time the missionaries will change the pagan, tribal Kongo into a Christian monarchy, with all the benefits that come with following the example of the courts of Europe.
Alternatively, threatening the Portuguese missionaries or executing the aspiring Christian chieftain can turn Kongo in a temporarily more stable, if still pagan and tribal, nation. Additionally, the player may not want this event to trigger early, as it will make it hard to ally/vassalize neighbors since they are not Catholic.
Kongo has an advantageous starting position. It has two vassals: Loango and Ndongo. It is certainly the strongest individual country in the area but still needs an ally or two, preferably ones further east like Luba or Kazembe that are not in the path of Kongo's early expansion. Tyo, whose sole province (Anziku) shares the Kongolese culture and is located in Kongo's capital state, is an excellent first target for an early war. Although there is little reason to waste a diplomatic slot on Tyo, it is up to the player whether to annex or vassalize other vanquished tribes. The tribal government reduces the number of potential diplomatic relations, but Administrative monarch points are vastly more important than Diplomatic points in the early game. Beginning the process of integrating the starting vassals as soon as possible will free up space for more relations and boost the country's development and force limit.
Unfortunately, Kongo starts without any embraced institutions and is not in a convenient place to secure them without force development. The European colonizers pose a grave existential threat. Still, Kongo has the potential to turn the tides and drive the Europeans from Africa forever.
The main challenge is getting the first 4 institutions: Feudalism, Renaissance, Colonialism, Printing Press. Without them, there is no hope of kicking the Europeans out of Africa because Kongo will fall way behind on techs and ideas. It's advisable to hold off on research if Kongo has significant penalties (above 20%)
Feudalism The easiest way to get Feudalism is to declare a no-CB war on one of the nations on the east coast of Africa. Ideally pick on a nation with usable claims. Vassalize the target, pick the relation bonus cult, and integrate the vassal after 10 years. At this point, it is still best so save monarch points and forego researching more technologies for now. Conquering more provinces with Feudalism and lowering the provinces' autonomy will help speed up the embracement of Feudalism.
Renaissance After embracing Feudalism, Kongo can start investing in research while the penalties from not embracing the Renaissance are still low. Exploration is the optimal first idea group to choose. As the penalties scale, it is recommended to save monarch points for development and ideas. Most likely, it will be necessary to manually spawn the Renaissance institution via development. Once free of the tech penalties, more research can be done.
Colonialism Kongo is an excellent position to colonize South America, assuming it has invested sufficiently in Exploration. Creating a colonial nation in Brazil will spread Colonialism to the homeland's provinces, saving thousands of monarch points in development costs.
Printing Press The simplest way to get the Printing Press is to convert to Catholicism via event (assuming the Portuguese reach the Kongo's shores) and then manually convert to Protestantism. This carries a serious risk of plunging Kongo into an extended period of instability and chaos, but it is still a viable strategy if one prepares by saving up administrative monarch points and getting Religious ideas. Otherwise, a border with a European nation or manual development will be necessary. A Catholic Kongo may be able to secure alliances with either Spain or Portugal (or both) to quicken the institution spread.
Gold Mines Monarch points are at a premium for Kongo so an early priority is to get money for good advisors. The starting region is poor and initially empty of trade, but securing a foothold in East Africa with a no-CB war will give Kongo the opportunity to seize the region's gold mines, which will fill the nation's coffers. Development of the gold-producing provinces is highly recommended.
In terms of religion, Kongo has multiple paths. The country has a short, unique event chain that will allow it to convert to Catholicism and reform its government all at once, which only requires being discovered by Portugal. From there, Kongo could also convert to Protestant or Reformed as desired. It could also convert to Sunni by decision after taking land in West Africa or East Africa, or it could simply remain Fetishist. The choice depends on the player's goals and active DLC.
Catholicism is the easiest religion to convert to because the Embrace the Counter-Reformation decision will grant 2 free extra missionaries, making conversion a lot quicker. Kongo will also enjoy a constant river of papal influence from converting so many provinces, but will not have access to the papal controller mechanic because Kongo has no cardinal seats. Catholic is a good choice but can be risky for a colonialist Kongo, which may struggle to establish a colonial nation and convert to Catholicism in time to activate the Treaty of Tordesillas in Kongo's favor. Beyond that, Catholic Kongo is more likely to secure good relations and alliances with Spain and Portugal.
Since becoming Catholic through events or the decision will change the government form to monarchy, using rebels to convert is also an option. This has the added benefit of starting off with higher religious unity.
Protestant and Reformed cannot match Catholicism's speed of conversion but offer their own unique benefits, and unlike Catholicism, all of these two religion' mechanics are open to Kongo. Protestant can be very good for a Kongo seeking to extensively colonize South America if Spain and Portugal already have established themselves there.
Converting to Sunni spares Kongo the effort of converting stubborn Sunni subjects in the Muslim-dominated regions of Africa. A player with relevant DLC like Cradle of Civilizations also can make use of the religion's powerful mechanics.
Remaining Fetishist is a viable strategic option if (and only if) Rights of Man is activated. In this case, Kongo's growing empire will give it access to many cults and Kongo should make sure to invade other regions in Africa, particularly West Africa and Madagascar, to secure new cults; later on it might be a good idea to secure a foothold in Asia to get the Hindu and Buddhist cults. Mwari is a good cult during the early wars but later on Kongo might find itself drawn to more exotic cults like Christianity or Buddhadharma.
It is possible that Kongo will not reach West Africa or Madagascar before they are converted to Sunni. In this case, there is a workaround to gain the region's cults. Simply conquer a province in the region, convert it to Fetishist, and then release the province to a previously non-existent tag as a Fetishist one province minor. Declare war as soon as the truce is up and the cults should become available.
Monarch points spent on development give progress towards the next Institution that has yet to spread to the province. Note that development given through events does not count towards Institution progress, and if there are multiple un-embraced Institutions in the province, only the first one will receive progress. Each institution will require investing approximately 25-30 development in a province, which will be a total cost of 2,400 to 3,400 total monarch points. Institution spread will start in small increments and grow to larger increments as more development happens (so your first development may give 1.5% spread while your 25th development may give 9.5% spread).
The best provinces to invest in have high Institution spread rates and lower development costs. The capital region, ports, and the capital itself give bonuses to Institution spread. Grasslands have the lowest penalty to development in the tropical area. For this reason, the best order to develop in is:
- Mpemba (+22.5% spread, +10% dev cost)
- Soyo (+17.5% spread, +15% dev cost)
- Mbata (+12.5% spread, +15% dev cost)
- Mpangu (+12.5% spread, +15% dev cost)
- Mbamba (+17.5% spread, +30% dev cost)
- Yaka (+7.5% spread, +15% dev cost)
- Kumbana (+7.5% spread, +15% dev cost)
However, after embracing 4 Institutions, Global Trade has been reached and it is unlikely that force spawning will be needed.