- +1 Diplomatic relation
- +10% Shock damage
- +10% National tax modifier
- +0.5 Yearly army tradition
- +1% Missionary strength
- +1 Tolerance of the true faith
- +10% Morale of armies
- −20% Stability cost modifier
- −20% Fort maintenance
- +1 Diplomatic reputation
- +33% Land force limit modifier
Since the crushing defeat of the Golden Horde at the hands of the Timurid armies, their empire has fractured into a number of successor states. The core of their empire, the Great Horde is still a strong power in its own right, but it is fraught by internal struggles and has been unable to project much power over the Russians.
Muscovy has made good use of this power vacuum, expanding their control over the other principalities rapidly, through both cunning and use of military resources. Often even by simply buying out the poorer Princes and adding their lands to the Muscovite domain.
Moscow is not the only strong state with interest in the Russian region, however, in the north the Republic of Novgorod has colonized much of the White Sea coastline, securing the valuable waterways and a source of fur, the soft gold of the north and east.
To the west the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland are doing what they can to assume the leadership of all Russias, asserting authority over most Ruthenian lands as well as a constant factor in the politics of the free Russian states in the north. Their interests are directly opposed to the growing power of Moscow, but their claim to the Rus legacy is quite dubious. If they can be overcome there is seemingly no limit to how much the Great Principality could grow.If the Tatar Yoke could be crushed once and for all there is also the vast expanse of Siberia, full of untold riches, and dangers. If the many khanates, natives and the nature itself can be overcome then there is no limit to how rich a united Russian state could grow.
Historically, the Grand Duchy of Moscow was a tributary of the Great Horde in 1444. However, the Mongol Khanate had been losing effective control for decades. The Russian principalities didn't fully break the so-called Tatar Yoke until 1480, when the Tatar Horde declined to engage the superior, firearm-equipped Russian army across the Ugra river; the once-mighty Golden Horde was finally destroyed in an alliance with the Crimean Khanate in 1502. In the game, their independence represents their de facto degree of autonomy at this stage. Grand Prince Ivan IV "the Terrible" had himself crowned "Tsar of All the Russias" in 1547, establishing the Tsardom of Russia.
- 1 Events
- 2 Decisions
- 3 Missions
- 4 Strategy
- 5 Achievements
- Main article: Russian events
Muscovy's events centre around the Russian Orthodox church, significant reforms made by some of the better known kings, as well as territorial conflicts with the European hordes, Sweden, and Lithuania.
Form Russian Nation
If the country is AI-controlled, then it:
Russia does not exist
If is Novgorod:
If the country:
- Main article: Muscovite missions
Muscovy gets a number of unique missions, many of which grant claims on large swathes of territory, which allows swift and extensive expansion.
Neighbours and position
Muscovy starts bordering Lithuania, Novgorod, Kazan, Great Horde, Perm, Ryazan, Odoyev, Tver, Beloozero, Rostov and Yaroslavl. Other significant neighbours include Sweden, Nogai, Crimea, Pskov, Livonian Order. These are all discussed in turn.
Nearby minor nations
Perm, Yaroslavl, Beloozero, Rostov and Pskov all begin as Orthodox vassals of Muscovy and all except Perm and Pskov have the Rurikovich Dynasty. Perm is the largest of these, and begins with some Tengri provinces which can cause them some unrest, however these are usually swiftly converted. Yaroslavl, Beloozero and Rostov are the smallest and are sometimes entirely surrounded by Muscovy and its vassals, while Pskov shares no border with Muscovy. The player should be mindful that although having these vassals significantly increases the combat ability, due to the extra regiments and manpower pools they provide, this means that no relationship slots remain. When the player is attempting to integrate these vassals, they should be mindful of the penalty to relations and, more importantly, to diplomatic reputation which occurs when completing an integration, which can slow, or entirely stall further integrations. Yaroslavl and Rostov may be considered primary targets for integration, as both take up provinces in Muscovite states of Vladimir and Yaroslavl.
Tver begins with no heir and the same Dynasty so the player can claim the throne and force them under a PU as soon as they get more prestige than them. They are wedged in between Muscovy and Novgorod so have little room to expand. Muscovy is too large to rival, so Tver's only valid rival is Novgorod. This means that they will inevitably select them as rivals. This rivaly often results in Tver trying take advantage of Muscovite-Novgorodian wars by taking some Novgorodian lands of their own. They usually fail to find any other significant allies, and so are usually a straightforward target for expansion if they can't be forced under a union.
As the only nation with an heir of the player's dynasty, they can't be forced under a PU at game start, but can as soon as its king dies. Positioned at the junction between Lithuanian, Muscovite and Golden Horde lands, Odoyev is surrounded by relative giants. If Lithuania rivals the player and does not fall under a personal union with Poland, they will often guarantee Odoyev, making it unattractive as a target for expansion. Either hoping that Lithuania does fall under the union, or else waiting for a moment of weakness such that they will not honour the guarantee, can allow for incorporating them into Muscovy. Another method takes advantage of the fact that Odoyev is small enough to willingly vassalise, and so could be added to Muscovy's initial vassal swarm. Another option that doesn't use up a relationship slot is to initially claim and conquer Odoyev given it is an OPM.
Ryazan starts the game with no heir and the player's Dynasty so they can claim the throne and force them under a PU as soon as they have got more prestige than them. Positioned along the Muscovy-Great Horde border, Ryazan also shares a border with Odoyev, whom they will inevitably rival. Starting larger than Odoyev means that Ryazan is in a position to make good use of this rival status and take aggressive action against them. Often the Great Horde will attempt to make Ryazan a vassal, and either warning the Great Horde or allying Ryazan can help prevent this. Similarly sending a warning to Ryazan should prevent them from declaring war on Odoyev.
Historical rival of Muscovy, the merchant republic of Novgorod is a likely first target for expansion due to Muscovy starting with the option to take the 'Conquer Novgorod' mission, which grants claims on all their provinces. A common approach is to set Novgorod as rival and declare war just after first month of the game before it has time to fill its forcelimit and make an alliance (probably with Poland). Muscovy has quite a good general at the beginning, superior forces (around 38 vs 24) and also the vassals are capable of defeating the remains Novgorod's army and sieging provinces. In the first war, a Player should focus on making sure that Sweden no longer had a Border with Novgorod so that Denmark can't war them while you have a truce.
Lithuania and Poland
Lithuania is the only neighbour which can field an army of comparable size to Muscovy's. However, they often fall under a personal union with Poland, limiting their ability to both pose an active threat as well as interfere in Muscovite affairs. Lithuania begins with almost all of the Ruthenia region under their control, and all of this land is both Orthodox, and in the East Slavic culture group, making it a very attractive expansion direction. An event which can trigger between 1550 and 1650 may grant claims on much of this land. Even if Lithuania does not fall under a union with Poland, owing to the historical friendship status between the two nations, they will almost always be allies. Poland has its own vassals and in the very early game these vassals are capable of fielding a much larger army than Muscovy. Because of this it is not recommended to attempt to take Lithuania's Ruthenian lands until either having expanded and increased Muscovy's force limit significantly, or until it is possible to call in equally powerful allies. Poland can not initially rival Muscovy, however, if they get the personal union over Lithuania, they become a potential rival. Therefore, it can be valuable to form an alliance with Poland before the personal union occurs, although this can prove challenging owing to the 12 month mean time to happen on the event for Poland to get the union. If the player is able to ally Poland, it is worth keeping the alliance at all costs. In case Lithuania doesn't fall under personal union, Poland will be a kind of defensive guarantee for Muscovy. If the personal union is created, Poland will be great battering ram for Muscovite conquests in Scandinavia or against nearby hordes. Early allying of Poland and accepting calls for war against Teutonic Order has a good chance to grant the player Danzig or Marienburg - these are necessary for forming Commonwealth, so owning one of these provinces not only strengthen Baltic trade node position but mainly prevents Poland from forming the Commonwealth easily and quickly. Once the Commonwealth is formed (or Poland inherits Lithuania), it is almost inevitably going to rival Muscovy.
Great Horde, Kazan and Nogai
Through missions as well as the permanent claims granted (once Russia is formed), Muscovy gains claims on much of the European hordes lands. However, when the player is taking these lands, it is important to be mindful that they are Sunni, which will cause religious unrest issues, and reduce religious unity. Reduced religious unity also increases corruption. Therefore, it is advisable to either wait until the player has a means of converting or tolerating such heresies, such as is granted by Religious and Humanist ideas, which are strongly considered candidates for first idea group picks. An alternative strategy is to take a Sunni vassal rather than annexing the Sunni lands directly. Muscovy begins with a single Sunni province, Kasimov, from which the Sunni horde state of Qasim can be released as a vassal. Feeding a Sunni vassal the Sunni lands, at least temporarily, depending on whether the player intends to integrate the vassal, avoids the religious problems this would cause for Muscovy. As it starts with feudalism, Muscovy should be able to advance in military technology sooner than the hordes, and waiting for a time when they are behind in military technology, especially technology levels granting tactics, morale, and improved units, can help make warring against the hordes significantly easier.
Declare war on Kazan when Nogai or the Great Horde does so as well. Sieging the capital, Perm and Udmurtia should get enough high war score to grant provinces Perm and Udmurtia to Perm - these share Perm's culture and Perm will convert the tengri religion to Orthodox.
If the player conquers the steppe tribes to the east, they may eventually find themselves sharing a border with a tributary of Ming. Ming starts off with by far the most development, highest force limit, and dozens of tributaries. However, Muscovy has several unique advantages and disadvantages over Ming: Firstly, Muscovy is closer to Europe, which means they can embrace the first three institutions much earlier than Ming but Ming can demand tech from their tributaries to make up for this. Secondly, Ming usually has a lower manpower cap than Muscovy because of the Muscovite national ideas, however Ming is the only Nation that can go up to 6x its manpower cap because of the tribute mechanics allowing them to go over the cap if Ming is at peace and surrounded by tributaries. On another note, a Ming invasion of Muscovy would mean marching through the large, low supply limit provinces in the winter, which could theoretically drain their manpower if they are not way over their manpower cap at the start of the war. Thus, pre-patch 1.29, two strategies can be used. The player can simply become their tributary and eat the other tributaries, then break it when the player has strong allies to drain Ming's mandate. Alternatively, the player can try to get a border with Ming and slowly draining their mandate without becoming a tributary first in which case Ming will most likely attack and a really expensive war follows. Regardless of what approach the player chooses it is advised that the player shares a border with Ming to decrease their Mandate of Heaven until it begins to give penalties to shock and fire damage, at which point the player can choose to attack. It is also recommended that the player start wars with Ming's tributaries that border them to grab extra lands while fighting Ming itself. Declaring on tributaries allows Muscovy to wage a series of wars in quick succession that end with the full annexation of China and Muscovite domination of Silk Road trade.
With patch 1.29, it is harder to drain Ming's mandate due to the changes in tributary mechanics. However, having a steppe horde nation with at least 300 development bordering Ming is almost guaranteed to cause the Celestial Empire big problems due to the associated disaster. The player's nation should consider vassalizing a steppe horde and then feed it provinces so that it both borders Ming and has the required development.
Livonian Order and Riga
The Livonian Order shares a border with Pskov and usually ally with the Teutonic Order. Either by directing Pskov to fabricate claims against the Livonian Order, or by fabricating claims directly after taking land from Novgorod, Muscovy can either take land from or, as they are just slightly below 100 warscore, take the Livonian Order as a vassal. The Livonian coastal provinces can provide extra sailors and increased naval force limit, useful when fighting Denmark and Sweden, which are usually superior in this regard. Dragging the Livonian Order's brother, the Teutonic Order, into war provides a chance to get Danzig or Marienburg - this will prevent Poland from forming the Commonwealth. Riga is recommended to be left around since they often get no allies once the Livonians are gone but still join the Lubeckan trade league giving access to fight the really rich Trade League for money every few years.
Denmark and Sweden
Denmark and Sweden control much of the Baltic sea, and share a border with Novgorod. Usually the player will annex Novgorod and this will eventually mean they share a border with Muscovy. Relatively often, Sweden will try and get their independence from Denmark. In either case, Sweden may fabricate claims on these border provinces, and wars can occur over these claims. Allying Denmark if Sweden is not yet free, or allying Sweden if they have already gotten their freedom, can help the security of this north-west border, as well as provide a relatively powerful ally. Usually Sweden prefers to unify the Scandinavia region, while Denmark usually tries to take the North German coast. In either case, allying them encourages this route of expansion and discourages them from trying to expand into East Slavic culture group territory.
Religious is recommended in the early game or even as the first idea group. When expanding South or East, it will be into Sunni lands. These are difficult to convert, and will cause a reduction in religious unity, thus increasing corruption. Religious ideas can help by increasing missionary strength as well as providing an additional missionary. Religious ideas will also grant access to the Deus Vult CB. Alternatively, Humanist ideas may allow for tolerance rather than conversion of the Sunni lands.
Defensive ideas are recommended as the first military idea, most likely before Religious. It allows Muscovy to win a battle by sheer numbers and it is especially powerful at the start of the game. It also increases attrition inflicted to anyone who wants to attack Muscovy, via its +1% attrition bonus and increased fort defense, since Muscovy is weaker than the Polish-Lithuanian union overall. Contrary to popular understanding, Quantity does not have a synergy with Muscovite (and Russian) ideas since Quantity is additive: while the absolute increases are just as big for Muscovy, the higher manpower pool from the Muscovite ideas is not boosted. Since after forming Russia the player can easily get up to +101% manpower without taking Quantity (+33% from national ideas, +20% from Tsardom reform, +15% from Strengthen Noble Privileges, +33% from full patriarch authority) taking Quantity as Muscovy is widely seen as an overkill – the bonuses the player can get without them are already enough to have the largest army in the world. It should be also noted that Muscovy can recruit Streltsy, reducing its reliance on manpower, at least for recruiting.
The high force limit that Muscovy's national ideas allows help keep vassals in line because of relative military strength, encouraging the use and growth of vassals. Influence and Diplomatic ideas are helpful for vassal-heavy play, allowing for cheaper integration of vassals, as well as providing an addition diplomat for integrating them.
The Renaissance spawns around 1450. Once the Renaissance spawns, consider developing Moskva from its starting 17 development to 35 to bring the Renaissance in Moskva and to fulfill 2 ages objectives. It's highly recommended to do this with all leftover diplomatic and administrative points while staying at 3/3/5 Tech until the Renaissance is embraced.
It is in Muscovy's interests to get to Level 10 Admin Tech within a reasonable timeframe, as it is part of the requirements for forming Russia. Forming Russia is a big boost, as it provides +550 governing capacity (+400 from Empire rank; Muscovy is locked into Duchy rank, and net +150 from Tsardom government reform, which replaces Russian Principality), among other benefits.
If you have the Third Rome DLC, there will be an event called The Moscow Kremlin which if you choose the clergy option, it will give -15% development cost which will be easy to spawn the renaissance institution in Moscow so you cannot wait until Novgorod (if you annexed it) spawns it naturally in 1480–90 halting your tech
Due to how trade flows, trade is not going to make a large percentage of Muscovy's income until way later in the game when lot of land has been conquered. The Novgorod trade node is a potentially powerful node early on and it is easy to funnel a lot of trade into the node from Siberia and the Steppe. However, a majority of the land is poor, and the Novgorod node has no easy access to any American trade except trade from California. There are certain nodes that are key to control in order to secure trade throughout the Steppe. The most important nodes to gain control of early on are Kazan and Astrakhan(no merchant is needed in Kazan as all the trade flows solely into Novgorod), and later the most important node to conquer is Samarkand, as that will allow for all the trade from India and China to be funneled into Novgorod. Conquest of the Kiev node is also a good goal in the mid game, and late game the Lahore and Yumen nodes should be secured to provide access to the Indian and Chinese trade companies which will fix almost all of your trade issues.
- If the country is not orthodox, the tsardom reform is removed immediately.