- is Ethiopia.
The player’s country:
- is Ethiopia.
- is Coptic.
- owns and cores the provinces of
- Alexandria (358),
- Antioch (2313),
- Constantinople (151).
Prester John is the name of an achievement introduced with patch 1.9 and labeled as hard in the file. The official description of the achievement requires the player to: “Own and have cores on Alexandria, Antioch and Constantinople as Coptic Ethiopia”. It is mandatory to start the game as Ethiopia, the achievement will not be awarded if playing as a released vassal. The player must also follow the Coptic religion to get the achievement, though they may switch to other religions until then. The required provinces do not need to be converted to Coptic. The name of the achievement is a reference to a legendary Christian patriarch – see Prester John on Wikipedia.
Dealing with the Mamluks
Before going for the main part of achievement, it may be a good idea to focus on conquering or vassalizing the Horn of Africa. Coptic nations can be vassalised easily. Feed some of them Muslim provinces and/or take the Coptic blessing to increase missionary strength to speed conversion.
The main idea is to wait for the Ottomans to attack the Mamluks and then attack when Mamluks are already seriously beaten. Conquer a straight line up to Alexandria and take the first province needed for the achievement. Alternatively, ally with Qara Qoyunlu and attack when the Mamluks are weak. Then build a ship in the Mediterranean. Send an explorer to explore the unknown sea and find new Christian allies to help fight the Ottomans. It will take the Ottomans several wars to successfully conquer Egypt and the Levant, so there is time to get allies.
Dealing with the Ottomans
Nations like Poland, Austria, Venice, and/or other rivals of the Ottomans will serve as valuable allies because, as fellow Christians, they can enter into royal marriages with Coptic Ethiopia. With their help, ideally when the Ottomans are fighting another war, you can defeat the owner of Constantinople (most likely the Ottomans) and demand the province in a peace (or two provinces, if the Ottomans get Antioch before you). After you core those provinces, you should be granted the Prester John achievement.
There is an event chain that gives you help from Portugal, which will turn your army into super-soldiers. Trying to go to war while this still is active is a good way to make it easier to beat the Ottomans. Don't hesitate to go to war when the Ottomans are busy in some other war, such as against Qara Qoylunu, the Mamluks or the Timurids.
A decent, quick playthrough of this achievement shows that an experienced player can get it by around 1600. But it's also possible to do a longer playthrough and not get it until around 1800 or so if the random numbers gods are fickle.
Suggested idea groups
Ethiopia can benefit from the following idea groups:
- Exploration – It's needed to find the Europeans powers early since Europe is not visible from the start. Its also possible to colonize in the Indian Ocean and conquer in India or colonize the spice islands. Another benefit of this idea is that it opens the way to central and west Africa, which the player can conquer by first colonising.
- Religious – since most of Ethiopia's enemies are Muslims, the Holy War casus belli may help getting provinces from adversaries with no diplomatic points cost. The bonus missionary and missionary strength will make converting rebellious Muslim provinces go more quickly.
- Humanist – with expansion mostly coming through conquest of heathen neighbours, mainly Sunni, humanist can help mitigate the penalties of religious disunity from its first idea, as well as allowing for more comfortable expansion with its flat -2 unrest and years of separatism reduction.
- Economic – especially worth it if the player has conquered or/and colonized gold producing provinces, due to the inflation reduction by the 3rd idea.
- Diplomatic - to get high diplomatic reputation and more relations so Ethiopia can ally more Europeans powers to take out Ottoman in the end fight.
This achievement can easily be combined with the "A Blessed Nation" achievement. Since you will most likely control four out of five coptic holy sites (and a bare minimum of two) to get "Prester John" you only additionally need Yerevan to be in coptic hands to get this achievement. This can be done easily by forcing the Ottomans to release Armenia.