Naval warfare

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This page deals with naval combat mechanics. For information on the recruitment and maintenance of navies see navy. For details about ship types see naval units. For the state of war see warfare.

Naval warfare is the competition of sea-going power between nations at war. While a majority of warfare is land-based, the naval aspect of conflict can be incredibly influential in the spheres of trade, colonisation and conquest.

Sea battle interface[edit | edit source]

The naval combat interface

Like land warfare, naval combat occurs when opposing fleets confront each other in the same sea province. Also like land battles, these sea battles can go on for many days, so they should be considered not as a single engagement, but as two fleets maneuvering to gain wind, standing off and skirmishing before the fleets finally collide.

In EU4, there is no player involvement inside combat, but the interface now displays more information, showing among other information which ship is fighting which. The naval combat interface shows the strength of the two fleets engaged in the combat. Combat will begin with a contest of firepower, followed by shock action in which ships attempt to grapple or ram one another. This sequence will alternate until one of the fleets loses morale and is either routed or destroyed. The condition of each ship (being the number of sailors still alive on that ship to fight) is expressed as a percentage, and hovering over a ship with the mouse cursor will produce a tooltip which identifies which opposing ship they are currently firing on, as well as their current morale, their strength, and the ship type.

Engagement width[edit | edit source]

Engagement width.png Engagement width is the combat width for naval battles. Unlike the combat width of land warfare, the naval engagement width of the two participants are independent, that means one participant could have wider engagement width than the other. Heavy ships occupy 3 combat width, while galleys, transports and light ships each occupy 1 combat width. [1]

Engagement width has a base of 5.[2] It increases over time as diplomatic technology improves.

Diplomatic technology.png Diplomatic technology level 2 7 12 18 22 24
Engagement width.png Engagement width +20 +10 +15 +10 +5 +10
Totals (Cumulative) 25 35 50 60 65 75

These base technology levels of combat width can be augmented by the following:

Global naval engagement.png Conditions
+20% with Ab more ships can fire.png “Naval Engagement” ability in the Age of Revolutions.png age of revolutions
+10% per pip of admiral's Naval leader maneuver.png maneuver skill
for being the naval hegemon
Global naval engagement.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Piratical idea 4: Sail in Consort
  • Naval-Exploration: Skilled Cartographers
  • Danish ambition
  • Maritime idea 6: Seahawks
  • Naval idea 7: Superior Seamanship
  • Naval-Espionage: The Maritime Intelligencer Unit

A flagship with Flagship Modification improved crows nest.png “Improved Crow's Nest” modification increases the fleet engagement width by 3.

In a coastal sea zone engagement width is reduced:[3]

Local naval engagement.png −20% Local naval engagement

Combat sequence[edit | edit source]

The conclusion to a naval engagement

Like land warfare, naval combat occurs when opposing fleets confront each other in the same sea province. Also like land battles, these sea battles can go on for many days, so they should be considered not as a single engagement, but as two fleets maneuvering to gain wind, standing off and skirmishing . A sea battle will last until one side is routed or annihilated. Patch 1.16 also introduced the concept of a naval combat width, and much like its land cousin it is the total number of ships that can engage the enemy at any one time.

Engagement[edit | edit source]

While there is an ongoing naval battle, fleet's ship will try to populate its engagement width until the limit is reached, in the following order:

  1. Heavy ships
  2. Galleys
  3. Light ships
  4. Transports

Any ships already disengaged will be ignored, and galleys gain priority over heavy ships when battling in inland seas.

Importantly, any ships in excess of the engagement width are placed in reserve (until they replace those destroyed or disengaged) where they suffer morale damage although not in the fight. Therefore be sure to rather time adding smaller fresh and high morale reinforcements during each phase of the battle than merely throwing one full stack at the enemy.

Phases[edit | edit source]

Combat is divided into a series of 3-day phases where the phases alternate between fire and shock, with the fire phase happening first. Therefore each 6 days (after a full cycle of fire and shock) it may be best to try and reinforce the engagement width line with fresh reinforcements as others have been lost or disengaged during these two phases. Staying in reserve in the backline causes severe morale reductions, even while not fighting. So timing reinforcements to match the phases is generally better than depending on ships in reserve.

Target selection[edit | edit source]

Targeting, and specifically combined targeting, is why the "cannon:hull strength" ratio together with the relative combat width is so important in determining the outcome of a naval battle.

In combat each ship in the front line (all ships up to the engagement width) will try to find a target and make an attack. Every enemy ship has a base chance of 10 to be picked as a target, further modified by:

  • +0 to +5 random chance
  • +5 if same type (hence heavies are more likely to target other heavies, and galleys to target other galleys)
  • x0.1 if morale at 0 or less
  • x2 if hull strength is less than 50% (hence their appeal is doubled, resulting in many ships focusing fire or "ganging up" on the same weaker targets)

The enemy ship with the highest score is selected as a target. If the previous target is about to die, a new one will be targeted. This group focus on the weaker ones below 50% to push them to zero is why a battle can so quickly turn; normally as one runs out of reinforcements or ships in reserve and those still remaining in the fight have their morale collapse en masse.

Note that unless a ship disengages it may remain in the combat width line-up at near zero value, inhibiting a fresher high-strength ship to replace it in the combat width. This makes increases in disengagement chances very valuable.

The successful outcome of this combined targeting can be enhanced by your maximizing the number of cannons to target (from sending in higher quality ships - whether heavies or galleys, and from having a disproportionately higher engagement width than the enemy) as Cannons/Target Hull is the key factor in both the Final Damage and Morale Loss calculations.

Die roll[edit | edit source]

At the beginning of each phase, each side rolls a die. The result is used to determine the morale damage and hull damage inflicted by that side during each of the three days of that phase. Some ideas and the wooden wall naval doctrines give a bonus to the die roll when fighting off an owned coast.

Naval combat bonus off owned coast Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Barbary Corsair idea 3: Vengeful Refugees
  • Eora idea 5: The Sacred Shore
  • Malayan idea 4: Chart the Isles
  • Norse idea 2: Norse Seamen
  • Piratical idea 6: Pirate Bays

Hull damage[edit | edit source]

Base damage is calculated according to the following formula:


where Combat Modifiers include the Artillery Fire Modifier, Naval Doctrine Bonus (England) and Admiral pip value difference (between 0 to 6) for that phase of the battle. Ship Combat Ability and Admiral Combat Ability are modifiers applied in the Final Damage formula.

The amount of cannons of the attacking vessel affects the hull damage dealt and the hull strength (hull size) of the defender decides how long it can stand the cannon fire.

The Artillery Fire Modifier gives a bonus or penalty to damage dealt depending on if attacker or defender has a technological advantage (with reference not to its Diplomatic Tech, but rather to its Military Tech, and therefore to the relative difference between each side's artillery damage modifiers). For example, jumping from tech 21 to tech 22 relative to your enemy in fact means a cumulative artillery fire difference of +2 (+4.4 vs. +2.4), which doubles this modifier.

  • Attacking unit modifier: The attack modifier from the attacking unit's technology, i.e. "Artillery Fire".

Artillery Fire Modifier = Attacker Artillery Fire - Target Artillery Fire

  • Attacking unit Combat Ability: Any Combat Ability bonuses the attacking unit has.

If target ship Morale is 0 or below, Final Damage is multiplied by 10.

Importantly, note that since Ship Durability is the denominator (and therefore affecting all the factors), one can drastically reduce the damage taken by having any modifiers that increase durability. For example, the 5% from the Corvettes Idea under Quality.

Galleys fighting in the inland sea have their Final Damage doubled. Which means that in inland seas, instead of fighting 3 galleys, one heavy is effectively fighting 6. Hence it's best to match galleys to galleys in inland seas and try and maximise your engagement width using a high pip manoeuvre admiral. Having a naval reformer advisor to boost morale will help too.

Morale damage[edit | edit source]

Morale is damaged both over time during a battle and also when a friendly ship is sunk.

Several ideas decrease the amount of morale lost when a ship is sunk:

Morale hit when losing a ship.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Naval idea 3: Naval Cadets
  • Humanist-Maritime: The Citrus Statute
  • Betsimisaraka traditions
  • Galician idea 6: Sailors of the Cantabrian Sea
  • Naxian idea 2: Naxos Rules The Waves
  • Sulu idea 5: Dagat Sulu
  • Catalan ambition
  • Exploration-Defensive: The Naval Secrecy Act
  • Naval-Religious: Zealous Captains
Morale hit when losing a ship.png Conditions
-10% Admiral with Level-headed personality

Disengagement[edit | edit source]

Any ship with less than 0.5 morale will try to disengage from the battle. Whether it will be successful depends on the ship's Disengagement Chance. The base value of this chance is 3% but can be modified by some national ideas.

Ship disengagement chance.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Indigenous-Maritime: Canoe Expertise
  • Fully Naval
  • Australian idea 5: Royal Australian Navy

Combat statistics[edit | edit source]

Diplomatic technology.png Cumulative diplomacy technology effects to navy[edit | edit source]

Dip Tech Level 0 3 7 8 12 18 22 25 27 29 31
Morale of Navies +2.0 +2.1 +2.4 +2.6 +3.0 +3.5 +4.0 +4.5 +5.0 +5.5 +6.0

Military technology.png Cumulative military technology effects to navy[edit | edit source]

Mil Tech Level 0 7 13 16 22 25 32
Artillery Fire +0.0 +1.0 +1.4 +2.4 +4.4 +6.4 +8.4

note : ONLY the Artillery Fire difference between attacker and defender is calculated, not the total, so the +1 of Spain and Aragon mean they have ALWAYS an impact (5% hull damage) if on time in naval tech.

Max naval morale[edit | edit source]

The following contributes to the maximum morale of a nation's navy.

Factor Amount
Naval maintenance 20% at minimum maintenance (minimum of 0)
100% at maximum maintenance (multiplicative modifier)
Navy tradition.png Navy tradition +25% at 100 navy tradition
Yearly prestige.png Prestige +10% at 100 Prestige, −10% at −100 prestige
Power projection.png Power projection +10% at 100 power projection
Advisor Naval reformer.png Naval reformer advisor +10%
Become Defender of the Faith.png Defender of the Faith +5%
Bankruptcy −50%
War exhaustion.png War exhaustion −2% per 1 war exhaustion

Certain National Ideas, Idea groups and policies will bump naval morale.

Morale of navies.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Alaskan traditions
  • British traditions
  • Genoese idea 2: The Lessons of Chioggia
  • Kono idea 3: Oyamazumi Shrine
  • Livonian idea 6: Naval Professionalism
  • Norwegian idea 3: Natural Seamanship
  • Scandinavian idea 4: Norwegian Marines
  • So idea 3: Fight for Tsushima
  • Luzon ambition
  • Omani traditions
  • Acehnese/Pasai idea 4: Military Adventures
  • Bregenzer idea 7: The Lake Constance Navy
  • Bruneian idea 6: Naval Prowess
  • Chiba idea 7: Naval Reform
  • Corsican idea 2: The Battle of Meloria
  • Danish idea 5: Naval Heroes
  • Eora idea 1: Eora Lifestyle
  • Madyas idea 2: Legacy of Panai
  • Malayan idea 4: Chart the Isles
  • Manx idea 4: Mann and the Isles
  • Navarran idea 1: Fearless Seamen
  • Norse idea 2: Norse Seamen
  • Ouchi idea 3: Protect Against Piracy
  • Sicilian idea 6: The Grand Navy
  • Dalmatian ambition
  • Mogadishan ambition
  • Ragusan ambition
  • Siddi ambition
  • Candarid traditions
  • Naval idea 7: Superior Seamanship
  • Quality idea 5: Naval Drill
  • Eastern Algonquian idea 5: Whale Hunters
  • Piratical idea 5: Elected Quartermasters
  • Portuguese idea 1: Legacy of the Navigator
  • English ambition
  • Exploration-Defensive: The Naval Secrecy Act
  • Quality-Maritime: The Organized Marines Act
  • Religious-Maritime: Chaplains of the Fleet
  • Korean idea 6: Geobukseon

Each point of naval tradition also increases naval morale recovery by +0.10%.

Combat ability[edit | edit source]

Combat ability is a value that is multiplied with the units' damage dealt (both for casualties and morale), but only for the specified type of unit.

Heavy ship combat ability improvement

Heavy ship combat ability.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Naval idea 6: Oak Forests for Ships
  • British traditions
  • Butuan idea 6: Protect the Coastlines
  • Date idea 5: Red Seal Ships
  • English idea 1: A Royal Navy
  • Hanseatic idea 4: Adler von Lubeck
  • Majapahit idea 6: The Majapahit Armada
  • Spanish idea 4: A Spanish Armada
  • Alaskan ambition
  • Genevan ambition
  • Innovative-Maritime: New Naval Tactics

Light ship combat ability improvement

Light ship combat ability.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Veronese ambition
  • Hawaiian traditions
  • Alaskan traditions
  • Cham traditions
  • Eora traditions
  • Ferraran traditions
  • Icelandic idea 4: Armed Merchants
  • Moluccan idea 6: Alliance with the Papuans
  • Arakanese ambition
  • Holstein ambition
  • Fijian traditions
  • Hamburger traditions
  • Pattani traditions
  • Somali idea 6: Corsairs of the Red Sea
  • Sumatran idea 3: Spice Pirates

Galley combat ability improvement

Galley combat ability.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Naval idea 2: Improved Rams
  • Malayan idea 2: Advanced Galley Warfare
  • Venetian ambition
  • Aragonese traditions
  • Barbary Corsair traditions
  • Cebu traditions
  • Hosokawa traditions
  • Ionian traditions
  • Tunisian traditions
  • Berber idea 7: The Brothers Barbarossa
  • Bruneian idea 1: Galley Fleet
  • Cypriot idea 6: Repel the Corsairs
  • Italian idea 3: Mare Nostrum
  • Kitabatake idea 4: Kuki Suigin
  • Knights Hospitaller idea 4: Reconquista of the Sea
  • Moroccan idea 4: Defend the Coastline
  • Kono idea 5: Rule Over the Inland Sea
  • Somalian ambitions
  • Maritime-Quantity: Streamlined Galley Production
  • Latin idea 4: Trading Guilds of Pera
  • Naxian idea 1: Maritime State
  • So idea 2: Wakou Tradition

+15% Galley combat ability from Free Oarsmen Naval Doctrine.

Transport combat ability improvement
The combat ability of transports is not modified by the base game.

Unit pips[edit | edit source]

Main article: Naval units

Each ship has stats in three categories: Hull.png Hull, Icon ship cannons.png Cannon, and Icon ship speed.png Speed.

Hull is the defensive stat, and cannons the offensive stat. With the exception of Morale, every combat phase the hull/cannon pips are used against each other to calculate the number of hull damage of each combat phase. Therefore, the damage sustained by the hull is directly proportional to the number of cannons firing at it.

Leader pips[edit | edit source]

Leaders are rated on a scale of 0 to 6 for each of the following skills:

  • Naval leader fire.png Fire, Naval leader shock.png Shock

The leader's skill difference is added to the dice roll of its respective phases.

Naval leader fire.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Dutch idea 4: Instructie voor de Admiraliteiten
  • Naval idea 3: Naval Cadets
  • Ferraran idea 7: The Ferraran Arsenal
  • Norman idea 7: Great Commanders
  • Tunisian idea 5: Board of Captains
  • Corsican ambition
  • Madyas ambition
  • Navarran ambition
  • Court-Naval: Naval Competence Act
  • Naval-Innovative: The Nautical Education Act

Naval leader shock.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Naval idea 1: Boarding Parties
  • Danish idea 5: Naval Heroes
  • Madyas idea 4: Masters of Maritime Warfare
  • Norse idea 3: A Wall of Shields for the King
  • Naval-Religious: Zealous Captains
  • Naval leader maneuver.png Maneuver

The leader's maneuver affects the movement speed of the fleet both on the map and in battle. Each point also grants 5% additional trade power when assigned to a fleet protecting trade in a trade node. Finally, it reduces attrition taken by 1% per skill level.

Naval leader maneuver.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Madyas traditions
  • British idea 7: Britannia Rules the Waves
  • Hawaiian idea 7: Legendary Voyagers
  • Mahri idea 4: Pilots of the Arabian Sea
  • Mogadishan idea 2: Somali sailors
  • Omani idea 6: Skilled Captains
  • Somalian idea 4: Zeila and Berbera
  • Swahili idea 2: Monsoon Season
  • Court-Naval: Naval Competence Act
  • Innovative-Maritime: New Naval Tactics
  • Maritime-Offensive: Hold the Weather Gauge
The conclusion to a naval engagement

Concluding a battle[edit | edit source]

A naval battle ends when one side is either:

  • Reduced to 0 morale; or
  • Flees from combat; or
  • Annihilated (stack wiped)

Upon victory, ships from the defeated fleet may be captured, depending on your chance to "capture enemy ship" (during a battle, hover your cursor over this percentage in the top right of the battle popup). Your capture chance is affected by selecting "ship boarding" as your naval doctrine (providing you a 33% chance of capturing a ship), ideas such as the "reconquista of the sea" of The Knights (15% chance), policies from Naval&Diplomatic (33%), and the relative maneuver skill difference between the admirals of the two fleets. Generally very few or no ships will be captured for leaderless (0 vs. 0 maneuver) battles.

If the defeated fleet still has ships remaining, it will escape to the nearest friendly port to repair and recover its morale. Naval battles, like land battles, may cause war exhaustion as well as affect warscore, naval tradition and prestige. Note that warscore gained from naval battles will generally be insignificant compared to those gained by its land counterparts.

In the event that more than one nation is on the winning side of a battle, the largest fleet on that side will receive any captured ships.

Several ideas increase the chance of capturing ships after a battle:

Chance to capture enemy ships.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Naval-Diplomatic: Terms of Surrender Statute
  • Espionage idea 6: Privateers
  • Offensive-Exploration: Sponsored Privateers
  • Betsimisaraka idea 5: European Pirate Communities
  • Knights Hospitaller idea 4: Reconquista of the Sea
  • Cornish idea 4: Pirates of Penzance
  • Dithmarscher idea 4: Expert Wreckers
  • Kono idea 7: Murakami Suigun
  • Pattani idea 4: Lian Dao-Qian Band

Morale and strength[edit | edit source]

Morale[edit | edit source]

"Morale of navies" redirects here. For bonuses that increase naval morale, see § Max naval morale above.

Morale is an important factor in fighting battles. Each turn of combat a unit will take a Morale hit. Once a fleet's average Morale value has been reduced to zero the fleet will attempt to retreat. Retreat cannot happen until both a fire and a shock phase have completed, so a fleet that has its morale reduced to 0 before that point will be destroyed.

If a fleet loses a battle while having low enough morale, they will be forced to retreat to a port of the nearest sea province. While retreating, it cannot be engaged in combat or be controlled until it reaches the sea province, nor will it repair. The fleet will also move 50% faster, and will recover morale at a normal rate during the retreat.

After every battle is fought a fleet must spend some time not fighting for its morale to recover.

Morale recovery[edit | edit source]

Every month when docked at a home port, a ship recovers a 10% of its maximum morale.

Certain National Ideas, Idea groups and policies will increase naval morale recovery.

Recover navy morale speed.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Palembang idea 6: Through the Monsoon
  • Naval-Innovative: The Nautical Education Act
  • Humanist-Naval: The Naval Inspection Act
  • Religious-Maritime: Chaplains of the Fleet

Each point of naval tradition also increases naval morale recovery by +0.1%.

Unit strength[edit | edit source]

Unit strength is an important factor in fighting sea battles. Naval unit strength affects how long it can stand cannon fire before sinking. Each turn of combat a unit will take hull damage reducing its strength.

Galleys gain a bonus of 100% strength in inland seas[4] and a bonus of 50% strength in coastal sea tiles which are not in inland seas[5]. The inland seas are shown below in pale blue, the coastal seas in blue and open seas in dark blue.

Terrain map.

Ship repair[edit | edit source]

Fleets that have sustained damage will automatically repair up to their full strength when docked in an owned, allied, or in a province with fleet basing rights. There is a 'repair damaged' button that will detach damaged ships and send them to a nearby port to repair, when they are back up to full strength they will rejoin the fleet.

Main article: Navy#Ship_Repair

Naval doctrine[edit | edit source]

A country that has a Naval forcelimit.png naval force limit of at least 20 may select a naval doctrine. Selecting a naval doctrine, or changing to a different one (which can be done at any time), costs Gold Icon.png 0.1 ducat per Sailors.png sailor cost of the country's navy. The button for changing the naval doctrine has the icon of the current doctrine (Alert naval doctrine.png if none has been selected) and is found under the Military tab of the Country View menu.

The doctrines are:

Doctrine Effect Notes
Fleet In Being icon
Fleet In Being
Our naval influence shall be felt without the expense of our fleet leaving port except under the most favorable of conditions.
Naval maintenance modifier.png −15% Naval maintenance modifier
Free Oarsmen icon
Free Oarsmen
We shall fight the temptation to have slaves and the condemned rowing our Galleys. Free men, resilient in the face of adversity and resistant to defection shall form the muscle of our navy.
Galley combat ability.png +15% Galley combat ability
Merchant Navy icon
Merchant Navy
Our fleet's prime directive is to serve the financial interests of the State. Every effort shall be made to ensure our cargo ships are laden with foreign riches.
Ship trade power.png +33% Ship trade power
Ship Boarding icon
Ship Boarding
With established Prize Law and generous Letters of Marque we will nurture a custom of seizing enemy ships intact.
Chance to capture enemy ships.png +33% Chance to capture enemy ships
Wooden Wall icon
Wooden Wall
In a world of rapid change the seas remain of crucial importance to our nation. Both as means to secure our dominance and as the first line of defense our wooden wall shall prevail.
Naval combat bonus off owned coast.png +1 Naval combat bonus off owned coasts[6]
  • Requires Culture icon.png British culture group or Anglois culture
  • Has not completed the Mission.png Swedish "Norwegian Sailors" mission
Grand Armada icon
Grand Armada
A grand convoy shall accompany the treasure fleets that bring the wealth of the Americas into our home ports.
  • Marines force limit.png +25% Marines force limit
  • Naval leader maneuver.png +1 Naval Leader Maneuver
  • Treasure fleet income +50% Treasure fleet income
Requires Culture icon.png Iberian culture group, but not Portuguese, Brazilian, Catalan, Aragonese or Basque
Portuguese Marines icon
Portuguese Marines
To establish a truly global empire we must be skilled at launching assaults on enemy forts from the sea.
  • Blockade impact on siege.png +1 Blockade impact on siege
  • Naval barrage cost.png −50% Naval barrage cost
  • Marines force limit.png +15% Marines force limit
  • Requires Culture icon.png Portuguese or Brazilian culture
  • Has not completed the Mission.png Swedish "Norwegian Sailors" mission
Ordinance of the Sea icon
Ordinance of the Sea
The Mediterrane has many naval powers, yet none of them have our experience and laws. The Ordinance of our fleet ensures that our navy is always prepared to any kind of engagement on the sea.
Global naval engagement.png +15% Global Naval Engagement
  • Requires Culture icon.png Aragonese or Catalan culture
  • Has not completed the Mission.png Swedish "Norwegian Sailors" mission
Danish Admiralty icon
Danish Admiralty
Others brag about their superior ship models or their sailors who fight until their pointless death. We however know it better. No fleet, as good as their wood and men can be, can achieve victory without a good leader. We shall embrace this attitude for our navy.
  • Naval leader maneuver.png +2 Naval Leader Maneuver
  • Admiral cost −10% Admiral Cost
Norwegian Sailors icon
Norwegian Sailors
Ever since the very foundation of our kingdom, our people lived off the ocean and the coast. Fishing, raiding, sea battles - our sailors have more experience than any other naval country - and we shall promote this expertise even further.
  • Marines force limit.png +15% Marines Force Limit
  • Icon ship speed.png +1 Fleet Movement Speed
Requires Culture icon.png Norwegian culture or has completed the Mission.png Swedish "Norwegian Sailors" mission
Norwegian Sailors upgraded icon
Norwegian Sailors upgraded
Ever since the very foundation of our kingdom, our people lived off the ocean and the coast. Fishing, raiding, sea battles - our sailors have more experience than any other naval country - and we shall promote this expertise even further.
  • Marines force limit.png +15% Marines Force Limit
  • Sailor recovery speed.png +25% Sailor Recovery Speed
  • Icon ship speed.png +2 Fleet Movement Speed
Has completed the Mission.png Norwegian "Expand the Royal Navy" mission
Dutch Trade Fleet icon
Dutch Trade Fleet
The nations of europe use their navies to project their power through warfare on the sea. We on the other hand shall use our navy to reach the furthest corners of the world so we can trade with foreign cultures while our neighbors bombard eachother´s coasts.
  • Colonial range.png +25% Colonial Range
  • Ship trade power.png +25% Ship Trade Power
  • Requires Culture icon.png Dutch or Flemish culture
  • Has not completed the Mission.png Swedish "Norwegian Sailors" mission
Norse Raiding Fleet icon
Norse Raiding Fleet
The military and the navy of the Vikings were specialized in hitting fast and retreating before the enemy was able to respond. Althought it has become a little bit outdated during the current time period, it is possible to adapt the navy doctrine to the modern era.
  • Privateer efficiency.png +33% Privateer Efficiency
  • Icon ship speed.png +3 Fleet Movement Speed
Venetian Arsenal icon
Venetian Arsenal
The naval might of our nation is not only measured in its firepower at sea, but also by its ability to contruct and maintain their ships. Our arsenals are made for exactly this purpose.
  • Icon ship cannons.png +10% Number of cannons
  • Sailor maintenance.png −10% Sailor Maintenance
Panokseon icon
Our naval neighbors seek the subjugation of our state and people. The Panokseon, a sturdy warship which can withstand the fire of several other ships with ease, is our answer to this threat
  • Ship durability +5% Ship Durability
  • Morale hit when losing a ship.png −25% Morale hit when losing a ship
  • Requires Culture icon.png Korean or Sino-Korean culture
  • Has not completed the Mission.png Swedish "Norwegian Sailors" mission
Atakebune icon
What is a ship worth if it gets sunk within the first hour of a naval battle? The Atakebune, the warship design of our navy, is designed with this question in mind and is more a fortress on the sea than a sinkable ship.
  • Morale of navies.png +5% Morale of Navies
  • Heavy ship combat ability.png +5% Heavy Ship Combat Ability
Hanseatic Doctrine icon
Hanseatic Doctrine
The intention of our navy is not a combat dominance on the sea but to engage in commerce and trade. Our primary objective is the maximization of our wealth and our trade experience on the sea.
  • Ship trade power.png +25% Ship Trade Power
  • Naval tradition from protecting trade +100% Navy Tradition from Protecting Trade
  • Requires Culture icon.png Lower Saxon culture
  • Has not completed the Mission.png Swedish "Norwegian Sailors" mission
Great Turkish Navy icon
Great Turkish Navy
The might of our fleet is in its numbers. For each boat the enemy fields on the sea, the Turkish Navy shall bring three.
  • Naval force limit modifier.png +20% Naval Force Limit Modifier
  • Ship costs.png −10% Ship Costs
Maghrebi Corsairs icon
Maghrebi Corsairs
The Maghrebi sailors established a life as pirates and corsairs in the Mediterranean Sea. Plundering and looting the coasts of infidels who do not expect our ships, the Maghrebi Corsairs are a great source of income to our country.
  • Privateer efficiency.png +25% Privateer Efficiency
  • May raid coasts May raid coasts
  • Looting speed.png +50% Available Loot
Letter of Marque icon
Letter of Marque
With the Letter of Marque we grant private persons the right to attack and capture enemy ships on our behalf. This combination of patriotism and profit grants us a cheaper alternative for a navy to weaken our rivals.
  • Chance to capture enemy ships.png +20% Chance to capture enemy ships
  • Icon ship speed.png +1 Fleet Movement Speed
  • Ship disengagement chance.png +10% Ship Disengagement Chance
  • Requires Culture icon.png French culture group but not Anglois
  • Has not completed the Mission.png Swedish "Norwegian Sailors" mission
Novgorodian Ushkuiniks icon
Novgorodian Ushkuiniks
The Ushkuiniks are Novgorodian pirates who plundered the cities along the Volga River. Though they do not operate on the high sea, their naval expertise makes them to invaluable marines.
  • Sailor maintenance.png −10% Sailor Maintainance
  • Marines force limit.png +15% Marines Force Limit
  • Requires Culture icon.png Novgorodian culture
  • Has not completed the Mission.png Swedish "Norwegian Sailors" mission
Dvoryane Admiralty icon
Dvoryane Admiralty
Some states set on quantity of ships or the quality of their wood. But true excellence can only be found by using the best of the Nobility - the Dvoryane - as commanders of the navy.
  • Yearly navy tradition.png +1 Yearly navy tradition
  • Naval leader shock.png +1 Naval leader shock
Malayan Seafaring icon
Malayan Seafaring
Due to the very nature of Malaya and Indonesia it is of great necessity to maintain a doctrine which allows us quick maneuverability on the sea.
  • Hostile disembark time.png +50% Disembark Speed
  • Naval attrition.png −25% Naval attrition
  • Attrition −50% Attrition when loaded on Ships
  • Requires Culture icon.png Malay culture group
  • Has not completed the Mission.png Swedish "Norwegian Sailors" mission
The Junk Fleet icon
The Junk Fleet
The Junk is a sailing ship with fully battened sails. Though used in by other states in Far East Asia, the Junk was most predominant in the Chinese merchant and military navy.
  • Naval force limit modifier.png +25% Naval Force Limit Modifier
  • Ship costs.png −50% Light Ship Costs
  • Requires Culture icon.png Chinese culture group, but not Jianghuai or Sino-Korean
  • Has not completed the Mission.png Swedish "Norwegian Sailors" mission
The Chinese Treasure Fleet icon
The Chinese Treasure Fleet
The fleet serves no other purpose than as an extension of our might. Let us use our ships to gather the tribute of our subjects from far away.
  • Colonial range.png +25% Colonial Range
  • Trade range.png +25% Trade range
  • Treasure fleet income +25% Treasure fleet income
Maratha Naval Bombards icon
Maratha Naval Bombards
While the ships ensure naval supremacy and help our merchants, their primary purpose should be their support to our land forces. Through the usage of the naval artillery we can bring the fall to coastal fortifications.
  • Naval barrage cost.png −25% Naval barrage cost
  • Blockade impact on siege +1 Blockade impact on siege
  • Blockade efficiency.png +25% Blockade efficiency
  • Requires Culture icon.png Western Aryan culture group
  • Has not completed the Mission.png Swedish "Norwegian Sailors" mission
Polynesian Navigation icon
Polynesian Navigation
The ability to navigate on the vast ocean is ancient for our people. Where others have to rely on tools, the sailors of our state need nothing but eyes to observe the birds and the night sky for traversing the sea.
  • Colonial range.png +50% Colonial Range
  • May explore May explore
  • Requires Culture icon.png Pacific culture group
  • Has not completed the Mission.png Swedish "Norwegian Sailors" mission
Tactica icon
The Tactica is the military manual collecting the experiences of the Roman Empire's military and naval warfares. Many tactics on the sea are still applicable to the navies beyond the medieval era.
  • Ship disengagement chance.png +15% Ship disengagement chance
  • Galley combat ability.png +20% Galley combat ability
  • Requires Culture icon.png Byzantine culture group
  • Has not completed the Mission.png Swedish "Norwegian Sailors" mission
Basque Marines icon
Basque Marines
Our people have pursued whales to the very end of the world, raided coasts or brought precious goods from other lands for a very long time, learning the secrets of the ocean. These teachings have made our sailors fearless and reliable, a secure value in any navy that employs them.
  • May explore May explore
  • Hostile movement speed.png Ignores crossing penalties
  • Colonial range.png +50% Colonial Range
  • Marines force limit.png +25% Marines Force Limit

Fleet actions[edit | edit source]

Start patrolling [edit | edit source]

Start patrolling button.png The start patrolling button orders a fleet to loop its current movement order: when it reaches the final destination of its current set of movement orders, it will automatically head back to the point where the patrol was started. Patrol routes can include port visits, where the patrol stops until all ships are repaired. While the same function can be fulfilled by light ships assigned to protecting trade nearby, patrols are not limited by ship type, trade power, or trade range.

Coastal Raiding [edit | edit source]

Costal Raiding is a naval ability which allows fleets belonging to nations with the Raid Coasts idea to raid the coasts of other nations for Gold Icon.pngloot (ducats) and Sailors.pngsailors.

Historically, this ability reflects the raids carried out by Barbary pirates which were active in the Mediterranean Sea during the mid-16th to early 19th centuries while in the case of the three Pirate Republics, it simulates the Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean Sea from the mid-16th to the early 18th century. Flag of So So is a special case, as it represents a resurgence of the Japanese Wokou Pirates that raided the coasts of East Asia intermittently from the 4th century to the 17th century.

Raiding can provide a significant early-game boost to the income and sailor pools of nations that can do it and can also serve as a way to damage the economy of other nations. An example of this is Flag of So So, which can employ Coastal Raiding against Flag of Ming Ming to pile up devastation and cause Ming to potentially lose the Mandate of Heaven and collapse.

Requirements[edit | edit source]

Raiding coasts as Morocco.

Raiding a coast is something fleets can do at sea. To raid a coastal province, the following needs to be true:

  • the nation…
  • …has either…
  • …the idea “May raid coasts”:
May raid coasts Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Knights Hospitaller traditions
  • Siddi traditions
  • …the idea “May raid coasts including coasts of countries with same religion”:
May raid coasts including coasts of countries with same religion Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Norse traditions
  • Somalian traditions
  • Norman ambition
  • …must be able to place a fleet in a sea tile adjacent to the province, but doesn't need to be able to blockade the port
  • the target province…
  • …must be no more than three sea tiles away from a province owned by the nation (cored or otherwise). This can be increased with the modifier “Coastal raiding range
  • …must have a development lower than or equal to the blockading power of the fleet
  • …does not belong to a country which has a truce with the raiding nation
  • …does not belong to a country which has the same religion as the raiding nation, unless the raiding nation is a Pirate Republic, Flag of Normandy Normandy or Flag of Somalia Somalia
  • …does not have the religion of the raiding nation, unless the raiding nation is a Pirate Republic, Flag of Normandy Normandy or Flag of Somalia Somalia
  • …is not controlled by a “friend” (ally, subject of ally, in the same trade league, country with above 100 opinion) of the raiding nation
  • …is not controlled by the overlord of the raiding nation or subjects of the overlord or subjects of the raiding nation
  • …does not have the “Raided Coast” modifier

After a province has been raided, its loot bar is emptied, the amount of devastation is increased, and the modifier “Raided Coast” is applied for ten years. Each raided province will add a −25 relations penalty with the target country (up to a maximum of −100), decaying by +1 per year.

The efficiency of raiding is reduced by fleets on pirate hunting patrol.

When a coast is raided, the loot provided is as follows:

Raided coast Conditions
  • +1 Income.png
per development (raided province)
+ sailors
Local sailors per Raided provinces / 4

Blockading[edit | edit source]

Fleets will automatically blockade a coastal sea province under hostile control while they are stationary and have no other orders.

Blockade power[edit | edit source]

The blockade power (sail speed in the tooltip) of a fleet is displayed after the Blockade enemy ports.png blockade icon in the fleet panel. It is mainly determined by the Icon ship speed.png tactical movement speed of the fleet's ships.

Each point of blockade power will be able to blockade one development point of a province.

Ship type Tactical speed Blockade power
Heavy ship.png Heavy ships 5 5
Light ship.png Light ships 10 10
Galley.png Galleys 8 8
Transport.png Transports 5 5

Blockades will only take effect if there is enough blockade power to match the full development. If a fleet does not have enough blockade power to blockade all adjacent provinces under hostile control, it will assign its blockade power in precedence of:

  • Hostile province under a siege lead by any friendly force
  • Hostile province with the lowest development
  • Hostile rebel province with the lowest development

The detach blockade button (Detach blockade.png) in the fleet panel will detach a fleet of sufficient size to blockade all enemy ports neighboring the sea province.

Blockade efficiency[edit | edit source]

Blockade efficiency is determined by:

Blockade efficiency.png Conditions
+1% for every point of Navy tradition.png navy tradition

Ideas and policies:

Blockade efficiency.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Maritime idea 7: Naval Fighting Instruction
  • Naval-Maritime: The Naval Supremacy Act
  • British idea 7: Britannia Rules the Waves
  • Omani ambition

Decisions and events:

Blockade efficiency.png Event modifier Trigger Duration
+20% Improved Blockade Tactics Maritime ideas event: Improved Blockade Tactics for 10 years.
−25% Blockade Standards Slipping Maritime ideas event: Slipping Standards
Option: ‘Well we can't expect them to operate at peak efficiency all the time’
for 10 years.
Blockade force required[edit | edit source]

In order to properly blockade a province with your fleet (i.e. inflict the effects of a blockade on the province), the blockade power has to be at least the development of the province. The "Coastal Defence" and "Naval Battery" increase the required blockade power according to their modifers. For example, if your coastal province has 20 development and you have a Naval Battery in the province, the enemy fleet will need to have a blockade power of 40 in order to give the full blockade effects to the province. In essence, the 'Blockade Force Required' modifier increases the threshold for blockade power to fully blockade the province.

Blockade force required is determined by:

Blockade force required.png Conditions Required Blockade Power
+50% Coastal defence.png Coastal defence Multiplied by 1.5
+100% Naval battery.png Naval battery Multiplied by 2

Effects of blockade[edit | edit source]

A blockade has a number of effects on any neighbouring land provinces occupied by an enemy:

Local recruitment time.png +20% Local recruitment time
Local shipbuilding time.png +20% Local shipbuilding time
Local devastation +0.25 Monthly devastation
Local trade power.png -100% Local Trade Power

Notably, provinces producing Spices.png Spices get negative monthly devastation that exactly counteracts the positive modifier from blockades.

Blockading a country's ports also applies the following modifier, scaled by proportion of (core, state) development blockaded:

Monthly war exhaustion.png +0.10 Monthly war exhaustion

Being 100% blockaded also gives the following Debuffs :

  • −75% Trade power.png Global Trade Power
  • −75% Trade steering.png Trade Steering

Blockades have the following further effects:

  • Siege: −2 penalty to die rolls in non-blockaded coastal provinces, except those owned by primitives. (Provinces without ports, e.g. on the Caspian Sea, don't count.)
  • War score: Blockades are worth war score scaling with the proportion of development they represent and local autonomy. Capital and fortified provinces are worth more. Some casus belli have blockades as a war goal.
  • Spoils of War: Blockades add Gold Icon.png ducats to the blockader's treasury (listed under "Spoils of War") in proportion to the province's income.
  • Restriction of movement: See § Blocking a strait below.

Blocking a strait[edit | edit source]

To block a strait the following requirements must be met:

  • The blockading alliance or a neutral nation have to control (owns or occupied) at least one side of the adjacent provinces
  • The blockading alliance have to control the sea by a naval force (blockade efficiency doesn't matter)

As a consequence, if a war alliance controls both sides of the strait they can march over regardless of blockades.


  • A war participant controlling both sides of a strait: The Ottomans can cross the strait at Bosphorus as long as they have control of Constantinople and Kocaeli even when the enemy controls the sea. Same system applies for the second strait between Gelibolu and Biga.
  • A neutral nation controlling a side of a strait: Ulster, controlling Ulaidh, cannot cross the strait across the Irish Sea to Ayrshire in Scotland if Ulster is only at war with England (Scotland is neutral and gives military access to one of the war participants), and England controls the Irish Sea.
  • However, if Ulster has called in an ally, say Burgundy, and Burgundy is in a separate war with Scotland and controls Ayrshire, then the first requirement is no longer fulfilled, and the Irish nation can cross the strait despite England having control of the Irish Sea.

Besieging a province of a strait does not fulfil the first requirement; the siege must finish, translating to control.

Naval missions[edit | edit source]

Fleet missions are grouped together under a collective “Select Mission” button (Select mission.png) that allows the player to tell their fleets to;

  • Protect Trade
  • Privateer
  • Hunt Pirates
  • Explore
  • Hunt Enemy Fleets
  • Blockade Enemy Ports
  • Intercept enemy fleets

Protect trade[edit | edit source]

Protect trade.png

This mission is available to any fleet that contains light ships. It will add the trade power of the light ships in the fleet to any maritime trade node that the player already has some trade power in, provided that the trade node is within both trade range and supply range.

The trade power of light ships depends on ship model, and increases as diplomatic technology advances. Furthermore, it scales linearly with the naval maintenance slider, reaching full potential at maximum naval maintenance, but suffering a −75% penalty at minimum naval maintenance. AI nations do not suffer a trade power penalty to light ships from low naval maintenance.

Privateer [edit | edit source]


This mission is available to any fleet that contains light ships. The fleet will hoist the Jolly Roger and add the trade power of its light ships to a pirate nation in any selected trade node. Unlike the protect trade mission, existing trade power is not needed in a trade node to start a privateer mission.

Privateer efficiency[edit | edit source]

Light ships on privateer missions receive a +50% bonus to their trade power. Privateers do not inherit any national bonuses or penalties to global trade power. Factors such as overextension or halved trade power when collecting in foreign nodes are notably ignored. The trade power of privateers is instead affected by various privateer efficiency modifiers:

Privateer efficiency.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Mercenary-Exploration: Transportation Act
  • Offensive-Exploration: Sponsored Privateers
  • Palembang idea 3: Controlling the Strait
  • Espionage idea 6: Privateers
  • Maritime idea 7: Naval Fighting Instruction
  • Cebu idea 5: 'The Place for Trading'
  • Mindanao idea 7: Pirates of Mindanao
  • Naxian idea 3: Archipelago Of Opportunities
  • Barbary Corsair traditions
  • Cornish idea 4: Pirates of Penzance
  • Dithmarscher idea 4: Expert Wreckers
  • Kono idea 7: Murakami Suigun
  • So idea 4: Bahan Ship
  • East Frisian traditions
  • Gutnish traditions
  • Al-Haasa idea 7: Legacy of Rahmah ibn Jabir
  • Arakanese idea 4: Magh and Ferenghi
  • Betsimisaraka idea 2: Pirate Ports
  • Cypriot idea 7: Raid Turkish Commerce
  • Malagasy idea 3: Pirate Ports
  • Montenegrin idea 4: Balkan Gusars
  • Moroccan idea 5: Protect Pirate Republics
  • Munster idea 6: Pirate Haven
  • Norman idea 5: Viking Raids
  • Novgorod idea 6: Funding the Ushkuiniks
  • Pattani idea 4: Lian Dao-Qian Band
  • Pomeranian idea 1: Legacy of Pirates
  • Sumatran idea 3: Spice Pirates
  • Berber idea 4: Corsairs
  • Sonoran idea 5: Taking What’s Ours
  • Tunisian idea 3: Corsairs

The trade power of ships assigned to the privateer mission affect the trade power they have in the node, this means that the flagship +1 trade power per ship modification and the +33% ship trade power merchant navy naval doctrine, as well as other ship trade power modifiers affect privateers.

The Enlist Privateers decision increases Privateer efficiency.png privateer efficiency by another +25%. It becomes available at 8 Diplomatic technology.png Diplomatic technology and requires the nation to have completed Maritime idea group.png Maritime ideas, a ruler with 3 Military power.png Military, as well as 50% of the Naval forcelimit.png force limit.

With Common Sense.png Common Sense, winning a Parliament.png parliament debate "Issue Letters of Marque" provides +15% privater efficiency for 10 years.

Each point of naval tradition also increases privateer efficiency by 0.25%. The total trade power from privateers is thus

privateer trade power = Ship trade power.png trade power from light ships × 1.5 × (1 + naval maintenance modifier) × (1 + Privateer efficiency.png privateer efficiency)

Note that without Wealth of Nations.pngWealth of Nations, El Dorado.pngEl Dorado, Mare Nostrum.pngMare Nostrum , Golden Century.pngGolden Century or Lions of the North.pngLions of the North DLC enabled the modifiers are exchanged. Privateer efficiency is replaced by trade power abroad.

Range[edit | edit source]

Privateer fleets can only reach trade nodes in sea zones that are within trade range. A nation's trade range extends from cored provinces of the nation or its junior partners, colonial nations and client states.

Trade range can be increased by diplomatic technology, decisions, ideas, and policies:

Trade range.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Ryukyuan idea 4: Maritime Commercialism
  • Swahili traditions
  • Maritime idea 1: Merchant Traditions
  • Trade idea 3: Merchant Adventures
  • Kilwan idea 1: Kilwan Latitude Staves
  • Trading City idea 6: City of Great Reach
  • Gujarat Sultanate idea 2: Jain Connections
  • Gujarati Princedom idea 7: Extend Trade Routes to Africa
  • Horn of African idea 2: The Land of Punt Legend
  • Kono idea 6: Trade With Continental Asia
  • Malabari idea 1: Merchants of Southern India
  • Mesoamerican idea 7: Obsidian and Jade
  • Mogadishan idea 1: Indian Ocean Trade
  • South Indian idea 1: Merchants of Southern India
  • Sumatran traditions
  • Traditions of The Hansa
  • Evenk idea 2: Reindeer Herding
  • Indigenous-Trade: Commercial Tribes
  • Dutch idea 2: Dutch Trading Spirit
  • East India idea 5: Intercontinental Trade
  • Mamluk idea 1: Red Sea Trade
  • West Indies idea 4: The American Trade Hub

Effects[edit | edit source]

The privateer fleet increases the trade power of a pirate nation that acts as a collector in the trade node. This pirate nation will submit 50% of its earnings to the nations that commissioned the privateers contributing to its trade power. The presence of this pirate nation effectively reduces the share of trade value controlled by all non-pirate nations in the node. Income from privateering will be recorded in the economy window as spoils of war.

Any country that would have more than 20% of the trade power in the node without privateers will receive a casus belli against any nation that has sent privateers to that node.

Any country that would have more than 10% of the trade power in the node without privateers will have a −1 opinion modifier per month of any nation that has sent privateers to that node, capped at −100.

Sending light ships on privateer missions against rivals is one of the easiest ways to acquire power projection. This can be especially useful to increase the power projection of the player beyond +25 for +1 free leader, or beyond +50 for +1Administrative power.png / +1Diplomatic power.png / +1Military power.png each month.

Activating a privateer mission will force the game to update a nation's power projection on the next game day. This will consequently update, among other things, the trade power in trade nodes and the nation's military force limits. Triggering an update like this can be useful when game stats are temporarily desynchronized due to certain actions, such as sending light ships to protect trade or changing local autonomy levels.)

Privateers also capture a portion of the ducats carried in treasure fleets passing through the node in which they operate.

Hunt pirates[edit | edit source]

Hunt pirates.png

This mission is available to fleets which contain at least one ship that isn't a transport. Fleets containing Heavy ship.png heavy ships or Light ship.png light ships may hunt pirates in any trade node which is not Inland node.png inland; however, fleets containing only Galley.png galleys (as well as fleets which are a mixture of galleys and transports) can only hunt pirates in nodes where all nearby sea provinces are inland seas, e.g. in Basra and Alexandria, but not in Hormuz. This does not necessarily mean that fleets will only hunt in inland sea provinces (where they are more effective): for instance, a fleet hunting pirates in Canton will use the Luzon Strait.

The total Icon ship cannons.png number of guns of the ships is used to find the efficiency at which they hunt the pirates. The Trade power.png trade power of pirates is reduced by hunt pirate efficiency. This means that it reduces Privateer efficiency.png privateering efficiency from 0%, when no fleet is hunting pirates, up to 99%, if the total number of guns from the hunting fleet is greater than or equal twice the total number of guns from pirating fleet. It is important to note that the reduction of privateering efficiency will not stop privateering fleets from stealing trade income if that fleet has any bonuses to its privateering efficiency.

In addition, it is helpful to know that this is also effective at stopping other nations from raiding your coasts.

Note that pirate fleets and fleets hunting pirates do not actually battle or otherwise damage each other, unless the countries that own the fleets are at war with one another.

Explore[edit | edit source]

Main article: Colonization#Discovery

This mission requires an explorer, and a total of 3 light and/or heavy ships. It sends the fleet to explore a region or a coast line, that can be chosen by either selection the region on the UI or clicking on the naval TI with the "explore" tab opened, and the player can attempt to circumnavigate the globe at diplomatic technology 9.

Hunt enemy fleet[edit | edit source]

Hunt enemy fleet.png

The fleet will hunt enemy fleets in a specific sea region, that can be chosen by either selecting the region in the UI or clicking on the naval region with the tab opened.

Blockade enemy ports[edit | edit source]

Main article: Naval warfare#Blockading
Blockade enemy ports.png

The fleet will blockade enemy ports and evade enemy fleets that are not significantly weaker. (Can be altered by setting the fleet to be Bold.)

Intercept enemy fleets[edit | edit source]

Intercept enemy fleets.png

This mission will have the fleet seek out enemy fleets near allied coastlines, focusing on troop transports.

Strategies and tactics[edit | edit source]

Strategy The below is one of many player suggested strategies for Naval warfare. Bear in mind, due to the dynamic nature of the game, it may unfold differently for other players.

Deployment[edit | edit source]

Decisive wins can be achieved in battle by concentrating all battle ships (heavies and galleys) in one fleet up to just a little over the engagement width, with a re-enforcement fleet in the neighbouring tile. Seek battle if one has superior naval assets, and avoid engagement otherwise.

When ready to attack detach and send only the front line (your best ships and flagship up to the value of your engagement width and a few more) into battle. Then as the phases progress feed reinforcements every few days from your neighbouring reinforcing fleet piece-meal into the battle to replace destroyed or disengaged ships. This will reduce morale losses from having as few ships as possible in the reserve line in the battle. One could call it the "just-in-time" re-enforcement method.

Remember to maximise your engagement width by using your highest manoeuvre admiral, preferably with high shock and fire pips too. You want more ships than the enemy to all be firing at the same time.

Naval admirals can significantly tilt a battle in one's favor, even more so than generals; without an admiral, stack wiping and sometimes even victory becomes unlikely even with a seemingly overwhelming advantage.

However, other factors may complicate this. A country may be forced to divide their fleet if they have naval objectives other than destruction or suppression of the enemy navy, such as protecting (multiple) trade nodes, transporting land units by sea, exploring, patrolling for pirates, reconnaissance, blockading and so forth. If the country lacks naval supremacy compared to their enemies, they may be forced to risk losses, support fewer of these objectives at the same time, or leave the sea entirely for the duration of the war.

However, even if you are weaker than the enemy, tactics may make the difference in a long drawn out war. Smartly engage one enemy stack at a time (using the techniques above) whenever the odds are materially in your favour to win that specific battle. A sequence of such victories can quickly add up to war score and help ensure the enemy cannot land their troops.

Be sure to sail your full stacks into ports where you have coastal forts with terrain penalties for the besiegers. The enemy will be lured into sieging these unfriendly forts if they don't see your stacks nearby, while having fleets allow you to sail into these coastal forts before they can withdraw. Such attacks can lead to quick stack wipes of the enemy and can dramatically turn the war in your favour.

Bringing an enemy fleet to battle[edit | edit source]

A country with a naval advantage may wish to bring a reluctant enemy fleet to battle. This can be accomplished in several ways:

  • If the enemy fleet is docked at a port, they cannot be attacked directly. However, the fleet may be ejected by occupying (successfully sieging) that province, at which point the leaving fleet will enter into combat with any opposing fleet(s) in the corresponding sea province.
  • A small "bait" fleet may be used to lure the enemy into attacking, whereupon the main fleet can reinforce from a nearby sea province or port. This can also be used to lure fleets into or out of inland seas, where galleys have a relative advantage.
  • Light ships move faster than heavy ships / transports, which move faster than galleys. A fleet without galleys can easily catch an enemy fleet that contains galleys.
  • Putting your ships into port will usually cause the AI navy to be more aggressive and leave port, sometimes even attempting a full blockade, leaving their navy significantly more vulnerable.
  • After a defeat, an enemy navy will typically retreat to an adjacent port. Having an army already sieging down this port will give you a significant advantage, as the ships will be forced to leave port soon after arriving while having low morale and no repairs, allowing for a stackwipe or a victory in which they may lose most of their ships.
  • Sometimes a bug will allow the AI to remain permanently in a province even if it is sieged down. The only way to fix this is to retreat several sea tiles from the province and then go into port, or in other words give the ai an illusion of safety.

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  2. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: NAVAL_BASE_ENGAGEMENT_WIDTH.
  3. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt (Static modifiers#Coastal sea).
  4. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: GALLEY_BONUS_INLAND_SEA
  5. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: GALLEY_BONUS_COASTAL_SEA
  6. Includes all coast as of v1.34.3. See bugreport

Ideas and Policies Idea groupsNational ideasPolicies
Ages and Institutions AgesInstitutions
Innovativeness and Technology InnovativenessTechnology