Steppe hordes

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Horde ideas
Ambox outdated info.png Please help with verifying or updating this infobox. It was last verified for version 1.33.


For Government native.png steppe nomads.

Traditions.png Traditions:

−10% Aggressive expansion impact
−5 Years of separatism

Land attrition.png The Life of a Steppe Warrior

−20% Land attrition

Cavalry combat ability.png Traditions of the Great Khan

+20% Cavalry combat ability

Land maintenance modifier.png Horse Supplies

−5% Land maintenance modifier

Land leader shock.png Steppe Leaders

+1 Land leader shock

Core-creation cost.png The Tradition of Conquest

−25% Core-creation cost

Manpower recovery speed.png Logistics of the Khan

+20% Manpower recovery speed

National manpower modifier.png The Glory of Conquest

+25% National manpower modifier

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

−10% Stability cost modifier

Steppe hordes are countries that use Government native.png Steppe Nomads government reform. All hordes are located in the territory of the former Flag of Mongol Empire Mongol Empire and are essentially successor states to it. These nations usually have a large number of low development provinces with steppe and desert terrain, which makes peacefully increasing their development costly. Steppe hordes have access to a variety of horde-specific mechanics added with Patch 1.14 along with the The Cossacks.png Cossacks DLC, such as several unique casus belli, succession crises, horde unity, razing and significant bonuses to cavalry and warfare in general.

General information[edit | edit source]

In 1444, the steppe nomads are the preeminent military powers of Central Asia and southern Russia. Their military units have more pips than those of their sedentary neighbors and, thanks to their government type, they have a high cavalry to infantry ratio. This makes them well suited for early warfare, whether for money from looting and war reparations or for new territory. However, they will quickly lose their advantage as neighboring countries develop and build on their more valuable province and embrace institutions, which are more likely to spawn and better able to spread in provinces that aren't controlled by hordes.

Government[edit | edit source]

Main article: Steppe Nomads

Most of the hordes' unique features derive from the Steppe Nomad government reform, which has the following effects:

  • National manpower modifier.png +20% National manpower modifier
  • Land forcelimit.png +20% Land force limit modifier
  • Years of separatism.png −5 Years of separatism
  • Looting speed.png +50% Looting speed
  • Institution spread.png −15% Institution spread
  • Movement speed.png +20% Movement speed
  • Reinforce cost.png −50% Reinforce cost
  • Cavalry to infantry ratio.png +25% Cavalry to infantry ratio
  • Always have casus belli on neighbors: Tribal Feud (a targeted conquest CB against fellow hordes) and Tribal Conquest (a superiority CB as powerful as Holy War against everyone else) below.
  • Bonus +25% or penalty −25% to damage in the shock phase of combat depending on whether the terrain is flat or not. See Steppe shock bonus below.
  • With The Cossacks.png The Cossacks DLC, use Horde unity horde unity instead of Legitimacy.png legitimacy, and may raze non-core owned provinces for monarch power and loot.
  • Can reform the government to become an a Monarchy, a Republic or a Theocracy via the governmental reform mechanics

Horde unity[edit | edit source]

Horde nations have Horde unity horde unity instead of legitimacy. Like legitimacy, horde unity provides scaling bonuses when it is above 50 and penalties below:

Variable 0% 50% 100%
National unrest.png National unrest +2 0 −2
Discipline.png Discipline −5% 0 +5%

Horde unity is gained and lost as follows:

  • Base −2 per year
  • −0.01 per 2 total Development.png development the country owns, limited to −3
  • Tribes Tribes estate Estate loyalty Loyalty below 30:
    • Estate influence Influence below 20: −1 yearly
    • Estate influence Influence at least 20 but less than 40: −2 yearly
    • Estate influence Influence at least 40 but less than 60: −3 yearly
    • Estate influence Influence at least 60: −4 yearly
  • Looting: Horde unity +1 per 4 Gold Icon.png ducats looted
  • Razing: +1 per 2 points of province Development.png development before razing
  • +0.1 yearly per point Revanchism icon.png Revanchism (+10 at 100)
  • +0.005 yearly per point of Power projection.png power projection (+0.5 at 100)

Several ideas and polices increase horde unity:

Yearly horde unity.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Golden Horde idea 1: Legacy of the Golden Horde
  • Ilkhanid idea 1: Restored Ilkhanate
  • Manchu idea 4: The Later Jin
  • Oirat idea 3: The Four Oirats
  • Timurid idea 4: Chagatai Literature
  • Transoxianian idea 7: Chagatai Literature
  • Administrative-Aristocratic: The Licensing of the Press Act
  • Diplomatic-Plutocratic: Mandatory Service
  • Economic-Horde: To the Ground
  • Jurchen idea 2: The Queue

With Rights of Man.png Rights of Man DLC enabled, hordes can gain horde unity in exchange for military power by strengthening the government on the Government tab. Spending Military power.png 100 military power will increase Horde unity horde unity by 10.

Horde ideas[edit | edit source]

Hordes have access to the Horde idea group instead of the Aristrocratic idea group. It combines several of the bonuses from the Humanist idea group with bonuses more typical of military idea groups.

Diplomacy[edit | edit source]

Casus belli[edit | edit source]

Steppe hordes have access to two unique casus belli: Tribal Conquest and Tribal Feud. Neither requires claims on an opponent, and neither gives unjustified demands penalties for conquering unclaimed provinces.

Tribal Conquest[edit | edit source]

Main article: Tribal Conquest

Steppe hordes automatically gain this casus belli on all neighboring countries other than steppe hordes.

Using this casus belli has the following effects: 75% aggressive expansion, 100% prestige and 100% warscore cost for:

  • All provinces
  • Monetary reparations
  • Enforced vassalage
  • Enforced tributary state

Ticking warscore is based on battles won; if one side gains over 10% warscore from winning battles then the wargoal will start ticking in their favor. This can be quite useful in the first few decades of the game due to the early strength of nomadic units.

Tribal Feud[edit | edit source]

Main article: Tribal Feud

Steppe hordes automatically gain this casus belli on all neighboring steppe hordes. Using this casus belli has the following effects: 75% aggressive expansion, 100% prestige and 100% warscore cost for:

  • All provinces
  • Monetary reparations
  • Enforced vassalage
  • Enforced tributary state

The casus belli targets a specific province and ticking warscore is based on control of that province.

Tributaries[edit | edit source]

Main article: Tributary

Steppe hordes, like nations with Eastern religions and the Emperor of China, have access to a special form of subject type called Subject tributary icon.png tributaries. Tributaries retain full diplomatic independence and may start wars and have subjects of their own. The overlord receives a call to arms if the tributary is attacked (unless if by another tributary of the same overlord), but does not have to accept.

Each year, the overlord may demand a tribute of money, manpower, or monarch points. If the tributary pays the tribute, trust increases slightly; if it refuses, trust falls significantly. Either party may renounce the tributary status at will, unless they have a truce.

Tributaries are one of the most powerful parts of a horde world conquest: They take zero aggressive expansion (so fewer coalitions), can core the land their overlord has just razed, and can provide any one of ducats, manpower or monarch points as directed by their overlord.

Hence, with the Tribal Conquest CB that offers zero diplomatic cost for all provinces, the player can demand the target to (1) release the smallest nation, (2) take maximum cash (25% war score) and war reparations (10% war score) as one's loss making horde economy will need it (3) take maximum land (4) immediately make the newly released nation a tributary, then (5) keep all provinces with trade modifiers (i.e. Estuary.png estuary or Province trade power value.png center of trade) for oneself, destroy enemy forts (for easier conquest next time) and only then raze all these non-cored provinces and hand them to the newly released tributary (they'll hate one for razing their cores, but they are already tributaries) (6) when the razing cool down is done, one can break tributary status and raze them again.

Economy[edit | edit source]

Hordes are tough to play for beginners as they have little income to speak of in the beginning. All their land is typically low development (high development in fact causes Horde unity horde unity loss up to a maximum of 3 units per year) and they generally earn no real economic bonuses from their traditions or national ideas.

Therefore, in the beginning, continual warfare is typically required to extract maximum cash (25% war score) and war reparations (10% war score) from all their victims in order to offset the massive negative cash flows they are bound to suffer each month from maintaining a powerful army and fleet and probably from servicing huge loan interest.

With the Tributary strategy as outlined above in the Tributary section one will achieve two critical strategic foundations over a long time:

  1. Trade dominance: the player will dominate each trade node as one will own the key trade provinces in each node while having razed the other provinces in that node. In fact, with Wealth of Nations.png Wealth of Nations or Dharma.png Dharma, a country receives Merchants.png+1 merchant for each trade company where the directly owned provinces allocated to that trade company make up more than 50% Trade power.png trade power in that node (for this calculation other trade bonuses are ignored).
  2. Powerful home economy base: the player is advised to use all the mana points razed from their enemies elsewhere to develop a high development, home culture, same religion home node. The same culture and religion will mitigate penalties to their income generated at home, while the contiguous high development provinces neighbouring one other around trade provinces will spread institutions quickly once the player has spawned them there through focused province development.

Once established, this home node income and the trade income will ensure any cash concessions from victims will be a bonus that can be applied to building as many manufactories (for trade and production income) and soldier's households (for manpower) in one's home node as one can.

Military[edit | edit source]

Units[edit | edit source]

Steppe hordes belong to the Nomad technology group Nomad technology group. This technology group provides access to strong cavalry units in the early game, with their effectiveness relative to those of other tech groups decreasing later on. Steppe hordes' units will change to Eastern tech if Christian, Muslim tech if Muslim, or Chinese tech if Eastern.

Uniquely, nomads enjoy a Cavalry to infantry ratio.png +25% Cavalry to infantry ratio, meaning they can maintain a higher number of cavalry regiments within an army before suffering from the insufficient support penalty (provided they can afford the maintenance). Combined with an extra Cavalry to infantry ratio.png +25% Cavalry to infantry ratio for being Tengri (for eastern hordes) or the additional Cavalry to infantry ratio.png +10% Cavalry to infantry ratio for being Sunni (for western hordes), it makes for very cavalry-oriented nations.

Tengri hordes (with no syncretic faith) can therefore comprise 100% cavalry, requiring no infantry, and therefore no concerns about insufficient support. This makes merging units after battles very easy. Tied to bonuses for attrition, manpower, manpower recovery and cheaper reinforcement costs it makes Tengri hordes some of the most powerful in the early to mid game. Once cannons add pips from the back row (from tech 13 and certainly from tech 16) the lack of defensive pips on cavalry make them significantly less effective from that point forward.

Steppe shock bonus[edit | edit source]

On provinces with flat terrain, hordes receive a 25% increase in damage during the shock phase. Positively affected terrain includes Plains, Steppe, Farmlands, Grasslands, Drylands, Coastal desert, Desert and Savannah. However, on provinces with no flat terrain (Hills, Mountains, Highlands, Forest, Woods, Coastline (non-desert) and Marsh), hordes receive a 25% decrease in damage during shock phase. Hordes receive the bonus/penalty whether they are attacking or defending. In a battle between two hordes, they both receive the bonus/penalty.

Razing[edit | edit source]

Hordes can raze uncored and owned provinces for monarch points at the cost of Development.pngdevelopment in that province. Razing a province:

  • Provides all the remaining loot in the province and increases its Devastation.png devastation by 10%
  • Lowers the province's Development.pngdevelopment in each category by approximately[1] 1 for every 3 Development.pngdevelopment in that category above 1 before razing (rounded up)
  • Provides 25 monarch points in the respective category for every point of Development.pngdevelopment razed, reduced by 1 for every level in Military technology.png military technology above 3, capped at Military technology.png military technology 23 (5 monarch points per point of Development.pngdevelopment razed).
  • Provides Horde unity 1 horde unity for every 2 points of Development.pngdevelopment in the province before razing, regardless of the amount razed
  • Decreases Opinion.png opinion of former owner by -25

Once razed, a province cannot be razed again for 20 years.

Total province Development.pngdevelopment cannot be brought lower than 3, meaning that provinces with 1 Development.pngdevelopment in each category cannot be razed at all.

For example, razing Venezia (10/12/5), with total Development.pngdevelopment 27, at Military technology.pngmilitary technology 11, would lower its Development.pngdevelopment to 7/8/3, and provide Administrative power.png 51, Diplomatic power.png 68, and Military power.png 34, plus Horde unity 13 horde unity and any Looting speed.png loot remaining.

Razing power gain[edit | edit source]

There are a few modifiers in the game which further affect the monarch points gained from razing.

Razing power gain Events Government reforms Estates / Religion Policies
  • Being TengriTengri and having Nahuatl.pngNahuatl
    or Iconoclast.pngIconoclast as your syncretic faith
-25% to -100%
  • Disloyal TribesTribes estate
    based on influence Level

List of hordes[edit | edit source]

Below is a comprehensive list of all the hordes that appear in the game. Not all hordes, however, appear in the start year 1444.

Some noteworthy hordes are:

  • Jianzhou.png Jianzhou which starts fairly powerful and is centrally placed to form Manchu and subsequently Qing. Unfortunately forming Qing changes a steppe horde to a monarchy.
  • Possibly the most powerful path for easy world conquests (comparable to a Mughal run, or an Austria with revoke privilegia vassal swarm), is Oirat.png Oirat which has special bonuses when fighting Ming early on and can form Yuan while remaining as a horde (assuming Ming is fully destroyed before reforming) and then becoming the Mongol Empire.
  • Another is Crimea.png Crimea which can take the Byzantium cores and then release Byzantium as a vassal. The player can then play as the released vassal which will start as a tribe with its final reform being the option to become a horde, a Byzantium Orthodox Horde. This route combines the powerful Byzantium mission tree to form Rome, with probably the most powerful religion in the game as well as the powerful horde razing mechanic. Notably, such an orthodox horde would be able to marry Christian monarchs to form personal unions.

Golden Horde.png
Golden Horde
1616 (Formable)

Achievements[edit | edit source]

I'll graze my horse here.. And here... icon
As a Horde, own over 200 provinces producing grain.
Pyramid of Skulls icon
As a Steppe Horde, raze a province with at least 30 development.
Tatarstan icon
As Kazan or Nogai, own all Tatar culture group lands.
The Great Khan icon
As the Mongol Khanate or the Great Horde, own or have a subject own the Chinese, Russian and Persian regions.
Turning the Tide icon
Start as a Steppe Horde in 1444 and embrace all institutions.

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

  1. This formula is correct if the development in that category is below 53. for values above 52, it is 1 for every 3 Development.pngdevelopment in that category above 2 before razing (rounded up), reduced by 1 for every 300 dev of that category. See the talk page for a discussion about that