- −15% Mercenary maintenance
- +20% Infantry combat ability
- +1 Yearly legitimacy
- +1 Possible policies
- +5% Discipline
- −10% Cavalry cost
- +20% Manpower recovery speed
- −10% Stability cost modifier
- +0.20 Yearly absolutism
- +10% Goods produced modifier
- +10% National manpower modifier
- +1 Land leader shock
Tensions reached an all time high in the 1430's with the popular Engelbrekt rebellion forcibly ejecting Danish officials from the country. An uprising that together with failed wars against the Hanseatic League led to the deposition of the Union King Erik, who has fled to the island of Gotland, leading a life as a local pirate rather than the king of the north.
The new king elected by Danes, Swedes and Norwegians is a foreigner with no local power base, Christopher von Wittelsbach, but the real power in the kingdom of Sweden lies with the Lord High Justiciar of Sweden, Karl Knutsson Bonde, and the Swedish nobility.
Time will make it clear if the Union of Kalmar can be mended, or if Sweden will walk its own way. What is clear is that the control over the Baltic Sea and its many estuaries and ports will be imperative to the Swedish Kingdom. The sea routes are what binds the large Swedish kingdom together, from Kalmar to Viborg, and that is also how the bountiful Swedish iron and copper reach the continent.For Sweden to achieve such dominion over the Baltics, a Dominium Maris Baltici, it will have to defeat not only German merchants but also get involved in the politics of the Holy Roman Empire. Not to mention overcoming the Teutonic and Livonian Orders and others who are interested in controlling the Baltic trade. The Russian Principalities, the Polish and the Lithuanians are all long term natural rivals in this struggle, not to mention the Danish kingdom with which Sweden is currently united...
Sweden starts in as a junior partner in the Kalmar Union. It's a Personal Union with Denmark as the major partner ruling over Sweden and Norway. Sweden can however break free using its better land forces and strategic blocking using its navy.
Sweden's achievements are about control of the Baltic Sea and its time as a major player in the Thirty Years' War.
- Main article: Swedish missions
Sweden's missions are oriented around dominating her neighbors and forging a Dominium Maris Baltici.
- Main article: Swedish events
Sweden has many dynamic historical events, with two major series for the player to experience.
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Securing supports for independence is far easier than securing large alliances once you are free, so don't declare until you have 5 very large allies. England, France, Burgundy, Austria, Brandenburg, Poland, and Muscovy will all support independence if you are patient and maintain +100 relations with them until they flip to friendly. It can take 20+ years to get 5 large allies, but it will be worth it. There is no risk of being integrated, you should stay above 50% liberty desire. Early supporters that you can trade in for larger ones later can be Novgorod, Scotland and the Teutonic Order. Note that this may put you above your diplomatic relations limit.
Fighting the war is a simple matter of waiting for your allies to show up and win it for you, don't fight without huge terrain bonuses, and don't try to take more than independence. Once you declare war, your army and navy force limits should go up by 4-6. Expect the Ottomans, or other great powers to intervene, but so long as you have all 5 allies, it won't matter, you only need Denmark to have low enthusiasm, and 15 warscore to win, and you'll get that so quickly that the Ottomans won't be able to stop you. Any territory you take will upset your allies, and lengthen the truce timer. You instead want a short truce, then a second war where you can gobble up the rest of Scandinavia.
Denmark has clear naval superiority over Sweden. Firstly this will prevent Sweden from sieging Copenhagen. Secondly it will prevent Sweden from taking troops over Åland forcing you to march north over the Gulf of Finland, and thirdly you will rack up a large amount of War Exhaustion. For this reason a strong naval ally is required to fight Denmark. England is an obvious choice here.
If you are going to expand into Germany, it is possible to join the HRE to avoid wars with the Emperor. However, this requires releasing Finland and selling provinces, so it is usually not worth it. If dominance over the Baltic Sea is desired, then one of the biggest obstacles that Sweden will have to overcome is Muscovy / Russia, the other being Poland / Commonwealth. It is recommended to play one against the other. Allying Poland can provide a way for you to seize Muscovite territory, and vice-versa.
If independence was achieved before Novgorod was completely absorbed, then the player should take the opportunity to attack the weaker Novgorod for key provinces before they have to contend with the much stronger Muscovy for the same provinces. Neva and Ingermanland are the top priority, since possessing them will deny Russia access to the Baltic. This will make securing Riga and the Livonian Order much easier for the player. You should also let Muscovy take Kola. The AI will often attack Norway and lose lots of manpower sieging down the Northern Norwegian forts, allowing the player to defeat Muscovy easily.
Vassalizing Novgorod has the additional advantage that formerly Novgorodian land can be retaken from Muscovy for low warscore cost and less aggressive expansion. However, the first war with Muscovy may not cut Novgorod down enough to where Sweden can vassalize them in one war. A second war, possibly with Muscovy or Livonian Order, will typically be enough to secure Novgorod as a vassal.
Defeating Russia will be difficult alone, but if you have Poland as an ally it will be much easier. You should also try to attack Russia simultaneously with the Hordes, as they will help defeat the Russian army and weaken Russia in the peace deal. This will make later wars much easier.
Take territory from Norway and Denmark too, but at a slow pace - always be aware of aggressive expansion. Norway is mostly a mirror of Russia: take Jämtland to even out the borders, but other than that, the only territories worth having are Akershus and Bergenhus (because of the trade power bonus). You should take the Atlantic islands early to avoid having England steal them from you.
If you wish to expand into Germany, you should consider becoming the Emperor to avoid wars with Austria. This can be easily achieved by improving relations with and allying the electors. Also consider taking the influence idea group to avoid coalitions in the HRE. You may also consider taking one province bordering the HRE (sea border) in your independence war, and improve relations with Austria so you can join the HRE.
Good early idea groups include Influence (for reduced AE), Administrative (for reduced coring cost and Administrative tech cost), or perhaps Innovative ideas (for the reduced tech cost). After taking these idea groups, you should take either quantity or offensive. These synergize heavily your +20% infantry combat bonus and +5% discipline. If you want to make your army even more overpowered, take Economic and Innovative ideas in conjunction with Quality for the +5% discipline and +20% infantry combat ability policies, respectively.
During the Age of Absolutism, Sweden has exclusive access to the ability Swedish Recruitment, granting a whopping +35% manpower recovery speed on top of their +20% from Indelningsverket.
Alternately, Sweden can play the colonial game. Taking Iceland early and choosing Exploration or Expansion will allow you to be one of the first to reach the New World, which can help with Sweden's lackluster income potential due to low-development provinces. Keeping Norway as a vassal is another way to gain a foothold in the New World: Norway may colonize, and then the player can annex them, gaining their colonies. This is generally a worse idea, as the AI sucks at colonizing and often runs out of money.
The Dacke War
- Main article: The Dacke War
The disastrous Dacke War can be avoided by forming Scandinavia, or staying Catholic or converting to Reformed.
November 20th, 1449 start
A less known start date with a lot of potential. This start date comes with 2 very large benefits to the player. Firstly, it is just a mere 5 years and 9 days from the classic 1444 start date, so the political landscape should be very familiar to players. Secondly, Sweden starts not only independent, but with a personal union over Norway. This is quite a power shift in the favor of Sweden. Since Sweden starts independent, they may progress a couple of missions on the custom Swedish mission tree. This grants the player access to 4 claims on Denmark on day 1, in addition to the Swedish core they already hold. A quickly declared war leaves the Danes without allies, allowing the player to snap up 5 provinces from Denmark within the first couple of years in the game.
Now, with the south defended by a fort on a strait and the west by a subject Norway, the player may pursue the same goals as in a 1444 start but from a much more comfortable and defensible position.
Picking up Neva and Ingermanland early on in the game is always advisable. These provinces secure a land route to the Baltic States and will starve Muscovy from trade income in the future. If there is room for more aggressive expansion, White Karelia and Kexholm are great pickups as well. Two forts in White Karelia and Viborg creates a very defensible choke point and locks down the entire Scandinavian peninsula. The three forts in White Karelia, Kexholm and Skåne creates a "fortress Sweden" and can help the player fend of larger opponents or coalitions.
To the west lies Orkney, a very convenient landing ground for an invasion against the Scots. Allowing Norway to fabricate on some Scottish territory and then declaring for it opens up many possibilities in the British Isles. It helps spread out your aggressive expansion, is a good beginning to expanding down-streams into the English Channel, and gives Sweden some much needed colonial range.
A strong Sweden relies on a single thing, control of the Baltic. To accomplish this the player will have 3 challenges that can make-or-break their campaign.
The first and easiest is to decisively defeat Muscovy. The easiest way to achieve this is by vassalizing a weakened Novgorod and returning all their cores in Muscovies possession. This can be done in a single war if done right and will break Muscovy for good. The earlier this is done the better since Muscovy has a tendency to snowball. Poland and Lithuania can also be brought in to make things easier.
The second challenge is to kick the Polish (and the Lithuanians) off the Baltic coast. This can be a grind as they will be pretty evenly matched with you. Fighting defensively and utilising strong allies, such as Bohemia, Hungary or the Ottomans, will help win the day in the end.
By now most of the Baltic Sea trade node should be under your control. So should all non-HRE land in the Lübeck trade zone. All that remains is to fight it out with the Emperor and conquer parts of northern Germany. This last obstacle to Baltic dominance is not as challenging in the military sense. However it can be a political pain. The aggressive expansion generated from taking HRE lands is very punishing and easily leads to massive coalitions. There are 2 ways to deal with this.
One can either go forward cautiously, taking a small number of provinces in each war. This frees up time to focus on other ventures. The player can colonise the Americas or wage war in Africa while waiting for European aggressive expansion to tick down.
The other option is to disband the HRE. The easiest way to accomplish this is to throw caution to the wind. To disband the HRE, one needs to occupy the capitals of all the Electors and the Emperor. This can be quite tricky since the Electors lie far apart and getting casus belli against all of them can be hard. The quickest way to getting into a war with all the Electors is to piss off the entire empire. The goal is to generate enough aggressive expansion to get the entire HRE in a coalition against you. By doing this, the player will eventually end up in a war with the Emperor and all the Electors, which will allow the player to disband the Empire. Once again, fighting defensively is key. Bleed the empire dry with forts on defensive terrains, then quickly capture the required capitals with very siege specialised army stacks. Try getting the +5 artillery bonus and a siege leader.
After beating the final challenge, the player should be the strongest country in the world with a sizeable income and a very large army. The player will have the resources to take the campaign in whichever direction they wish and around 200-300 years to do so.
October 24th, 1648 start
The devastating Thirty Years' War (1618-48) is finally over. Sweden has emerged as the dominant power in northern Europe with tremendous potential for expansion. Historically, Sweden never realized its full potential, having turned in a mediocre performance by EU standards until its demise as a major power following the Great Northern War (1700-21). In this "scenario" the player's objective is to reverse the course of history by staving off disaster, and instead expanding Sweden's power and influence for posterity. However, despite Sweden's strong starting position and excellent military ideas and bonuses, success in this scenario CAN be difficult even for the experienced player.
In 1648 Sweden has two underdeveloped colonies in North America in present-day New Jersey and Delaware (New Sweden). Unless the player wants to pursue a North American colonial empire, which is not recommended, it is strongly suggested that you sell them immediately. Due to your political position in Europe that demands your full attention and resources, you will be unable to adequately defend them against the English and or Dutch who each possess larger and stronger navies. The Netherlands will usually offer you the best deal as opposed to also adjacent England or France. If you choose to keep and develop them, then prepare for wars with England, the Netherlands and the many Native American powers in the area. In the end, it is simply not worth your time, resources and effort unless you have colonial imperial aspirations.