- +10% Cavalry combat ability
- +5% Discipline
- −10% Infantry cost
- −10% Cavalry cost
- +15% Manpower recovery speed
- +10% Infantry combat ability
- +2% Missionary strength
- +1 Yearly papal influence
- +5% Church power
- +15% Fort defense
- +1 Missionary
- +1 Tolerance of the true faith
- +10% Institution spread
The Teutonic Order is a theocracy situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Formed during the Third Crusade, the Teutonic Knights were at times based in Acre and, after the expulsion of the Crusaders from the Holy Land, in Hungarian-Transylvania, before finding renewed purpose in the Polish-backed Prussian Crusade of 1230. By 1444, with their mission of Christianizing the region complete, they are beginning to look obsolete and are drawing the attention of their neighbours, especially Poland and Lithuania.
- Main article: Teutonic events
Reform into Prussia
If Königsberg (41) is part of the HRE, but its owner is not a member then:
Every neighbouring monarchy:
Elevate Bishopric to an Archbishopric
AI will always take this decision
The Teutonic Order starts bordering Wolgast in the west, Poland in the south, Lithuania in the east, and Livonian Order to the north-east. Their exclave Neumark shares borders with Brandenburg, Wolgast, Stettin, and Poland. Across the Baltic Sea lie Sweden and Denmark.
The Teutonic Order is in a precarious situation in 1444. The danger especially comes with an event firing soon after the start of the game: The Prussian Confederation. The first event only describes the danger, but if the player does not intervene, Danzig (which represents the Prussian Confederation) will declare independence, and they will be backed up by Poland. If you go to war, you are the attacker, so your allies will not join, while Poland will join. It is strongly recommended to prevent this declaration of independence. To do so, there are two major ways: The first way is to revoke all land held by burghers. You will probably have to fight some rebels, so keep your army maintenance high. The event needs at least one burgher province to fire, and at the start there are three burgher provinces (Danzig, Tuchola and Kulm). The second way is to take the decision "curtail Prussian Confederation". To do so, you need at least 60 loyalty and 2 stability. This is made more difficult in the starting event, because there you lose 20 loyalty. To curtail the Prussian Confederation, you need to take the merchant's son as an heir (15 loy), than wait one month (0.1 loy) and then grand privileges (15 loy). Then raise your stability to 2 (getting administrative points from the clergy estate helps a lot) and take the decision.
There are two other ways to deal with the Prussian Confederation: To release Danzig as a vassal, or fight Poland when it fires. Neither of which are recommended at all given how easy avoiding it is for a human player.
Because Poland is usually a lot stronger than you, you will need good allies to beat them. The game becomes much easier if Denmark doesn't rival you (around 20% chance). It becomes also easier if Poland has strong rivals ( Hungary, Austria, Bohemia, Muscovy) or rejects the union with Lithuania. Especially Bohemia will ally Poland, if they have not rivalled them. Maybe the player wants to restart, until at least some of this is fulfilled. Allying with the Livonian Order is not so useful in most cases because they are weak, instead you can expand into them - if you're not joining the HRE, they are the only target at the start of the game which you can take without allies. Brandenburg will make a great early ally. You can use Brandenburg to take on Pomerania, which is useful because you can get more trade power in the trade node. When you want to take on Poland, Lithuania, The Commonwealth, getting Russia/Muscovy as an ally will make the war a lot easier.
If one wishes to join the Holy Roman Empire, one needs to befriend the Emperor. It is recommended to look at the Emperor's rivals, since if the Teutonic Order is allies with any of those rivals, they will have a -25 relationship penalty with the Emperor. Joining the HRE will usually guard against Poland provided the Emperor is strong enough, although one may still be dragged into wars due to an alliance, particularly with the Livonian Order (that's another reason to reject an alliance with the Livonians). Forming Prussia will make wars easier. You can turn against Brandenburg when they turn Protestant because Austria will break its alliance. When this happens you can easily take all of Northern Germany.
Their national ideas are well suited for crusading as they include military and religious ideas. It is recommended to form Prussia when possible due to their superior military ideas, government (with Rights of Man enabled) and added prestige. However, if you are going for the Baltic Crusader Achievement, you must stay the Teutonic Order.
For ideas, focus on military ideas if going for Prussia or looking for strong armies in general; Quality, Offensive, and/or Defensive are the most useful to create a small, but powerful army. Look to Maritime and Trade Ideas if seeking to dominate trade in the Baltic Sea, which the Teutons already do own a large share of. A special mention to Religious Ideas, which are very recommended if going for Baltic Crusader, as the Casus Belli and the conversion boost is very useful for dealing with Orthodox provinces.
Note that the following strategy is only viable if you have the Emperor DLC installed.
Before you unpause off of the 11 November 1444 start date, make sure that you are Improving Relations with Austria and seeking alliances from Bohemia or/and Brandenburg. It is absolutely vital that you improve relations with Austria ASAP. If either Brandenburg or Bohemia have you selected as a rival then restart.
There are two events that you should look out for: The Prussian Confederation and The Fate of Neumark. Dealing with The Prussian Confederation is your highest priority (I would strongly recommend you begin in dealing with this before you unpause) as if left unchecked it will lead to a war against Poland in which you will not be able to call in your allies. You can of course use the Estate modifier 'Curtail the Prussian Confederation' but this will convert the Teutonic Order to Danzig as your playable nation.
In order to prevent the Confederation revolt, you must Seize Land from your Estates for a total of three times before 1460. Note that even if you do seize land, you will still need 40% Crown land which you can make up the deficit by improving your development. You will also need +1 Stability and no spawned rebel armies to complete 'Curtail the Prussian Confederation'.
The Fate of Neumark is another event that will pop normally within the first few years of the game. Always sell the provinces back to Brandenburg (you can also take advantage of the already present development in both provinces to earn more ducats). By the time the provinces are sold, you should easily have 200 to 250 ducats. Give all of this to Austria and you should have enough relations with the Emperor to join the HRE.