The Knights

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Duchy rankThe Knights
The Knights.png
Primary culture
Occitain (French)

Capital province
Rhodes (320)

Monastic Order Government theocracy.png

State religion

Technology group
WesternWestern technology group
Knights Hospitaller ideas
Ambox outdated info.png Please help with verifying or updating this infobox. It was last verified for version 1.33.

Traditions.png Traditions:

+5% Discipline
May raid coasts

Fort defense.png Defense of the Faith

+25% Fort defense

Manpower recovery speed.png Assistance to the Suffering

+15% Manpower recovery speed

Diplomatic relations.png The Tongues of Knights

+1 Diplomatic relation

Galley combat ability.png Reconquista of the Sea

+20% Galley combat ability
+15% Chance to capture enemy ships

National unrest.png Ecumenical Defenders of Christendom.

−2 National unrest

Naval force limit modifier.png Scourge of the Corsairs

+50% Naval force limit modifier

Yearly army tradition.png Crusader Tradition

+0.5 Yearly army tradition

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+2 Yearly papal influence

The Knights Hospitaller are an ancient Catholic military order. Arising from a group of nurses and doctors, to care for the sick, around the turn of the millennium this holy order turned to its Knights to throw back the Turkish and Muslim threat. Controlling only the island city of Rhodes the Knights must contend with both the Heathens and the aloof Venetians, as well as heretics in Rhodes itself. Things are not going to be easy for The Knights. Starting with one province The Knights must deftly rebuild a power base throughout the Mediterranean and convert the heretical Christians back to the one true faith. The Barbary Pirates will be eyeing The Knights and their gold and the Ottomans will be keen to destroy the thorn in their side. Find allies and find them quickly for the Knights of Rhodes will have some dark days ahead.

Raid Coasts[edit | edit source]

Costal Raiding is a naval ability added in the Mare Nostrum expansion which allows fleets belonging to nations with the Raid Coasts idea to raid the coasts of other nations of a different religion for Gold Icon.pngloot (ducats) and Sailors.pngsailors. The Golden Century.pngGolden Century DLC introduces Pirate Republics and Custom Nations with the Pirate Republic government. This idea is also available to Custom Nations. Pirate Republics, Flag of Normandy Normandy, Flag of Somalia Somalia, and countries with Norse ideas may also raid coasts of countries with the same religion.

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.

Missions[edit | edit source]

Main article: Crusader missions

Events[edit | edit source]

Main article: Knights' events

The Knights can get an event that has them capture the brother of the Ottoman sultan (even if not involved in a war), a choice is given between several European nations to ransom him to.

Decisions[edit | edit source]

The Knights can form Flag of Jerusalem Jerusalem, and upon doing so can choose to switch to Jerusalem's national ideas.


Execute decision.pngRhodians and other Greeks in the Order

In the face of the advance of the heathens we cannot afford to discriminate against the local Rhodians and other Greeks. All that can must serve the order.

Potential requirements

The country:

Its capital:

  • has Greek culture.

Flag of The Knights The Knights:


Flag of The Knights The Knights:

  • loses Stability.png1 stability.
  • loses Diplomatic power.png100 diplomatic power.
  • gets the modifier “Cultural Manpower” until the end of the campaign with the following effects:
    • National manpower modifier.png +5% national manpower modifier,
    • National garrison growth.png +15% garrison growth[1],
    • Garrison size.png +25% garrison size.

Greek becomes an accepted culture of Flag of the Knights the Knights.


Execute decision.pngReestablish The Kingdom of Jerusalem

Rejoice! Holy Jerusalem is again in Christian hands - our Christian hands. The Pope has informed us that if we were to reestablish The Kingdom of Jerusalem, our salvation would be assured.

Potential requirements

Flag of Jerusalem Jerusalem does not exist.
It is either:

  • the Age of Discovery.png ‘Age of Discovery’
  • the Age of Reformation.png ‘Age of Reformation’.
  • The country has completed the mission Jerusalem!.

The country:

If the country is AI-controlled then it:

Playing with normal or historical nations.


The country:

  • is not at war.
  • owns the core provinces:
    • Jerusalem (379)
    • Jaffa (1854)
    • Gaza (364)
  • Jerusalem is part of a state.

If the country was never an end-game nation and is Flag of Provence Provence, Flag of Cyprus Cyprus, Flag of The Knights The Knights or has the mission Restore the Hospitallers[2]:


The country:

  • gains Yearly prestige.png 25 prestige.

If the country was never an end-game nation and one of the following is true:



Flag of Jerusalem Jerusalem:

  • moves its Capital.png capital to Jerusalem (379).
  • becomes Catholicism Catholic.
  • gets new Mission.png Missions.
  • increases rank to Kingdom rank kingdom, if it is a Duchy rank duchy
  • becomes a Government monarchy.png monarchy, if it is not a Government theocracy.png theocracy
  • enacts the Government Reform "Crusader State".
  • gains cores on:

The AI will never take this decision.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

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

The Knights begin in 1444 with one low developed province on the island Rhodes. Although they are in a tight spot with the aggressive Flag of Ottomans Ottomans surrounding them to the north and large Flag of Mamluks Mamluks to the south, it is possible for the player to carve a large power base out of the coast of Anatolia and choose their path from there.

There are many alternate routes to take once the player is in a reliable position. The Knights can take the exploration idea group and try their hand at colonizing and compete with Flag of Portugal Portugal and Flag of Castile Castile. They can also try expanding north towards the Balkans region. If the player is more of an achievement hunter, one can instead expand south and attempt to take The Knight's decision to "Reestablish The Kingdom of Jerusalem".

Establishing a power base in the Ottomans[edit | edit source]

This strategy allows the player to establish a stable presence in the Balkan region and Anatolia region. This is also somewhat specific and luck may be needed, so resets may happen frequently.

Preparation[edit | edit source]

Once the game begins, it is ideal to take The Knight's navy and raid coasts wherever possible in order to gain ducats and sailors, both of which are important. Afterwards, the player should make the maximum number of galleys possible in order to fend off the Ottoman's navy (it is recommended that the player also deletes other ships, save for at least one transport boat, in order to increase the chances of surviving a naval battle). The player should also work on fabricating a claim on Flag of Byzantium Byzantium as the Flag of Ottomans Ottomans will soon declare war for their claims on Constantinople, to which the player can sneak a few provinces from under their nose.

It is also recommended that the player attempts to ally themselves with small countries to the west like Flag of Venice Venice, Flag of Albania Albania, and Flag of Ragusa Ragusa. If the Flag of Ottomans Ottomans were to attack, then they would likely be inclined to attack the player's allies rather than the player themselves as they are disconnected from the mainland.

Early Ottoman War[edit | edit source]

Just before declaring war, the player should try to make sure that the Ottoman army (or at least most of it) are in the Balkan region and away from the province of Edirne. The player should also hire a good admiral or get one from the bourgeoisie estate through interaction. It's best to make sure the Flag of Ottomans Ottomans have no allies east of the Balkan region, or at least enough you can handle so that you will be met with little to no resistance once war starts. Flag of Byzantium Byzantium should also still have Constantinople and not be at war with the Flag of Ottomans Ottomans in order to prevent passage through the strait between Constantinople and Kocaeli.

When ready, the player should fill their transports and park boats in the Sea of Marmara then declare a war of reconquest. When war is declared, the player should immediately siege down the province of Biga. Once Biga is occupied then the Ottomans will have no access to the Anatolia region as long as the player keeps boats in the Sea of Marmara and keeps at least one regiment on Biga to prevent it from being recaptured from an adjacent fort in Edirne. From this point on, the player can siege down all the available provinces in the area and rack up a large amount of warscore while fighting little to no enemies.

Once the player declares peace, it is essential that they take the provinces of Biga and Kocaeli from the Ottomans to make sure the straits are blockable without having to siege down provinces. From this point on, the player can reuse parts of this strategy to continually take provinces from the Ottomans while at the same time avoiding battle.

Late Ottoman War[edit | edit source]

The player may also decide to delay an early war with the Flag of Ottomans Ottomans, typically due to a lack of opportunity or desire to build up strength. Early expansion around the Ottoman will require a an early war with Flag of Byzantium Byzantium, best taken as soon as the Ottomans declare war. Though getting your troops to the province first will make you siege leader, this is not always possible. Occupying southern Greece and Flag of Athens Athens to deny them to the Ottomans should be the goal. If the Ottomans take Constantinople before you, you will need to wait till they peace out before taking the maximum warscore peace deal you can. The player should prioritize taking as much land as they can for themselves, and making Athens into a vassal, who will contribute more troops and ships to your power rating, helping to dissuade the Ottomans from attacking.

Flag of Naples Naples will reliably gain independence from Flag of Aragon Aragon via succession event. This will provide the player with an avenue of expansion around the Ottomans, till such time they feel confident enough to fight them. If Naples gets powerful allies such as Flag of France France, one might need to wait for a period of time till their ally won't defend them. Against smaller allies such as Flag of Florence Florence or a member of the empire, it will be merited to go over force limit with troops or mercenaries to ensure the victory. Don't be afraid to go over naval forcelimit to control the seas, galley and transport ships have low maintenance cost.

War with Flag of Genoa Genoa for their cores in the Aegean Sea can also be used to secure their assets in Crimea, opening a second lane of expansion, provided the nation of Flag of Crimea Crimea aren't made subjects by the Flag of Ottomans Ottomans during a succession event of their own. The Caucasus and Flag of Georgia Georgia will remain a viable option of expansion, even should the Ottomans get their free vassal.

Recommended idea groups[edit | edit source]

  • Religious idea group.png Religious

The player starts with an Orthodox province, causing Religious unity.png religious unity to essentially be at 0. Prolonged low religious unity causes Devotion.png devotion to drop and reduces Yearly prestige.png prestige, Papal influence.png papal influence, and tax. The extra missionary and additional missionary strength would help convert conquered provinces and reduce strife. Once the idea group is completed, the player also receives a permanent casus belli against heathens and infidels alike, which is extremely useful since The Knights are one of the few Catholic nations in the area. It is recommended that the player takes this idea group as their first one.

  • Quantity idea group.png Quantity

Even if The Knights successfully fought back the Flag of Ottomans Ottomans and established a stable presence, the force limit exerted will likely be hard to increase until truces expire so more troops to defend and expand would greatly help the player. The expanded force limit plus increase of manpower and manpower recovery alike would help the player stay a float in even battles, especially if the player were to fight the Flag of Mamluks Mamluks in order to create Flag of Jerusalem Jerusalem. It is recommended the to take this idea group second or third.

Achievements[edit | edit source]

King of Jerusalem icon
Form the Kingdom of Jerusalem as Cyprus or The Knights.
On the Rhodes Again icon
Starting as The Knights, conquer and core Constantinople, Jerusalem and Antioch.
Knights of the Caribbean icon
As the Knights, own the Caribbean and every island in the Mediterranean. (Colonies are NOT allowed)

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. This is a province modifier which has no effect in the country scope
  2. 2.0 2.1 The mission Restore the Hospitallers is available to the other former crusader states (Flag of Athens Athens, Flag of Naxos Naxos, Flag of Epirus Epirus, Flag of Cyprus Cyprus and Flag of The Knights The Knights) when Emperor Emperor is enabled
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