- +5% Discipline
- May raid coasts
- +25% Fort defense
- +15% Manpower recovery speed
- +1 Diplomatic relation
- +20% Galley combat ability
- +15% Chance to capture enemy ships
- −2 National unrest
- +50% Naval force limit modifier
- +0.5 Yearly army tradition
- +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.
|Available only with the Mare Nostrum DLC enabled.|
Raiding coasts is a naval ability added in the Mare Nostrum expansion which allows fleets belonging to nations with the raid coasts idea, which in the base game belongs to the Maghrebi culture group ( Morocco, Tlemcen, and Tunis), Habsan and The Knights to raid the coasts of other nations for loot and sailors of a different religion; this idea is also available for custom nations and, with
|Available only with the Golden Century DLC enabled.|
, pirate republics, which can raid the coasts of all neighbouring nations with no attention to their religion. Historically, this ability reflects the raids by Barbary pirates which were active in the 16th to 19th centuries. Raiding can provide a significant early-game boost to the income and sailor pools of nations that can do it.
The Knights can form Jerusalem They will become a Feudal Monarchy and can choose to switch to Jerusalem's national ideas. One should carefully consider these effects before switching the ideas. In particular, the loss of -2 unrest from Hospitaller ideas, and 2 Tolerance of the True Faith from Theocracy can result in an unexpectedly sharp increase in rebellions.
Rhodians and other Greeks in the Order
Greek becomes an accepted culture of the Knights.
Reestablish The Kingdom of Jerusalem
Jerusalem does not exist.
The country gains 25 prestige.
The AI will never enact this decision.
- 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.
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.25.
The Knights begin in 1444 with one low developed province on the island Rhodes. Although they are in a tight spot with the aggressive Ottomans surrounding them to the north and large 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 Portugal and 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
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.
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).
It is also recommended that the player attempts to ally themselves with small countries to the west like Venice, Albania, and Ragusa. If the 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.
Going to war
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 Erdine. The player should also hire a good admiral or get one from the bourgeoisie estate through interaction. It's best to make sure the 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. Byzantium should also still have Constantinople and not be at war with the 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.
Recommended idea groups
The player starts with an Orthodox province, causing religious unity to essentially be at 0. Prolonged low religious unity causes devotion to drop and reduces prestige, 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.
Even if The Knights successfully fought back the 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 Mamluks in order to create Jerusalem. It is recommended the to take this idea group second or third.
Taking influence would help mitigate the impact of aggressive expansion and thus prevent coalition wars. Reduced envoy travel time is especially useful for the players as many important countries are quite far from The Knights. It is recommended to take this idea group second or third.
- This is a province modifier which has no effect in the country scope