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The Knights

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

Capital province
Rhodes (320)

Monastic OrderGovernment theocracy.png

State religion

Technology group
WesternWestern technology group
Knights Hospitaller ideas
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

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 CoastsEdit

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 the  Golden Century DLC, 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

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.

  The Knights:


  The Knights:

  • loses  1 stability.
  • loses  100 diplomatic power.
  • gets the modifier “Cultural Manpower” until the end of the campaign with the following effects:
    •   +5% national manpower modifier,
    •   +15% garrison growth[1],
    •   +25% garrison size.

Greek becomes an accepted culture of   the Knights.

 Reestablish 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

  Jerusalem does not exist.

It is either the   ‘Age of Discovery’ or the   ‘Age of Reformation’.

The country:


The country:

  • is not at war.
  • owns its core provinces:
    • Jerusalem (379)
    • Jaffa (1854)
    • Gaza (364)
  • Jerusalem is within state.


The country gains  25 prestige.

Every province of Palestine and Transjordan areas, as well as Tarabulus (378), Sidon (1855) and Aqabah (4268) becomes core provinces of   Jerusalem.

If the country is not   Provence,   Cyprus or   The Knights:

If the country is   Provence,   Cyprus or   The Knights:


  • moves its   capital to Jerusalem (379).
  • becomes   Catholic.

If Jerusalem:

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.


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 OttomansEdit

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 warEdit

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 groupsEdit

  •   Religious

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.

  •   Quantity

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.

  •   Influence

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.


Form the Kingdom of Jerusalem as Cyprus or The Knights.


  1. This is a province modifier which has no effect in the country scope
Country guides

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East African technology group     Kilwa
Muslim technology group     Mamluks  Tunis
West African technology group     Mali

Eastern technology group     Jerusalem
Muslim technology group     Arabia   Hisn Kayfa   Oman
Indian technology group     Assam   Bahmanis   Bengal   Orissa
Chinese technology group     Bali   Brunei   Dai Viet   Japan   Khmer   Korea   Majapahit   Malaya   Pagarruyung   Pasai   Sunda
Nomadic technology group     Jianzhou   Timurids   Uzbek

Western technology group     United States
Mesoamerican technology group     Maya
North American technology group     Caddo   Cherokee   Iroquois

Andean technology group     Chachapoya   Cusco   Muisca
South American technology group     Mapuche