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Horde ideas

For Government native.png steppe nomads.

Traditions.png Traditions:

−10% Aggressive expansion impact
−5 Years of separatism

Land attrition.png The Life of a Steppe Warrior

−20% Land attrition

Cavalry combat ability.png Traditions of the Great Khan

+20% Cavalry combat ability

Land maintenance modifier.png Horse Supplies

−5% Land maintenance modifier

Land leader shock.png Steppe Leaders

+1 Land leader shock

Core-creation cost.png The Tradition of Conquest

−25% Core-creation cost

Manpower recovery speed.png Logistics of the Khan

+20% Manpower recovery speed

National manpower modifier.png The Glory of Conquest

+25% National manpower modifier

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

−10% Stability cost modifier

Steppe hordes are countries that use Government native.png Steppe Nomads government reform. All hordes are located in the territory of the former Flag of Mongol Empire Mongol Empire and are essentially successor states to it. These nations usually have a large number of low development provinces with steppe and desert terrain, which makes peacefully increasing their development costly. Steppe hordes have access to a variety of horde-specific mechanics added with Patch 1.14 along with the The Cossacks.png Cossacks DLC, such as several unique casus belli, succession crises, horde unity, razing and significant bonuses to cavalry and warfare in general.

General information

In 1444, the steppe nomads are the preeminent military powers of Central Asia and southern Russia. Their military units have more pips than those of their sedentary neighbors and, thanks to their government type, they have a high cavalry to infantry ratio. This makes them well suited for early warfare, whether for money from looting and war reparations or for new territory. However, they will quickly lose their advantage as neighboring countries develop and build on their more valuable province and embrace institutions, which are more likely to spawn and better able to spread in provinces that aren't controlled by hordes.


Main article: Steppe Nomads

Most of the hordes' unique features derive from the Steppe Nomad government type, which has the following effects:

  • National manpower modifier.png +20% National manpower modifier
  • Land forcelimit.png +20% Land force limit modifier
  • Years of separatism.png −5 Years of separatism
  • Looting speed.png +50% Looting speed
  • Institution spread.png −15% Institution spread
  • Movement speed.png +20% Movement speed
  • Reinforce cost.png −50% Reinforce cost
  • Cavalry to infantry ratio.png +25% Cavalry to infantry ratio
  • Always have Casus Belli on neighbors. See Tribal Feud and Tribal Conquest below.
  • Bonus +25% or penalty −25% to damage in the shock phase of combat depending on whether the terrain is flat or not. See Steppe shock bonus below.
  • With The Cossacks.png The Cossacks DLC, use Horde unity horde unity instead of Legitimacy.png legitimacy, and may raze non-core owned provinces for monarch power and loot.
  • Can reform the government to become an a Monarchy, a Republic or a Theocracy via the governmental reform mechanics

Horde unity

Horde nations have Horde unity Horde unity instead of legitimacy. Like legitimacy, horde unity provides scaling bonuses when it is above 50 and penalties below:

Variable 0% 50% 100%
National unrest.png National unrest +2 0 −2
Discipline.png Discipline −5% 0 +5%

Horde Unity is gained and lost as follows:

  • Base −2 per year
  • −0.01 per 2 total Development.png development the country owns, limited to −3
  • Tribes Tribes estate Estate loyalty Loyalty below 30:
    • Estate influence Influence below 20: −1 yearly
    • Estate influence Influence at least 20 but less than 40: −2 yearly
    • Estate influence Influence at least 40 but less than 60: −3 yearly
    • Estate influence Influence at least 60: −4 yearly
  • Looting: Horde unity +1 per 4 Gold Icon.png ducats looted
  • Razing: +1 per 2 points of province Development.png development before razing
  • +0.1 yearly per point Revanchism icon.png Revanchism (+10 at 100)
  • +0.005 yearly per point of Power projection.png power projection (+0.5 at 100)

Several ideas and polices increase horde unity:

Yearly horde unity.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Golden Horde idea 1: Legacy of the Golden Horde
  • Ilkhanid idea 1: Restored Ilkhanate
  • Manchu idea 4: The Later Jin
  • Oirat idea 3: The Four Oirats
  • Timurid idea 4: Chagatai Literature
  • Administrative-Aristocratic: The Licensing of the Press Act
  • Diplomatic-Plutocratic: Mandatory Service
  • Jurchen idea 2: The Queue

With Rights of Man.png Rights of Man DLC enabled, hordes can gain horde unity in exchange for military power by strengthening the government on the Government tab. Spending 100 Military power.png military power will increase Horde unity horde unity by 10.

Horde ideas

Hordes have access to the Horde idea group instead of the Aristrocratic idea group. It combines several of the bonuses from the Humanist idea group with bonuses more typical of military idea groups.


Casus belli

Steppe hordes have access to two unique casus belli: Tribal Conquest and Tribal Feud. Neither requires claims on an opponent, and neither gives unjustified demands penalties for conquering unclaimed provinces.

Tribal Conquest

Main article: Tribal Conquest

Steppe hordes automatically gain this casus belli on all neighboring countries other than steppe hordes.

Using this casus belli has the following effects: 75% aggressive expansion, 100% prestige and 100% warscore cost for:

  • All provinces
  • Monetary reparations
  • Enforced vassalage
  • Enforced tributary state

Ticking warscore is based on battles won; if one side gains over 10% warscore from winning battles then the wargoal will start ticking in their favor. This can be quite useful in the first few decades of the game due to the early strength of nomadic units.

Tribal Feud

Main article: Tribal Feud

Steppe hordes automatically gain this casus belli on all neighboring steppe hordes. Using this casus belli has the following effects: 75% aggressive expansion, 100% prestige and 100% warscore cost for:

  • All provinces
  • Monetary reparations
  • Enforced vassalage
  • Enforced tributary state

The casus belli targets a specific province and ticking warscore is based on control of that province.


Main article: Tributary

Steppe hordes have access to a special form of subject type called Subject tributary icon.png tributaries. Tributaries retain full diplomatic independence and may start wars and have subjects of their own. The overlord receives a call to arms if the tributary is attacked (unless if by another tributary of the same overlord), but does not have to accept.

Each year, the overlord may demand a tribute of money, manpower, or monarch points. If the tributary pays the tribute, trust increases slightly; if it refuses, trust falls significantly. Either party may renounce the tributary status at will, unless they have a truce.

Tributaries are one of the most powerful parts of a horde world conquest: They take zero aggressive expansion (so fewer coalitions), can core the land you just razed, and give you ducats, manpower or monarch points.

Hence, with your Tribal Conquest CB that gives you zero diplomatic cost for all provinces, get the target to (1) release the smallest nation, (2) take maximum cash (25% war score) and war reparations (10% war score) as your loss making horde economy will need it (3) take maximum land (4) immediately make the newly released nation a tributary, then (5) keep all provinces with trade modifiers (i.e. Estuary.png estuary or Province trade power value.png center of trade) for yourself, destroy forts (for easier conquest next time) and only then raze all these non-cored provinces and hand them to the newly released tributary (they'll hate you for razing their cores, but they are already tributaries) (6) when the razing cool down is done, break tributary status and raze them again.


Hordes are tough to play for beginners as they have little income to speak of in the beginning. All their land is low development (high development in fact causes Horde unity horde unity loss up to a maximum of 3 units per year) and they get no real economic bonuses.

Therefore, in the beginning, warring is required to get maximum cash (25% war score) and war reparations (10% war score) from all your victims in order to offset your massive negative cash flows each month from maintaining a powerful army and fleet and probably from servicing huge loan interest.

With the Tributary strategy as outlined above in the Tributary section one will achieve two critical strategic foundations over a long time:

  1. Trade dominance: you will dominate each trade node as you will own the key trade provinces while having razed the other provinces in that node. In fact, with Wealth of Nations.png Wealth of Nations or Dharma.png Dharma, a country receivesMerchants.png+1 merchant for each trade company where your directly owned provinces make up more than 50% Trade power.png trade power (ignoring bonuses).
  2. Powerful home economy base: you will use all the mana points razed from your enemies elsewhere to develop a high development, home culture, same religion home node. The same culture and religion will ensure no penalties to your income generated there, while the high development provinces neighbouring each other around trade provinces will spread institutions quickly once you have spawned them there through focused province development.

Once established, this home node income and the trade income will ensure any cash concessions from victims will be a bonus that can be applied to building as many manufactories in your home node as you can.



Steppe hordes belong to the Nomad technology group Nomad technology group. This technology group provides access to strong units in the early game, with their effectiveness relative to those of other tech groups decreasing later on. Steppe hordes' units will change to Eastern tech if Christian, Muslim tech if Muslim, or Chinese tech if Eastern.

Uniquely, nomads enjoy a Cavalry to infantry ratio.png +25% Cavalry to infantry ratio, meaning they can maintain a higher number of cavalry regiments within an army before suffering from the insufficient support penalty (provided they can afford the maintenance). Combined with an extra Cavalry to infantry ratio.png +25% Cavalry to infantry ratio for being Tengri (for eastern hordes) or the additional Cavalry to infantry ratio.png +10% Cavalry to infantry ratio for being Sunni (for western hordes), it makes for very cavalry-oriented nations.

Tengri hordes (with no syncretic faith) can therefore comprise 100% cavalry, requiring no infantry, and therefore no concerns about insufficient support. This makes merging units after battles very easy. Tied to bonuses for attrition, manpower, manpower recovery and cheaper reinforcement costs it makes Tengri hordes some of the most powerful in the game.

Steppe shock bonus

On provinces with flat terrain, hordes get a 25% increase in damage during the shock phase. Positively affected terrain includes Plains, Steppe, Farmlands, Grasslands, Drylands, Coastal desert and Desert (surprisingly not savannah). However, on provinces with no flat terrain (Hills, Mountains, Highlands, Forest, Woods, Coastline (non-desert), Savannah and Marsh), hordes get a 25% decrease in damage during shock phase. Hordes get the bonus/penalty whether they are attacking or defending. In a battle between two hordes, they both get the bonus/penalty.


Hordes can raze uncored and owned provinces for monarch points at the cost of Development.pngdevelopment in that province. Razing a province:

  • provides all the remaining loot in the province and increases its Devastation.png devastation by 10%
  • lowers the province's Development.pngdevelopment by 1 in each category and an additional 1 for every 5 Development.pngdevelopment in that category before razing (rounded down)
  • provides 25 monarch points in each category for every point of Development.pngdevelopment razed, reduced by 1 for every level in Military technology.png military technology above 3, capped at Military technology.png military technology 23 (5 monarch points per point of Development.pngdevelopment razed).
  • Provides Horde unity 1 horde unity for every 2 points of Development.pngdevelopment in the province before razing, regardless of the amount razed
  • Decreases Opinion.png opinion of former owner by -25

Once razed, a province cannot be razed again for 30 years for provinces above 30 Development.pngdevelopment, 20 years for provinces above 20 Development.pngdevelopment, and 10 years for the others.

Total province Development.pngdevelopment cannot be brought lower than 3, meaning that provinces with 1 Development.pngdevelopment in each category cannot be razed at all.

For example, razing Venezia (10/12/5), with total Development.pngdevelopment 27, at Military technology.pngmilitary technology 11, would lower its Development.pngdevelopment to 7/8/3, and provide Administrative power.png 51, Diplomatic power.png 68, and Military power.png 34, plus Horde unity 13 horde unity and any Looting speed.png loot remaining.

The final government reform allows an option to increase the monarch power gain by 33%; combined with the perpetually at-war nature of horde nations, it makes this a considerably more attractive option than the alternative horde unity reform.

For those who are playing a converted CKII game and the Iconoclast Iconoclast, Tengri players can choose Iconoclasm as their syncretic faith and receive a +20% modifier to rasing power gain.

  • Note: If the tribes estate is disloyal, monarch power gained from razing is decreased by 25% ~ 100%, depending on Tribes Influence level.

List of hordes

This is a list of hordes that appear in the game. Not all hordes appear in the start year 1444.

Golden Horde.png
Golden Horde
1616 (Formable)


I'll graze my horse here.. And here... icon
I'll graze my horse here.. And here...
As a Horde, own over 200 provinces producing grain.
Pyramid of Skulls icon
Pyramid of Skulls
As a Steppe Horde, raze a province with at least 30 development.
Tatarstan icon
As Kazan or Nogai, own all Tatar culture group lands.
The Great Khan icon
As the Mongol Khanate or the Golden Horde, own or have a subject own the Chinese, Russian and Persian regions.
Turning the Tide icon
Turning the Tide
Start as a Steppe Horde in 1444 and embrace all institutions.
Gold Rush icon
Gold Rush
Reform the Golden Horde before 1500.

Ideas and Policies Idea groupsNational ideasPolicies
Ages and Institutions AgesInstitutions
Innovativeness and Technology InnovativenessTechnology