- +10% Infantry combat ability
- +1 Possible advisor
- +10% Global trade power
- +10% Cavalry combat ability
- −10% Stability cost modifier
- +1 Tolerance of heretics
- +1 Tolerance of heathens
- +1 Yearly prestige
- +1 Diplomat
- +5% Discipline
- +50% Mercenary manpower
Vijayanagara emerged from the crumbling Hoysala empire as its efforts to resist repeated invasions from the Muslim Delhi Sultanate began to fail. Determined to drive back the invaders, the rising Sangama dynasty rallied an army and united much of southern India against their common enemy.
Though the Delhi Sultanate was ousted from the south a century ago, Vijayanagar has not seen the end of its struggle against Islamic conquerors. In 1347 the Bahmanis Sultanate won its independence from Delhi and has since become a power in its own right. The rivalry and warfare between Bahmanis and Vijayanagar has thus far been inconclusive; territory has changed hands, tribute has been demanded and refused, yet each kingdom remains steadfast in their determination to thwart the other.
Besides its northern rival, Vijayanagar finds itself surrounded by far weaker nations. The Sangamas have allied with the Reddy Kingdom of Andhra, agreeing to protect them from incursions from Bahmanis and Orissa. Though nominally Vijayanagari subjects, the small Malabari kingdoms as well as the Raja of Mysore are largely left to their own devices. The time may come when the Raja requires more of them. The empire's recent conquest of the Tamil kingdoms has not gone entirely smoothly; relations with the influential Tamil trade guilds are poor and must be repaired before the empire undertakes further conquests in the area. More direct vassalage is asserted over Jaffna in northern Lanka, where the small Tamil nation enjoys Vijayanagari protection from the Buddhists of the Kotte and Kandy Kingdoms.
The Vijayanagari empire distributes land to its most loyal and prominent generals in a system known as Nayankara. The Nayaks, provincial governors, administer the lands granted to them and carry the responsibility of raising armies for the Maharaja. Though the Nayaks have thus far been effective, the Raja must be wary of overly ambitious generals who may covet the throne for themselves.
- Main article: Vijayanagari missions
Vijayanagar's missions focus on consolidating control over South India, defeating their northern rival Bahmanis, and dominating the Indian Ocean trade, such as appeasing the Tamils and capturing the Arabian port of Aden.
- Main article: Vijayangari events
Vijayanagar's events are focused on its temples, poets and various interactions with its Tamil populace, including multiple uprisings.
Vijayanagar can form Bharat as a Dravidian nation.
Form Bharat (Dravidian, Hindustani, Western Aryan)
If the country is AI-controlled,
Vijayanagar begins the game as one of the largest and most powerful nation in India. It is also one of the best nations to play in the Eastern World, maybe as good as the Ottomans, but no one mentions them in their top 10.
Bahmanis and either of Orissa or Bengal are always going to rival you. Secure an alliance with Malwa. You already have Andhra as your ally and Jaffna as your vassal. That's going to leave you for one more diplomatic relation. You can make either Gujarat or Jaunpur (if it hasn't made you a rival) your ally. Don't attack anyone until you have built up to your max force limit. That will help you avoid an early Bahmani attack. For gathering money, there are some good missions that will give you money if you call a diet, so call diets regularly. Also, keep a check on Bahmanis' allies. If you mistakenly make Bahmanis' allies your allies, they are not going to help you in any way as they will rather help the Bahmanis in a war against you.
Small nations in the Malabar Coast are going to ask you for an alliance, well, you can accept them till you reach your diplomatic limit. You can also improve their relations and can also make them your vassal later on. Andhra will never become your ally as you have some of Andhran cores. Don't break that alliance, Andhra will help you in a war against Orissa.
Now, go for a military campaign in the Malabar. That will also complete two missions for you. Go for the campaign only after you have allied Malwa. After annexing everyone in the Malabar, build up to your max force limit. Remember to take ducats in the peace offer in every war in your Malabar campaign. After that, build troops up to your max force limit again. Now, as soon as you have troops up to your max force limit, reduce your war exhaustion to less than 1. If you have already got less than 1 war exhaustion, then it's fine. If not, then get it. That will help you in your sieges. Declare reconquest war on the Bahmanis and promise land to the Malwas and also get them into the war as allies. Well, make it sure you have the majority of your war score against the Bahmanis, that will make it sure that the Malwa won't get angry if they don't get land. You will surely win the war, if the Bahmanis don't get Jaunpur or Bengal as their allies. That's just going to make the war tougher, but you will still win. Don't get war taxes till you reach military technology 7.
After that, get up to 100% war score, get all of Raichur Doab (if you don't know what's Raichur Doab, hover over the question mark in the "Battle for the Raichur Doab" mission, that will border all the Raichur Doab territories with a purple line), war reparations and break alliances. That might be tricky for a beginner. Let me guide you:- get separate peaces with the Bahmani allies and ask for war reparations and breakdown of alliance with the Bahmanis. After that, get hard on the Bahmanis capture all of the Bahmanis' territories and ask for Raichur Doab, war reparations, humiliate rival, and extra ducats in the peace offer.
You will have made the Bahmanis much weaker than it was initially. You might also complete the "Spoils of War" mission. By now, you will have completed two missions:- "Spoils of War" and "Battle for the Raichur Doab". Try to complete the "Tamil Trade Guilds" mission. Increase your Stability by 1. Unless your ruler has the "Cruel" trait (which is highly unlikely), there will be only two Tamil provinces with high autonomy that will prevent you from completing the mission. Change Tamil to an "accepted culture" in the Government tab and decrease the autonomy of those two provinces. That will increase the unrest, but you can deal with it by sending your armies to those two provinces. That will help you decrease the unrest and complete the mission. If you don't know which provinces those two are, change to the autonomy map mode.
What now? Well, you have got many doors open. By completing the "Tamil Trade Guilds" mission, you can integrate Jaffna, you will also have two missions already completed:- "Restore Rule Over Mysore" and "Secure the Malabar Coast". You might also get a Diet mission to integrate Jaffna which will remove the diplomatic relations penalty (being high on the diplomatic relations will help you to easily get allies). After integrating Jaffna, you will get a claim on the rest of Lanka, declare war on the two countries (might be only one as Kotte might annex Kandy as Kandy is Kotte's vassal) and annex them in one war.
Go on completing missions up to the "City of Victory" one. After that, you might go for a conquest of India or you can just follow the missions. It depends on you. Good luck!
Now, you might be thinking about what idea to get. Get either the Expansion ideas or the Exploration Ideas by building up to Administrative level 5, I recommend the earlier than the latter for reasons you are about to know. Both ideas get you colonists, the Expansion idea group gets you two colonists and an extra merchant rather than the Exploration idea group which gives you only one colonist. The Exploration idea group does give you a bonus though, it lets you to fabricate overseas claims in colonial regions, but, that's not an advantage as it's useless. It's useless because countries that usually colonize near the Indian Ocean are Castille, Portugal and (rarely) England/Great Britain. The first and the last mentioned are great powers and Portugal might be allies with great powers. You should also be a great power by the time you defeat the Bahmanis in the first war against them. Now, never ever go on a war against a great power, especially when it's before the Age of Absolutism. As, other great powers may also get in the war against you (or with you). And, that will be a mess i would recommend you to avoid.
After you get the Expansion idea group, go only up to the General Colonization Law idea. As you will need to save your administrative power to upgrade technology.
If you get the Exploration idea group, go only up to Land of Opportunity idea. As, the rest are quite useless for you and the reason previously mentioned.
Vijayanagar's home port and most of its starting territory belongs to the Coromandel node, one of the richest in the world. The exception is the west coast north of Goa which belongs to the Gujarat node, which unfortunately cannot be steered home. At the start of the game it is best to use the merchants to steer trade in Bengal and Deccan and use the light ships to protect trade in Coromandel.
Much of southern India has tropical climate and/or seasonal monsoons. This can drastically increase attrition and cause problems from war exhaustion and manpower loss.
Dealing with the Tamil events
Within the first few years, there will be negative events dealing with friction between government and their Tamil subjects in the east. It is almost impossible to make it through the event chain without taking at least one stability hit and revolt.
In the first months of the game the player will likely be faced with this event. It is recommended to select the first option and make Chellappa general and then dismiss him to prevent the trigger of the revolt of Chellappa, thus avoiding a size 3 rebel force. Alternatively, if one prefers to avoid a cheesy strategy such as that, selecting the third option and dealing with the rebels immediately is preferable to the second option, which not only weakens Vijaynagar by massively increasing the autonomy of a significant portion of its provinces, but will also likely lead to a second event in which a revolt fires anyway. This event doesn't fire if you have at least one province of Tamil culture with less than 5% autonomy, but achieving this can can be difficult or outright impossible if the player is at war)