- +4 Tolerance of heretics
- +10% Fort defense
- +1 Yearly legitimacy
- +1 Max promoted culture
- +1 Diplomatic reputation
- +1 Yearly prestige
- −1 National unrest
- +1% Missionary strength
- +5% Infantry combat ability
- +5% Artillery combat ability
- +10% Morale of armies
Athens is a small country in the Morea region. It starts the campaign as a vassal of Byzantium and surrounded by the Ottomans. It consists of only one province of a Greek culture and Orthodox religion, while Athens itself is of the Tuscan culture and Catholic religion. Unlike many of its neighbors, Athens belongs to the Western technology group. In order to form Greece you will have to have a cultural shift to change missions.
- Main article: Crusader missions
Athens starts in an extremely dangerous position. A one-province minor with the wrong culture and religion, it is also a vassal under Byzantium, who have the most powerful nation in the game ready to attack them. If you want to survive as Athens, you need to break free, and quickly.
Depending on Byzantium's rivals, you may be able to gain the assistance of Venice or Genoa in supporting your independence. In addition, maxing out your relations with the Ottomans, building over your force limit, and hiring a diplomatic reputation advisor should be enough to gain their support as well, which can buy you desperately needed time to consolidate your realm and expand. Byzantium themselves usually only ally Serbia, Theodoro, or Wallachia, so the war itself will likely be over quickly assuming you have the backing of another nation. At this point, it's your choice of whether or not to take Constantinople in the peace deal. Doing so will greatly increase your wealth and strength, but this will greatly anger the Ottomans, even if you managed to ally them.
From this point forward, there are several areas open for expansion. You can attempt to move north into Serbia and Bosnia, seize the Aegean from Venice, or even attempt an exodus to the New World. But one thing is clear: sooner or later, the Ottomans will come knocking, and your only hope of escaping that is either to expand enough to stand up to them, or escape beyond their reach.
Athens starts as a Catholic Italian minor in a Greek Orthodox area, so humanist or religious ideas will be of great use in converting the region depending on your playstyle. Also, quality or defensive ideas can prove beneficial with the Ottomans on your doorstep.