Difference between revisions of "Burgundy"

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Revision as of 17:44, 9 June 2015


Primary culture
Burgundian (French)

Capital province
Bourgogne (192)

Feudal Monarchy Government monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
WesternWestern technology group
Burgundian ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+10% Morale of armies
+1 Diplomatic relation

Prestige.png The Order of the Golden Fleece

+1 Yearly prestige

Mercenary maintenance.png The Compagnies d'Ordonnance

−15% Mercenary maintenance

Mercenary manpower.png Promote the Estates General

+50% Mercenary manpower

Discipline.png Reform of the Feudal Army

+5% Discipline

Trade efficiency.png Integrate the Towns in the Estates General

+10% Trade efficiency

Tolerance heretic.png Allow Freedom of Worship

+2 Tolerance of heretics

National manpower modifier.png Create the Regimental System

+25% National manpower modifier

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+15% Goods produced modifier
{{{name2}}} ideas
missing versioning

Traditions.png Traditions:

-25% Mercenary maintenance
+1 Diplomatic relations

Prestige.png The Order of the Golden Fleece

+1 Yearly prestige

Mercenary cost.png The Compagnies d'Ordonnance

-20% Mercenary cost

Mercenary manpower.png Promote the Estates General

+100% Available mercenaries

Discipline.png Reform of the Feudal Army

+5% Discipline

National trade income modifier.png Integrate the Towns in the Estates General

+10% National trade income modifier

Tolerance heretic.png Allow Freedom of Worship

+2 Tolerance of heretics

National manpower modifier.png Create the Regimental System

+25% National manpower modifier

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+10% Trade steering

At the start Burgundy is a nation with two faces. Situated mainly in modern eastern and northeastern of France, Burgundy is the biggest rival for the French King to unify/control the area now known as France, but at the game's start still a feudal patchwork of royal lands, vassals and independent states. Historically, Burgundy's French ambitions were terminated in the Hundred Years' War when they sided with the English king, but it still remains a great land power in its own right, with its potential economic, military and political power mainly situated in the Low Countries rather than the French lands from which it originally came. Burgundy is hence well positioned to colonize or even turn into the Netherlands. Alternatively the imperial throne can be claimed as well, though actual eastward expansion can be slow and costly since Germanic culture is not accepted (Dutch and Flemish is accepted due to high province value in the beginning). Be mindful of the Channel, although the English may purport to be your friends now, if they win their hundreds year war they shall surely attempt to take some of your recent prizes. This is no reason to fear, as a good Burgundy player can control both the Germans and the French.


Main article: Burgundian missions

Burgundy's missions are holdovers from EU3, and are for the most part not relevant to the 1444 start. The only missions that have any relevance are Conquer Liege and Vassalize Lorraine.


Main article: Burgundian events

Before the year 1500, if an AI controlled Burgundy finds itself in a regency with no heir, or on the losing side of a war while having a ruler, there is a chance that the country will have its lands given to other countries. It will usually wind up being split between France and the Holy Roman Emperor, however France has the option to not take the lands (though this only very rarely is done by the AI), and the other country that the land goes to is also governed by some rules:

  • The land won't go to anyone that is at war with Burgundy when the event happens
  • It first tries to go to the Emperor. If the emperor has less than 8 provinces (6 if the emperor is Austria), then the land won't go to the Emperor.
  • It then tries to go to other countries that Burgundy has a royal marriage with that are part of the HRE, or Spain/Castille if Burgundy has a royal marriage with them.
  • It then tries to go to the Emperor again.
  • If it is declined by the Emperor, then it will go to a neighboring country that has a capital in Europe, but not in the British Isles.

If the land is inherited by countries in the HRE, then that country will have the option to restore the Burgundian provinces that were inherited to the countries that have cores on those provinces.


In 1444, Burgundy starts in somewhat precarious position. It sits between France and their ambitions for the lands with Burgundian culture and the numerous German and Dutch states of the Holy Roman Empire. Additionally, the Burgundy region in present-day France is separated from the Low Countries by Provence and its vassal Lorraine. In many games, AI-controlled Burgundy gets crushed early on by France or Austria, but fear not, Burgundy can be an interesting and challenging country to play with.

Burgundy's long term goals should be formation of the Netherlands, and firm control of English Channel trade node to generate the much needed income to fund the war effort.

Alternatively, an ambitious and masochistic Burgundy player can use this dangerous position to form France and become Holy Roman Emperor. Completely conquering France, seducing the electors, submitting Austria and keeping England in check will be your challenges. If you think tackling Europe's most powerful powers with no manpower sounds like a party, read on!

Liberation of the Low Countries

Burgundy borders a few vulnerable Dutch and Wallonian states that should be quickly annexed or vassalized. Liege, Utrecht, Friesland and Gelre: they all need to go down, and fast (Gelre already contains Burgundy's core). Additionally, some nearby German minors are also easy pickings: Münster, Cleves, Cologne, Aachen, Trier. Austria will surely intervene, but Burgundy is capable of crushing them, particularly if an opportune moment is chosen when the Emperor wages war somewhere else. It may even be possible to force them to release Styria, a dead nation which has cores on half of Austria. Doing this will cripple Austria and open the door for further expansion into Germany. During the truce after the first war with the emperor, Burgundy can safely annex a few more provinces without much resistance. If Burgundy doesn't find itself able to conquer provinces when the emperor is weak, it might as well warn all surrounding states so it can intervene without getting a war with the emperor. Feeding vassals is a good strategy, as most of these countries will share the same culture and religion.

During these wars, Burgundy's manpower pool will likely be depleted, and mercenaries will have to be recruited. As the Low Countries produce more than adequate income, Burgundy can support a good number of mercenaries and still be profitable.

Other useful provinces

In case you declare war on England since the very beginning of game, you have a good chance to get back your core province Calais, plus Caux if you have luck (landing into England would be very difficult due to a dominant English navy). Caux has Norman culture which is in the same culture group as Burgundian. However Caux contains French core as well, you probably already own some provinces with French cores, so taking Caux would not cause any much higher chance that France will declare a war to you to get this land back.

In case you attack Provence even before France do this, you can take Barrois from Provence and 2 provinces from Lorraine (which is Provence's vassal since the beginning of game) - all three provinces have the Burgundian culture. It is better to declare war to Provence, not to Lorraine, as Lorraine is part of HRE (and Emperor would most probably go into war with you on Lorraine/Provence's side), while Provence is not.

Savoy owns two Burgundian provinces too (Vaud and Wallis), but is part of HRE, so better to attack it while the Emperor is busy with another exhaustive war.

Most of these provinces will be a French target sooner or later, so if you are able to grab these lands quickly and without major army effort, this will not only increase your province number but you will also obstruct the French ambition for easy expansion. Plus you will become even more dominant in your home trade node the English Channel. Since now, you should be able to compete France which probably still not annex all its vassals (best with some powerful ally, as Castile, Denmark or later also Austria).

Friends and Fiends

France is the major threat to the very existence of Burgundy, so it has to be tiptoed when possible. Austria as the Emperor of HRE and protector of the German princes will almost always interfere when a member of the Empire is attacked. Additionally, their exclave territory Sundgau borders Burgundy and is a source of animosity between the countries. If you conquer Sundgau from Austria (best within some war with minor HRE country which you are interested in) and start improving relations/sharing rival/royal marriage/etc. with them afterwards, Austria might be a strong ally against France. Of course, only if you give up the massive expansion into the HRE territories.

Burgundy will accumulate a lot of animosity in its early years due to very aggressive expansion, and will have to accept living surrounded by enemies.

On the friends' side, things look grim in the beginning: Castile is not powerful enough to take on France until they unite the Iberian Peninsula, and England has its own problems facing the French in the Hundred Years' War. Because of the AI's tendency to rival just about anyone their size, it's also somewhat unlikely that either nation can be relied upon as an ally under any circumstance. Hungary and Denmark can be strong allies in the beginning: no land border with them, and common enemy: the HRE (however Hungary will be probably continuously crushed in wars with Austria, Poland and especially Ottomans soon). Aragon is also a possibility in case Castile gets unlucky with its attempts at forming Spain, though like Denmark has the possibility of failing to balance their prestige, costing them their unions and much of their military potential. Savoy may occasionally be of assistance when fighting France, but will likely begin threatened due to Burgundy's imposing size compared to their own, making them an nonviable companion in offensive wars. In the very beginning, however, Burgundy should rely mostly on itself. Burgundy's initial aggressive expansion will preclude any long-lasting friendships until the initial goals are conquered, but will strengthen the country's position in Europe within the few next years.

Surviving the French Onslaught

Expansion as Burgundy is entirely necessary for its own survival; fortunately, France will most likely have its hands full with the English for the next several years, giving Burgundy precious time to pick up land and accumulate the money and manpower needed to fight off France in direct conflict. As it begins to absorb its vassals, France will gain more income and more manpower, making it more and more dangerous on the battlefield. Individual vassals also pick up war exhaustion separate from their overlord, and if they run out of money or manpower, they will no longer provide troops to follow France's main force around. It is thus a good idea to seize an opportunity should France find itself weakened, perhaps by rebels or an unlucky war with some allies that will have almost surely sought to take advantage of France's huge natural military strength. The more vassals France has, the more vulnerable they are as a nation. Make use of this if you can.

While very useful for increasing your own potential, it should be noted that due to the potent nature of Aggressive Expansion and the touchiness of the nations within the Holy Roman Empire, even taking a single province from the HRE can result in disproportionately severe coalitions consisting of most of your neighbors and many more distant HRE members. As a nation that has no reason not to hate you from day one, France will almost surely join as well.

If all else fails, Burgundy has the additional benefit of high income and domination of an end trade node. If you find yourself on the receiving end of one land-hungry France, a heaping pile of cash is a nice thing to fall back on. If you have enough money, the otherwise restricting cost penalty for exceeding your force limit can be ignored for a short time - perhaps long enough to crush the majority of France's forces with a tidal wave of emergency mercenaries.

Forming Netherlands

If all goes well, Burgundy should have grown sufficiently and will control all of the Low Countries region by the time it hits administrative tech 10. However, all of its French-speaking territories will be ceded back to France, when the formation decision is taken, including the wealthy Burgundy region. Unfortunately, short of completely annexing or vassalizing France, there is no way to prevent them from taking your hard-earned provinces, as, even if your subject nations own those provinces, they will be then ceded to France and you and your subjects will lose cores on them. If you find yourself having consumed almost all of France and want to keep everything you've worked so hard to conquer, an advisable strategy would be to reduce France to the size where vassalization becomes feasible. Because of the likely very high AE and consequently very low relations, fully annexing and then releasing the nation is also recommended, so as to wipe away any excess Aggressive Expansion if you don't feel like waiting for it to bleed off. Begin diplomatic annexation as soon as possible. As the meter begins to reach the high 90's range, save the game (in case you make a mistake; this strategy requires precise timing) and slow the speed of the game down. Very carefully monitor the progress meter as it creeps up. On the first day of the month when annexation progress is full, you will have exactly one day of 100 percent annexation progress, yet France itself will still exist. On that very day, click the option to form the Netherlands. All land in the French region will indeed be French once more, and as soon as you unpause the game, all French land will become yours again as the game triggers the inheritance event. This will save time and Legitimacy that would otherwise be spent annexing multiple smaller vassals. (If you're playing Ironman mode and mess up the timing, you still have the added benefit of the entire nation of France as your vassal, slightly reducing the cost of failure)

Since patch 1.6 the only way to keep your land is to remove France from the map. You only cede the French provinces to France when France exists.

There is a way to sort of keep the territories that you have taken from France. Or at least a majority of them. What you want to do is declare war on France, do some damage if you'd like, and then offer to release France's previous vassals. This will give you time to make claims and make sure France doesn't reconquer them. This way you can at least retake some of what you have taken from France without having to fight France himself. And because you released them as vassals, most French minors will be able to be vassalized in one war, thus allowing you to feed and annex at a later date. Make sure to check that you have taken as much of the French minor cores as possible before declaring once more.

National Ideas

The Quality group from the Military ideas is a good first choice: it allows expenditure of those unnecessary military points, and will unlock a few of the Burgundian ideas that significantly reduce the upkeep of mercenaries. As the manpower pool is very limited, mercenaries are almost obligatory until Burgundy grows strong enough to sustain the French on their own.

Alternatively, Defensive group is perhaps an even more desirable choice overall, due to other nations preferring to select it when not scripted to take a specific group themselves and because even a slight morale difference can decide a war. Unless exceptionally unlucky, France will almost surely have high prestige from its sound victory over England in the Hundred Years' War. Given the tendency for spontaneous coalitions that can form from Burgundy trying to expand even by a single province, and the fact that France will have almost surely have been throwing their weight around in the meantime, Burgundy will need the morale boost to counter the boost France will get from its prestige and military tradition advantages.

Expansion can be useful as a second group, as it provides some trade-oriented bonuses, a colonist and most importantly, two additional diplomatic relations. Burgundy can't have too many allies against France and Austria.

After that, trade-oriented ideas will be very useful when the country reforms to Netherlands.

Forming France and becoming Holy Roman Emperor

As we all know, Burgundy really is the best France. Everyone wants it, but we are not going to let them spend a single night in the Palais des Ducs. This objective is not the easiest one and may force you into restarting your game, but it is very rewarding, fun and challenging.

The first years

Probably the hardest part of your adventure. Once France ends the Hundred Years' War, she will be very troublesome. Austria, with its clown car of allies, will be ready to defend any Empire Prince you look at the wrong way. Consequently, you have to be very careful when making your first moves. On day one, fill your advisors with the cheapest on the market and start making trade ships. Fortunately for you, Burgundy sits on a large part of the English Channel trade node, which means you are standing on an already nice gold pile and a possible source of colossal wealth on the long term.

Now, you need to pick your rivals and mission. Provence, England and France make good enemies. For now, the rival system looks a bit broken as it does not enable picking Provence as a rival. As for your missions, the easy ones are a priority. You should also make your first steps to becoming Holy Roman Emperor by allying Cologne, which often comes with a mission. If you do so, be sure to wait until the alliance message comes back before this next step. Do not take any missions related to attacking the Empire ever.

For alliances, Castile is essential to your cause. Nowadays, she will rival France very often and you must, must become her best friend forever if you wish to take down France. You can choose other alliances according to your needs, but they will often bail on you when you attack France or get attacked by her. I recommend allying Castile as fast as possible as it is an insurance against a possible France or Austrian invasion.

Considering the fact that England will rival you as soon as the Hundred Years' War ends and that she will probably ally Austria two weeks into the game (but this varies), you should declare war on her for Calais quickly. Use the diplomat who went to Cologne to fabricate a claim on Barrois. Siege Calais with mercenaries if you can to protect your meager manpower, you can also send troops on Caux and Normandie to boost your warscore or simply loot. Portugal will try to stop you, but baiting them beyond crossings will dispatch them. As for England's army, it is too busy being beaten back into the sea by angry Frenchmen to give you trouble. They might try to land on Calais or Picardie, but you just need to welcome them with your own angry Burgundians. Plus, you can also grant France passage on your lands. She will get the job done for you and save your precious manpower. Negotiate peace for Calais as soon as possible. If you are eager to wait, you might try to fabricate a claim on Caux before declaring war so you might claim it as well. Be warned though, as it is not part of your Casus Belli, it will cost you diplomatic points and give you aggressive expansion. Plus, it will take a very long time before England accepts peace, long enough for France to end the war and turn on you.

Once England is out of the picture, send your newly constructed merchant fleet on the waves of the English Channel trade node. Then, it's time to make some more friends against France. Aragon is a logical ally against France, but she is unreliable. Rarely, Aragon will beat Castile into submission. Either way, you need help to fight France so read the game and pick the best horse. The Holy Roman Empire is another beast altogether. Archbishoprics (Cologne, Mainz and the like) make good allies simply because Austria can't get into royal marriage with them which boost her elective score even more. If you end up enable to win the candidacy diplomatically, you don't have to break royal marriages with Archbishoprics, thus you can liberate diplomatic relations quickly. If you are in luck, you can convince them to back you for Emperor. Bohemia is also a good pick, as it is an enemy of Austria, but only if she is not backing herself, which is more than often the case. Once again, read the map and place your bets, but prioritize electors. Once you have enough allies, declare war against Provence for Barrois and win it. Keep trying to save as much manpower as possible for your future wars against France. Forge claims on one or two provinces close to you. If you want to make a significant early gain against France, fabricate claims on Berry and, on the longer term, Poitou. You want to cut France in half, denying her the ability to move from north to south. If all goes well, you have now have your territories linked and are over or around 50 power projection.

The Holy Roman Empire and you

As of 1.6.1, consider all Holy Roman Empire lands extremely toxic. Conquering it, annexing or vassalizing anything as an outsider will make your score as a potential Emperor nose dive. Plus, Austria will always be there to defend the princes and Austria will make sure to imperial ban everything you don't have a core on. If you want to make Austria's election score go down, remove all the provinces you control from the HRE. It will make her authority go down by 1 per province and will make her hate you for a good hundred years. She already does anyway. Lowering her authority might split up the vote for the next emperor. If the stars are aligned, you can go through with only two or three electors backing you. If this fails, you will have to vassalize electors. Remember, the only relatively safe way to expand into the HRE is to do it from the inside. Even then, coalitions will be made fast.

The crossroad

If you played your cards right, you are plotting your way to be Holy Roman Emperor and are locked down for expansion on nearly all directions. It's you against France. By now, the Hundred Years' War should be well over and France will be looking to strike you. You decide if you want to make the first move or not. That's where your allies steps in (if they do). Aragon or Castile are what win or lose wars. If Castile or Aragon come into conflict with France over Navarra, join them. Castile/Aragon can defend Navarra easily due to the Pyrenees Mountain Range. If they are willing to war against France, you have a chance to declare war on her. If not, you will be stuck in a waiting position. When at war, keep in mind France and her troops are very, very dangerous. The more men you bring to them, the more chance you have of winning. Prey on her weakness, use mercenaries. If you have the advantage against France, push it. If not, peace out of the war as soon as possible with whatever piece of France you can get. Sometimes, you can also get beaten, if so give them some provinces and plot your comeback. Try to take strategic provinces. If you think you are unable to, go for provinces with high manpower and taxes like Champagne. It is easier to capture as it borders you from all directions.

General strategy tips

Fighting against France is a terrible idea, that's why we are doing it. The situation is far from being desperate. Yes, you have low manpower. That's when Burgundian ideas step in! You can buy mercenaries for cheap. They are essential in your fight against France. Before your military technology makes mercenary infantry obsolete, use them for your infantry line and build your own cavalry and cannons. It will cost you less ducats to build and maintain instead of fielding an all mercenary army. Plus, if they get decimated, mercenary casualties count for a lot less toward your war exhaustion. Bait the French in mountainous regions, like the Pyrenees, or in provinces with crossings and natural defenses and pray the gods you will get a 4 shock general. Use scorched earth on their objectives (often Picardie or Calais) and provinces they like to walk through or siege. Once beaten, chase them until they are wiped out. Then, carpet siege their holdings and chase their units down before they can group. You can also back rebels and nurture them while you occupy France to make regions break off.

The end

Ultimately, France should fall before you. If you are looking for things to do while being at peace, you can declare war without casus belli on Morocco or Algeria. You can go for a coastal province if you want to join the colonial game early or make your way to Kongo through Africa by capturing provinces leading there. If you wish to tackle England, build Carracks and weaken her by sending your ships on privateer missions. Enter through Scotland with military access or land on the Orkneys while blocking the straight. Just be careful with coalitions, pick ideas according to your objectives and be careful.

Once France starts being gutted, you know it's only a matter of time before Burgundian troops drink their superior wine in Paris when the house de Bourgogne gets its rightful title as ruler of France. Make a toast to the last Duke with a glass of crémant de Bourgogne as you click the Form France button. Then, play the game.

Remember that when France is weaker, Austria may ally with them, and an allied force of French and Austrians can be a difficult force to defeat due to the fact that they usually have high army tradition and high base-tax provinces.