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Kingdom rankFrance
Primary culture
Francien (French)

Capital province
Paris (183)

Feudal Monarchy Government monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
WesternWestern technology group
French ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+20% National manpower modifier
+1 Diplomatic reputation

Diplomatic relations.png French Language in All courts

+1 Diplomatic relation

Morale of armies.png Elan!

+20% Morale of armies

National tax modifier.png Estates General

+10% National tax modifier

Native uprising chance.png Native Trading Principles

−50% Native uprising chance
+50% Native assimilation

Fort maintenance.png Vauban Fortifications

−20% Fort maintenance

Technology cost.png The Philosophes

−10% Technology cost

Tolerance heretic.png Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

+2 Tolerance of heretics
+2 Tolerance of heathens

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+5% Discipline
For the region, see France (region).

"L'État c'est moi" (I am the State.) - Louis XIV "The Sun King" of France (1638–1715)

France is a kingdom located in Western Europe, in the French Region, and could be one of the most (if not the most) interesting and entertaining nations to play in EUIV due to its powerful military and amount of flavour events. France allows for the player to make mistakes with usually limited consequences. Due to its military and sheer size, taking down France as an outside nation can be difficult, but not impossible. In 1444, it borders Burgundy to the north and east, England to the north and west, Aragon to the south, Savoy to the east and a large number of minor nations all around. Notable are Provence, the Papal State, and Navarra.

France starts out guaranteeing independence to Scotland, in an alliance with Provence, and with cores on all the English land in France. Calais is not in the France region and it does not have French culture, and is therefore not a core of France.


Main article: French missions

French missions are focused around uniting the myriad states in France itself, messing around in the Holy Roman Empire, fighting the English and kicking them out of the mainland, and colonizing North America.


Main article: French events

Wars of Religion

The rise of Protestantism in Europe led to three decades of civil war within France known as The Wars of Religion. This event can occur between 1550 and 1570 if less than 80% of the country has the state religion (usually Catholic). Rival Catholic nations can form La Ligue Catholique, a major player in the French Wars of Religion, directed at the eradication of the Protestants in France. The League was used not only to defend the Catholic cause, but also as a political tool in an attempt to usurp the French throne.

The formation of the La Ligue Catholique will decrease relations with Catholic nations and give qualifying neighboring powers a casus belli to restore the one true faith!

Palace of Versailles

Around 1650, the player will be presented with the choice, through an event, to begin construction of the Palace of Versailles. A high initial cost to set the construction in motion, as well as a temporary but lengthy tax cut, can be a very costly procedure, where several loans might be required. However, finishing the Palace of Versailles will give France the desired model of kingly ruling, and as long as the Palace remains, France will benefit from yearly prestige and legitimacy.

The French Revolution & Napoleon

This event can occur after 1750 if the French economy is on its knees or is suffering from high War Exhaustion (especially if France has taken a lot of loans) and the probability of the event chain firing is increased if demands for economic and social reforms have been turned down. This event chain can create revolts, uprisings and even the overthrow of the monarchy! Sometime along this event chain, the player may get a general named Napoleon who has high stats.

Form French Nation

France can be formed by a French, Basque or Breton country should it cease to exist.

Execute decision.pngForm French Nation

This year will mark the beginning of an evolutionary period for our nation. The old feudal ways will begin to make way for a more modern centralized nation. Although struggling financially due to miscalculated projects and military campaigns, we have managed to transform ourselves into one of the most dominant powers of Europe.

Potential requirements

The country:

If the country is AI-controlled then it:


The country:

Flag of France France does not exist.


The country:

  • becomes Flag of France France
  • gets a permanent claim on every non-owned provinces in France (region).
  • gets the modifier “Increased Centralization” for 20 years with the following effects:
    • Autonomy.png−0.05 monthly autonomy change,
    • National unrest.png+1 national unrest.
  • gains Prestige.png25 prestige.
  • changes its capital to Paris (183).

If Flag of France France:


Execute decision.pngMove Court to Versailles

The land around the small village of Versailles has long been excellent hunting land, the small hunting lodge has steadily been augmented into a grand looking chateau. Is it not now fitting to make this the seat of the French government?

Potential requirements

The country:

  • is Flag of France France.
  • has its capital in Paris (183).
  • is a monarchy.
  • has not enacted this decision before.

If the country is AI-controlled then it:


Flag of France France:


Flag of France France gains Prestige.png33 prestige.
Paris (183) gains Tax Base Icon.png2 base tax.

Execute decision.png'L'État c'est moi'

Granted the right to rule by the grace of God and God alone we should not allow our God given rights to limited by other, lesser, men.

Potential requirements

The country:

  • is Flag of France France.
  • is a monarchy.
  • does not have the modifier “L'État c'est moi”.

If the country is AI-controlled then it:


Flag of France France:


Flag of France France:

  • gets the modifier “L'État c'est moi” for the rest of the campaign with the following effect:
    • Prestige.png +0.5 yearly prestige
    • Maximum absolutism +20.0 Maximum Absolutism
  • gain Absolutism.png +10 Absolutism

Execute decision.pngEnact Edict de Nantes

The realm was so torn by innumerable factions and sects that the most legitimate of all the parties was fewest in numbers. God has given us strength to stand out against this storm, we have finally surmounted the waves and made our port of safety, -- peace for our state.

Potential requirements

The country:

  • is Flag of France France.
  • has not enacted this decision before.

If the country is AI-controlled then it:

The ProtestantismProtestant or Reformed.pngReformed religion is enabled.


Flag of France France:

  • is CatholicismCatholic and that's the country's dominant religion.
  • does not have modifier “Counter-Reformation”.
  • owns at least 3 provinces that are ProtestantismProtestant or at least 3 provinces that are Reformed.pngReformed.


Flag of France France:

  • gets the modifier “Edict de Nantes” until the decision Revoke Edict de Nantes is enacted with the following effects:
    • Tolerance heretic.png +2 tolerance of heretics,
    • Tolerance own.png -1 tolerance of the true faith,
    • Religious unity.png +25% religious unity.

Execute decision.pngRevoke Edict de Nantes

We have determined that we can do nothing better than entirely revoke the said Edict of Nantes, with the special articles granted as a sequel to it, as well as all that has since been done in favor of the said religion

Potential requirements

The country:

  • has the modifier “Edict de Nantes”.

If the country is AI-controlled then it:


At least one of the following;

  • The country is not CatholicismCatholic.
  • The country has no ProtestantismProtestant and no Reformed.png Reformed provinces.
  • Paris (183) is controlled by Flag of Rebels Rebels rebels.


The country:

  • loses the modifier “Edict de Nantes”.
  • gains Prestige.png 10 prestige.


France should focus on unifying it's cultural cores early, this won't be too hard as England has less troops than France and is forced to navally invade. From there, France has four common ways to expand: first, expanding into Italy. The French player will often get missions to expand into Italy, which is a rich region and probably has the highest development in the game. However, it is a tightly contested region, and moving into it can make powerful enemies very quickly, especially the Holy Roman Emperor if the player expands there before 1490. If the player wishes to move into Italy, a good way to do so early is by getting the "transfer subject" bonus in the age of discovery. It can be used to have other countries make their subjects the player's subjects pretty quickly. It can be used to gain Naples from Aragon, which is probably most important since it is bigger than any other subjects on the Italian peninsula. Combined with some early conquests in Savoy, France can position itself to dominate Italy early.

Secondly, one can expand into the low countries. It is easier to expand into than Italy. Enemies in the region are usually very weak early (with the exception of Burgundy who shouldn't be taken on alone early), and there are usually few other great powers looking to expand into it that early. Like Italy, it's provinces are rich, and will help France control the trade node shared with the English. However, it is much more difficult to retain. Later in the game, Dutch rebellions are some of the worst in the game as rivals will have the option to defend them.

Thirdly, one can expand into Africa. Historically France invaded Algeria, and it is an easy area to move into. There is usually very little competition for the area with other great powers, and the countries in the area are usually very weak, especially Flag of Tlemcen Tlemcen. However, the area is Muslim and has increased coring cost, making it harder to convert and worsening rebellions. The region also has weak development, meaning that the gains made from it are smaller than in Italy or the Low Countries, but it is easier to take and maintain. However, it also opens up more opportunities for easy expansion. If the player is doing this, religious or humanist are a must early on (though religious is recommended for long-term benefits of actually converting provinces).

Fourth is colonialism. England, Spain, and Portugal will have better colonial expansion benefits through better settler increase, more colonists through national ideas, and different colonial events. However, France's national idea offers it a chance to go the middle way in colonialism without the penalties. It will get no native attacks and have a very good assimilation rate. This makes France among the best colonial nations if France isn't moving troops into the new world. France also has some unique historical colonial events and missions. Be aware, however, that in multiplayer France will often have strong enemies in the mainland, and oftentimes expansion might not be a good choice for the French player. However, if other usual colonial competitors are not expanding fast, or if you have few enemies in mainland Europe, colonial expansion may be a good choice for France.

Taking French culture territory

Flag of France France can increase its power by taking territories within the french culture group. Neighboring countries in other culture groups will gain 50% less Aggressive expansion impact.png aggressive expansion impact.

Initial countries with french culture territory are :

War.png Flag of England England

This war can be started at the beginning of the game. Flag of England England and Flag of Portugal Portugal start with an alliance, so both countries may join the war. Flag of Portugal Portugal can be managed by allying Flag of Castile Castile and Flag of Scotland Scotland. If an Irish country joins the war, then taking cores can be used to claim more Irish provinces in future wars. Defeating Flag of Portugal Portugal with a high score may give access to North Africa with Province icon.png Ceuta.

Province icon.png Caux, Normandie, Gascogne, and Maine can be taken in one war. Province icon.png Labourd and Calais are not French, but can be taken with a War score.png100% war score for Mission.png mission or strategic purpose.

Example of strategy avoiding naval encounter

The war takes place in both Britain region and France region. The whole army of Flag of England England starts in the Britain region in two regiments. Allies can be let fighting together while a small french regiment occupies provinces in France region and a major regiments fight in Britain region using Flag of Scotland Scotland as a start point. If the major regiment encounters the English regiments in London before its fusion they can be wiped them giving a strong advantage to Flag of France France.

After taking all the french culture provinces, the player, with either Influence or diplomatic Ideas, may try to become the Holy Roman Emperor (Flag of Brandenburg Brandenburg and Flag of Bohemia Bohemia, if not rivals, are easy to ally) and to inherit all the Burgundian lands in France and the Low Countries. If the player does so, it is strongly recommended to set the national focus on Diplomatic power.png to change the Culture icon.png culture of the Low Countries to French to avoid the large Dutch revolts that will happen between 1550 and 1650.

After the War with Flag of England England and the french minors, the player may attack Flag of Aragon Aragon if the Iberian Wedding hasn't fired (yet) with the help of Flag of Castile Castile to take the Pyrenees, Province icon.png The Balearics or Palermo to gain an access to North Africa, as it is an important and easy land to conquer. During the peace deal, the player should Force Aragon to release Flag of Naples Naples as a sovereign state or even transfer it to France if possible, it will make his conquest easier in the future.

After wars against Flag of England England, French minors and Flag of Aragon Aragon, the year should be around 1490 or 1500. It is a perfect timing, because in 1490 the shadow kingdom event happens, removing all the Italian minors from the Holy Roman Empire, and making their conquest really easy if the player didn't manage to become emperor. By 1490 the player could have also already allied the powerful Flag of Ottomans Ottomans. The Ottoman Army will be helpful to deal with Flag of Austria Austria, Flag of Hungary Hungary or any big nation allied to an Italian Minor. The conquest should be easy then, and the player will soon enjoy all the Italian wealth and the high developed provinces of North Italy. He should be careful though with Aggressive expansion impact.png aggressive expansion, overextension and the high coring cost of these provinces.

Recommended idea groups

  • Either Influence idea group.png Influence or Diplomatic idea group.png Diplomatic

This choice will allow better relations with neighbors and will avoid coalitions. The reduced aggressive expansion (-20%) in the "Influence" idea group and the extra diplomat from the diplomatic idea group are certainly the most useful things of this choice.

  • Exploration idea group.png Exploration

The player will certainly need to colonize a little bit, since building the french army up to the maximum force limit and fully maintaining it provokes a mid-sized deficit to Flag of France France. Colonizing the Caribbean and Gulf of Saint Laurence trade nodes will fix the economic problem (because these trade nodes are directly connected to the Bordeaux Trade node). If Flag of France France managed to conquer the British Islands following the strategy above and inherited or conquered the dutch lands belonging to Burgundy, the player may colonize the Chesapeake trade node, connected to the English Channel trade node, and collect the trade there. Also, the fourth french national idea provides faster colonization and less "native rise" risk.

  • Either Quality idea group.png Quality or Defensive idea group.png Defensive

Quality will provide better combat ability in all three units and better generals. This useful to strengthen the french military to fight enemies like Flag of Austria Austria or maybe Flag of Prussia Prussia. The naval bonuses will help to fight off the British navy. Defensive, on the other side, provides cheaper armies and defensive, combined with the second national idea, will provide a huge bonus of +35% morale of armies.

  • Quantity idea group.png Quantity

More troops are always useful. This combined with quality or defensive will make the french army almost unstoppable.

  • Expansion idea group.png Expansion

This allows faster colonization if Flag of France France is playing an active colonial game.

Keep in mind that this is completely optional, and this can change depending on the player's game. Example: If the player is working on conquering Muslims in North Africa, it might be more useful to take religious or humanist ideas instead of exploration or quantity.


Azur semé de lis or icon
Get all the French Cores as France.

Better than Napoleon icon
Better than Napoleon
As France, own Vienna, Berlin and Moscow as core provinces.

Big Blue Blob icon
As France, hold 100 European core provinces before 1500.
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