- +20% Cavalry combat ability
- +5% Recover army morale speed
- −1 National unrest
- +20% National manpower modifier
- +5% Discipline
- +10% National tax modifier
- +10% Production efficiency
- +25% Domestic trade power
- Heretic and heathen provinces do not give any penalties
- +1 Leader without upkeep
Until 10 November 1444, Wladislaw III Jagiellon ruled over Hungary and Poland, leading their forces against the Ottomans in the Crusade of Varna. However, with defeat at the Battle of Varna, Wladislaw lies dead, Hungary's throne is vacant and the Ottomans are ascendant. If Hungary is to oppose their impending takeover of the Balkans, its forces will have to be rallied quickly.
On the home front, commander Janos Hunyadi has gathered what is left of the armed forces and led them back into Hungary. A man of great renown and many talents, he is seen by many in Hungary as Wladislaw's natural successor. However, the Habsburgs of Austria are keen to press their own claim through the infant, Ladislaus Postumus, who was the heir apparent before Wladislaw took the throne through a civil war. Should he come of age, Hungary will be hard-pressed to maintain its independence from Austria.To the north, the defeat at Varna has left Poland in a similar state of chaos to Hungary. However, they remain a formidable force, and a Hungarian King would be well-advised to seek their friendship rather than their enmity - at least if the Polish King becomes the ruler of Lithuania. On the other hand, Bohemia, a hotbed of the Hussite heresy, may offer a more attractive target for expansion, especially if the Holy Roman Emperor's approval can be secured... and if the Ottomans can be kept at bay long enough.
- Main article: Hungarian missions
Hungarian missions are about dominating the Balkans. After you either set Poland as rival or have the same ruling dynasty you get missions to take out Moldavia and Wallachia. Later on you will have to go after Serbia and Bosnia. If you get enough forts on the border of the Ottomans you can unlock the mission "Anatolian threat" which will give you claims on Ottomans territory. The main goal of this mission is to push out the Ottomans from the Balkans.
- Main article: Hungarian events
Hungary's events are centered around various historical events in their history, with many of them focusing on their personal union with Austria. Additionally, Hungary gains a number of events related to one of its greatest kings, Matthias Corvinus.
Abolish the Black Army
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The Black Army is a source of constant expenses and is detested by our nobility. Loyalty bought with silver can be lost just as cheaply. Let us do away with the Black Army and instead let the reliable armies of the realm fight for us.
The country has the modifier “Black Army”.
The country is not at war.
Note that the nobility estate also loses its −10% influence modifier for having the modifier “Black Army”.
Hungary has a challenging starting position, but a few good opportunities to grow. The most obvious, guided by your missions, is to conquer the newly acquired Ottoman land in the Balkans and avenge Varna.
Austria is an obvious early ally, since it starts as a historical friend. The Ottomans are a likely rival to both Hungary and Austria. The first big decision and step in the mission tree is whether to ally or rival Poland. Rivaling might be easier (especially at higher difficulty levels), but allying it is definitely safer.
In the beginning, you can conquer four minor powers, three by force and one diplomatically. Wallachia usually doesn't have any allies (except sometimes Serbia or Bosnia, that you can eat up relatively easily) and makes an easy target, then so does Serbia and Bosnia. You can get CBs through your missions on all this land. Then, you can usually acquire Moldavia through an event chain where they will have to choose between you and Poland as ruler. If you are quick enough, you could also try and go to Albania, although Albania is guaranteed by Venice. The only thing other than Venice stopping you will be rival Ottoman vying for the same land and trying to conquer it at the same time. Ragusa should be invaded only if its guarantor Ottomans will not join the war or if the player can drag in most of the allies.
The big problem with expansion into the Balkans is that it's primarily Orthodox Christian religion is very hard to convert to Catholicism. Religious unity problems could be severe early on until Religious Ideas are studied. This problem disappears in the mid 1500's when the last national idea (Create the Estates General) is unlocked. This idea is tailor made for the problem, eliminating all religious tolerance penalties. Until then, Balkan expansion may be more easily done using an Orthodox vassal or two. Though Wallachia is the first in the mission tree, it is a poor choice because it's 50% hostile core-creation cost modifier will increase diplomatic annexation costs on territory it is fed as well. Bulgaria is a particularly good one (released from bordering Ottoman land), since it lies in the middle of Balkan territory and has a core creation cost bonus. Serbia is another good choice.
So for first Ideas, Religious is best if direct Balkan conquest is the plan. Influence is best if the strategy is vassal feeding instead.
Expanding west means fighting Venice. Taking it's Croatian provinces on the Adriatic Coast is a good strategy since it provides more naval capacity and trade income, and both of which are in short supply at the start. Expanding further into rich Venetian territory in Northern Italy can turn Hungary into a trade and naval powerhouse.
To the east, Christian kingdoms like Theodoro, Trebizond, Imereti and Circassia can make good vassals or easy target for a naval invasion (assuming your Adriatic conquests) to try and encircle the Ottomans. They also give you a nice fortress in between the Ottomans and their likely ally, Crimea.
By building three fortresses on the Ottoman border, you gain a CB on both Macedonian and Bulgarian areas and a reason to go to war with the Ottomans. It is usually a good idea to wait while they are at war with either the beyliks, the Mamluks or one of the hordes to ensure they don't focus all their energy on you and to get a few allies involved. Austria and Poland are good candidates, but you can try and go with a more unique set of allies by inviting kingdoms such as Georgia, Aragon or Castile (which tends to rival the Ottomans if it inherits the Aragon throne). The goal is then to take land but to avoid taking their capital right away in a peace deal, which would move it to Anatolia and make future wars much harder. In the early stage of game Ottomans have significantly superior military units, so Hungary shall bring into war an overwhelming quantity of allied troops to be able to stand against them. Blocking the Bosporus strait with navy is nearly impossible unless your alliance is navally strong ( Venice, Aragon, Mamluks or Genoa are all strong in this regard.
If vassals were used for Balkan expansion, releasing Byzantium as a vassal to expand into Greek territory is a strong option.
After pushing the Ottomans out of Europe and completing your mission tree, you have multiple options. You can try and become the HRE emperor, try and revive a Hungarian version of the Eastern Roman Empire. Once Hungary is powerful it can turn against Austria and take its cores if the related achievement is desired. This is preferably done when Austria is no longer HRE emperor and even better if it has become a rival of the current emperor, to keep HRE malice and coalitions to a minimum.