- +10% Morale of armies
- +10% Trade efficiency
- −10% Shock damage received
- −20% Cost of advisors with ruler's culture
- −2 National unrest
- +1 Yearly papal influence
- +2% Missionary strength vs heretics
- +10% Goods produced modifier
- −0.02 Monthly war exhaustion
- +5% Discipline
- +1 Yearly legitimacy
- +0.3 Yearly republican tradition
Template:Idea group/Irish Ireland is a formable nation in the British Isles. It is usually created from one of the four Irish OPMs, and is a good step up for them. Unlike many other formable nations, however, it does not guarantee being anything more than a regional power. With only 5 provinces that the formation affects, Ireland can be one of the weaker nations. That said, it does have a chance to be strong, especially in the New World.
Form Irish Nation
For decades England has attempted to subjugate the Irish population and take control of the island. To unite the Irish lands under a sole flag may be our only chance to repel them.
Luck of the Irish Strategy
Opening moves for all Irish OPMs are the same - annex or vassalise your neighbours and form an alliance with Scotland. In 1.9 there is a strait connecting Ulster to Ayrshire which makes Scotland more likely to help against the other minors and means transports are no longer necessary to invade England. Of all Irish minors Connacht's king has the highest military value at 3. Most likely he will become a 2-3 shock king-general which can make a huge difference if you choose to fight the English early.
Some luck is needed at the beginning, but in general the achievement is not too hard if you have some patience. Escaping to the New World is fairly luck-independent while fighting the English requires the some preconditions that may not occur in your run.
Strongest of the Weak
Before unpausing the game declare the other Irish OPMs to be your rivals, then select a mission to wipe one of them off the map. Begin recruitment of a unit of cavalry. While waiting for its arrival reduce your army maintenance. Set your light ships to protecting trade in the English Channel and have your two merchants Collect Trade in the North Sea and the English Channel. Go ahead and disband your transport ship since it is virtually useless for a very long time. You'll want to turn your king into a general. Scotland will usually accept an alliance at the start. You may want to delay making one of the other OPMs a rival. This should allow you to ally with them. Doing this keeps them off your back while you capture the other two. Don't agree to a RM, as it will cost you stability when you inevitably attack them. Any spare diplomats should be sent to improve relations in France or Castile in anticipation of an alliance.
Hopefully one of your missions should be along the lines of 'Remove Munster from the map'. Accept it and use the free claim to declare war. If you don't have one of those types of missions, then you should probably just declare war immediately after getting a local ally who will join you (Scotland or another Irish OPM). You could Fabricate Claim, but you risk your rivals getting powerful allies of their own (Denmark, Brittany, or even Portugal). You're probably better off just taking the -2 Stab hit and the extra AE. Remember to set your military maintenance to full a few months before you declare war and to make your king a general. If you allied with the remaining OPM then now is the time to declare them a rival and break the alliance. Once the second target falls repeat the process with the third. You will now have all of Ireland but Meath under your control. Annexing gives more ducats but vassals will provide more troops than if you owned the province directly. Even if you annex all three other Irish OPMs and started the first war without a CB, you won't get a coalition going against you. It can hurt your chances of allying Castile, though.
Note that around ~1460 or so (depending on how high England's war exhaustion gets and how well the Pretender rebels are doing), Irish Patriots often rebel in Meath. The stack size is typically ~14 units. If you do not allow England military access and you control the four other Irish provinces, England will typically not be able to stop the rebels from enforcing their demands since they would have to win an extremely uphill fight (attacking from transports into woods is -3 to all their rolls). They're generally too busy with more important rebels anyway and won't even have the troops to spare for the kind of suicidal attack they would need. Even if you take Meath in this manner (by having it forced on you by rebels), England will still have a -50ish modifier because you own one of their cores.
Another possibility is allying England instead of Scotland, they can hold off the more adept Scottish military while you destroy the other OPMs, if you time it right (like during war of the roses or a war with a major power) you can create mass instability in England. This will help later if you wish to conquer the rest of the isles.
Taking the fight to the English
The next step depends greatly on how England is doing. If they are still at war with France they will be suffering from severe war exhaustion and are probably plagued with serious rebellions from the War of the Roses if they don't yet have an heir. An attack of Scottish and Irish forces may be able to succeed in breaking them. England's king, Henry VI, is 0/0/0 so they will likely be behind in reaching mil 4 and the +0.25 military tactics. England will also not have any allies besides Portugal until the Hundred Years' War ends. However they still have a large income and while they will almost certainly lose their troops on continental Europe they also start with a ~14 stack near London which they are reluctant to move.
You basically need to wait until the English are at their weakest, hopefully they will have Lollard or pretender rebels destroying their armies, and then you need to declare and bring your great power allies with you. It is very rare for the English to be totally and utterly defeated because they normally give up the hundred-year war before they run out of manpower. France is likely to declare war on the English again after the truce for the Hundred Years' War is over. It's not unusual for no opportunity to arises, so just tech up and try to maintain good relations with England in the mean time.
Portugal is an extremely important consideration since they start with an alliance with England. If they invade they'll transport their troops directly to Ireland rather than landing in England. Intercepting their troops as they land will give them a -2 penalty which can help against numerically superior stacks. Similarly defending in Ulster as the English troops are trying to cross the strait can provide an edge.
As for your potential allies France will almost certainly be unable to land any troops in Britain because of superior English navy but will easily win on Continental Europe. Castille may fare better against the English navy and will siege Portuguese provinces for you but are harder to ally with because of the distance between you. Be aware that Scotland has an event that can fire before 1500 if it is in a defensive war against England giving them about 12 troops for free. France may give you subsidies but the AI is very fickle about this.
You can use support rebels to make rebels friendly to you, toss those heretics a measly 0.01 a month and you can hide in their shadow. Another consideration to keep in mind is that pretender rebels will enforce their demands and then *JOIN* the English which can quickly turn the tides. Another consideration is that 6 other nations are contained within England, (Lancaster, Essex, York, Wales, Northumberland, and Meath) you could easily wait for them to be liberated by rebels and then strike at a crumbling and divided England. The problem with this though, is you must act quickly before the English Army or another power such as France or Scotland decides to also capitalize on this opportunity to claim the provinces that sit on the English Channel trade route.
Once England's army is defeated it's a simple matter of occupying provinces until you can begin the process of breaking England completely. Looting the English provinces can help keep the crumpet weak. You should try to take a few provinces or release Northumberland. You can then follow up every few years with additional attacks, trying to keep England weak and on the defensive. Releasing Wales and Cornwall is an option. This may be a waste of warscore, however, if there nationalist rebels in the Celtic provinces already. They will probably be able to win their independence themselves if England is broken. Likewise don't bother returning cores in France. The French can take them themselves. If they don't take them in this war they will in the next (and that's actually preferable from your point of view, as it puts further pressure on England).
If you have declared war against England once do not bother with trying to amend relations. They will desire Meath and any cores you have taken and will distrust you. They will often take a domineering attitude that will preclude alliance and royal marriages anyway. Repairing relations with England will be impossible as long as you have their cores - they will inevitably attack you to take them back. So you must keep on attacking them until they are no longer a threat. Improving relations can buy you some time if your invasion fails and you have to flee Europe.
Irish Exodus Strategy
One of the fairly unique advantages to playing as an Irish minor is your proximity to the virgin territory of the Americas. If attacking England is not an option you can flee to the New World. Having a capital outside Europe as a Western country provides a huge advantage: every colonized province on that continent will start at 0 autonomy and will not form colonial nations. However, only single province countries are allowed to move their capitals to a different continent. You can work around this by releasing one of the other minors as a vassal and selling them any European provinces once you have a foothold on another continent. Colonial nations will form after you have 5 provinces in one colonial region so move your capital before that.
Only Connacht can get sufficient colonial range at diplomatic tech level 7 to reach Greenland without a Navigator advisor (and with a navigator their first colony can be in Newfoundland). Since Scotland will rival Norway it may be possible to take and core an Icelandic province and skip the Greenland colony. Any location in Gulf of St Lawrence makes a good capital, as trade can be transferred there from anywhere in North America. The Caribbean has the highest base tax and is guaranteed to have rich trade goods. Be wary of setting up in a location that will soon put you in proximity to Spain or Portugal as they will not be shy about attacking you when you're still small.
With this route, England might follow in your footsteps and start colonizing near you. Remember you can seize a not-fully developed colony in a war then send your settler there to automatically change religion and culture. Be wary of the English navy and the possibility of England sending transports across the Atlantic Ocean. Settling in a few locations can minimise the harm they can do.
Be patient, build up your forcelimits, manpower and income, and strike back when you are ready. The key is to be patient and to strike back only when you are stronger army and manpower wise. Remember you have till 1821 to complete the achievement and with this strategy, a normal player should be able to do it by the late 1500s or early 1600s.