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Duchy rankMuscovy
Primary culture
Muscovite (East Slavic)

Capital province
Moskva (295)

Russian Principality Government monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
EasternEastern technology group
Muscovite ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+1 Diplomatic relation
+10% Shock damage

National tax modifier.png Gatherers of Tribute

+10% National tax modifier

Army tradition.png Legacy of Dmitriy Donskoi

+0.5 Yearly army tradition

Missionary strength.png Seat of Metropolitan Bishop

+1% Missionary strength
+1 Tolerance of the true faith

Morale of armies.png Pomestnoe Voisko

+10% Morale of armies

Stability cost modifier.png Strength of the Boyars

−20% Stability cost modifier

Fort maintenance.png Zasechnaya Cherta

−20% Fort maintenance

Diplomatic reputation.png Descendants of the Byzantine Emperors

+1 Diplomatic reputation

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+33% Land force limit modifier

Flag of Muscovy Muscovy is a country in northeastern Europe. They're in a prime position to eventually form Flag of Russia Russia.

Historically, the Grand Duchy of Moscow was a vassal of the Flag of Golden Horde Golden Horde in 1444. However, the Mongol Khanate had been losing effective control for decades. The Russian principalities didn't fully break the so-called Tatar Yoke until 1480, when the Tatar Horde declined to engage the superior, firearm-equipped Russian army across the Ugra river; the once-mighty Golden Horde was finally destroyed in an alliance with the Flag of Crimea Crimean Khanate in 1502. In the game, their independence represents their de facto degree of autonomy at this stage. Grand Prince Ivan IV "the Terrible" had himself crowned "Tsar of All the Russias" in 1547, establishing the Tsardom of Russia.


Main article: Russian events

Muscovy's events centre around the Russian Orthodox church, significant reforms made by some of the better known kings, as well as territorial conflicts with the European hordes, Flag of Sweden Sweden, and Flag of Lithuania Lithuania.



Muscovy get a number of unique missions, many of which grant claims on large swaths of territory, which allows swift and extensive expansion.


Neighbours and position

Muscovy starts bordering Flag of Lithuania Lithuania, Flag of Novgorod Novgorod, Flag of Kazan Kazan, Flag of Golden Horde Golden Horde, Flag of Perm Perm, Flag of Ryazan Ryazan, Flag of Odoyev Odoyev, Flag of Tver Tver, Flag of Beloozero Beloozero, Flag of Rostov Rostov and Flag of Yaroslavl Yaroslavl. Other significant neighbours include Flag of Sweden Sweden, Flag of Nogai Nogai, Flag of Crimea Crimea, Flag of Pskov Pskov, Flag of Livonian Order Livonian Order. These are all discussed in turn.

Perm, Yaroslavl, Beloozero, Rostov and Pskov, The Muscovite Vassal States

Perm, Yaroslavl, Beloozero, Rostov and Pskov all begin as Orthodox vassals of Muscovy. Perm is the largest of these, and begins with some Tengri provinces which can cause them some unrest, however these are usually swiftly converted. Yaroslavl, Beloozero and Rosotov are the smallest and are sometimes entirely surrounded by Muscovy and its vassals, while Pskov shares no border with Muscovy. The player should be mindful that although having these vassals significantly increases the combat ability, due to the extra regiments and manpower pools they provide, it means few relationship slots remains. When attempting to integrate these vassals, be mindful of the penalty to relations, and more importantly, to diplomatic reputation, that occurs when completing an integration, which can slow, or entirely stall further integrations.


Tver begins wedged betwixt Muscovy and Novgorod. Muscovy is too large to rival, so Tver's only valid rival is Novgorod, and so will inevitably select them as rivals. This rivaly often results in Tver trying take advantage of wars Muscovite-Novgorod conflict to take some Novgorod lands of their own. They usually fail to find any other significant allies, and so are usually a straightforward target for expansion.


Positioned at the junction between the Lithuanian, Muscovite and Golden Horde lands, Odoyev are surrounded by relative giants. If Lithuania rivals Muscovy, and does not fall under a personal union with Poland, they will often guarantee Odoyev discouraging selecting Odoyev as a target for expansion. Either hoping that Lithuania does fall under the union, or else waiting for a moment of weakness such that they will not honour the guarantee, can both allow incorporating them into Muscovy. Failing this Odoyev is small enough to willingly vassalise, and so could be added to Muscovy's initial vassal swarm.


Positioned along the Muscovy-Golden Horde border, Ryazan also share a border with Odoyev, who they inevitably rival. Starting larger than Odoyev means that Ryazan is in a position to make good this rival status and actively take aggressive action against them. Often the Golden Horde will attempt to make Ryazan a vassal, and either warning the Golden Horde, or allying Ryazan can help prevent this. Similarly sending a warning to Ryazan should prevent them from declaring war on Odoyev. Ryazan start too large to willingly vassalise, however as they share Rurikovich dynasty, they can end up falling under a personal union with Muscovy as the senior partner.


Historical rival of Muscovy, the merchant republic of Novgorod are a likely first target for expansion due Muscovy starting with the option to take the 'Conquer Novgorod' mission, which grants claims on all their provinces. A common approach is to set Novgorod as rival and declare war just after first month of the game before it has time to fill its forcelimit and make an alliance (probably with Lithuania). Muscovy has quite a good general at the beginning, superior forces and also the vassals are capable of defeating the remains Novgorod's army and sieging provinces. Even if the player doesn't pick the mission for conquering Novgorod (which grants claims) to save the admin points in the beginning, Novgorod still can be humiliated, forced to revoke cores and war reparations, pay some money, annul treaties (with some luck military access is granted by Lithuania and annulment will also prevent forming an alliance for some time - this is quite important in case Lithuania doesn't fall under personal union with Poland) or give some provinces to Pskov. This probably won't bring Novgorod totally to their knees but may hurt its economy and prestige. It will be then more vulnerable also in a war with Livonian Order or Tver.

Lithuania and Poland

Lithuania is the only neighbour which can field an army of comparable size to Muscovy's. However, they often fall under a personal union with Poland, limiting their ability to both pose an active threat as well as interfere in Muscovite affairs. Lithuania begins with almost all of the Ruthenia region under their control, and all of this land is both Orthodox, and in the East Slavic culture group, making it a very attractive expansion direction. An event which can trigger between 1550 and 1650 may grant claims on much of this land. Even if Lithuania do not fall under a union with Poland, owing to the historical friendship status between the two nations, they will almost always be allies. Poland have their own vassals, and the two of them, in the very early game, are capable of fielding a much larger army than Muscovy. Because of this it is inadvisable to attempt to take Lithuania's Ruthenian lands until either having expanded and increased Muscovy's force limit significantly, or until it is possible to call in equally powerful allies. Poland can not initially rival Muscovy, however, if they get the personal union over Lithuania, they become a potential rival. Therefore, it can be valuable to form an alliance with Poland before the personal union occurs, although this can prove challenging owing to the 12 month mean time to happen on the event for Poland to get the union. If player is able to ally Poland, it is worth to keep the alliance at all costs. In case Lithuania doesn't fall under personal union, Poland will be a kind of defensive guarantee for Muscovy. If personal union happens, then Poland will be great battering ram for Muscovite conquests in Scandinavia or against nearby hordes. Early allying of Poland and accepting calls for war against Teutonic Order may give a good chance to take Danzig or Marienburg - these are necessary for forming Commonwealth, so owning one of them not only strengthen Baltic trade node position but mainly prevents Poland to form the Commonwealth easily and quickly. Once Commonwealth is formed (or Poland inherits Lithuania), it is just almost inevitable to rival Muscovy.

Golden Horde, Kazan and Nogai

Through missions, as well as the permanent claims granted if Russia is formed, Muscovy claims on much of the European hordes lands. However, when taking these lands, it is important to be mindful that they are Sunni, which will cause religious unrest issues, and reduce religious unity. Reduced religious unity also increases corruption. And so it is advisable to either wait until the player has a means of converting or tolerating such heresies, such as is granted by Religious and Humanist ideas, and which should therefore be strongly considered candidates for first idea group picks. An alternative strategy, is rather than taking the Sunni lands into Muscovy to give them to a Sunni vassal. Muscovy begins with a single Sunni province, Kasimov, from which the Sunni horde state of Flag of Qasim Qasim can be released as a vassal. Feeding a Sunni vassal the Sunni lands, at least temporarily, depending on if or when the player intends to integrate the vassal, avoids the religious problems this would cause for Muscovy. Starting in the Eastern technology groups, Muscovy should be able to advance in military technology sooner than the Nomadic culture group hordes, and waiting until a time when they are behind in military technology, especially technology levels granting discipline, morale, and improved units, can help make warring against the hordes significantly easier.

Declare war to Kazan when Nogai or Golden Horde do so as well. Sieging capital, Perm and Udmurtia should get enough high war score to grant provinces Perm and Udmurtia to Perm - these share Perm's culture and Perm will convert the tengri religion to Orthodox.


If the player conquers the steppe tribes to the east, they may eventually find themselves sharing a border with Ming. Ming starts off with by far the most development, highest force limit, and dozens of tributaries. However, Muscovy has several unique advantages over Ming: First, Muscovy is closer to Europe, which means they can embrace the first three institutions much earlier than Ming. Second, Ming usually has trouble with low manpower, which Muscovy does not with its national ideas. Third, a Ming invasion of Muscovy would mean marching through the large, low-supply limit provinces in the winter, exacerbating their manpower problem even further. Thus, it is advised that the player share a border with Ming to decrease their Mandate of Heaven until it begins to given penalties to shock and fire damage, at which point the player can choose to attack. It is also recommended that the player start wars with Ming's tributaries that border Muscovy to grab extra land while fighting Ming itself.

Livonian Order and Riga

The Livonian order share a border with Pskov and usually ally with the Teutonic order. Either by directing Pskov to fabricate claims against the Livonian Order, or by fabricating claims directly after taking land from Novgorod, Muscovy can either take land from, or owing to them being just slightly below 100 warscore, take the Livonian Order as a vassal. The Livonian coastal provinces can provide extra sailors and naval force limit, useful to combat Denmark and Sweden, which are usually superior in that regard. Dragging Livonian Order's brother, Teutonic Order, into war provides a chance to get Danzig or Marienburg - this will prevent Poland from forming Commonwealth.

Denmark and Sweden

Denmark and Sweden control much of the Baltic sea, and share a border with Novgorod. Usually the player will annex Novgorod and this will eventually mean they share a border with Muscovy. Relatively often, Sweden try and get their independence from Denmark. In either case, Sweden may fabricate claims on these border provinces, and wars can occur over these claims. Allying Denmark if Sweden is not yet free, or allying Sweden if they have already gotten their freedom, can help the security of this north-west border, as well as provide a relatively powerful ally. Usually Sweden prefers to unify the Scandinavia region, while Denmark usually tries to take the North German coast. In either case, allying them encourages this route of expansion and discourages them from trying to expand into East Slavic culture group territory.


Religious is recommended as an early, or even first idea group. If expanding South or East, it will be into Sunni lands. These are difficult to convert, and will cause a reduction in religious unity which will increase corruption. Religious ideas can help by increasing missionary strength as well as by providing additional missionary. Religious will also give access to the Deus Vult CB. Alternatively, Humanist ideas may allow for tolerance rather than conversion of the Sunni lands.

Defensive ideas are recommended as the first military idea, most likely after Religious. It allows Muscovy to win a battle by sheer numbers and it is especially powerful at the start of the game. It also increases attrition inflicted to anyone who wants to attack Muscovy, by it's +%1 attrition bonus and increased fort defense, since Muscovy is weaker than Polish-Lithuanian union. Unlike the popular understanding, Quantity does not have a synergy with Muscovite ideas since Quantity is additive: while the absolute increases are just as big for Muscovy, the higher manpower pool from the moscovite ideas is not boosted.

Expansion and exploration ideas are worth considering as Muscovy. Both of these will help speed eastward colonization into Siberia, and potentially beyond to the New World. However, since Muscovy's generic idea for colonist also allows to fully colonize Siberia at the end of the game and Exploration ideas has only 3 useful slots, Expansion is recommended, while the player can develop Iron, Fur and Copper provinces' production with diplo points (which will amount to at least 45 development in State provinces, while whole of colonizable Siberia amounts to about 150 development). In an MP environment, this is recommended, though a player who wants to make "True Faith" or World Conquest won't need any colonization.

The high force limits that Muscovy's national ideas allow, help keep vassals in line because of relative military strength, encouraging the use and growth of vassals. Influence and diplomatic ideas are helpful for vassal heavy play, allowing cheaper integration of vassals, as well as providing an addition diplomat for integrating them.


All belongs to Mother Russia icon
All belongs to Mother Russia
Start as a country of Russian culture and form Russia.

Relentless Push East icon
Relentless Push East
Starting as a Russian nation, By 1600 own the East Siberian Coastline.

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