Difference between revisions of "Teutonic Order"

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{{Achievement|Baltic Crusader|As Teutonic Order or Livonian Order, own all of Russia as core provinces and convert it to Catholic.}}
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| {{Achievement|Baltic Crusader|As Teutonic Order or Livonian Order, own all of Russia as core provinces and convert it to Catholic.}}
| {{Achievement|A Fine Goosestep|Form Prussia and have at least 125% Discipline.}}
{{Country navbox|Europe}}
{{Country navbox|Europe}}

Revision as of 12:58, 11 April 2016

Duchy rankTeutonic Order
Teutonic Order.png
Primary culture
Prussian (Germanic)

Capital province
Königsberg (41)

Monastic Order Government theocracy.png

State religion

Technology group
WesternWestern technology group
Teutonic ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+10% Cavalry combat ability
+5% Discipline

Infantry cost.png Reform the Army

−10% Infantry cost
−10% Cavalry cost

Manpower recovery speed.png Recruit Peasants

+15% Manpower recovery speed

Infantry combat ability.png Adjust our Infantry Tactics

+10% Infantry combat ability

Missionary strength.png Assume Religious Authority

+2% Missionary strength
+1 Yearly papal influence
+5% Church power

Fort defense.png Expand the Marches

+15% Fort defense

Missionaries.png Promote Prussian Bishops

+1 Missionary

Tolerance own.png One State, One Religion

+1 Tolerance of the true faith

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+10% Institution spread

The Teutonic Order is a theocracy situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Formed during the First Crusade, the Teutonic Knights were at times based in Acre and, after the expulsion of the Crusaders from the Holy Land, in Hungarian-Transylvania, before finding renewed purpose in the Polish-backed Prussian Crusade of 1230. With support of the Holy Roman Emperor, the Teutons would expand throughout northern Poland, Prussia, and Livonia at the expense of their hosts, and would forge a long-standing rivalry with the Poles that would end with their forcible subjugation.

By 1444, it was in decline, its power broken by a Polish-Lithuanian alliance at the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg) three decades prior. It would in time become a vassal state of the Polish kings, and be transformed by the Reformation into the secular Duchy of Prussia. It would gain independence from Poland as the Hohenzollern-ruled Kingdom of Prussia in 1657, and would serve as the base of what would later become the German Empire.

At the beginning of the game, they are one of the strongest powers in the Baltic Sea, with a Historical Friendship with the Livonian Order (a Teutonic vassal-state until 1435) and a Historical Rivalry with Poland; this relationship with Poland will define the early game, as their decision-driven Personal Union with Lithuania can, and typically will, spell the end of the Teutons. With careful management of rivalries, alliances, and a little luck, they can avoid their historical fate and defy the might of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.



This guide will cover the starting moves of the Teutonic Order in the 1.13 beta, and with some small alterations the 1.12 main patch, until the beginning of the Reformation, which is circa 1520 in both. By this point, you should be in a secure enough position, barring extreme circumstances, to have confidence in wars with the Commonwealth. From this point onwards, you have two choices: to reform into a Protestant (or Reformed) secular monarchy to gain Prussian ideas, or remain a Catholic theocracy. In the former, you can go for the A Fine Goosestep achievement (Form Prussia and have at least 125% Discipline), while in the latter you can go for the Baltic Crusader achievement (As Teutonic Order or Livonian Order, own all of Russia as core provinces and convert it to Catholic).

The choice will be up to you, but either way, with your ideas, both (Prussian or Teutonic) are very powerful throughout the game, and you have enormous late-game potential to rival that of France, Russia (who in either case will likely become P-Russia, the best Russia), and the Ottomans.

Both ideas groups synergize extremely well with nearly all land-based Military Ideas, with particular focus on Offensive, Defensive, and Quality. The Teutons work very well with Religious Ideas, especially if going for Baltic Crusader, and Prussia works well with Innovative or Economic. I'd recommend Diplomatic, Trade, and/or Influence ideas for both nations to spend their excess diplomatic points. You should begin with Diplomatic (for the ever so crucial extra diplomat, since you only start with two in both 1.12 and 1.13), follow up with your choice of Offensive or Defensive, and cap off the trio with Administrative for the ever so crucial -25% coring costs. After that, you should have free reign over what to take.

Starting position

In 1444, the Teutonic Order starts with few friends and several typical, very powerful enemies. They'll always begin rivaled by Poland, who you have at most two years of guaranteed peace with (by November of 1446, they'll have enough monarch points to enact the 'Form Union with Lithuania' decision) and who begin with the mission 'Conquer Western Prussia,' which gives them claims on Ermland, Marienburg, Kulm, and Tuchel. Brandenburg will almost always rival them, as they desire the return of their core province Neumark and have several missions for the conquest of Prussia. Any nation that borders the Teutons (with the exception of the Livonian Order) have a 50/50 chance of rivaling them, with Denmark and Lithuania being the prime contenders.

Your few starting allies are typically the Livonian Order (who have the Historical Friend modifier with you), Riga, Mecklenburg, and Verden, who all typically send you alliance requests. Accept the alliances with all save Verden, who is too far away to be of much use. More importantly, you need the fourth relationship slot for Austria.

The Crusade Begins

Before unpausing, a few things to note: no matter who rivals you, do not rival anyone whatsoever until you are both a) allied to Austria and b) a member of the Holy Roman Empire. The reason for this is simple; nations get a bonus to opinion and alliance offers for mutual rivalries, and you do NOT want Poland to ally anyone strong enough to give them an extra reason to attack you early. If Poland still attacks you before you've allied Austria, simply restart. Secondly, the optimal way to beat Poland in an early defensive war is to join the Empire, which will require relations of +158 with the Emperor. The reason is simple; as a normal ally, the Emperor would be called in alone; as a member-state of the Empire, the Emperor always gets called in as a co-belligerent, which means HIS allies join in on the fun too. And if Austria is the Emperor, that typically means you get Hungary in the fight too, vastly turning the war in your favor. With luck, Austria will begin rivaled to either Poland or Bohemia, both of which you can co-rival and thus gain a +20 Enemy of Enemy opinion gain to speed up both the alliance and joining the Empire. If Bohemia has not rivaled Austria, then they will most likely have Poland as a rival instead. Bohemia may make a good ally to fight Poland in the early to mid-game.

You first moves should be to send one diplomat to the Livonians with an alliance offer, and another to begin improving relations with Austria. Sweden will usually ask you to support their independence from Denmark, which you will promptly ignore; an early war with nearly any nation will bring the Poles down on you in short order. Over the course of the next few years, shore up your position. Build up to your land and naval forcelimits, prioritizing trade ships to dominate the Baltic Sea trade node and infantry to keep costs down, then lower land maintenance and mothball your forts to build up money in case you need mercenaries. Getting Austria to +158 may also, though not always if you're lucky with their rivalries, cost you a sizable gift of gold; pay it, money is perhaps the least important resource to you in these circumstances. If Austria loses their position as Emperor due to some freak chance to anyone save Bohemia, you should still be fine. Otherwise, if you rivaled Bohemia to speed up your alliance with Austria, you'll have to weigh whether or not you want to restart to balance your first inevitable war with Poland as much in your favor as possible.

Expanding Cautiously

When you've joined the Empire, you can usually safely expand westwards into Pomerania and Brandenburg. Rival them if capable, otherwise rival Poland and counter-rival your weakest enemy, leaving the third spot open for now. I recommend beginning your expansion with Pomerania, to connect Neumark to the Prussian heartland. Take Stolp and Kolberg in a first war to limit your Aggressive Expansion, and Humiliate them if you rivaled them for a huge boost to your early Power Projection. Next, take Sternberg from Brandenburg, to disconnect them from Silesia (they take a mission to conquer Glogau and Breslau, which you want to prevent them from having any chance at all to accomplish) and Humiliate them if you rivaled them instead. Then, turn to your good friends the Livonians and fabricate a claim on Goldingen to obtain a casus belli. When it's done, rival them, and in the ensuing war vassalize them and, if your Aggressive Expansion is low enough or you don't fear an early Coalition, optionally vassalize Riga as well. Taking the latter option will likely put you over your relationship limit; sacrifice the alliance with Mecklenburg in this case. Another idea is to ally Muscovy who will most likely hate Poland, and this alliance may deter Poland from attacking you.

Poland will usually declare war on you either during your war with the Livonians or afterwards while you recover, so be prepared. Do not overcommit to the war with the Livonians; achieve naval superiority, bait their stacks into Ösel, and then trap them by blocking the strait. Then, siege with impunity.

Breaking the Polish-Lithuanian Union

In your eventual defensive war with Poland, you have a few options. If they attack early enough, you can force them to cancel their vassalization of Mazovia, which will open up a southern path of expansion without having to fight the entire might of the Commonwealth, and Moldavia, which will usually bait the Turks into advancing into Eastern Europe and dividing the Poles attention. On the other hand, you can go for broke and force them to break the Personal Union with Lithuania without relying on them having negative prestige, though if you drag out the war, sometimes you can force it to break under the weight of rebels, bankruptcy, and low prestige. Finally, you can directly take land, but this is risky due to the Aggressive Expansion, and will only prolong your solving the problem to your southern border for a few years before you need to break them permanently.

The Uncertain Future

After the first war with Poland, work on integrating your vassals and completing the conquests of Pomerania and Brandenburg. By this point, you should have an open route to shift your focus North and East towards Scandinavia and Russia, the former of which is cheap and fairly easy to gain, and the latter of which is useful both for 'Baltic Crusader' and to cycle conquests to avoid Catholic-led Coalitions. Pounce on Novgorod when they're weakened by Muscovy, vassalize (and if they're small enough, Force Religion, if not do it in the Vassal Interface) them, and then feed them as much of Russia as you desire until their existence weighs too heavily on your conscience and you integrate them out of their misery.

By the time the Reformation hits, you should be in prime position to expand outwards in all directions. The only question remains the Reformation and Prussia. Do you become a secular Protestant monarchy with Prussian ideas to conquer the world with unbeatable space marines, or do you hold true to the Teutons' Crusader origins and purge the heretics, Orthodox and Reformist, from the face of Europe. As a monarchy you gain the benefits of changeable government types, Royal Marriages, and the possibility of Personal Unions, while as a theocracy you never have to fear from low legitimacy or regencies, which is extremely powerful in its own right. The decision is yours to make.

Best of luck, and as always, have fun.

Forming Prussia as the Teutonic Order

The Teutons are probably in the best position to form Prussia if the player so desires. Bordered by hostile states on all sides, the situation might look grim but with a few tricks the player can overcome the angry neighbours. One of the strongest opening moves in the game is to join the HRE. For this you will need to send diplomats from day 1 going to the emperor (Austria in 1444 and for much of the later times) improving relations/gifting 150-200ducats/getting an alliance/guaranteeing/offering military access or setting a common rival (usually Burgundy). After attaining +100 relations, the Teutonic Order can add provinces to the empire; however, it may be more advisable to only add its capital initially, if one wishes to form the HRE or prevent the Emperor from enacting reforms. Once membership of the HRE is attained, Poland (or Poland-Lithuania) becomes a much more manageable threat and are themselves going to seldom attack. Your brothers to the north-east, the Livonian Order, should be befriended and allied. It is also prudent to reject the Hungarian alliance proposal as four out of every five games they end up on the black list of the Holy Roman Emperor.

Early game is where the Teutonic Order shines. Some might argue that Brandenburg have a better start due to being an elector of the Empire, but the Teutonic Order starts with a nice 5% discipline so that your troops are virtually better than any of your surrounding neighbours. The 2nd idea is a welcomed 15% manpower recovery speed which is crucial, especially early in the game.

Your next move should be to vassalize Pomerania (your troops are better and you have the numerical advantage) and they rarely find a strong ally early. Vassalization of Brandenburg ought to come next but only if they don't have a huge ally (namely Poland or Austria). A Bohemian ally is manageable, though, as Austria will more than likely come to your aid and crush the Hussites.

In the middle game, Teutonic Order is still a fearsome power and has the easiest time transitioning from a Catholic state to a Protestant one due to its traditions and ideas (+1 missionary and 2% missionary strength). You should convert all provinces before switching to Prussia proper as they are quite lacking on the religious side. This transition is also very smooth, as by now most countries have a 5% discipline boost through their own ideas, but alas, nothing matches the 7.5% discipline of Prussia.

If Prussia is formed this way it has the benefit of being in the Empire and a strong contender to the imperial throne, and very easy expansion to Saxon/Hanoverian countries of which most are needed to form Germany. The late-game is up to the player, either go with history, form Germany and partition Poland, or aspire to the title of Emperor and unite the Germans this way (of course, you can form Germany then become Emperor).


Baltic Crusader icon
Baltic Crusader
As Teutonic Order or Livonian Order, own all of Russia as core provinces and convert it to Catholic.
A Fine Goosestep icon
A Fine Goosestep
Form Prussia and have at least 125% Discipline.

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