Europa Universalis 4 is by far the most enjoyable game i have ever played. Has anyone else ever tried it? If so post here and we can set up a multiplayer match!
I probably have about 800-900 hours into the franchise:D
From the Wiki:
Total Beginner player’s guide
Europa Universalis IV (EU4) is a game in which you explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate. But before you do any of that, you need to get a few basics down. It’s a good thing you’re here because learning how to play EU4 can be a daunting challenge. The most important thing to realize is that you are playing as an omnipresent leader of a country in which the peoples and armies within it will follow your every command. As long as your nation exists you may continue playing till the end date of 1821.
Europa Universalis IV is a grand strategy game that will take you on an epic adventure through an alternate history of Earth. The player is controlling a nation which has armies, navies, military leaders and civilian specialists at their disposal. Though each of the start-dates is set up to be as historical as possible, as soon as the game is unpaused history will often veer off its rails and become an alternate Earth, where players will have the power to influence the destiny of nations.
Europa Universalis IV gameplay is not centered around a specific character as Crusader Kings II is. Heads of state will eventually age and die, and a new successor will take over. The player is more of an abstract controller of a country and they may for the most part do with the country as they wish until the end of the game which is January 1, 1821. During the course of the game, the player must make sure their nation is not annihilated or annexed by other powers, as this results in a game-over.
There are no specific victory conditions in Europa Universalis IV, Although there is a score visible throughout and at the end of the game at the top right corner of the interface. The player is free to take history in whatever direction they desire. They may take a small nation with a single province and turn it into a powerhouse to rule the world, take control of a historically powerful nation and cause it to crumble and anything in between.
How does gameplay work?
The general flow of the game works as follows:
The player chooses to begin a singleplayer or multiplayer game
Most new players will begin with a single player game.
If you have a friend who wants to give you a walkthrough and show you how to play using the multiplayer features (possibly using some sort of voice or video chat to help you along, or playing side-by-side on a LAN), you can start a multiplayer game.
The player may select a country and a historical start date if they desire and begin the game from the flags positioned on lower-middle, or alternatively directly pick any country on the map. Try to start an easy game as it will help you learn the basics.
The player may also select a custom date by clicking on the arrows that go up and down.
Additional data is provided to the player while he fiddles with the view mods in the upper-middle part of the screen. Political map view is best used for assessing the situaton of a country.
Study the initial position and, if desired, spend the initial treasury and make some strategic choices before unpausing the game, such as hiring advisors and dispatching envoys, such as merchants and diplomats.
Once the game is unpaused, time will flow and days will pass, either quickly or slowly. The passage of time may be controlled with the + and - keys on the keyboard or by clicking the plus and minus buttons on the top right corner of the screen. Pressing the spacebar will unpause/pause the game. Alternatively the game may be paused by clicking directly on the arrow at the top right corner of the screen and unpaused in the same way.
The player may move their armies and navies, and the AI will move forces under its control.
Recruitment of armies, hiring of mercanaries and construction of both buildings and ships is locate in a province menu, accessed by left-clicking a province. If the window is displaying political menu player shall close it and re-open by left-clicking a province in order to view its details.
The economy, which is comprised of taxation, production, and trade income, may be manipulated by the player by adjusting expenditure on the armies, colonists and missionaries as well as by increasing income through other means. It is also possible to take loans from a bank, which is done automatically if the national treasury goes bankrupt.
Interaction with other nations using the Diplomacy interface.
Managing technological development by spending Monarch points to unlock new capabilities and bonuses.
Events will appear from time to time, which may present the player with choices. These events affect some aspect of game play.
Eventually, warfare will break out between nations. War is conducted through land and naval battles as well as sieges and naval blockades. In the end, depending on who is getting the upper hand in the war, peace offerings will be made by one party or the other, which can result in exchanges of territory, money, and other concessions. Player can do that by opening the war details window located in bottom of the screen.
After a war, the player may need a respite to allow depleted regiments to reinforce and repair damaged ships, recover its manpower, and recuperate its treasury. Some time may be required to solve issues of overextension or to improve reputation with neighbours. A nation being too aggressive may result in the AI forming alliances or a coalition to oppose them. As such there is often a period of peace between wars and it is normally advisable to wait a period of time between wars.
After a while, a new player will learn to expand their borders through colonization, enforce their state religion through missionaries, expand their control of trade through merchants, and maintain diplomatic relations through diplomats.
Much of Europa Universalis IV revolves around these general concepts. Gameplay in general can be rather relaxed with the ability to pause the game at any time and action can be taken while paused as well. Oftentimes pausing the game to construct buildings, recruit units or conduct diplomacy is beneficial. Armies and navies may also be given move orders while the game is paused.
Like an intense game of chess, Paradox wants the game equilibrium and the strategic and tactical player choices to be the fascinating part of the game. Much of the game play is simply monitoring all the dials and knobs of the machine of a nation. The player can be compared to a disembodied puppet-master with an entire nation at their fingertips.
What this Game is not
This is not a pure wargame. For players looking to simply send their forces off into heroic combat without worry or care of long-term consequences, you will be sorely disappointed. Although there is a great deal of emphasis put upon the military side of things in EU4, there is a lot more that needs to be managed. If you just rush blindly into wars, you will find your regiments shattered, your economy bankrupt, and your neighbors collectively enraged. Even the most bellicose of rulers must pay heed to the finesse of diplomacy, and the pragmatism of economics.
This is not a roleplaying game. There will not be heart-to-heart chats with your advisors, and you will not see rival heads of state looking to engage you in dialogue. Though you can have royal marriages between your country and the ruling dynasty of another, it is mostly an abstract decision. Don’t expect to see any sort of romantic interludes.
This is not a tactical combat simulator. Though there is a battle interface, where you can see the your forces engaging the enemy, you can’t really control your troops on the field. The game is focused on strategic decision-making, not battlefield command.
This is not a turn-by-turn game. The calendar ticks away equally for all nations of the world. Yet because the game can be paused and the passage of time can be controlled, it is not precisely correct to call it a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game either.